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Remodeling hardwood floors – is it worth the trouble and mess?

By Lisa Nicklanovich; courtesy photos

Photo of wood floor refinishing

When replacing carpet with new hardwood, the flooring company can weave the new wood with the old before staining to create a cohesive look.

Oak Hills resident Ronna Smith can attest to the disruption, inconvenience and mess of an entire main level hardwood floor remodel. The hardwood floors in the main living spaces of her home had weathered and yellowed after years of use and the carpet needed to go.

To begin the process, Smith requested multiple bids from flooring companies to replace the carpet in her main level rooms with new hardwood that would blend seamlessly with the old hardwood, then refinish it all in a new stain. Smith said she asked the companies to break out the charges for the different parts of the process, as she was not opposed to ripping out her old carpet and removing and re-attaching the baseboards herself.

Once the process began, the flooring company delivered the new wood to let it acclimate for a couple of weeks before installing it. Meanwhile, all the furniture was moved out of the way, either to a room not being refinished or to the garage.

Photo of multiple floor stain samples for wood floors

Melissa Coudeyras had multiple floor stain samples put down during her flooring remodel before making a decision. If there is other wood in the home, such as kitchen cabinets, ask for stain samples to be placed somewhat close to the other wood to make sure they will work together.

The flooring company stained a few different color choices on Smith’s floors and let the homeowner have a day or so to see the options in different light at various times of the day. Smith said, “I had friends over to vote.”

Having a walk-out basement with a kitchen made it possible for Smith to stay in her home during the remodel, though the disruption was still substantial.

Winterberry resident Melissa Coudeyras also recently completed a main level floor remodel and she shared, “I kind of wish we had left the house when they were staining because of the vapors.” Coudeyras advised, “Maybe pick a time when you will be out of town and have a friend or neighbor check on your home.”

“Expect the dust; you’re not going to get away from that!” Smith exclaimed. Coudeyras said she shut the doors to all the bedrooms to contain the dust, but it still went everywhere. Upon completion, both residents said they wiped down all their walls with a damp cloth or Swiffer, and vacuumed the entire house, including vents and light fixtures.

Smith removed and reattached her baseboards herself while Coudeyras had the flooring company complete this task. Either way, repainting them when the job is done is usually up to the homeowner. Smith advised checking with the flooring company about when it’s safe to put furniture and especially any rugs over the newly stained floors to avoid discoloring.

Was it worth it? Smith stated, “It looks so much more cohesive now and updated. I wish I had done them sooner.” Of her remodel, Coudeyras added, “It was totally worth it!”



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