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hardwood floors – the delivery, the demo, the install


    We have new floors in our house. We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for the right time and finally made it happen. Things have gone smoothly and fairly quickly and we’re now ready to clean out all the dust, move our furniture back in and get ready for hosting Thanksgiving.¬† I’ll take photos to show you the finished spaces (it looks so good!) once we have everything put back together, but for now let’s talk about the process of replacing our floors.

    To recap, we had blonde maple in our entry (see it here), front bathroom and kitchen. The rest was a taupy/gray carpet (we still have it upstairs) in terrible condition from the past 8 years of kids and dog and entertaining and living. It was time for it to go. We ordered a million hardwood flooring samples, narrowed it down to our top picks and after a few days of staring at them, made our choice.


    We ordered from Build Direct and the process was super easy. I measured, the customer service guys helped us figure out what trim pieces and overage we needed and it was official: our floors were on their way! Delivery day was pretty exciting … except when the handtruck couldn’t get the pallet up the driveway so Ryan and I had to carry each box one-by-one into the house. Let’s just say it was good exercise (ps. there were two of those pallets).

    The second I had the chance, I tore that first box open to see our new floors.


    We went with the gray-brown (here is the exact floor) and are very happy with the choice. Yes, we knew going into it that dark floors are a pain to maintain, but the matte finish and dirty brown color will hopefully do a good job of camouflaging dirt. Ask us in a few months if we’re still in love.

    With the wood delivered, it was time to rip out the downstairs floors.


    We started on Halloween with the living room carpet (fun day for all!) and then had a bunch of friends come help destroy our house that weekend.


    It’s amazing how quickly you can mess up a house. Just FYI.

    For the next week or so, we had painters here making our walls beautiful and white. It was nice to have it done before the floors went in so we didn’t have to worry about spills and drop cloths and the like.

    And then, on a glorious monday morning, the floor guys came to work their magic.


    It’s funny how you start to get to know the tradesmen … Derek and Alex and Thomas and James. They are good guys who work hard and even though it is a bit awkward to have four men in your house while your husband is at work, they were great.

    We considered installing the wood ourselves to save money, but then came back to reality and realized that it would take us months and we would botch the job and maybe if we didn’t have a bunch of kids and work projects to finish up and family coming for thanksgiving in one week, we could try, but it probably wouldn’t work out in our favor. So we hired it out.


    The guys were here all week – the noise, the dust, the saws and compressor – it was a lot. I was emotionally exhausted by the time they finished (that’s how you know you’re a true introvert) but it sure does change the look and functionality of our house.


    While cleaning up after all was finished, Ryan looked at me said “why didn’t we do this 5 years ago?!” I think we made a good choice.

    Full reveal photos to come soon (after we clean and mop and de-dust and re-hang pictures and move our furniture back in … )


    38 thoughts on “hardwood floors – the delivery, the demo, the install”

      1. They are great! I need to do an update post. They don’t show dirt like we were warned dark floors would and so we’re very happy with the decision!

    1. Hi Emily. We are looking at the same floors! Did Builddirect offer any coupon or discount? I have ordered samples in the past and I think there was a 10 or 15% off coupon, but this time they didn’t send one :-( Thanks!


      1. When I ordered my samples, there was a coupon in the package – I think for 10% off? Try emailing their customer service to see what kind of discount they can offer.

    2. Such a lovely project. Glad to learn of Build Direct. Love the bright colored door in one of your pics. Do you recall the name of color?

    3. we ordered our floors from Build Direct last year and we thought they were great to work with and loved the floors (also dark)! I’m a neat freak, and yes they show dirt, but they’re way prettier than the nasty terra cotta tile we had. Can’t wait for your reveal pics!

    4. Emily, the thing I love the most (besides the gray -brown color of the floors!) is that your boys got in there and gave a helping hand. That speaks volumes! Looking forward to the reveal!

    5. Looking great! I can’t wait to see it finished with all your lovely things in place. I have been thinking about a dark floor for our house. So it will be fun to see how yours turns out.

    6. I smiled when I read the part where all those men in your house working was draining! I SO get it & almost wondered if I was abnormal! :)
      We have been renovating for a year off & on & it is stressful!
      Love the look of your floor!

    7. I’ve been stalking your IG just to see if you had revealed that “after” and was so excited when I saw this post. But gosh darn you’re a tease.. haha! I guess I can wait a little longer ;-)
      They look beautiful in the shots you showed.

    8. Love! It’s such a great choice to your already fabulous home! Question for you? Did the contractors glue down the hardwood as well as staple it? We had hardwood installed on to existing “older” hardwood floors and some plywood. Unfortunately, I don’t think the installer did a good job, because during certain periods of dry heat the floors tend to sound like rice krispies! They make a snap, crackle, pop sound! Ughh…they were so expensive to! I would love to know if you have a concrete slab or raised foundation and what type of underlayment did they use?
      Thank you! Love your house! I always show my husband your home so we can get ideas for our ongoing reno!

    9. Dear Emily, Floors look great! Can’t wait to see the finished product. I looked at these floors for our lake cottage, but decided with our white golden retriever shedding dog that I would drive myself insane with white hair on the dark floors. So glad to see it in someone else’s home though…I’ll live vicariously through you:)

      1. Our cabinets did not need to be removed – the wood just goes up to the edge and trim hides the cut ends. The island, however, did need to be moved out of place to put wood under.

    10. Ooh! I’m so excited for you. I can’t wait to see the finished product. We are hoping to do this to our house in the near future. I’ll be interested to hear how you like them and the pluses and minuses as time goes on.

    11. Wonderful project and it looks so lovely. I love the color of paint (greenish) on the inside of an outside door in your pics. Do you recall what brand and color it is?

    12. Can’t wait for the big reveal! Looks beautiful! Where did you put your furniture while you were having the work done? Did it all fit in your garage, or did you get a storage pod for the driveway?

    13. How exciting! I bet it looks just gorgeous, the preview already makes it look like a new house with the new paint color and floors! I also have the blonde wood floors and have been wanting to change them and get rid of all the carpet in our house, I’m really looking forward to seeing everything put together.

    14. My husband and I are slowly renovating a home in Olympia we bought two years ago. We bought hardwood floors and decided to install ourselves. We started in January and just finished last week. Smart choice in hiring it out. Your floors look great!

    15. I renovate houses in the Baltimore area. I can’t speak to the wear-and-tear factor of the wood (beyond having contractors trouncing over it for a few weeks), but I’ve installed those floors in a few houses and they always look beautiful when it comes time to sell :)

    16. baileywife @irishman acres

      We installed wood in our main living spaces 2 years ago, after living with ugly carpet and orangey wood in our entry for 13 years!! We had that same conclusion: why in the world did we wait so long?? It changes our whole outlook on our home… Cannot wait to see yours all complete! ~Kim

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