The most exciting part of our renovation so far is here!

I posted a sneak peak on instagram earlier this week:

Here's the full view:

The installers began work Monday and expect to finish this week, with the exception of the main kitchen area which will need to be completed after the cabinets are in.

But it's not all good news—we got a call from the installers Monday morning asking us to come to the house to take a look at the wood before they got started.

I knew when purchasing it that they were "Value Grade" which meant that there "may" be some defects in some pieces. Here's how they explained it on their website:

"the Timberland products are selected out due to natural character markings in the hardwood. These character markings may include knots, mineral streaks, and natural grain variation. Occasional cartons may also include one or more boards with manufacturing defects, although there is very little manufacturer's defects present."

Because I love the rustic look and actually preferred character rather than a smooth clean look, I was totally okay with this.

I just didn't realize how bad it would actually be.

Probably almost half of the wood was chopped into small pieces like this...

Complete with bonus drawings:

At least 1/3 with large cracks:

And/or really obvious knots:

And/or streaking/staining:

I told them to do the best they could to use all the good pieces for the living room and main walkways, save the "acceptable" pieces for the closets, and we'd re-evaluate once they were down to the bad pieces—hoping we had purchased enough overage so that we wouldn't have to use them. We may end up having to buy more, unfortunately.

My biggest concern was the length of the small pieces, though. I was really nervous about how obvious they would be.

Fortunately, when I came back to the house that evening when they were finishing up, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that everything just blended together and the board length was not a big deal at all.

A note on the color—in natural light they are a little more gray than advertised on the website.

 I'm slightly bummed about that, however under indoor lighting I'm 100% in love with the coloring:

In the kitchen it looks fabulous. The only place where there will be natural light only is in the living room by the window.

Here's a shot with equal amounts indoor and natural lighting, this is probably the best representation of the true color:

Here's a shot of the insanely expensive stair nose in action, on the edge of the kitchen from the living room:

Moral of the story is—you get what you pay for. In the end, I think $1.89 shipped is still a bargain for what the final outcome will be, but between the unexpected cost of the stair nose and the amount of bad wood we ended up with, I wish I would have looked into buying unfinished wood and having it stained. Now I know what I'll be doing for the next house!

After the floors are down, we'll be able to move in! We plan to wait until February 1st so we have a chance to get as much work done as possible (like the plank ceiling & walls, cabinet and appliance install next week, and some painting).

Two more weeks until we get to enjoy this every evening...

We're also making some major progress on the home theater room. It might even be done before we move in! Update on that soon....