Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comToday, I wanted to share where we’re at with our entryway renovation… it’s another one of those projects that will take us awhile to complete, as supplies have trickled in and it requires tedious work. We finished the beautiful French cabochon limestone floor tile a couple months ago (it’s finally grouted!), and now we’re turning our attention to the stairs and upstairs hallway. Above, you’ll see our new balusters on the left, and the old on the right… they’re actually quite similar. I’m covering all of the design details and progress in this post. Click through for the latest update, to see what we’ve accomplished thus far, and where we’re headed…

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comBefore I dive into this post, I thought a simplistic diagram may be helpful if you’re unfamiliar with stair part vocabulary-just so you know what I’m talking about or referring to. It might also be beneficial to pin for later- in case you’re planning your own future staircase makeover.

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comFirst, here is a quick glimpse of demo. As you can tell, we’ve got the top railing, balusters, and newels completely removed. It looks pretty wild up there! During the day-to-day, we actually block off that section and have been keeping a close eye on the dogs sans railing (for safety), but we’re hoping to knock that part out rather quickly, instead of putting up a temporary railing. It’s not too terribly steep, but is still a safety hazard.

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comEmmett had to set the first newel post in order to proceed with our upstairs hallway flooring. This thing is sturdy! It feels so much more secure than the previous one. For craftsmanship and safety reasons alone, I’m glad we replaced it. I also love the sphere shaped finial.

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comI knew I wanted to continue our hardwood flooring from the main floor in the upstairs hallway (and hopefully primary bedroom later on), but honestly Emmett was not thrilled about installing more herringbone. For the sake of our budget (overage for herringbone), time, and his back… we comprised for a standard installation with the same material. It will cut our costs and time.

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comI actually think this casual look feels more fitting for our upstairs living quarters anyway- and using the same material & finish keeps it cohesive with our main level. We’re both happy!

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comEverything on the floor will be stained to match (the oak pieces), and we’ll be painting the stair parts in a couple different colors. I actually liked the look of our previous staircase, having a different colored railing. We’re going to replicate that… just not in the cherry finish, for a more modern aesthetic.

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comWe finally have all of the stair parts in our possession and I wanted to give you a peek and quick comparison. Below, you’ll see our wood stair treads. They have a standard bullnose edge profile, and we’ll be adding a runner for better traction, acoustics, functionality, and design.

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comThe balusters are actually very similar, as I liked the traditional profile… but I did want to streamline it a bit. I had them remove the top third detail for a tapered colonial look, leaving the ogee on the bottom portion of the baluster for balance. Below, the old is on the left and the new is on the right…

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comThe railing will look identical… you can see the existing in the demo cut above, and the new in the box below. Oddly enough, it was less expensive to order a new railing than to refinish and repair the existing one (since other parts were changing). Since we had to order a new one, I did change the lower portion of the railing a bit, where it will meet newel post.

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comHere is an example of the updated newel posts in comparison to the old. They’re very similar in style (again- sticking with the colonial profiles), but I did change the finial tops to a sphere.

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comIn other exciting news, our doors for the upstairs bedrooms also arrived! Since we’re reworking the entryway and upstairs hallway, it made sense to go ahead and replace the hollow core doors for a solid option. We went ahead and replaced the guest bathroom and guest bedroom doors when we renovated those rooms, but we still have four to replace in the upstairs hallway. I can’t wait to finally have consistent and matching doors up there… complete with gorgeous hardware! If you’re curious about our doors and hardware, check out this blog post.

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comOne last update for the floor tile in the entry… it’s totally finished! Now that’s it grouted, we’ve turned our attention to the wood flooring upstairs and the stair parts. During this part of the renovation, we’re just trying to protect it the best we can, but it’s very durable and looks amazing. If you’ve missed any entryway process or design posts, I’ll link them below- if you’d like to catch up:

Entryway Renovation : Demo, Stair Parts, & Flooring - roomfortuesday.comThings should begin to look very different soon. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished flooring, and then we’ll dive into installing & staining / painting the stair components. We’ll also be installing lighting, a runner, artwork, and of course- styling is always my favorite part of the process. Let me know if you have any stair questions! I hope you’re having a great day.

