Making a Case

I'd like to bring the court's attention first to Myth #20, found on the Lumber Liquidators "Flooring 101" Common Flooring Myths article.

  1. Wood floors that are sanded and finished at the job-site are more durable than a factory manufactured finished floor.

A pre-finished floor gives you the added benefit of a perfect finish applied under dust-free, ideal conditions at the factory. Ours include from five to eight coats with aluminum oxide suspended in the finish. The only thing harder is diamonds! Factory finishes are much harder than any product site-applied, requiring air-drying.

Next, I ask you to read Myth #34 from the same article.

  1. I was told to re-seal my hardwood or bamboo after installation to protect it against pet urine, vomit or spills. Regular cleaning is always recommended however applying another sealer over the original finish will void the warranty. Once between the boards sealers can promote gapping and act as an adhesive preventing normal expansion of the flooring.

Please note this important detail from Myth #34, and I quote, "applying another sealer over the original finish will void the warranty." Might I remind the court that our beautiful pre-finished flooring comes with a 25 year warranty. Furthermore, 25 years is a long ass time.

Also for your consideration we take a look at the rest of the evidence:

Exhibit A: The beautiful floor.
Exhibit B: The price tag for the aforementioned beautiful floor - this portion of which can be estimated at over $1,000.
Exhibit C: The inexperienced Mike, who has never sanded and poly'd a floor before in his life.
Exhibit D: The boxes in the living room.
Exhibit E: The calendar, which has begun its nine week countdown to April 29th.

Ladies and gentlemen, upon review of this new evidence from the Lumber Liquidators website, specifically Myth 34's confirmation of warranty null and void - there is no question as to the next course of action. ie, There will be no next course of action in this case. The floor should be moved in upon as is.

Any supposed benefits are as of now far outweighed by the major disadvantages.

1. Further application of sealer to the current hardwood via inexperienced do-it yourselfers could cause major damage to the expensive and beautiful floor, all while voiding the incredible 25 year warranty the floor came with. At worst, this leaves us with a floor we have to completely refinish. Another waste of time and money, especially since we love the floor's pre-finished beauty. This is why we purchased and spent the extra money on a pre-finished wood product.
2. Sealing the area and moving out for 3-4 days or more because of the smell is impractical when weighed against the disadvantage stated in #1.
3. Time is of the essence. It is not worth risking the worst case scenario of #1. The room must be completed and this lengthly court case alone has held things up long enough.

Though the argument may be made that the Lumber Liquidators Myths article is simply a bunch of marketing designed to make you purchase their products and not whine about the imperfections and inherant shortcomings of real wood flooring, there is no argument that re-sealing will void the 25 year warranty.

In closing, the new floors will NOT be re-sealed. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I'm sorry to say you're not the jury in this case. Lucky for me I'm the girl. The prego girl! And what I say is going to go. But you can't say I haven't done my research! As you know, I didn't know!

So check your warranty on your pre-finished hardwood! If you don't have a warranty and you don't have a baby on the way and you have some experience at finishing wood floors - I'd probably recommend the poly. Otherwise, forget it.

Can I buy the rug now?!

Decisions and Timelines

February is over. Face it people. And here it is, a week already since the completion of the floor and we're still mulling over the next step.

This poly has become a major decision, mostly because we realized it's going to disrupt our lives more than originally expected. Here's a minor detail I didn't think of in the beginning - I can't be in the house at all with the smell of that stuff.

Once we realized it... and then filled our oil tank with all the available monies, work came to a screeching halt. On top of that, our exterior water spout thing, (you know, that the hose attaches to?) the supposedly freeze-proof water spout thing.... well, it froze. And on Sunday we discovered it gushing water.

So the entire day was spent running to this person's house to grab our plumbing tools, that person's house to grab some fittings and other do-dads to fix it, and finally home to take care of the job and get the water back on.

And then the week started and here we are at Wednesday wondering should we or shouldn't we poly? Scratch that. We know we should. We know now's the only time. But the pain in the butt factor is really making it a hard final sell. We've never applied poly before and this is a large stretch of expensive and beautiful flooring that I would die to see ruined. We need to move out for 3-4 days. It's already March - 9 more weeks to go! The living room is full of boxes of large items just waiting to be assembled.... and more to come after this Saturday. (My shower.)

I said this last week, but if it's going to be done, it needs to be done this upcoming Sunday/Monday. So we'd need to be out Tuesday - Friday. So the decision needs to be made by Saturday. I have a feeling we're going to bite the bullet on this one.

It's Done!

The floor is down!

