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The Home Reno’: Amazing First Floor Remodel

John Malecki

The Home Reno’: Amazing First Floor Remodel

Guest Bedroom Renovation with New Floors and a Fireplace with Built-Ins

Projects
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5
min read
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Nov 13, 2019

When the Home Depot reached out to work together on their fall flooring campaign, I knew I wanted to update my whole house eventually, and even with my wedding on the horizon, i was confident I could get it done. With a little help from my friends, I think the this Amazing First Floor Remodel was one for the books. Oh, and we finished with 2 days to spare, and the wedding went off without a hitch. #HomeDepot #HomeDepotFlooring

Home Depot Logo

*Sponsored by The Home Depot

To start, I live in an almost 100-year-old traditional four square brick house. It had a renovation done about 12 years ago in the kitchen and bathrooms, but the rest of the house seems to have been left untouched. The original flooring in the home was exposed and is 2.5” wide planks of the tongue and groove douglas fir. When we remodeled the upstairs and did the new flooring, I caught a lot of push back for covering these up. Mostly because everyone thought they could be restored. So I had to let the good people of the internet know, fir and pine are not great woods for flooring. This is the original subfloor in the house and is hideous up close. It’s so soft it seems to scratch and ding every time you walk on it and forget about dropping anything on it. The finish has peeled off and it also has patches throughout the house. All in all, this is why I chose to do new flooring. Plus the Home Depot has some beautiful new options for flooring and I couldn’t turn down 6” wide white oak options!

We decided to go with the super affordable French Oak Montara option for our home. It comes in 4” and 6” wide planks, and random lengths. We love the subtle “rustic” feel of the flooring. It isn’t as overly rustic as say a Hickory wide plank, which we enjoy. It goes well with the semi-modern/ traditional vibe we like in our home and is a HUGE upgrade on the thinner plank old Douglas Fir flooring. The flooring really makes this Amazing First Floor Remodel come to life! Not to mention, The Home Depot has some killer prices on their new flooring options, which made this project even better!

The Game Plan

For this part of the house, I have some ambitious dreams, which ended up changing from day 2. First I want to eliminate the walls on the whole first floor or as many as possible. I am bound to a fireplace in the dining room since it structurally holds up the house. So instead of trying to eliminate it, I am going to expose it and make it pop! Fortunately, this amazing first floor remodel was flexible!

Second I want to remove the wall between the dining and living areas, as well as the awful pocket door in the entryway. this should open up space and make the home feel much larger than it actually is. Opening it up will also allow me to use the 9′ ceilings to my advantage!

We already exposed the brick in the living room, so my plan is to paint all the trim white. Design a new custom built-in for the dining room, new light fixtures, and potentially some new built-ins for the living room at some point. Right now, the focus is on the flooring. Getting the flooring installed before my wedding is imperative!

Step 1 – Demolition

To achieve what I am looking for in this house, I need fewer walls. Specifically, because it’s not a huge space, and the existing walls take up so much more space than a normal wall. At 10-12″ thick on both walls, we know they gotta go!

1st floor demolition

Step 2 – Build Out

Once we had the walls down I got the point where we used some temporary walls to hold up the house, and we inserted an LVL beam to carry the load of the house. This was spec’d by an engineer and installed exactly tot heir drawings down to the inch for each screw!

First Floor Beam

Step 3 – Drywall and texture

After the new wall and beam were up, we installed some drywall and I did the best I could to match the existing texture in all the plaster. Now I will warn you, in an old home like this, matching texture sucks! so be aware, and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Drywall Main Flooring

Step 4 – Flooring

Now that we have new walls, we need to prep the floor for new flooring installation. This means patching all the old holes, eliminating any nails, screws, and staples, and making sure everything was level. Lucky for me, the floor didn’t need much work and this all went super basic.

I then used 3mil plastic and started my first row in front of my fireplace. The installation process went almost as seamless as the upstairs, except used a lot more flooring. If you want to see how i did that, check out the Extreme Bedroom Transformation article here!  The only major hiccup downstairs was the staircase curve. In order to cut the flooring tightly to the staircase, we needed to have a plan. To get this done I decided to work backward from the staircase. Since it isn’t a huge run, it wasn’t too bad. I started by scribing a line with my scribe. From here I used a jigsaw to cut close to the line and then tested the fit. I knew I would need a few cuts to get it right, but it worked out awesome!

HD flooring - Scribing

To manage the gaps in the floor I did the best I could to keep a ½” space. I originally thought I could just use any piece of the PVC ¼ round that I had, but it turns out you need a special product. Its called flex trim and is used especially on curved surfaces. It’s a polyurethane product, so you can actually cut it with a utility knife. After painting, it looks just like every other piece of the ¼ round.

Step 5 – Paint

We finished the room by painting all the trim and walls and being sure to cover the flooring with new tarps. But, all in all, this room was very easy to update, well at least from the flooring side of things. Ripping out two huge walls and exposing brick is a whole other monster! We love the huge effect we got by using the Mailbu French Oak Montara flooring from the Home Depot to bring a whole new look and brightness to our home. With basic tools and some knowledge, this is a project I am confident anyone can tackle!

Sponsored by: The Home Depot

That’s a wrap on this one!  The first room in my house is completely done and this Amazing First Floor Remodel came out awesome! It looked good as it was with the old flooring in it, but the Malibu Wide Plank, French Oak Montara Engineered Click Hardwood Flooring from the Home Depot took this project to the next level! Finding a fireplace in the wall helped too, and I can’t wait to see the kinds of projects I take on next for this house.

I acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the promotional program described above (the “Program”). As a part of the Program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Subscribe on YouTube in order to see the remodel video!

Download the Plan

Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.

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Home Depot
Projects
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5
min read
|
Nov 13, 2019
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Sponsored by
John Malecki

I used to be an offensive lineman in the NFL, Now I run my own furniture business and am completely self taught. In my videos and posts you'll see a variety of wood and metal work as well as some tips and tricks. Enjoy!