The Story of My Floors

I hope that you've noticed the beautiful floors in my house?  Here's a picture of them in my teeny tiny little entryway.
Note to self: fix the crooked picture in the middle.
They haven't always been here.  We only have one living room area that used to have a glue down wood floor that was pretty when we moved in, but over the years it got pretty badly scratched up, and it couldn't be sanded down and refinished.  It also didn't go down the two hallways off of the living room.  They had boring, builder grade, beige carpet.  Since the glue down wood floor didn't go down the hallways of our large rectangular living room it looked kind of like a basket ball court.  The bedrooms had the same horrible carpeting.
In the dining room kitchen area, which is open to the living room, we had ceramic tiles.  They were alright and I probably could have lived with them but since the rooms are connected, I wanted a seamless look.  Plus, the kids were always stubbing their toes on the transition between the wood floor and the ceramic tiles.  The tiles were also starting to get a lot of chips in them.  Here is a picture from three years ago.  I know it doesn't look horrible, but remember that the wood floor was just a big rectangle and didn't go down the two hallways off the living room.  If I were to extend them, I would have had to match the wood floor and put a transition which would have looked weird.
My kids had been hounding me for years to get a pet but my daughter, Olivia, is allergic to everything, including dogs and cats, and she also has asthma.   The allergy doctor said it would be okay for us to get a dog if we got rid of the carpeting in our house (okay by me!).  So, Olivia got allergy shots, once a week (for TWO YEARS!) to build up her tolerance to environmental allergens.  She's a brave girl!
All so we could get this little guy, Bocce, our adorable mini-schnauzer.
That's Bocce when he was a puppy in June of 2011.  We did a lot of research to find a "hypoallergenic" dog because of Olivia's allergies, otherwise, we would have rescued a dog from the pound.
So while Olivia endured allergy shots for two years, I saved my pennies to buy my flooring.  I decided on a laminate for durability and affordability.  I would have loved a real wood floor, but it wasn't in my budget.  The flooring is Brazilian cherry by Harmonics, and I got it at Costco (on sale, of course).  I also saved money to buy new slip covered white couches from Pottery Barn that I had been wanting forever.
I had originally planned on installing the flooring myself (sometimes I have delusions of grandeur about my DIY skills and what I can do by myself).  With my sister, Michelle, and my mom's help, we did install the flooring in my daughter's room.  I probably could have installed it in the rest of the house, by myself, in about 10 years since I would only be able to do it on the weekends.  So, I bit the bullet and spent the money I had been saving for my new, Pottery Barn couches, to hire someone to install it for me.  He also had to rip out the glue down flooring in the living room and take up the ceramic tile in the kitchen/dining room, and that, in itself, was worth every penny I spent to hire him.  I did remove all of the base boards and tear up all of the old carpeting in the house by myself to save money.
It was amazing (and disgusting) to find out how much dust we had been living with under our carpets all of these years.
While the flooring was being installed in the living room, I had to move some of the furniture into my garage and we lived in my bedroom for several weeks until it was done.  It was sort of like living in an efficiency apartment.  So, even though it was expensive and a hassle getting the flooring put in, it was definitely worth it and it's very easy to take care of.  Now, I don't need to worry about replacing carpeting every few years and we are enjoying having Bocce in our lives.
What about you?  Have you tackled any big renovation projects in your house?

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