The next person who tells me laminate is the easy flooring alternative… I just might smack you.
It took us 10 days to finish 500 square feet! And we are not lacking in skills or tools. It just requires a lot more time and energy than anyone ever tells you. And did anyone else know your home is going to be far from square? And I mean FAR… all you have to do is look at the last row we laid to see the difference from one end of the wall to the other. Good thing my husband is handy with the table saw and figured out how to cut on a diagonal without a guide! Don’t get me wrong laminate is a fabulous alternative to real wood, especially for $1.79 per square foot! I love Lumber Liquidators; the guys who run the Lynnwood store are fabulous! Knowledgeable, helpful, and speedy, especially considering there are only 2 of them and you have the inevitable idiot who wants a detailed description of EVERY product in the store, its price compared to other options, it’s warranty and personal firsthand experience *rolls eyes*. Point is, they’re great and will give you helpful little tidbits and coupons to make parting with a large chunk of your hard saved money as painless as possible. And this was after a LOT of shopping around at other retailers and there were a few others I will go back to for other things like carpet for the bedrooms, tile for the bathrooms but L.L. is THE place to go for hardwood or laminate. Thanks guys!
So we purchased and D. picked up our clearance flooring (in a color I love a little more than he does) after work and we set out to tear our little house to pieces. If you have ever lived amidst a renovation project, no matter what the magnitude, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. It’s like living in one of the middle levels of hell, maybe 4 or 5. Things end up everywhere; there are tools and screws all over the floor no matter how hard you try to clean up every night. Shoes go missing, cats get upset b/c their world is changing and things get peed on, you step in a paint tray of primer while you’re trying to paint down the hallway so as not to back yourself into a painted corner. Only to realize you can’t get to the bathroom b/c they are both down the painted hallway… that was amusing. Why do you suddenly have to use the bathroom the second it becomes unavailable? But I digress…
We pulled up 400 square feet of ugly, smelly, stained Berber carpet and its pad and 75 square feet of Pergo that was definitely professionally installed, and 25 square feet of ugly entryway tile that we could not get up with a hammer and chisel, so we took out the whole piece of subfloor it was tiled onto. We took down a LOT of ugly, dark, fake wood moldings that had been taken down and put back up at least twice from the sheer number of holes in it. The moldings have yet to go back up I might add… a DIY project is never finished. It felt so amazing to tear it all up and throw it away, or in our case into the garage for 2 weeks before we finally made it to the dump.
So our family room, kitchen, hallway and entry way were torn down to the subfloor, and the living room had 24 boxes of laminate flooring that was ‘acclimating’ for 48 hours before we could put it down. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for living amidst the chaos. We moved a lot of furniture into the living room around the laminate flooring and into the computer room, the cat room, there was stuff everywhere b/c in Washington you can’t expect the weather to cooperate and it was raining in July.
Next up, painting the subfloor to lock in the smells that have accumulated from having a dog and 2 cats ourselves and the previous owners also having pets. Paint and cats do not mix… Locking our cats in a room while we painted was not a good idea. Did you know cats can open doors or that when they can’t get out of an enclosed space will literally fling themselves at the door? Me either… huh. So we ended up with primed footpads on one of our cats who just couldn’t hang out for an hour while the floor dried… stupid Rico. She ran from one end of the hallway to the other multiple times before I could catch her, and she had the nerve to give ME a dirty look when she looked at her paws. This is why we use latex based paints and she had her paws washed… not a happy kitty. If looks could kill I would have been a goner.
The painting finally got done, smell was locked in and low and behold… the kitchen floor is ½ inch taller than the rest of the house… beautiful. Lowes trip #2 (number one was for more primer 1 can wasn’t going to do it) plywood, lots of plywood. So we put another layer of plywood over our existing subfloor to try and level everything out. D. cut all the pieces and I screwed them down… all 400 square feet of extra plywood… that amounted to 5 lbs of screws, I tried to keep count of the number of screws I put in but I lost count after 100 and gave up. It was quite an undertaking and something I would be loath to do again, SO, new laminate flooring, never being replaced. EVER.
But it’s beautiful, truly beautiful. I am in love with my new flooring and my new husband for putting it all down and teaching me to use the table saw! Power tools are fun! Next up moldings… it’s been 2 months and they still aren’t down… a new dog doesn’t leave a lot of time for home improvement but it’s sure been nice to snuggle up with her on the couch on the weekends instead of making huge messes! :-)