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  1. Good morning! So many exciting developments! Not to be snooty, but just the absence of the cherry is an eye-soother. I’ll be interested to see the new stain color! I love the simpler, more streamlined baluster profile, and the spherical finials are classic perfection. A substantial spot to rest your hand is key. Laying the upstairs flooring in a linear fashion seems a no-brainer. The herringbone is stunning, and now it can be more a special feature of the main level. To say nothing of the time, materials and back savings! I learned that stairs are priced MUCH higher in labor during flooring installation, so Emmett will still have plenty of detail work on this job. 😉 That one image of the upstairs hall without railing makes me a little queasy (heights 👎🏼); I would worry about all of us slipping over the edge. With so many aesthetic upgrades to the space, let’s not miss the opportunity to appreciate the new doors…and doorways! Goodbye unnecessary chamfered openings! I imagine having this high-traffic space under construction for so long is less than ideal, but it’s sure going to be a showstopper when complete! Each new phase increases the anticipation. Let’s celebrate all the progress on this rainy, cooler Wednesday! (She said from the comfort of her air conditioned home!🎉) Have a lovely day, Sarah!💜

    1. Good morning, Peggi! Funny- Emmett said the same thing… it’s amazing what removing the cherry has already done for the space. Last year, we had the stairs and floor quoted (just to see if it was worth out sourcing), and YIKES. Some of our quotes were over $50k. We spent around $12k on materials and decided to do it ourselves for the savings. We’ve been moving boxes in front of the hall with the railing removed- just in case. The dogs make me nervous, so they’re not allowed over there anymore (until it’s finished). It’s definitely weird to see it like that. I am thrilled to hear you have air conditioning once again- way to get that through that hot situation… I’m so happy for you!! Crank it down and enjoy :) I bet the dogs are equally as thrilled. Have an awesome day!

    2. Peggi, so happy you got your new a/c! Plus the rain is a sweet addition too! Have a great Wednesday!

    3. Yay Peggi!!! And then it rains AFTER you get the new one?? 😂🤣 Mother Nature is wicked, but I’m glad you’re no longer suffering the summer heat. Cheers to new A/C!

  2. I was anxious to see the new newel posts & balusters. They will be such a nice compliment to your beautiful tile floors and lighting. Very helpful diagram of stair makeup. Will need to pin to Pinterest.
    I’m in a bit of a hurry and apologize if I missed the answer but are you staining the railing or painting? You mentioned once that you were doing a runner. Will it be a rug or carpet runner? Whatever you do I know it will turn out to be a beautiful warm welcome to your home.
    Have a great day! So relieved your procedure results came back normal! I am excited to spend the day with my son shopping for boots and groceries before he heads back to college this weekend. My husband and I decorated his cake & it turned out quite funny and HIM. I’ll have to send a picture. Oh to be 21 again! Happy ‘hump day’ everyone.

    1. Thanks, Danna! We’re going to stain the railing dark black (the same as our dining table). The runner will be a rug… I’m in the process of picking one out from Annie Selke- it will be a natural material (like the one in my home office). Have so much fun with your son boot & grocery shopping today! I’m sure he really appreciates it. I bet the cake was amazing. 21 feels too long ago, ha! What a find chapter in our life though! Have an awesome Wednesday :)

  3. Can’t wait to see this! Your comment about safety grabbed me, too. We need to replace our stair rail system and it’s something I’d managed to tuck deep in the recesses of my mind until right now. Whoops!

    1. Thanks, Dawn! Yes- some of our railings and posts were a bit wobbly, and I always worried about them. I’ll be happy to have a super sturdy and most importantly, safe, staircase!

  4. Melanie T says:

    Hi Sarah, your stairway project will look stunning when completed. I marvel how you can conceptualize a renovation and it comes together as planned. But you are a designer, so duh! I love the simplification of the ballusters (I used to call them spindles, so thanks for the vocabulary builder). A lot of homes have a less showy flooring in the private section of the home, so I’m glad you came up with an alternative plan to parquet. The guys who are on their knees a lot in certain professions end up with arthritis, so maybe you are helping Emmet bypass trouble down the road.

    1. Thank you, Melanie! I think planning ahead and being really organized also helps with that… and having gone to design school doesn’t hurt. Haha! I think those little design updates will make a big difference- especially the balusters. I’m definitely glad we landed on the standard hardwood installation for upstairs… I think it feels a bit more casual, will be less labor intensive, and we’ll save some money. It was a win/win! I hope you have a great weekend ahead :)

  5. I’m getting all caught up this morning Sarah! I was slightly shocked to see your stories featuring the hallway flooring, but now it makes sense, and such a happy compromise. The more relaxed style upstairs makes still looks incredible and makes the herringbone downstairs feel more formal. I love the new profile of the balusters and newel posts. It’s going to look more fitting to your home and who could resist those finials? The new balusters look to be taller than the old ones. Will you have to cut them down or was the height raised on purpose? I can’t wait to see it all come together and I’ll be watching every last detail. Our stairs are horrific and I’d love to rework them at some point. I’ve long wondered if traditional balusters were hidden behind drywall- Jeff refuses to let me investigate, but the “wall” where balusters should be wobbles now…thank you tiny humans! Lol. Anyway, so excited to see this project under way. Happy pizza Friday!

