Home Renovations: Living & Dining Room

Posted by on Thursday, July 28th, 2016 in Miscellaneous.

A little over a month ago my husband and I decided it was [past] time for our carpeting to go. The living room, dining room, and hallway were all carpeted and I just knew that underneath was hardwood waiting to be brought back to its former glory. So we rented a dumpster, cleared out the clutter, moved some of our living room into our middle tiny guest room and moved the rest of the furniture into the basement.

Living & Dining Room: Before

The carpet here is worse than it looks in the pictures. Between the pet fur and Duggan (our Shepard mix) eating part of the the carpet, it was in rough shape.

Living & Dining Room: In Progress – After Ripping Up Carpet

We ripped up all of the carpeting and tack strips and I began the laborious task of removing all of the staples. The line down the middle of the rooms in the image above is all staples still clinging to remnants of carpet padding. As you can see though, we were really lucky in what we found under the carpet.

Living & Dining Room: In Progress – After Sanding

Because the floors were so nice we decided to rent a plate sander instead of a drum sander. Plate sanders are less expensive and much easier to maneuver. My husband actually really enjoyed this part of the process. He sanded while I vacuumed behind with the shop vac, which worked well to keep the dust to a minimum.

Living & Dining Room: In Progress – Waxing

The number one reason we chose wax over poly was that we didn’t want to apply such a toxic substance to our floors that we would have to leave the house for a week to avoid off-gassing. The second reason is tied to the first, wax is far more environmentally friendly than poly. We also wanted the floors to match the other wood floors in the house. Given the age of the house and the appearance of the floors we concluded that they were probably also waxed. Which brings me to one of the downsides of waxing, and probably the reason people have switched to poly; wax isn’t terribly durable. The wax may need to be reapplied in 3 years, which is about the time we will be looking to move, so we may have to reapply before selling.

Living & Dining Room: In Progress – Buffed

Originally we thought we could get away with applying some elbow grease and hand buffing the floor, we were sorely mistaken (pun intended). We abandoned this manual process pretty quickly and decided to rent an electric buffer. I really wish we had done this in the first place. The buffer was really inexpensive and made a huge difference. We never would have gotten the the floors so shiny, not with all the elbow grease and time in the world!

Now would probably be a good time to give a shout out to Alpine Rent All & Sales which is where we rented the sander and buffer. Their staff is very friendly and helpful and their prices are fantastic. They are also a local business and it’s always nice to support those. If you are in the area and need to rent large equipment, I highly recommend Alpine Rent All & Sales!

Living & Dining Room: After – New Entry Floors & Fresh Paint

The room was really starting to look nice with the newly shiny wood floors. Unfortunately the entry floor still needed to be finished and the walls and trim were looking pretty shabby. In lieu of tiling equipment and experience I reluctantly decided to use laminate tiles in the entry. I chose individual tiles that I could grout to take remove some of the ick factor from using laminate. Can you tell I really hate laminate? In spite of my animosity towards the material, this area actually turned out really nice, and the grout made it look much more convincing!

For the walls we chose Glidden Universal Grey, for the trim and buffet we used Behr Marquee Dutch White, and for the doors and buffet top we chose Behr Marquee Gateway Grey. Painting has taken longer than expected due to high temperatures and our lack of central air, but I should get around to the hallway soon and then eventually to the rest of the house.

Living & Dining Room: After

Here is the space all finished with the furniture moved back in. These rooms may have turned out too nice, because the rest of our house now needs a serious face-lift!

I will keep you all updated as we make more progress on our home renovations. I hope you all have had a wonderful week so far! Happy Thursday everyone!




  • Joanne George says:

    Oh my gosh!! The floors are just beautiful!! Give yourselves a big pat on the back for a job well done. So proud of you

    • Lauren George says:

      Thank you so much, we are very happy with how it has turned out so far! Unfortunately the pups are less than thrilled with the abundance of hardwood. I think we need to get some rugs so they can gain some footing again 🙂 Looking forward to hosting in our clean new space!

  • Barry George says:

    Beautifully done! You have certainly worked hard and added value to your home.

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