11.14.2010

FLOORED.

WARNING: This will be a long post. Sorry, but a lot went into this project!

We knew as soon as we moved in that we would eventually replace all of the floors in our house. The house featured a deep tan carpet that smelled of the previous owner's cat (and soon smelled like our dogs), some white linoleum in the entry, kitchen and bathrooms and wood laminate. There was also a random spot of ceramic tile just in the pantry (weird, I know).


We have gone back and forth and back and forth–and back and forth again– about what we should do about the floors, particularly in the main living areas. We needed the above carpet gone. Real wood floors? Nah, that would be too much money for a house at our price point. Different carpet? Nope, the dogs would have a field day with that. Tile? No, Scott has decided after tiling our bathroom that he is not a fan of putting down tile. Wood laminate? No... the sound of dog nails on wood laminate rivals nails on a chalkboard. Way too annoying for our taste.

We decided to rip up the carpet and paint the concrete in our living room a deep chocolate brown so it would blend in with the wood laminate in the dining area and study. Then we started painting, and it definitely wasn't working out. Parts of the smooth concrete floor had been patched with a sandy concrete, and the paint looked completely different with the various finishes of concrete. Back to the drawing board...

My mind kept going back to the floor that I had in my old apartment. It looked like wood but felt a little bit rubbery, and you couldn't hear the dog nails at all when they ran on it. It had a really stylish look, though. I thought it might be the perfect solution for our house.

I did a lot of online research and eventually landed at Lumber Liquidators' website. I found THIS and was really impressed with the low price and the positive reviews. I found our local store and bought a small amount to try in our living room.

First, we ripped up the carpet and carpet padding. That left the carpet tacks to remove. Scott was at football when I decided to go buy a Wonderbar and rip up those strips of wood. It was fun– I got to take out some aggression on those stupid carpet tacks! I also bought some concrete patch mix and patched every single nail hole that bordered the room. That was long and tedious, but definitely not a hard task. Then I took some sandpaper and sanded down each patch to make sure it was perfectly level with the existing concrete slab.

SIDE NOTE: If you don't own a shop vac, go buy one right away! My parents bought us one right when we started renovations and it is the best thing ever. We used it throughout this whole project to vacuum up chunks of concrete and nails and whatever else was in our way. Best. Tool. Ever.

The floor was chose was a peel and stick resilient vinyl. It may sound crazy, but it makes since with the price point of our house and fulfills all of our flooring needs. Scott got the first row of "giant wooden stickers" going, and then I was able to jump in and help. We got a good rhythm going and soon it was starting to look like we had wood floors!


Scott had to get up and work the next day (ahh, football season) but I didn't so I was able to stay up and get a lot more done. I pretty much finished the entire living room! That is one of the best things about this project- instead of the burden being completely on Scott, I was able to tackle this project with him and get it done faster. This product is so incredibly easy to put down– you cut it with scissors! You stick it down, use a rolling pin to make sure it is completely adhered to the concrete and then move on to the next one. Piece of cake!


Cutting the angles for the fireplace was when the project got a little tricky. We made ourselves a stencil through trial and error and used it to cut a perfect angle every time. I think it came out pretty well!


We loved it so much (and it was so cheap) that we decided we would continue the floors throughout the entire house- everywhere except the bedrooms, which would remain carpeted. Even the nuggets were loving the new floor:

video

Everything was all fun and games until we ran into this incredibly ugly reality:


We pulled up the white linoleum and found the original (gorgeous) linoleum underneath, glued to the concrete with super-hero strength glue. It was not an exciting development. We had to take a few days and strategize how we would deal with this new predicament. The solution involved A LOT of labor.

This blog is already too long, and I get exhausted just thinking about that hideous linoleum, so I'm going to save that for another day!

PS. I'm on the hunt for a beautiful, affordable rug for the living room... so if anyone has any ideas, send them my way! It must be at least 8x10. It must be under $400 (preferably under $300). And it must be cute. That is all. :)
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