The floors have been finished and we are enjoying them! No more nasty carpet and now everything is back in place again! We finished this project pretty quickly because having your life in disarray from home improvement sucks big time. Especially when it is your entire downstairs and you work from home. We just did a little bit each day to keep things moving.
First off, the laminate flooring itself was from Lowe’s. It is called Winchester Oak and it was only 68 cents per square foot. While we would have loved hardwood floors, there were a couple reasons why we didn’t go with that. The expense, for one. In our neighborhood and the price of real estate, the cost of hardwood floors would not give us the return that we would need to put them in. Now in our house that we plan to live in for a very, very long time – yes, hardwoods will happen, but not here. The other reason is our uneven floors. With a 100+ year old house, there is a lot of settling that goes on and the floors have some bumps and bulges in them that only a complete subfloor replacement would solve. Not going to happen. The more inexpensive laminate actually has some give to it to work along those bumps, along with some strategically placed extra underlayment. Of course, this breaks all rules of laying flooring, but we are rule breakers…
Bye-bye old carpet:
Kitchen through to living room:
The thing I really love is that we were able to do the room with no transitions between the rooms because of the layout of the doorways. There is a maximum they recommend without using transitions and we were under that. It makes the rooms much more spacious.
The only room we didn’t remove the baseboards in was the office. These are big solid baseboards and we were afraid we would wreck the plaster walls. You can see the gap here between the flooring and the baseboards. This gap is necessary for expansion and contraction of the flooring.
The solution? Quarter round shoe molding! They think of everything in the world of home improvement.
Pixie seems to really enjoy the floors for playing. You can see her in the background as a blur scooting a paper ball.
The floors aren’t perfect. There are a couple spots where there is a tiny gap, which I think is from just the cheapness of the flooring (being honest here). Just enough to catch a fingernail on, but you don’t notice it unless you stick your nose down there – like it was when putting in the floor .
Also some corner issues.
We undercut the molding, but it is hard to cut the laminate pieces to fit exactly, plus you don’t want them to be really snug for expansion purposes. We will patch these spots.
You have already seen the living room:
Total cost for the project included all of the flooring, the underlayment, 2 saw blades, transition pieces for the kitchen and the shoe molding for the office – $686. We already had paint and were able to save all of the baseboards and repaint them. Plus we had the little toolkit from doing the laminate upstairs. We should get a big ROI on this project!
It took around 4 weeks to finish, which isn’t all that bad! And I love, love, love the floors. I don’t know if I will ever get tired of saying I love the floors, even though John may get tired of me saying that!