Now for the floors, my favorite part. Finding the perfect flooring, literally, took me a year. I didn’t want to pay a ton for what I wanted, so I bargain shopped (naturally – it’s who I am!). I wanted a good quality floor, nothing thin or something that would be ruined in a few years. Through shopping, I also learned I wanted something with padding already attached to the flooring. I heard it was easier to install with it attached also. I also knew we didn’t need any water barrier or anything like that, because the flooring was going on the “second” floor. It is tiled near our front and side door and our sliding glass door goes out to our deck that is also on the “second” floor, so no worries there either.
I looked at Lowe’s, Home Depot a few local places, everywhere… but I finally made it to Lumber Liquidators. Our nearest store is a little over two hours away, but we had other obligation in the area, so it wasn’t too bad. I was able to find what I wanted – a thick, hand scrapped, with padding attached wood laminate. I didn’t buy it right off, instead, I brought home a few samples. I placed it in different areas of the house, decided I really liked this. I then went back to almost all the stores I had visited prior to see if they had anything similar. One of the local stores I went to complemented my find and suggested I go with it (the beauty of shopping local, honest people).
To measure our floors, I squared everything out and measured those squares and rounded up around any angles. When I made the purchase, I believe I also order 10% more for error, etc. LL doesn’t stock all their flooring all the time, so I was very nervous to run short and not be able to find what we needed. Needless to say, we have a TON leftover – 8 boxes. Oops.
I “ordered” in store on a Saturday, brought one box home to lay it out JUST to make sure we loved it and called to confirm my order that following Monday. I believe my order took about three weeks to arrive.
We have light tongue and groove wood ceilings and kitchen cabinets. I chose a dark floor that had a bit of a light detail to it. The light detail has an orange tint to it, which also play off our wood trim that I wanted to keep. With so much wood in our house, I felt it it was really important to find the perfect colors to avoid all the wood clashing.
Method to the madness:
In my post about our popcorn ceilings, I mentioned we removed our old flooring before removing the ceilings. We just made one giant mess to get it over with. Next we had to decide with way to run our flooring. It was suggested to run in the direction of what would be the longest span and it just happened to be the same direction of our ceiling grooves also – so that is what we went with.
We started with creating a straight line where our longest span would meet our dining room, then started from that line and worked our way back to the nearest wall. Once that was complete, we worked on the other side of the line, again hitting the next wall. We then continued down the long span, going in to each closet and bedroom as it came on the span. All this was cut, snap (and bang occasionally) and go, no nailing, no gluing. We would take the piece we had to cut off, put the cut end towards the wall and work from there. I did not want a perfect, “subway,” pattern, instead aiming for complete randomness. Out of 10+ boxes, we only ran in to one board with a scratch.
We did have some issues the following winter with gaps appearing. Any laminate is going to shrink and expand with the changing season. Our gaps appeared because we did not finish the longest span into the closet, so when the laminate expanded, it was free to move too much. It was simple to tap the end of the span and close the gap. Speaking of which – We really need to finish that closet before winter really sets in here.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below and I will be sure to get back to you ASAP.