Hallways and Maple Bellawood Floors

bellawood maple wood floors review We have this problem with almost finishing projects and then putting off the one last part of it for years, because once things get to a point where it’s “good enough” or “way better than it was”, we become plain lazy. Our hallway wood floor install is going the way of what I just described. And I thought I’d wait until everything was done done before I showed it, but it has become apparent that done done might be a year away, so here is progress for now, plus some thoughts on Bellawood. bellawood maple wood floors installation hallwayWe bought solid maple 3/4″ x 3 1/4″ flooring from Bellawood 2 years ago. We installed half of it soon after purchase and are still working on installing the rest. Boxes of flooring sit in our family room to this day (we are going over board with the acclimation process). The general house flooring plan is to wood floor up the entire house, minus the family room and bathrooms. Two years in, and this is the flooring progress:

  • Kitchen – done except for filling nail holes
  • Laundry – done except for pantry
  • Den – done except for 2 or 3 rows along the back wall
  • Dining – done except for 1 row along back wall
  • Hallway – done except for 1 row
  • Entry – done except for 3 rows by front door
  • Guest room – not started
  • Kids room – not started
  • Master – not started
  • (Family room –  carpet)
  • (Guest bathroom – unearthed sparkly vintage linoleum)
  • (Master bathroom – currently disgusting, but will one day have terrazzo tile)

So, how do we like the floors? Well, to sum it up, we HATE the installation. However, they look GORGEOUS once installed.  BUT, only once the bad boards have been culled. And that brings us full circle back to RAGE, because the bad/good board ratio is close to 50/50. bellawood maple wood floors installation hallway nail The quality can only be described as awful, though when considering the price maybe it’s not that dramatic. Either way, self installation with these is a horrible process. We seriously have been unable to use at least 1/3 of the boards because of milling imperfections (like wavy edges) and another fraction have had to be bent into place and nailed because they were so warped. We’ve come up with a lot of creative reuses for the junk boards (bedrails, toy car ramps) but it still feels so wasteful.

That being said, they look really beautiful once installed. The finish is exactly what I wanted, so no complaints there. It is light but warm blonde maple with texture galore. The boards with zebra stripes are amazing. Not for everyone, I know, but totally for me. bellawood maple wood floors review As far as durability, our floors have scratched over 2 years. Some might say considerably. But we have 2 young kids and a dog so I don’t expect the floors to be perfect. Our kitchen chairs and our dog are the biggest culprits. I don’t care that much, but some people do. Also of note, the finish has slightly yellowed over 2 years in ambient light, but that’s probably to be expected from most wood. See the old vs new install here:bellawood maple wood floor discoloration yellowingAnd that brings us to the almost-floored hallway that is looking more and more like a bowling lane everyday. Clearly, it’s nothing fancy, but it is hugely better than it was before. I’m currently binge painting trim and doors so, since most doorways connect to the hall, it feels like quadruple progress in my mind. I’ve yet to tackle the master door trim or the gross front door, which is slated to be replaced with something cool and orange. (Yes, that is half carpet/half plywood sub floor in the before photos below = HIGH CLASS LIVING):

hallway before   mid century pocket door hallway   bellawood maple wood floors review installation hallwaybellawood maple wood floors review The hall originates in the entry way, branches off into a shorter hallway to the master bedroom (the one with the picture frame wall), and then ends at the linen closet in a strange 1961 alcove which can be partitioned off by a pocket door (below, have I ever mentioned that there are NINE pocket doors in this house?), turning the bathroom and kid bedroom into a mini-suite. I’m conflicted with what to do down at the end of the hall here. The weird alcove room has been painted twice already but nothing worked and I’ve considered an accent door for the linen closet, but nothing makes sense. Hence, the all white for now. vintage starburst ceiling light glass etched brass

coat closet

sputnik chandelier light brass vintage mid century


black white gallery wall family hallAre you wondering what that fantastic brass sculpture in the hallway is? Only our DOORBELL. A Rittenhouse chime original to the house but currently out of commission because of some iffy electrical (update: doorbell is back in business!). I will have to add a video of it when it’s powered back up because it chimes a song when the doorbell rings.mid century vintage doorbell chimes long rittenhouse emersonBye now!




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