Friday, January 14, 2011

Cheap hardwood

So I fucked up the hall. The best way I've found to deal with fucking something up is to sulk for no more than three days, then move along. I hated that floor anyway, so we've decided to replace it. With hardwood. Cheap hardwood. The good stuff starts at $5/sq ft, and sure it looks really nice, but it's a hall. I was not thrilled about the thought of spending more than $500 to have a floor in the hall.

I did a lot of looking online and in town, and I found medium brown utility grade 3" wide solid oak for under $2/sq ft. It's a shade darker than I would have chosen in a perfect lottery-winner world, but I actually really like the utility grade stuff. Utility/cabin grade means it's got knots, wormholes, and occasional damage to the structural tongue-and-groove parts. You buy a little extra to make sure you have enough. The floor doesn't look mirror-smooth and perfect when it's finished, but that's not really appealing to me anyway. It's a hall. The dog is going to track in sand, I'm only going to sweep once a day, and honestly? I'm not going to remember to take my shoes off every single time I come through there either. It's gonna get banged up. Pre-banged-up is just fine with me.

I picked up five boxes (105 sq ft) today, but I think I'm going to go back for another box tomorrow or Monday. The actual hall dimension is 90 sq ft, so 105 is perfect - but, er, there's two tiny closets I forgot about. And the previous owners forgot about - the original 30 yo extremely horrible blue carpet is still in place in them. If I buy one more box of wood, I'll have plenty to do the closets too.

Advice online says to let your wood acclimate to your house's temperature and humidity for a week. The guy at the flooring store recommended 2-3 weeks - eeek! I'm sure he's right, as much as I hate to wait now that I have exciting new flooring. There's like no humidity at all in Reno, so the wood will shrink as it loses moisture. I'd really, really hate to lay the floor, nail it down, then have it shrink up and get big cracks in it. So I'll wait.

I locked the cats in the bedroom while I pulled up the laminate and stacked the boxes of hardwood in the hall. When I let them out, it was a Brave New World, one which they'd never seen before in their whole lives.

Cats discover the hall has changed from Funder on Vimeo.


  1. omgosh that explains it! that explains why we have these big long spaces between the slats in our hardwood floor! terrible cuz you cannot sweep, ever, you have to vacuum, and even then stuff gets stuck in them.

    one of the things that gets stuck in the cracks since our return home is our little electronic hamster (zhu zhu pet?). poor thing cannot move around in there!

    and, did you say you sweep every day!? oh my.

  2. Yeah, my boards have a tiny bevel on each edge so they're going to trap a bit of sand anyway - I might have to vacuum more often. Ugh. Big cracks would just make it worse!

    Does Mercer chase the hamster? We used to have a Roomba, years ago, but I think we gave up on it before we ever got a cat.

    I do sweep the hall every day. We have no real dirt, just sand that clings to your feet as you come in from the outside. It mostly falls off in the hall, so I only sweep the bedroom every couple of days. And a lot of it falls off in the den, but this carpet is so horrible it doesn't seem worth it to keep the dirt from grinding in. I try to ignore the den carpet! ;)

  3. people (germans) always try to take off their shoes as they enter our home and i say "no! no need to do that! my floors are always dirty/this is the country!" and germans look uncomfortable cuz they are really trained to only wear socks or guest slippers in people's homes. i only vaccuum weekly. but now everything outside is frozen solid and your feet (and your horse) stay perfectly immaculate out there! (one amusing thing: when you don't let a german take off his shoes, you should see how long he takes wiping them on your doormat. it's an odd cultural thing to wipe feet inordinately thoroughly. it resembles cats in litter boxes. i usually get bored and turn and walk into my living room, to invite them to stop wiping.)

    yah mercer loves the hamster but she tends to knock it over and he cannot get up on his own.

    you say you have no real dirt....aha, that is why your horse can't get as filthy as baasha, right? baasha would LOVE to live on sand. we once stayed the weekend at a beach ranch and baasha was given a stall and run with nothing but sand in both, and he loved it. cleaning up is so easy too.

    ignoring carpets: i always try to buy a carpet that is already the color of dirt - say a mix of tan and grey with flecks. the color "lazy."