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Our floors are here! And some bad news…


The most exciting part of our renovation so far is here!

I posted a sneak peak on instagram earlier this week:

Here’s the full view:

The installers began work Monday and expect to finish this week, with the exception of the main kitchen area which will need to be completed after the cabinets are in.

But it’s not all good news—we got a call from the installers Monday morning asking us to come to the house to take a look at the wood before they got started.

I knew when purchasing it that they were “Value Grade” which meant that there “may” be some defects in some pieces. Here’s how they explained it on their website:

“the Timberland products are selected out due to natural character markings in the hardwood. These character markings may include knots, mineral streaks, and natural grain variation. Occasional cartons may also include one or more boards with manufacturing defects, although there is very little manufacturer’s defects present.”

Because I love the rustic look and actually preferred character rather than a smooth clean look, I was totally okay with this.

I just didn’t realize how bad it would actually be.

Probably almost half of the wood was chopped into small pieces like this…



Complete with bonus drawings:

At least 1/3 with large cracks:



And/or really obvious knots:



And/or streaking/staining:


I told them to do the best they could to use all the good pieces for the living room and main walkways, save the “acceptable” pieces for the closets, and we’d re-evaluate once they were down to the bad pieces—hoping we had purchased enough overage so that we wouldn’t have to use them. We may end up having to buy more, unfortunately.

My biggest concern was the length of the small pieces, though. I was really nervous about how obvious they would be.

Fortunately, when I came back to the house that evening when they were finishing up, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that everything just blended together and the board length was not a big deal at all.

A note on the color—in natural light they are a little more gray than advertised on the website.

 I’m slightly bummed about that, however under indoor lighting I’m 100% in love with the coloring:

In the kitchen it looks fabulous. The only place where there will be natural light only is in the living room by the window.

Here’s a shot with equal amounts indoor and natural lighting, this is probably the best representation of the true color:

Here’s a shot of the insanely expensive stair nose in action, on the edge of the kitchen from the living room:

Moral of the story is—you get what you pay for. In the end, I think $1.89 shipped is still a bargain for what the final outcome will be, but between the unexpected cost of the stair nose and the amount of bad wood we ended up with, I wish I would have looked into buying unfinished wood and having it stained. Now I know what I’ll be doing for the next house!

After the floors are down, we’ll be able to move in! We plan to wait until February 1st so we have a chance to get as much work done as possible (like the plank ceiling & walls, cabinet and appliance install next week, and some painting).

Two more weeks until we get to enjoy this every evening…

We’re also making some major progress on the home theater room. It might even be done before we move in! Update on that soon….



23 thoughts on “Our floors are here! And some bad news…

  1. Well, lessons learned, BUT they did a great job integrating the pieces in the install and it really does look beautiful! Exciting!

  2. I think the floors look great. Thanks for sharing your experience with this product. Sometimes we have to learn lessons the hard (expensive) way, I'm glad that yours won't break the bank. Can't wait to see the rest!

  3. Jenna, I know I say this all the time, but I really do love your blog. I love it because there is a goldmine of information on the do's and don'ts of home reno. I am currently laying tile in the basement that look like hardwood, and can I say, I have learned this lesson the hard way too. It's the most tedious process I have ever undergone. We have about 1000 sq ft of tile to lay! So, I can definitely relate to lessons learned. Your new place is going to be beautiful, nonetheless 😉

  4. What I´m followed you in Pinterest, I`d say those floors are exactly what you wanted! -hopefully you don´`t have to buy more and you can save as many pieces as possible.

    When I found your blog, I instantly connected with your style. And with this new house and a little different/envolved style I´m eagerly waiting for new posts :). I have a certain picture in my head, what kind of style you are trying to achieve. I just want to see all your amazing ideas as you continue to renovate 🙂

  5. Hi Jenna,
    I stumbled across your blog a few months ago while looking for some home decorating ideas. You are doing an awesome job on your houses! I also admire the hard work, determination and organisation you are demonstrating during your projects. It will be all worth it in the end. The floors look beautiful by the way! 🙂

  6. I'm trying to figure out what a stair nose is? I looked on your other posts to see if it had something there but didn't see anything. Ok, so what is a stair nose?

  7. How much overage would you suggest if I was looking at buying those exact floors at the same grade? I love them and really can not see buying it at the much higher price for higher grade.
    Have they held up well?

  8. It's really hard to say since it varies so much… I'd give them a call and see what they recommend in your situation. I think we bought around 20% overage initially and then ended up needing more afterwards but I don't recall how much. They have held up well though so far!

  9. How much overage would you suggest if I was looking at buying those exact floors at the same grade? I love them and really can not see buying it at the much higher price for higher grade.
    Have they held up well?

  10. Hi Jenna! I absolutely adore your blog and your decorative artistic style! We are planning a kitchen reno soon and are looking to replace our floors. I wanted to see how these floors were holding up? I really love the subtle grey tones. Do you have any pets? We have two dogs and just wondering how scratches show on the floor. I’ve found the same wood flooring “first quality” for over $5/sq ft. If you had to do it all over, would you do it the same? I don’t know if I should go the same route you did and buy the value grade and plan for lots of extra square feet or mix up some of the first quality in there too? Any thoughts or recommendations would be appreciated since you’ve lived with this flooring for some time now 🙂 Thanks, Kiah

  11. Jenna Sue-
    I was wondering if you could give me a “2 Year Update” on your floors. The product is still available and I am willing to take the risk if you are still happy with the click and floating style 2 years later. Thanks, Gayle

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