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Are We Crazy? We Got Nice Floors Redone - ZenShmen

Are We Crazy? We Got Nice Floors Redone

Are We Crazy? We Got Nice Floors Redone |

When we moved into our new home, there were lots of different types of flooring to contend with. We decided to get them all redone.  Are we crazy?

None of them were particularly bad individually, but because it’s a bungalow (meaning all the rooms are on the same floor and connect together), it made no sense to have so many different types and colors of flooring from room to room.

When we changed all the floors ourselves in our last home, we learned what a huge impact flooring has on a space, and carried that knowledge over to this home.

You might enjoy this post:

Our New DIY Flooring (Allure & Traffic Master Installation)

To be perfectly honest, I knew that living with a bunch of different floors would make me batty.

The goal here was to create one, coherent color scheme.  Simply put: make them all the same.

I was hoping to have the same light and airy tones as in the last place but alas, this would not be the case.  There were lots of factors to consider that I could not have imagined before, and things we certainly could not tackle ourselves.

So this time, we had to call in the pros.

* * *


Here are some of the challenges we faced:

  1. Each room had a different type of wood (some laminate, some hardwood and some parquetry).
  2. Each room was a different color.
  3. One room (the master bedroom) had lots of wear and tear.  The flooring experts recommended we tear it all out and replace it because it could not be saved.  (We told them they had to find a way to salvage it — tearing it out wasn’t an option!)
  4. The main living/dining area was made from jatoba, an expensive Brazilian hardwood.  It’s main characteristics: it’s very, very hard and it’s very, very red.  This meant we would have to go dark.
  5. The floors were installed in a 45 degree angle, making it difficult to use the industrial sander in the hallway that joins to bedrooms.  This meant that the hallway sanding to be done with a hand sander (more time = more expense).
  6. Redoing the stairs is expensive to begin with because of the time involved – throw in one sneaky step that could not be refinished because it was made from particle board (and not oak, like the rest of them) and you’ve got a Flooring Headache.

Here are a few more to add to the mix, just for funsies:

  • I was nine months pregnant and had the patience of a cranky toddler in the candy aisle.
  • We wanted a few toxic fumes as possible (for the pregger, yes, but also in all things we do).
  • We got a ballpark quote without the flooring team ever having seen the place, because we did not own it yet.
  • We had exactly one week from the date we got the keys to the date we moved in.  So any delays would have to be dealt with within that time frame.  They don’t work weekends so we had a total of 5 days, Monday to Friday, to get everything finished and ready for the movers to haul our furniture and boxes in.
  • After all was said and done, the project cost almost double our budget: $4,000 instead of $2,500.  Ouch.

Somehow, despite all of this, we are glad we refinished the floors and feel it adds value to the place.  They are darker than we would have liked (due to the deep red tones of 70% of our floors which could not go lighter) but overall, they’re very nice.

After light grey/driftwood, our 2nd choice would have been a medium-brown oak color.  But, we were informed our ‘red floors’ could appear bright orange.  So in the end, we went with a charcoal grey.

Here are some Before and Afters:

Are we crazy?  Would you have left them the way they were?


Before: Here you can see 3 of the 4 floor colors!  And a whole lotta red.


Before: Dining Area – jatoba wood


Before: Living Area – jatoba


Before: Hallway to bedrooms – jatoba

Why a 45 degree angle you ask?  Presumably to follow the line where the kitchen tiles begin, as you can see above.

Why do the tiles go on a 45?  Because there used to be an old wall there cutting the kitchen off from the rest of the space.


Before: Master Bedroom


Before: Master Bedroom – honey parquetry + damage & wear


Before: Bedroom 1 – medium oak laminate


Before: Bedroom 2 – mocha brown laminate


Calling in the Big Guns:

Stripping the top layers off the laminate with a big mama sander


Doing the edges of the room with a hand-sander
Repairing some broken parquetry



Getting started on the stairs…


Can you see the particle-board step?


Here’s a close-up


A work-in-progress…

Grey stairs, first staining


Stained + unvarnished main area


The final result:

We finished the floors with commercial-grade matte varnish.


The Living/Dining Area


The colors change with as light pours in throughout the day


The Master Bedroom

The floor that could not be saved?  Well it was saved — and it’s now our favorite of them all.  Look at that cool pattern!


Bedroom 1


Bedroom 2


You can still see a difference in color, but only if you’re really looking for it.



The hallway


The stairs

A note on the stairs:  we told them we’d be repainting the stair risers and sides shortly, so they did a little less cleanup than they would have normally — hence, the drips.

{That post is coming shortly.  What a difference paint makes!  It always blows us away.}

So, what do you think?  Are we nuts to have opted for a change?


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Val Lonergan is the founder of, where she shares happiness hacks for purposeful people. To get the ZenShmen cheatsheet to jumpstart your joy - 10 easy things you can do right this minute to hack your way to increased happiness - join the free newsletter.
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