Monday, December 7, 2009

Floor remodel

Back this summer, when it was warm outside (as opposed to the 40-or-so degrees, rain, and howling winds outside tonight) and the kids were on summer break, I tore up the carpets in three of the bedrooms and replaced them with laminate.

Room 1

I started with one room first, to see if I could actually swing it. This room used to be the kids' playroom. It is the largest room in our house (approx. 230 sq ft) and the only one with a vaulted ceiling. It gets lots of natural light, and has big double French doors to the backyard. It had a loft bed in it, but nobody ever slept in there.

Because this room was only used for playing, and because it "belonged" to all the kids, nobody felt it was their responsibility to keep it tidy. Toys for all different age ranges were always scattered everywhere. The huge closet in this room also held all of the kids' clothes, which made the room even messier. Therefore, this room used to be a constant source of irritation for me. Glancing at it on my way to bed at night was frustrating.

The kids did not like playing in the room when it was messy, so I felt like we were wasting the nicest and biggest bedroom.

There are no good "before" pictures of the whole room because I forgot to take any. These are just some pictures of the kids playing in there to give you an idea of what it looked like.

First I tore out the carpet, which took me two full days because all the carpet boards had to be ripped up. To break up the large space, I had a 4 ft high dividing wall installed. I spent two more days painting the walls. Installing the flooring took several more days. After the floors and baseboards were in, I made this room our bedroom and moved all of our stuff in. Then I hung curtains and did some other decorating.

Before this remodel/move, my husband and I shared the smallest bedroom in the house (100 sq ft), and both girls usually slept in our room with us. It was a little cramped, as you can imagine.

This is a picture of the (mostly) painted room, floors undone...

... after I started installing the flooring

... later that night, I had worked around the wall...

And, the finished product:

A closer shot of Miriam's little area and what she calls her "princess bed":

With this new room, we have a lot more space, and there was even room to put a little craft/sewing table in there. It's nice not having to get the sewing machine out and having to set it up every time I want to sew for a few minutes.

Look at all my fabric nicely sorted and stacked. I bought about 80% of this fabric from a lady on Craigslist for $20. It's a lot more than it looks in the photo.

Room 2

The next room was the one that all three boys had been sharing as their bedroom. Again, I didn't take a before picture, but it was basically wall-to-wall beds, which was terrible with trying to keep stuff and dust out from under the beds. The boys insisted on all being in the same room, with enough extra space for us parents and the girls to sleep in there with them "as needed". Oh, how I miss those days when I would go to bed at night, with all five kids sound asleep in there, and from where I was lying I could reach out and give each of them a pat on the head in their sleep. Now that I am not used to it any more, they disturb me too much and I prefer my own room.

After I did the floors, only Isaac and John stayed in there. They like everything to do with firemen, so I sewed the curtains and also put in some other cute firefighting decorations (which you can't see in this picture since it only shows about one fourth of the room). Solomon hung the picture of George Washington, his favorite president.

Room 3

Solomon moved into what used to be our bedroom, which means that he is the only person in the house who has his own room. At 100 sq feet, it is the smallest room in the house. He is actually pretty good about keeping it clean on his own.



His loft bed has a pull-out desk, book shelf, and chest of drawers underneath it. There is also a bookshelf in his room with bins to keep his stuff. The closet is not in the picture, either.

All in all, start to finish, I spent about 3 weeks to do all three rooms. Several of those days were spent buying and hauling the flooring to the house, as well as going back to the store for little stuff I needed along the way.

Becky was only 8 months old at the time. Without Solomon helping take care of her, I would not have been able to do the floors.

I have honestly never looked back. Not once has the thought that I wish I had carpet again even remotely crossed my mind. My allergies (that I never had before moving to Arizona) have all but disappeared. I never wake up all night long any more, having to blow my nose incessantly.

And just in case you were wondering, I did all the work wearing skirts. And kneepads. And I didn't chop any of my fingers off with the table saw, although there were a few close calls (don't tell my husband).

The reason why I spent so much time tonight putting together this post is because I needed a reminder to focus on the positive. I am bummed about the fact that both our washer AND our dishwasher broke this weekend (what are the chances of that happening?). And our indoor plumbing had a leak last weekend, and really the house needs to be repiped. And our windows and doors need replacing; the draft from them is freezing me out. But hey, my floors look great!


