Utility Grade Floors - Part Three | Myrtle House

After four weekends working on nothing but the Myrtle House hardwoods, we have everything but the master closet done! I won't bore you with too many details (you can only talk about installing hardwoods so much), but here are a few photos of where we are at now, verses where we were just a few months ago.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Flooring, DIY
Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Flooring, DIY
Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Flooring, DIY
Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Flooring, DIY

Once the hardwood saga is complete, I will write a more detailed post on our process and what we learned. Hopefully it will be helpful to those attempting this budget-friendly flooring option!

Utility Grade Oak Floors - Part Two | Myrtle House

Another weekend in the books for the hardwood floors at the Myrtle House. Brian and I both made the trip this weekend and I have a whole new respect for the work he did by himself! While not difficult, laying these floors are time-consuming and quite labor intensive. I think I am more sore today than I was after my first half marathon.

On Saturday, we divvied up the tasks; I was the racker, Brian was the nailer. Basically, I would unpack the bundles, sort through the good and bad, and then lay them out in a way where there were no overlapping seams and the coloration was balanced. Brian would then come behind me and set and nail in each piece. He also laid the rosin paper while I opened and sorted bundles. This process worked great for a two man/woman team.

When researching utility grade flooring, the main concern that came up was the amount of waste. When we picked up our order, I noticed that some bundles had white ties, while others had yellow ties. I didn't think anything of it, but as we have gotten into the process, I noticed that the yellow tied bundles are MUCH better quality. Less bad ends, less splits. If we had all yellow tied bundles, our waste would be slim to none. However, the white bundles have about 30% waste. There are many knots that go all the way through the wood. There are splits that make the wood unstable. There are also ends that are unusable (either no tongue or no groove). I am not sure if we accidentally got an upgraded wood, but if we only had the white bundles to work with, the amount of waste would have been frustrating. You can see the difference between the two below.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Utility Grade Hardwood Flooring DIY Old House Renovstion
Elizabeth Burns Design | Utility Grade Hardwood Flooring DIY Old House Renovation
Elizabeth Burns Design | Utility Grade Hardwood Flooring DIY Old House Renovation

We were able to use a lot of the bad pieces of wood where the cabinets will be.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Utility Grade Hardwood Flooring DIY Old House Renovation

We laid the floor in the small remaining area in the dining room, around the fireplace, and then into the kitchen. Here is the before and after of where we started and then where we ended for the weekend. Getting there!

Elizabeth Burns Design | Utility Grade Hardwood Flooring DIY Old House Renovation
Elizabeth Burns Design | Utility Grade Hardwood Flooring DIY Old House Renovation
Elizabeth Burns Design | Utility Grade Hardwood Flooring DIY Old House Renovation
Elizabeth Burns Design | Utility Grade Hardwood Flooring DIY Old House Renovation


Utility Grade Oak Floors - Part One | Myrtle House

July has already been one busy month - we spent a whole week transforming the windows at the Myrtle House, and then I completed my first week at the new job. While all of these events are exciting, they can also feel exhausting. I really needed a weekend of downtime, but time is starting to slip away and our renovation completion date goal is sneaking up on us. Brian took one for the team and went back to work on the hardwoods this weekend. While he had hoped to complete the dining room, he finished a little shy.

As mentioned previously, we purchased Utility Grade Oak Flooring through Lumber Liquidators. They have been great to work with and we will definitely be ordering through them again. It took three trips in the truck to get all of the flooring for the house. Each bundle weighs about 50 pounds and they can weigh down a small truck quickly. We were advised to let the hardwoods acclimate to the house for at least five days. Lola did absolutely nothing to help during the entire installation process. Shocking.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Hardwood Flooring, DIY

We were cautioned that this particular floor has a lot of waste due to splits and knots. We ordered about 10% extra and so far that has been plenty.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Hardwood Flooring, DIY

Since Brian has done all of the work so far, I can't give a lot of insight into this project, but I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty this weekend and letting you all know how it goes! One thing he did have trouble with was working with the crooked walls in an old house. He spent the first night simply laying down the first straight row.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Hardwood Flooring, DIY

Below is where he stopped at the end of the weekend. It may not seem like it, but the flooring went down a lot faster than I had anticipated. When we picked up the flooring bundles, I noticed how short the hardwood pieces were and thought that might slow us down. Luckily, it hasn't made that much of a difference yet.

Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Hardwood Flooring, DIY
Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Hardwood Flooring, DIY
Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Hardwood Flooring, DIY
Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Hardwood Flooring, DIY
Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Hardwood Flooring, DIY
Elizabeth Burns Design | Installing Utility Grade Oak Hardwood Flooring, DIY

The original salvaged hardwoods are some sort of oak, so we are hopeful that after a good sanding, the old and the new floors will mesh beautifully. Having actual wood floors makes the house feel so much more like a home!

Hardwood Floors | Myrtle House

I get a little sick to my stomach when I think of the beautiful, century-old wood floors in the Myrtle House that we were forced to rip out due to termite damage. The wide-plank pine floors were gorgeous to the eyes, but underneath, they looked like corrugated cardboard. Have I mentioned how much I hate termites?

Elizabeth Burns Design | Old House Renovation - Wide Plank Pine Floors

Due to a job change, I have the Fourth of July week off, so Brian and I have decided to tackle the hardwood floors. We are going to have to put in new flooring in all but two rooms (about 1000 square feet total).

Since the floors that are left are "rustic" to put it nicely, we have decided to try out the Utility Grade Oak Flooring by Lumber Liquidators. Our contractor had a good experience with it, and with it being so economical $.89 a square foot (on sale now!), it seems to be our best option. Beneath My Heart has a great outline of her experience installing this floor.

You can really see the imperfections in the wood above. I think the knots and grooves add so much character to the floor. Look at how lovely her floors look!

It may be a little quiet around these parts as we tackle this daunting project and I transition into my new position. I hope y'alls summer is off to a great start!