One of the biggest “Phase 1” improvements we made was updating the floors throughout the house. The girls’ bedrooms were recarpetted; the dining room was tiled (the most beautiful checkerboard – still so in love); and everywhere else we installed Stuga’s Ingrid flooring, a wide-plank, matte-finish, engineered white oak hard wood.
The entry used to be tiled, but we decided to carry the wood floors through here as this is actually not our main point of entry and we wanted everything to flow better. We also added the same wood to the stairs and stair noses.
Stuga has matching stair noses for all of their flooring, and we love this squared-off profile. It feels so clean but still classic. You can see we added it to both staircases in the images above and below, and it turned out amazing. And with the white risers, wrapping the edge and face of each stair – it makes my heart flutter every time I see it.
You can still see a peek of the kitchen tile above. We carried the flooring through the breakfast nook since the footprint there will stay the same. But the entire kitchen will be redone this year, and at that time we’ll remove this tile and carry the wood through the kitchen as well.
Even though we did tile in the dining room, we still wanted to make it as seamless as we could. Our contractors nailed 1/4in plywood underneath the flooring on the entire first floor, topped by the underlayment from Stuga, and then nailed down the flooring (it can also be glued or floated, which is what we did at the cabin). All of this brought it nearly perfectly level with the top of the finished tile.
So why did we tear up our previous floors in the first place? Though it was very high-quality flooring, there were aspects of it that just weren’t ideal for the plan for our house. Firstly, they don’t make that specific floor anymore so getting new stuff to match for other spaces in the home would be tough. Secondly, it was laid out in odd ways – diagonally in the living room, and varied directions from room to room.
The color of the flooring also varied from downstairs to upstairs. Fortunately, our flooring installers said they would take it out for free if they could have it, so it didn’t end up in a landfill and we know it will find a good home elsewhere.
Another question we are getting a lot is why we didn’t go with faux wood tile like we did in our last house. There are a couple reasons for that. Firstly, though we loved the tile, this home is nearly double the square footage, and that’s just far too much tile to take on. The installation is at least double the cost of wood floor installation, and takes probably 3 times longer. Another reason is because of how much we love Stuga. This flooring is perfect for families, and even though it looks like it’s unsealed and natural (ie, potential nightmare for stains and spills), it actually has a brand new type of finish on it that repels liquid, stains, and cleans up like a dream. We have been so impressed by it.
And even though we transformed quite a bit in our bedroom, if we had made every change and left the floors as they were, it all would have fallen flat. Flooring is arguably the most important element in a room, because it is the hardest thing to change. So we’re glad we did it before Christmas, and before having any real furniture to speak of in the house.
So here we are. Nearly every room in our house is now ready for us to work on. We are so excited to take what we’ve spent the past 9 months planning and creating and really make it ours. And on that note, I’ll leave you with this picture of sweet Polly, just as excited as we are about our next project – our Master Closet.
Plans coming soon… :)