Today, big things happened. Firstly, it was Jessica's last real (with students) day of school. Huzzah! I took the day off work to meet the contractors for countertop installation and hardwood floor refinishing. Both crews were there before 9 and got to work immediately. The counters and the undermount sink were installed within about 5 hours with little fuss. They look stunning. Jessica and I are very pleased with our choice of granite, and we love our big new sink.
The floor guys spent awhile taking care of nails and other obstructions, then started sanding. The sander was good about sucking up the dust, and it didn't stir up nearly as much I thought it would. They coarse-sanded the whole floor, and fine-sanded everything but the living room. The floors looked fantastic. The guy commented on the high quality of the wood, and they definitely look it.
I picked out a few stain colors that I wanted them to put on the floor for Jessica to choose from when she got out of school. In the living room, they put down about a square foot each of six stains, then put a coat of polyurethane over it. We decided on a light, orangeish-reddish stain called Colonial Maple (the far right in the picture below). I assume that tomorrow they'll finish the sanding and get stain and polyurethane on at least most of the floor. They'll put a total of 3 coats of polyurethane, so I assume the job will take at least 3 more days.
I called our tile guy, who informed me that he arranged for our slate to be shipped from a different distributor, and that it should be in on Friday. This was great news, as I'll now be able to lay slate this weekend instead of just waiting around for the hardwood floors to be done. If I can pick up some backerboard tomorrow and get a jump on that part, I'll be well on my way to (boldly) predicting that the kitchen floor will be at least set (if not grouted and sealed) by the end of Labor Day. It'll certainly be a very busy ten days or so, but things are looking good!