Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Floors are in

Wow. It's been almost three weeks since my last entry. Time flies when you're having fun. I finished installing, sanding, and getting the first couple coats of finish on the wood flooring downstairs.

It took a little over three weeks to get to this stage--so far, I guess I have about 140 hours in the floor. I was originally going to just install the floor and wait until after more work was done to put finish on it. But after a small oil spill, I decided the floor needed protecting sooner rather than later.

So here are a couple pictures of the almost finished floor. The breakfast room, kitchen, and dining room look best right now, because there aren't too many footprints:

The family room and entry hall get a lot more traffic, but they still look pretty good:

Installing the floor was a lot of fun. It turns out that the framers did a fantastic job. I started laying the floor off of a line in the center of the house that I stretched parallel to the east wall of the family room. I first worked from the center to the front of the house, and then from the center to the rear. The last row of flooring on each end was parallel--within 1/4"--to both the front and rear walls! I was also able to run the floor continuously from room to room without needing any transition strips.

We chose to use Cumaru--also called Brazilian Teak or Brazilian Chestnut. It's more than two and a half times as hard as red oak (I didn't want any dents in the floor). The close-up below shows what it looks like:

That's the natural color of the wood. No stain, just two coats of varnish. I also installed some flush floor vents to match:

I put two coats of finish on, and I'll put one more on this weekend. Then I'll wait until just before we move in to put the final coat of finish on. With 1200 sq feet of flooring, each coat takes about six hours.

Bill and Mike have made good progress on the tile. They finished laying tile on the floors in the laundry room, back hallway, guest bath, and main bath upstairs. They also built the shower pan in the master bath and started today on the wall tile in the bathrooms.

We're using porcelain tile on most of the floors and walls, with natural travertine stone tiles in the master bath. Here's the laundry room floor:

The tile work is nothing less than excellent. They'll finish the two smaller baths this week, and get some more done on the master bath. Just in time for the cabinets to be delivered on March 23.

A couple more milestones. We picked out the granite for the bathrooms and laundry room today. And the fireplace has been installed and hooked up:

I hired a carpenter to do the finish work on the stairs. When I got price quotes on the finish materials, it turns out that stairs are ridiculously expensive. More than $2500 just for the handrails. So this weekend, I'll be milling my own handrail.

Next week, we should make progress on the stairs, finish up the master bath, and hopefully, I'll finish milling and start installing trim.