Out with the old and in with the new! Thanks to my hubby and his AMAZING family, who worked their tails off, we now have beautiful wooden flooring downstairs. Removing the carpet had been number one on our to-do list since we moved into our house a year ago, but of course things came up (like they always do) and it got put on the back burner. The carpet was original to the house and was pretty mated, it also had spots and marks seeping up through it- gross!! I for one am not okay with mystery spots, not only is it ugly and dirty looking, but who knows what was spilled by the previous owners. Thank goodness for my father-in-law and JD’s extremely hard working Nana and Papa. They came to our rescue and drove 12 hours to help us install the new wood flooring.
We had already gone to Lowes a few weeks in advance to look at samples and order the material. We decided on a laminate hardwood by Allen + Roth called Driftwood Oak, I really love the color variation in it. Tip: When ordering flooring you want to leave yourself plenty of time before starting your project. The wood needs to sit in your home for at least a few days before it is installed, you want the material to acclimate to your home’s temperatures and climate. We were told it would take a week for the flooring and transition strips to be delivered to our Lowes location, so we ordered two weeks ahead of time to be safe, one week for delivery and one week to let it settle in our house. The other thing to keep in mind is the underlayment; you’ll want and need something between your floor and foundation. We have a concrete slab foundation, and put a sound and moisture barrier underlayment down first (Which Lowes has in stock, no need to pre order it). It didn’t take long to realize that our concrete foundation wasn’t poured completely level, so the underlayment actually pulled double duty and helped to even out the surface before installing the wood planks.
We chose the laminate flooring for multiple reasons, one being installation; no glue required! The planks have a basic tongue and groove to them, so they slide, snap and lock together piece by piece! Getting the first few pieces started is the toughest part, once you have a few down the rest start snapping into place like giant puzzle pieces. Remember to stagger your planks so the ends don’t line up side by side. Make random cuts in length to starter pieces so the floor’s pattern is "uneven". Speaking of the beginning pieces, the planks bordering the wall shouldn’t bud right up against it, you want a small gap between the floor and wall to account for shifting and expanding… don’t worry, the gap will be completely covered by the baseboards. Baseboards, those are the only things I can honestly say I “helped” with! The men did all of the work, they ripped up the old carpet, cleaned, laid the underlayment and installed all of the flooring, and put the baseboards back up. All I helped with was repainting the baseboards to give them a fresh clean look in a brighter crisper shade of white.
Of course nice newly painted baseboards downstairs led me to wanting the same freshly painted baseboards upstairs, which led to newly painted door frames to match, which led to painting and updating the interior doors, which is a whole story and blog post in itself! I am really excited to share a post about the interior doors, but that will have to wait a bit until I can get them completed! Anyways, the family worked so hard to help us; we really appreciate it and are so grateful! We saved a bunch of money by avoiding installation costs, we learned a lot and loved being taught, and we got to spend time with some of our favorite people. All in all it was a wonderful experience, I wish we had the time and resources to complete our upstairs rooms as well, but their time will come!
I really recommend the laminate wood flooring for anyone who wants or needs a change, it is extremely durable, scratch proof and easy to clean, plus it looks great and is pretty easy to install yourself. Our poor little puppy took a few days to get used to it, he kept slipping and sliding around, it was sad and hysterical at the same time. He has adjusted to them now and has no problems, and I am comforted knowing his paws and nails wont scratch the floors, no matter how crazy he pounces and runs- which is an hourly occurrence. Thank you again to my husbands Dad, Nana and Papa, we love you guys! Here are pictures of your hard work, the before, during and afters!