  1. Wow, that is impressive!!

  2. Great job! Everything looks great. I don't know how you do it. I only have one and I can't get anything done. I love the picture of the three boys sleeping together, it's adorable!

  3. If you were closer I'd give you a washer.

    Anyhow I've never had a dishwasher and want one badly so I have trouble being sympathetic when someone elses dies. But, you need yours as much as I need one so I am sorry the dishwasher broke.

    I loved seeing the pics and description of your remodel. My husband and I hope to do some remodeling next year ourselves.

  4. You did an amazing job!! How did you learn to install the flooring? Was it easy? Thanks for writing up this post. Oh, and I hope your other repairs get done cheaply and fast. Just think, if you can put in flooring by yourself, you can tackle even more complicated projects like maybe dishwasher repair. :)

  5. Would you mind if I asked about the cost of the project?

    I'm wanting to do this myself but I don't own any tools (so if you rented them anywhere, that would be a hand price to have also!).

    My house also has a crawl space underneath it, so I think I have to make some repairs to the subfloor before I lay down laminate over the top.

    Was it any trouble at all going round corners and up tot eh edges of doors?

  6. The floors look WONDERFUL! You did a fantastic job.

    Yes, I'm sure your allergies are pretty much gone. All that carpeting can keep allergies going.

  7. You did a great job. I just also wanted to say that the pic of your boys asleep is too cute. I like how they have their arm on each other in their sleep. That's too cute.

  8. I don't know you or your family any further than what I've read in some of your blogging, but I found you one day by researching a local "megachurch" in my hometown--NewSpring church. There has recently been a HUGE controversy regarding the church and an esteemed professor at our local university. You can read the account of the story at . That link is the blog of Dr. James Duncan, the professor I spoke of. NewSpring released a "statement" also, which can be read here:

    I would love to hear your reactions and thoughts to this heartbreaking story, if you ever have time.

  9. Zs: Wow, I'm impressed. Are you sure Steve didn't help? We want to redo our living areas in laminate eventually. How much do you charge? Haha.

    Heather: I read up on the Newspring thing. From reading those Tweets it sounds like Newspring's pastors are homos themselves. Perhaps Highway to Hell was an appropriate hymn for their church after all. Song, song o the south...


  10. I am completely impressed that you did the flooring yourself! Hmmm...maybe I could do that in our house! :)

    It looks beautiful!

  11. I have no idea how in the world you have time to paint and install flooring:) But I want to say it all turned our beautifully!!!!!! Great use of space too!

  12. Everything looks terrific. We adore laminate flooring around here. It keeps me sane; our carpeted rooms look shabby too quickly! Many blessings!

  13. Thank you all for the compliments.

    Mrs. W, I'm still without a dishwasher. When we had three kids, we didn't have one either, but I am noticing that there are A LOT more dishes now that there are seven of us. The older two help dry and put them away, though, so I have held off buying one in hope of finding a used dishwasher through freecycle.

    Anonymous, I taught myself by reading the instructions in the box of laminate and watching a YouTube clip about it. But no, I can't repair the dishwasher. :(

    Vicky, the flooring was $1/sq ft. The price range for flooring starts at about $.69/sq ft and goes as high as $4 for laminate, more for hard wood, cork, bamboo, etc. We chose the cheaper option because we know we will be moving eventually. There were a few special tools I needed, but they were not expensive. The biggest thing I bought was a table saw (got it used on craigslist for $50). The corners were not hard, just the doorways were a little tricky. It all came down to measuring right, which was tedious.

    Heather, the Newspring church story was pretty crazy. I like how they tried to pose as my husband!!

    Anonymous (R.S.), yes, I'm sure Steve did not help! He carried the boxes of laminate in from the van, that was it. I did everything from buying it, loading it up, and then installing the whole thing.

    Thanks again for all the compliments!

  14. What a cute post! I have two things to say.

    1- You did a BEAUTIFUL job remodeling those rooms. It must have been tough to do and still raise all of your children. Kudos!

    2- That picture of your boys sleeping is such a sweet picture. I say this because of the two boys sleeping and holding hands... such a precious snapshot of brotherly love!

    God bless you and keep you,

  15. I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?


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