Last month we refinished all the hardwood floor on the main story. Let me tell you, it made such a difference. The old floor had a yellow/orange tone and made the whole living space felt dark and dated. The new color no longer has the same amber tone, but more of a light wood color. It made the white wall paint feel cooler and the whole space feel cleaner.
We did plan to upgrade some furniture. But before bringing stuff inside, there is another big task to tackle first – installing baseboards.
The “before” look without baseboards
As you could see from the pictures, We could really use some base trim to cover all the imperfections along the floor line. In addition, the baseboard vents and returns were all exposed.
The floor finishing crew we used was very professional and kept everything clean for the most part. However, there were still visible marks on the wall where the sander scraped the paint. These marks needed to be painted over.
Painting and installation
We are fully aware how much baseboard and trims elevate a space – it is like the lipstick on a full makeup – without it, even the best finishes can feel sort of a blah. But once you put it on, you have gotten a master piece! The same week of our floor refinish, Slav picked up all the baseboards on Friday and painted them early Saturday morning, so he could jump on the installation over the weekend.
While Slav was painting the baseboards, I washed all floor registers and touched painted all the walls.
Slav has installed baseboards in our basement. He worked from the longest piece/biggest space down to those itty-bitty pieces. We have quite a few problematic areas where the floor heights are different, or where the wood trims meet the white MDF baseboards.
The results are quite impressive indeed.
The new baseboard trims butt against vertical door trims, and Slav cut returns around all the vents:
The little hallway between my home office and main floor bathroom took a lot of time to complete. For one, it has three doorways, two closets, and a couple turns. Slav made as many cuts for the hallway alone as for the rest of main floor.
The kitchen doorway was also a pain in the neck to finish. The tile floor on the kitchen side was almost 3/4″ higher than the finished wood floor. We also took out a couple boards right against the kitchen tile and left the subfloor exposed.
We have decided to tile this portion in the future kitchen renovation. So for now, Slav patched this portion with two layers of plywood subfloor.
Then he cut the baseboard trims to accommodate the floor differences.
Installing bathroom door trims
The main reason for not installing the outside trims was that the drywall here needed repair. We have resize the doorway during the pocket door installation, so on one side and the top, there was some drywall missing.
On the left side of the pocket door, the drywall was uneven too.
Slav scraped the drywall all around, and started smoothing it out using drywall compound.
It took 4-5 rounds of sanding and mudding before the drywall was smooth and the corners were sharp.
He actually did the drywall work over a week before the baseboard install, so we could put up the vertical trim first. The baseboard should be butting against the vertical trim.
Now the hallway is finished!
The finished baseboard
It took Slav two full days to install all the baseboards, plus a few days of drywall work in the hallway, an evening of buying the baseboards, and a morning of painting them. All the baseboards cost us $400, including the white pre-primed MDF and a couple pieces of wood ones. We had the paint, nails, and glue to begin with.
The following weekend, Slav caulked the baseboard and filled all the nail holes. After a bit of paint touch-up (we use Behr Ultra Pure White in semi-gloss on all the trims), the living space was ready for furniture! I think the dogs are just happy that all the floor sanding and nail gun noise are finally coming to an end. As soon as we rolled out of the carpet, Roxie planted herself right on it.
We are considering getting a couple new furniture pieces. But for now, even with the old furniture, the living space feels fresh and vibrant. As the weather gets cooler, we are forced to work on garden clean-ups, which are fairly labor-intensive. Having a clean and comfortable place to rest again at the end of the gardening days has been very therapeutic!