As I mentioned in the post about our new upstairs flooring, at the start of summer we returned home from vacation to a busted pipe that caused water damage and thus a long list of repairs. Since the busted pipe was located on the second floor, water flowed downstairs as well and damaged the red oak flooring in the foyer. The flooring in the kitchen and hallway are oak and original to the house. When we moved in, the dining and living room had carpet which we removed and replaced with engineered wood. Then we had the oak floors refinished to coordinate with the engineered flooring.  Due to the water damage in the hallway, we removed all of the flooring and had new unfinished wood installed.

The oak floors in the kitchen were fine, but we wanted the finish and wear to match the now replaced hallway so that meant the kitchen floor also needed to be sanded and stained. Actually, when I saw the unfinished oak installed in the hallway, I loved it! I wanted to keep it that way. Lighter floors make such a difference. It actually made me wish I could replace the dining and living room floors with oak so the whole first floor could be light and unstained.  If you want to get this look you can seal the wood with a matte sealer (so that’s it’s not shiny, and not darkened by polyurethane).

unfinished red oak
unfinished red oak floors
However, it wasn’t in the plan to redo all the flooring on the first floor too, so I stuck with the plan and refinished the oak floors in a mahogany stain to still coordinate with the other rooms.

refinished oak floors
The process was as follows:

  • Sand down to bare wood (loud, heavy duty sander with a vacuum bag that catches all of that dust)
    • I took a quick video at the start of the process. You can see it over on the FB page 
  • Prepare wood, filling any cracks or holes
  • Stain – we went with one coat of stain and then a light sanding
  • Finish coating – our installer applied 3 coats of polyurethane with about 20 hours between coats, so that was 4 days of not walking on the floor [we spent that time in a hotel]. Our final coating was technically a satin finish but it is not as shiny as I thought it would be.   Matte has less of a sheen and gloss has the most sheen.

Even though I would prefer a different color if I were starting from scratch, the floors turned out really well.  The wood grain really looks beautiful!



At the beginning of summer, we arrived home from vacation to a busted pipe.   After dealing with the plumbing portion of the problem, and replacing the plumbing in our entire house,  we then had to deal with the aftermath of water damage.  The pipe burst on the second floor in my office closet so the flooring (carpet) in 50% of the second floor was affected.   We originally had Berber carpet in two bedrooms (office and guest room) and the hallway.  The guest bathroom had ceramic tile and our master bedroom had laminate flooring.

We had to remove the carpet in the office and hallway immediately and so we decided to replace all of the flooring on the entire level.   With our awareness heightened, we wanted to choose flooring that was resistant to any water damage in the future, but we also have and like real wood flooring on the first floor.    We chose Aquaguard flooring (in Coco) from Floor & Decor.  Aquaguard is water resistant and really does have a great look of hardwood.   The finish is durable and promises a lifetime warranty.  The product is thick, it seems to be double the thickness of regular laminate.  It would be a good choice for laundry rooms and bathrooms too.

Laminate flooring is a bit easier to install than real wood as it is a floating floor and the pieces click together over a noise reducing underlayment.   Although we have done flooring installs in our house ourselves in the past, this time we chose to hire someone to install it.   It took about five days to install in three rooms (including closets) and the hallway, about 700 square feet.

We really like the way it turned out!  Take a look.

Master bedroom before and after:

board and batten wall
aquaguard flooring
We had thresholds at the closet doorways before and I am loving how the new flooring runs seamlessly into the closet, and really the hallway and other rooms too.

elfa closet

Office before and after

Office built in shelves
Home office
Guest bedroom before and after:

Pink curtains
Guest room
I decided to go with marble tile in the guest bathroom and love how it looks where it meets up against the dark mocha flooring.

marble floor threshold
Over a span of six weeks, we also had our red oak floors downstairs sanded and stained and the guest bathroom completely remodeled.    Lots of activity over a few months, all due to one little broken pipe!

TDC Before and After
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