It looks amazing! Mike was so proud to have accomplished it all yesterday. We talked for a long time about what we needed to do next to really finish the room - besides the poly - we need window and baseboard trim, closet doors, and the closet light. (I'd like to add the closet organizer to that list too.)

And then we couldn't help but talk about the living room... it's so tempting to just start on that floor too while we have an empty room to move furniture into. But we have other things to worry about. Besides that, when we do the living room, we have to do it right. We have to fix the drywall and repaint. Some furniture I'd like not to put back at all or replace. I'd like to get a new TV. It's just too much for right now.

Besides the baby, spring is coming and we still need to complete the farmer's porch and put up the siding. We've got to keep focused instead of doing what we always do.... starting new projects without completing old ones.

Another Wood Weekend

Before Plywood


Old square nails from the old old flooring.

Friday progress - just one halfa missing on the left side.

The hallway was in fact 95% finished by the end of Friday. It looked great too and I had high hopes for the next work day - Sunday. Over the week, Mike and his friend and carpenter TJ had struck a deal for Sunday - Mike would fix TJ's truck while TJ worked on the floor for us. Hours for hours. Perfect!

So on Saturday, I spent the better part of the morning cleaning up in the baby's room. Removing all scrap wood and unnecessary tools, vacuuming, etc. You know, general prep.

I had hoped the floor would go on easily and without any major snags. However, as usual, things were not as easy as they seemed. Our hardwood was in fact so hard that the nailer could not penetrate fully with the nails! Mike tried to find a way to set the air pressure to change the nail set depth when he worked on Friday to no avail. He even searched the internet! (I was so proud.) And then he made this comment:

The internet has a lot of crap on it!

To which I had to laugh. Truer words have never been spoken. (He was mainly frustrated after finding several forums where people had complained about the nailer... complained but not offered any solutions, which he thought was pointless. Then again, here I am doing the same thing...)

Anyway, the guys could not find a way to adjust it. (This is on the Stanley Bostich pnuematic 3/4 flooring nailer if any of you are wondering.) So every single nail out of the nailer then had to be countersunk by hand... thus slowing down the process considerably. Even TJ, who is an awesome carpenter by the way, could only get halfway through the job by the end of the day. Mike and I continued laying rows for a little while after he left until we ran out of staples for the rosin paper - thus leaving the room at the half way point.

But everything still looked incredible! And Mike has the day off today, so he'll hopefully be able to finish the second half of the room.

Sunday - hallway completed

Sunday work - halfway through the room

One more half to go.

And now for the frustrating news. Once the floor is done, it's not done. To prevent wear and also water damage from future spills, TJ recommended adding a coat of poly to the entire floor. Unfortunately for all the baby furniture stuck in boxes in my living room, I have to agree that it's probably a good idea. But this means closing off the hallway & baby's room for a full 72-96 hrs - aka 3-4 days - and living in the living room with no access upstairs.

If that wasn't inconvenient enough, I worry too that we're going to mess up this really beautiful, really expensive floor. We've never poly'd a floor before. And it has to stay completely spotless and dust/cat hair free - or else. But on the good side, the poly will fill in the spaces between the wood, thus creating a seal that will prevent any water spills from seeping through the cracks to warp or rot the wood from the inside out.

I'm nervous! And it all could begin as soon as this next upcoming Sunday or Monday if things go well today. That would put us for final completion right at the end of Feb.... OMG, the end of Feb. Yeah - we totally need to stay on track too, with no problemos.

Always easier said then done.

Slappin It Down

It's lunch time here at the 'ol office. And I can't help but wish I was home right now because Mike is putting down hardwood today! I miss being the layout/cut gal... although so much kneeling down and getting up and kneeling down and getting up would probably be exhausting with my basketball belly.

Last night Mike came home with the 3/4 nailer.... rental free of charge. (Have I mentioned how much I love his new job?!) He began working on the measurements right away - this is always the difficult part. And to make matters worse, he had to start in the hallway so he could seamlessly transition into the baby's room with no threshold. But of course the hallway is small and un-square as un-square could be.

Nevertheless, by the time I got home from dance around 8:30, he had the first row nailed down. Theoretically, once the first row is down, you're good to go, although he only managed to do a few more rows before we turned in for the night.

I am hoping upon hopes that at least the hallway will be completed when I get home from work tonight. I know he's not going to have time to get into the baby's room, since he had some other errands to take care of today, but a finished hallway would be huge. It's one step closer!

Then maybe I can hope for him to have the baby's room completed by the end of the day Monday... maybe. This is the exciting part because once the floor is down - rooms look 100% better. And they feel finished.

