This is part of our Tiny House, Tiny Bloggers series, in which we turn over Plaster & Disaster to some VERY tiny bloggers to tell their own story of transforming an ugly, old (doll)house into a fresh and modern (doll)home. Follow it from the beginning here.
Disclaimer: Inclusion on this blog is not an endorsement by Plaster & Disaster of the tiny blogger’s methods or design decisions. Plaster & Disaster cannot be held responsible for your terrible decor choices after reading one of their tutorials. All opinions are their own.
Tiny bloggers back in action! It has been a little while since we’ve posted here, hasn’t it? I bet you thought we all had a falling out after Naomi and Sage kicked us out of their awesome party for bringing lame-2016 donuts to share, but that wasn’t the case. If anything we just felt totally mortified that we weren’t on trend and grateful that they pointed that out to us. After all, if your friends don’t stop spending time with you because you still like types of pastries that are SO-2016, how will you learn?
Anyway, while they’ve been fooling around with party decorating, we have been hard at work. Today we are excited to share a major project we just finished. Are you ready to have your giant-real-people-sized-socks knocked off?
We laid new hardwood floors in our whole house! And boy was it needed — the orange-toned floors just weren’t doing it for us, plus
our sloppy contractors Naomi and Sage got paint on them when they painted our house. [Editors’ Note: it is hard to get a clean line cutting in when your hand and the paintbrush take up about 50% of the entire room.]
All in all, not the sophisticated “this is a real house” effect we were going for.
We wanted flooring with character and that would, you know, look like flooring. We did our research and looked at a ton of options. We loved the idea of reclaimed popsicle floors – the variation in color that you get from all of that food dye is really beautiful – but Sage and Naomi refused to eat 5000 popsicles in the short turnaround that we wanted. We also considered bamboo placemats given how much Naomi loves her real-sized bamboo floors, but they didn’t have enough character. Also, what would we do about the seaming?
With some regret for
our poor environmental choices how un-environmentally friendly we’d look in this blog post, we decided to go with raw wood planks from a major distributor, Lumber Liquidators Amazon.
Each of our three floors of the house are 900 square inches, so we knew we needed to order enough to cover 2700 square inches plus excess to account for cuts and any damaged pieces. That’s a lot of square inchage, but fortunately we found a great deal for some well-reviewed birchwood planks:
We ordered two boxes of 500 planks each, which would give us about 3,700 square inches (accounting for not being able to use the rounded ends of each plank).
When they arrived we were eager to get started — but of course we knew from every blog ever that we needed to let the wood acclimate, so we let them sit out in Sage’s kitchen first. (This was so it wouldn’t expand or contract after installation, and not because Naomi and Sage didn’t get around to helping us install it for a while due to complications like real jobs.)
The next step was figuring out how to efficiently trim the rounded ends off each board. Why would they even make them this way?
We figured we’d save a lot of time on this step by using a giant saw, which is totally safe to operate while wearing a donut costume. (Don’t worry, this was back in 2016, so it was still cool at the time.)
We set up a stack of planks and then laid a single huge board over them to hold them in place:
Or so we hoped — when Sage brought the blade down, pieces of tiny floor board flew everywhere! Fortunately each plank only cost $.03, so it wasn’t a huge loss.
We tried a few times and then eventually had to give up on the power tools, even though using power tools and talking about using power tools is something that is really important for bloggers to do, so that you know we’re serious.
Unfortunately, we had to finish this project by hand. Specifically, Naomi and Sage’s giant hands. Each end of each of the 1,000 sticks had to be cut off with scissors, one by one. We supervised.
Sometimes the planks would crack and have to be thrown away or used to cut a smaller end piece. Every time the little end piece would fly around Sage’s bedroom like a fingernail clipping. Which is what they looked like.
Frankly it was pretty boring to watch them, it took literally hours and they just kept whining about how the scissors were giving them blisters. But finally they were ready to start laying the floors! We decided that adhesive would be the best, and went with wood glue. First we slathered it all over a section of the floor:
And then started laying planks, using the scissors again (despite their complaints) to trim end pieces along the edges of the room. It was so exciting to see the new floors go down on top of the old horrible orange ones!
Some parts were also easier than others. We had to carefully go through door frames so the flooring pattern would continue.
The moisture from the glue as it dried would sometimes warp the planks, and so as we finished each room we weighed it down with books covered by heavy weights.
The part that seemed to give them the hardest time was the back hall on the second floor, which can only be accessed through the doorways from the bedrooms and bathroom. They were all, “our hands can barely fit through here, and we can’t see what we’re doing!” They kept asking us to help, but frankly it looked like back-breaking (or at least hand-breaking) work. It’s not perfect, but I guess it will do.
We really loved the natural wood tone, but we knew that staining them was the right thing. We cut in around the edges with a brush, and then used a rag to spread the stain across the floor while the edge was still wet.
The final step was to seal them with a coat of Minwax polycrylic, which we rolled on with a small foam roller. That gave them a nice sheen and will help them stand up to use. With two small kids in the house, you know we give our floors a workout! Don’t they look amazing?!?!?
There are a few boards that don’t lay totally flat — maybe because we acclimated them in Sage’s kitchen rather than in our house, or maybe because the planks absorbed some of the moisture in the wood glue and expanded?
We’ll probably re-lay these few planks, but we do also plan to put down rugs and overall we love that the imperfections give it charm and a sense that they’ve been there for ages rather than being brand new. Kind of like buying brand new jeans with holes in them, right?
And the back hallway doesn’t look half bad either, despite all our giant friends’ complaints.
We know we need to touch up the paint where we got stain in a few places, and we also plan to install baseboards and crown molding for a more finished look. But for now, we are so excited about how the floors turned out, and so glad we did them ourselves rather than hiring professionals! We’re really proud of ourselves for stepping up and doing a huge project even though it was daunting, and it was actually easier than we though it would be!
Just a reminder of where we started:
And how it’s looking now!
Now that we finally have our floors down, we can really start unpacking, decorating, and making this house our own! Thanks Naomi and Sage for letting us stop by to share this project!