    1. Hi Lauren! Exactly… we’re both happy and I think that was a wise move. Herringbone is gorgeous, but it’s so time consuming (and more expensive). Great question about the balusters! Yes- we’ll cut them down or see how they slide into the existing notches… they’ll essentially end of the same height as the previous ones (to code). That’s just the standard size you get when ordering, and then they’re modified if needed. Maybe ask one of your tiny humans to wobble the wall a little more and see what’s back there. Hahah!! How cool would that be to uncover some gorgeous millwork?! I hope you have an amazing weekend ahead! Doing anything fun? :)

    2. I’m looking forward to a weekend that isn’t filled with to-dos. I’m hoping I’ll finally get rid of the dining set and sofa taking up space in the front room. A trip to SW for some samples might be in the cards…and if that’s the case I may end up on scaffolding sooner than later. I’m itching to get it going! Jeff had a fantastic idea to get the top half of the room done first to save on cost for renting…and now I know why I married him. Always coming in clutch with the practical approach! Ha! Other than that, seeing what kind of trouble we can get in around town, or a trip to the barns. I had to drive past last week and the fields were full of fresh finds. My vintage itch needs to be scratched in a major way! Hahaha. Are you diving this weekend?

      1. Yess! I hear that. I hope you had a productive and relaxing one. I pretty much worked all weekend, after skipping Wednesday and Thursday this week to go diving. Way to go, Jeff! Just like Emmett- they always have budget and money on the brain. I’m honestly very thankful for that. Ha! I hope you got to grab some paint samples and found some good vintage things :) xo

  6. Love this stair status update and especially love hearing how you guys work together on a compromise. How wonderful that the final look will be even more fitting for the space! That stairway quote you received is crazy pants bonkers. Are you sure that wasn’t for an in ground swimming pool?? 😆 That reminds me though of something I’ve been wondering lately….how does one decide on exactly how much to renovate/spend to upgrade your house, condo, etc., especially if you know it’s unlikely to be your forever home? You guys always fix up your spaces so beautifully, never shortcut quality and are certainly able to save a good chunk of change by doing so much of the work yourselves, but are you ever concerned about pricing your home out of the neighborhood/market, etc.? We spent a LOT on the renovation of our Virginia house years ago, thinking in part we’d never be moving and needed the spaces to work best for us as well as take advantage of our lake view (the *only* view of it when we moved in was from the primary “throne”, kid you not!) Of course when we did find ourselves wanting to move, we confirmed what we had assumed—that we priced ourselves out of the neighborhood and were never going to recoup what we had spent, especially because we only had marginal appreciation nine years later. SO sorry if this isn’t the right place or post to ask this question and/or it’s too personal!! Just wondering how you figure stuff like that out or if you don’t really worry about it. We’re always vey cognizant of it now, but possibly to our detriment. Thank you, Sarah!! xoxo…

    1. Thank you, Anne! The crazy thing about the stair quote… it’s pretty average or on par for this amount of work and stair parts. Oof. I’m glad we’re capable and able to do it ourselves and save some money. Phew! Sadly, my swimming pool dreams were squashed based on our current water and drought situation here in Utah. I have a feeling our water restrictions are only going to continue getting worse. Such a bummer- I hate climate change. Anyway, great question on renovating and taking the market into consideration. We ALWAYS consider how much money we can put into our home. Since this is not our forever home, we consider it an investment and we do want to be smart about it (and not lose a bunch of money when the time comes to sell someday). I actually talk a lot about this in a handful of blog posts (ways to add value, renovate with investments in mind, improvements to skip based on ROI, etc). Feel free to search those on the site, if you missed them. I think they’re really good! Luckily, we have lots of real estate friends who can provide comps for us, but we’re constantly keeping an eye on the market. Luckily, it would be very difficult to price ourselves out of our current neighborhood. We (and by we, I mean Emmett) keep a big excel file of all the expenses and money we’ve put into our home since moving in. It’s actually really awesome to see it in that format. We also had to have our home appraised and that was fun to see how much value we’ve already added to this place. I love this house and it will be tough to leave it someday… who knows if and when that will happen (it’s fun to try to places and new homes), but we’re being smart about it in the meantime. I hope that helps to answer your question! I hope your week is off to an amazing start! xox

  7. It sounds like we might need our own Emmett! 🤣🤣 But, barring that, I’ll definitely check out the other posts. Thanks, Sarah!

    1. That’s definitely his area of expertise… I, on the other hand, am no help in that department. Haha!