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If you’ve been following along on my social, you know that we recently embarked on a major full-home renovation: new hardwood flooring throughout! This was quite an experience, especially with two kiddos (17 months and 1 month old!) but we have lived to tell the tale! It was definitely challenging at times, but worth the sacrifice. Now that we’re through the other side, I wanted to share our experience with you so you know what to expect when taking on a project such as this!

Here are my tips for living through a whole-home flooring renovation!

Prepping: Packing Up & Moving Everything

Think of everything that currently rests on the floor in every room of your home and realize that it needs to be packed up or moved out of the way so that the existing floor can be demoed and replaced. If you’re planning on leaving some items in the space to be moved around throughout the project, I highly recommend using tarps or drop sheets as there will be dust from sanding the floors (before the new ones are installed).

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Remember that your entire home isn’t going to be done all at once so you can move things from one area to the next as the construction progresses.

The Flooring Must Adjust!

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Your hardwood flooring will be delivered in boxes and stored in your home for up to a week to ensure that the material has adjusted to the humidity levels in the house. It’s important to do this before installation to ensure the the boards don’t shrink or warp after they are installed.

The Baseboards Will Be Removed

In order to remove your existing flooring and install the new flooring, your baseboards will need to be removed. If you dislike your old baseboards, this is a great opportunity to update them (since they’re already being removed). For us, it was a great opportunity to have our baseboards refreshed/re-painted.

Demo Day: The Old Flooring Must Come Out!

The demolition process is loud and potentially dusty so be prepared for that. There will be a large construction bin placed in front of your home and that is where all of the old flooring will be tossed. If you’re looking to have new baseboards installed after this project, this is where the old ones can be disposed of as well.

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The installers will check for any spots that need to be sanded or cleaned off of the sub floor to ensure a smooth and level surface for installation of your new flooring. This may cause some dust (because sanding) and so this is why I recommend covering any furniture that will remain in the space during the project.

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Installation Begins!

This is the most exciting part of the project – when then installation happens! You will watch as piece by piece, row by row, your space will be transformed! The installation process may take time if you have difficult angles in your home to work with (i.e. cut around) so be prepared for that.

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The installers should be cutting the product outside, so ensure that they have a space to do so where sawdust won’t cover everything in sight! For example, if this project is taking place in the winter and the installers would like to use your garage for cuts, be sure that you have made arrangements to cover anything in your garage from getting covered in sawdust.

The Baseboards Go Back On!

Keep in mind that when your baseboards go back on, they will need to be touched up. The nail holes will need to be filled and sanded and repainted. Our baseboards had not been repainted since we moved into our house over a decade ago, so this was a great excuse to have them repainted. It really refreshed that finish, too!

Move Everything Back In!

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Once the flooring is finished, the baseboards are back on and the paint has all been touched up, it’s time to move all of your furniture and other items back into your space! Roll out the area rugs and set your home back up. It is going to feel like you’re moving in for the first time and it is going to be glorious!

The Final Product!

What can you expect from the finished product? I can’t speak for other flooring companies, but our experience with Alberta Hardwood Flooring was second to none! Their service was fantastic from start to finish and honestly, the finished product knocked my socks off. It feels like we are living in a brand new home!

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I cannot get over how much changing the flooring changed our entire house. If you want to see the full transformation, stay tuned for the blog post.

Tips For Your Hardwood Flooring Renovation:

  • Move as much out of the spaces in your home as possible. It is a lot easier if you can get the big items out of the way. This is a great time to purge items you no longer want or need.
  • Furniture can be moved from one level of your home (or one side of your home) to the other between demolition and installation, however this is definitely more work than moving it all out and all back in once. Renting a trailer or a shipping container to temporarily store items in front of your home is not a bad option.
  • There will be dust so tarp/cover as many of the items that will remain in the space as possible.
  • Be sure to allocate an outdoor space or adequate garage space for the installers to make cuts during installation.
  • It will be noisy, so try to vacate the premises if possible while work is being done. I honestly recommend staying in a hotel for the duration of the project, if possible.
  • Your baseboards will need to be removed and re-installed so be sure to budget time and/or money to make the necessary paint touchups.

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