By now you’ve seen our kitchen go from four small rooms, to one massive space. You’ve seen the floor plans, you’ve seen the cabinetry, and most exciting of all, you’ve seen my design board for the whole space. Well, one of the finishing touches that we haven’t talked about yet is our new floor from Shaw Flooring.
Over the last year, I’ve developed an extremely close relationship to the folks at Shaw. I approached them years ago with the idea of working together one day — fast forward to 2016, and the collaboration began. I was purchasing a fixer upper and knew the people at Shaw would be the perfect fit. I had researched MANY flooring brands, asked the opinions of many experts, and I kept hearing the same answer. Shaw.
Now let me just say one thing real quick. I only work with brands that I TRUST and that I believe in. If you look back (I dare you, search my blog), I’ve only worked with a very small amount of brands over the last 4-5 years. Why? It’s because I weed a LOT of companies out. If you have bad reviews, don’t treat your customers well, or simply provide a bad product, WHY would I want to work with you, and (even more so) WHY would I want to recommend you to my readers?
Um. That’s cray cray.
Ok, glad I got that off my chest. Anywhoo — back to the remodel. The demo is done, the walls are up, the cabinets are installed and now the floors are next. Here are some of the before photos of the floor we were working with:
As you can see, the floors had seen better days. The location of our kitchen was actually an addition at one point, so there were not only issues with the floor itself, but also the structure underneath. After months of troubleshooting, we ultimately realized we needed to rip out the floor and fix the structure underneath. This is what our house looked like for about a week. And yes, it was during the coldest week of the year – 20 degrees!
Once the structure of the flooring was settled (no pun intended) we were able to actually install the floor!
For our entire downstairs, including our kitchen, I chose solid hardwood flooring (World Traveler Solid Hardwood in Trail) from Shaw. It’s a 4″ solid hickory, which is one of the hardest wood species.
When remodeling a kitchen in particular, you have to ask yourselves questions like, “Do we install the cabinets first or flooring first?”
Well, the answer can vary. Since we chose a solid hardwood that was nailed to our subfloor, we chose to install the cabinets first. This is because the solid hardwood floor only increased the height of the floor by 1/4 of an inch. Our subfloor was installed before the cabinets, but our actual floor was installed after the cabinets.
Also, if you’re installing a “floating” wood floor (not nailing or gluing it down), you will 100% need to install the cabinets FIRST. If you’re remodeling a kitchen and aren’t confident which comes first, the chicken or the egg, then make sure to ask your flooring installer. They’ll be able to assess your situation and give you the best answer. Although it’s not a bad idea to ask you cabinet builder, you have to remember that they’re not the flooring expert. They might be trying to help, and they might have the right answer, but your flooring installer will 100% be able to lead you in the right direction.
Before they actually nailed down the floor, they laid everything out first to make sure the coloring was even and consistent. This was maybe the coolest part of the whole install. I was able to see the flooring installed without it actually being nailed down yet. It was a great preview!
The entire install only took about four days (keep in mind that was for the entire house, not just the kitchen). I was so glad we decided to install wood throughout the entire downstairs. If you remember, the 1st floor originally had about four different flooring applications. The old flooring made the space feel far too choppy.
By laying one consistent floor, it completely opened up the downstairs.
If you want to see more of my reno (and to see sneak peeks of what my house looks like now), you can follow me on instagram here.