Home Despairo

If you have a Home Depot credit card, this is for you. Or if you have another Citibank credit card, this is for you too. They are raising their APR’s DRAMATICALLY. Up to 26% or up to 30% if you have any late payments. What’s more, they are sneaking the announcement in a mailed monthly statement.

Have you checked your Home Depot card mailings lately? If you're like me, you pay online and normally ignore mailed statements. BUT BE WARNED! If you haven't already, you will receive a notice in your monthly Home Depot card statement outlining an APR hike for all. That's right - APR increase for ALL. The Home Depot credit card, brought to you by CitiBank, is just one of CitiBank's cards soon to see an increase. As in - next billing statement soon.

Thank god I had been warned by a family member or, as I said, I would have just thrown out the entire letter.

It doesn’t seem to matter that my account is in good standing and that I’ve never made a late payment. Or that I have awesome credit and have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars on that card over the years. They’re still jacking up the APR. For me, I’m so pissed I’m paying off and closing my account ASAP. Sure there'll be no more 0% for purchases over $299 - but honestly, most of my purchases are below that amount anyway and I don't want to get sacked like this.

I've already written Home Depot/CitiBank a scathing email regarding this. Their reply - your APR isn't 26%. My reply back to them, Oh I'm sorry, I guess you don't read your own mailings. The change will take place next billing cycle. And you just lost a cardholder.

I thought to myself, I know I can get a better rate on a regular credit card – non Citibank. But then a few days later I recieved a letter from Capital One. Same thing - rate hike. I could hardly believe it. It's an epidemic!

So I did the internet thing and Googled the issue. Check out an informative article about the many credit card companies that are doing this HERE. I did and it really cheezed me off. But better to educate yourself before you find yourself down in a financial hole you can't get yourself out off.


After a December and January straight out of the depths of you-know-where, February is turning it all around at lightning speed. In fact, I dare say that this week has been the best in months and months and months.

Our economic woes were swept away on Monday when Mike got a new job complete with some awesome benefits.

If that wasn't enough of a reason to celebrate, I got the stamp of approval from our insurance agent. They had one more question about our skid steer, whether or not we owned it and if it was used for business. The answers were yes and no, and they seem to be good with that. They will renew the policy. What's more, no to-do list for the year!

I mean, I'm sure they'd love to see the siding replaced and a real railing on the porch instead of just the temporary one - but we'll be taking care of that in the spring anyway.

What a relief all around.

Meanwhile our hardwood is still acclimating. Friday it will be ready to go! Mike may be able to get his hands on the floor nailer for a discounted price this weekend. Although he will be working Saturdays from now on... and with Sunday being ATV riding day... well, that leaves him to floor on his own on whatever day of the week he decided to take off. Unless we do an evening or two together. I'm sure it will work out somehow.

I even dare say that if things keep on this uphill path, we may even be able to complete the hardwood in the living room sooner than expected.

Wood Weekend

Have you ever been faced with a persistent glaze of dust on everything in your home due to continuous renovations? After methodically cleaning for last week's home inspection, at the end of this weekend I was appalled to find the house looking like I hadn't cleaned in months. But for once I didn't give in to my obsessive compulsive urges - it will only get worse, I told myself, and then I'll be in the same situation next weekend and before you know it, I'll be spending half of all my weekends dusting.

And if you think that's how I want to spend half my weekend... well... you can come dust for me then.

So - another weekend. A really productive one, I might add. On Friday, I left work early for an appointment and decided not to come back. (Yay!) With the extra time, I met up with Mike and we picked up the hardwood and unloaded it into the baby's room. (Rather, Mike unloaded it. Heavy stuff this 3/4 as you can imagine.)

On Saturday, Mike decided that it would be easiest to hardwood the hallway at the same time as the baby's room. So he spent the day tearing up the old wood and reinforcing the beams from underneath. Late that afternoon, he cleaned up, took all the old wood to the dump, and purchased 2 more sheets of plywood. Our neighbor Rich came by too - because after he heard we were doing the hardwood in the hallway, he really wanted to help us finish up the drywall. The hallway really only needed one more skim coat and one more sanding to prepare for paint. And the last coat only took about 10 or 15 minutes for Rich to slap on, so it was no big deal.

Sunday Mike was able to finish installing the new subfloor in record time. Again, Rich came by in the evening to see if the mud was dry enough to sand. Nope. Maybe early this week if he's available.

And now we just wait for the hardwood to finish acclimating - about a week - before we put it down. And no dusting until that's done.