a little bit of background on our floors:
when we bought our house every room had carpet. even the kitchen had carpet. when looking at the house i pulled up a corner of carpet downstairs and saw hardwood floors underneath. they appeared to be in good shape. the first thing we did when we got the house was to go through
and remove all of the carpet - it was really dirty and smelled bad. and the biggest reason? most of the carpet on the first floor was pink.
upstairs we found the hardwood floors to be in good shape. we eventually were able to sand and refinish and they look great. the downstairs floors, not so much. the biggest problem is that they were splintering. we had several hardwood floor experts out to look at the floors and every one had the same opinion - the floors were too thin to sand again, and even if sanded, they were splintering so badly (the top tongue of the tongue and groove flooring was coming off) that they were beyond repair. it is really unfortunate because i feel like the original wood would be beautiful if we could just refinish it. really our only option was to replace the floors.
here is just an example of the condition of our floors. you can see how the splintering is actually now causing the floors to start to separate. this has just gotten worse as we've been walking on the floors for the last 2+ years.
we have had a lot of time to think about and debated all of our options. did we want unfinished or prefinished? could we do it ourselves? do we put hardwood in the kitchen? what do we do around the radiators?
we decided to go with a prefinished oak 2 1/4" wide floor. we picked a gunstock, low gloss finish. we wanted to go with something that looked similar to what we have upstairs and what is existing. we went with a prefinished floor because we want to install it ourselves. installing the floors prefinished will allow us to work around our furniture and live on the floors as soon as they are installed. plus, it seems that the finish on the prefinished floors can actually be more durable than finished in place floors. and with our dogs, we need all of the durability help when can get.
once we had decided on the kind of floor, we went to many different flooring stores including lowes, home depot, and several discount stores to check out all of the options. we kept coming back to a bruce floor. one thing that i really liked about the bruce floor is that it had square edges. most prefinished floors have beveled or eased edges to allow for some installation tolerances between boards. i prefer the smooth look of finished in place floors (they do not need these built in tolerances since they are sanded smooth after installation) - so i was happy to find a prefinished floor that will still have the smooth transitions between boards. we actually found the best price for the bruce floor online. i was nervous about ordering our floors online but the company had great reviews and was highly rated by the better business bureau. the flooring is supposed to be delivered this coming week, i will let you know how the online experience turns out.
we had a busy weekend so we weren't able to get as much done as i had hoped, but i will keep you updated on the progress. hope you all had a happy halloween!