One Room Challenge: The Flooring

By Kate Riley April 12, 2017

It’s Week Two of the One Room Challenge and I’m here to report on the status of the floors upstairs. They’re done! Boom!

I’m so excited about these new engineered hardwood floors I can’t even tell ya. I’m just grinning ear to ear. Reason is, they replaced the dingy old carpet that has occupied the bedroom and hallway. It’s been years I’ve been cringing at the sight of that old carpet and at last at last at laaaaaast  I have hardwood in its place.

I’ve been saving this image for so long as my inspiration for the color of the floors in my house, I love that rich stain, dark but not too dark. Funny how the layout of this entry looks so much like mine, minus the runner, no wonder I’m drawn to it.


tim barber

My downstairs oak floors are getting refinished in June. Yeah I know I said I’d do it back in 2010 but I’m serious this time. Fo real.

When I accepted the One Room Challenge it kicked my booty in gear to have new complementary floors installed upstairs in the hallway and the master bedroom. So let’s start at the beginning.

What was there last week was this old carpet that I hated. (Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate carpet, and I even kept it in place in the kids’ bedrooms. I just disliked it in my bedroom and wanted it gone so badly.)

Notice the gray dingy trail of dirt as you enter. Welcome!


I clearly recall in my mind the escalating evil cackle on repeat as the carpet came out of this space and off the stairs.


Even just the plywood made me happier than that old carpet. I felt like I could breathe.


This is not a floating floor, it was a nail down installation over paper right into the plywood subfloor to avoid squeaks. I watched as they used a nail gun to secure each board between the grooves. These engineered hardwood floors are prefinished so the installation job was done in two days.

Although I shouldn’t brag about time of the installation since I didn’t do it myself. Time was of the essence with this project so while it could have been a DIY project, I thought it best to leave this installation to the pros, and I might have pulled my hair out trying to do it on my own so I hired out the job and retained my sanity.


Two days later there was a huge change and I’m sooooooo pleased with the result! I’ve been dreaming of hardwood floors in my bedroom for years people years!!!!


I partnered with Mohawk Flooring on this project. Among dozens of their hardwood products I stayed true to the traditional style of my house and chose engineered hardwood oak, specifically the Timber Ridge 5” Oak in the Oxford color.


I chose this particular one because have oak floors downstairs so I didn’t want to be inconsistent with the new hardwood. I was glad I hired professionals since they were able to ensure the planks were even and aligned as they transition into the hallway.


Like I mentioned, I wanted wood in the master bedroom but also wanted it to continue into the hallway where it meets the bedrooms, hall bathroom, and laundry room.


Look how glorious! Instead of dingy carpet, the wood in the hallway at the top of the stairs now actually matches the stairs. Yay! Imagine me shaking my booty right there in pure excitement. :)  Now I just need to get the downstairs floors in sync and all will be well in my world.


My home was turned upside-down for a few days with everything shoved in all the adjacent spaces. Mattresses up against walls, furniture dangerously stacked, clothing strewn everywhere, you can imagine. It was a chaotic mess but at last things are getting back to normal again.

I moved my bed back in and it feels so much better to have these dark floors underfoot. I do have plans for a rug underneath the bed to soften the space.


The next big project is the fireplace, I’ve got the tile I just need to get it up on that wall.


More on that soon as the One Room Challenge continues!

Thanks so much to Mohawk Flooring, the sponsor of this post and the One Room Challenge. The flooring product was complimentary but we paid for the installation. All opinions are my own!

Read up on what’s happening with my fellow participants this week. Also check us out on House Beautiful!

Chris Loves Julia | Christine Dovey | Dwell With Dignity

The English Room | Glitter Guide | House of Brinson | House Updated

J+J Design Group | Lark & Linen | Abby Manchesky | Nesting Place

Old Brand New | Old Home Love | The Pink Pagoda | Rambling Renovators

Erica Reitman | Sketch 42 | Suburban B’s | Erin Williamson

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by CIH

follow along: @oneroomchallenge #oneroomchallenge



  1. That looks beautiful, Kate! I saw you installed high end laminate in your studio, so I am curious – high end laminate vs engineered hardwood – what is your opinion?? I keep going back and forth, and I like the idea of lifetime warranty for laminates, but would love to hear your thoughts!

    • Hi Rachel, great question! I’ve installed luxury vinyl plank in two different spaces now and I think that product is really amazing for places where you have water issues (kitchen, bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements) so I love using it in community spaces for continuous flow. I’ve had a lot of problems with the solid wood in my kitchen and powder room downstairs, I doubt I’d ever do solid wood in a kitchen again.. I chose engineered hardwood because it’s easy to install, it’s prefinished, and because we have no water issues where it was installed (the bedroom and hallway).

      • Great point – exposure to water is definitely a deciding factor. Thanks for always taking the time to answer! Really appreciate it :) I just sold my first fixer upper home last week, largely inspired by your website. So THANK YOU for all your help!! :)

  2. Those floors look amazing! It shocks me every time how much difference hardwood can make. Can’t wait to see the fireplace!

  3. So beautiful. We installed similar hardwood on our main floor and love it. We still have the dingy carpet in the bedroom :(

  4. Nice job Kate! Making a furnished room not easy specially for me. I just make a room for my elder kid and i don lots of work for this.

  5. I always wonder about the logistics of installing wood on a second floor after moving in. Did you just pile things on one side of the room for day one, then move it all to the other side of the room for day 2?

    • Ha no we actually moved everything out and shoved it in the adjacent rooms, I couldn’t get in my laundry room for 3 days you can imagine what that does to a household :)

  6. These floors look beautiful…and that entry way!! Can’t wait to see how it turns out! I am following along. I am joining this year for the first time so I love seeing the pros work their magic!

  7. I love the medium tone you selected. Here, in Naples, the 5″ width is also popular. I can’t get over how the color matches your stairs. I will not feel sorry about the state of your fireplace…because you have one. Jealous.

  8. Your new floors look gorgeous! Definitely can imagine that happy dance. Looking forward to seeing more of your space as it evolves!

  9. I totally have to do this in my master bedroom! Such a great look! Looking forward to seeing you work your design magic. Susie from The Chelsea Project

  10. what an incredible difference! we have such nasty carpeting in our master and it is out the door TODAY! new carpet going in at the moment and i can’t wait. high fives all around!

  11. So beautiful! And such a humorous write up!! Entertaining to read as well as informative. Can’t wait to see the completed fireplace.

  12. Wows!!! They look Spectac-u-fabu-litful!!!! What a transformation…. Cannot wait to see the fireplace. I am so happy that the ORC has gotten me back into the habit of blog stalking…I have fallen off for a while and i LOVE seeing what everyone is doing and reconnecting with old blogging buddies!

  13. I love the floors! Do you have finished on-site hardwood floors downstairs? I have dingy carpet in my bedroom but finished on-site hardwoods in the hallway outside the bedroom and I wish I could put down pre-finished floors to match, but being so close together I don’t think it would work!

    • My downstairs flooring is hardwood and in need of refinishing but I’ll be matching the color later this summer.

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