I finally have an evening off to update you on our progress! The tenants moved in a couple of days ago, so the pressure has lessened a bit. Now we start working on our unit… But that’s a story for another day.
I’d like to show you one of the more drastic transformations here at the Darling Duplex: the master bedroom.
It used to look like this:
Now it looks like this:
Granted, there’s no furniture in there yet, but you get the picture. Let me show you how we did it….
The first thing to go was the wallpaper. I bought some wallpaper remover, a little spiky thing to score the walls, and slaved away until that stuff was gone. It was exhausting work… The wallpaper was stubborn and rubbery. But dudes, it looked so much better afterwards! All we had to do then was slap some paint on.
Next we started tearing up the carpet. It came up easily, but the foam pad underneath had long since bonded to the floor, so that was a bit trickier.
Then we started putting down the new floor. We used engineered wood floors by a local company called Kultur. We chose the graphite maple – we were trying to decide between this and something even darker, but graphite won out.
A few words about engineered wood floors. We chose to go this route for a few reasons:
1. We were lucky enough to have a local company who manufactures the product themselves. This meant we could be in close contact with the salespeople, and we could go to the showroom to see the wood on display.
2. Engineered wood floors are an eco-friendly option for people who still want quality wood flooring. The top layer is hardwood, but the bottom layer is recycled wood bits formed into an interlocking pattern.
3. The pieces click together like a puzzle, so there is no glue and no nailing. This meant we could install it ourselves without much difficulty. I’ll show you the pictures before I tell you how that *actually* played out…
First step… Putting down the underlay! We chose one called “The Silencer” because we’ll be living on the main level, underneath these floors.
Roll it out and tape it together. Very simple.
Then we started clicking the pieces together. The closet was a challenge, but we managed the funny angles by cutting away wood with a flexible hand saw. This let us slip the flooring underneath instead of cutting awkward shapes in the planks.
Click, click, click.
For the terrifying wall sconces…. I couldn’t find anything attractive and affordable to replace them with, so I whipped out a can of spray paint instead.
There is something deeply satisfying about black spray paint.
I think it makes everything look better. But do yourself a favour and wear gloves and a mask…. You don’t want to inhale it, and it’s also a pain to wash off your hands.
So how did the click flooring work in real life? Let me put it this way.
These floors work like a dream on a perfectly flat surface. It’s like an easy puzzle.
In old homes, however, perfectly flat surfaces are few and far between. What I *should* have done is laid a subfloor, and in some particularly bad spots, used a levelling compound. I didn’t have time for that, so I went ahead without. BIG MISTAKE. Click floors do not click if the surface isn’t flat. That means that the floor simply doesn’t hold together. In a couple of rooms, we actually had to nail down these planks like they were hardwood. It was extremely stressful, but avoidable if you have time to do the prep work.
I’ll also mention quickly that the reason we had so little time is that the floors came very late. Kultur makes a great product, but I didn’t get a good impression of their organizational prowess, to say the least. It was a battle to get the flooring when we did, which was only a few days before the tenants were supposed to move in. Headache inducing!
Otherwise, I would use the product again, providing I am able to prep the surface before the madness begins.
Hope you enjoyed the walkthrough… More soon!