Hello everyone. I have been meaning to write this post for a while but just have not had the time. Growing up, I always knew that becoming a home owner and father would keep my life pretty busy but I don’t think that I quite realized how much so. Every time that I finish up one project/job 3 more get added to the list. It kind of reminds me of the hydra from greek mythology. Now to get to the task at hand and discuss the reason that I’m using ‘gasp’ vinyl flooring.
This article is intended for informative purposes. The information is subject to change and may not be complete. I am not responsible for anything: good, bad or other that may occur in your situation. Speak with your contractor or flooring expert for any questions, concerns or problems that may occur.
When we moved into the new house it had the original carpet and tile. I knew that eventually that we were going to remove atlas the carpet but I was not aware how quickly that I would get into the project. The carpet was a stock beige that you could get from any home improvement store. It was 4 years old and was starting to show wear. Along with that, having 2 cats, a < 1 year old dog and 2 young kids quickly showed that the carpet needed to go. It held so much dirt and hair that I was concerned for my kids to play on it. The tile was a stock industrial grade beige tile that, while in good condition, was not going to match the changes that Whitney and I were planning.
One day I decided to start tearing up the carpet and then shortly after Whitney started popping the tiles. Whitney and I should write some posts about removing these types of flooring sometime; damn, there is that hydra growing a couple more heads. After getting to the concrete slab we could start placing a new floor.
Conventional housing wisdom states that we should use hardwood flooring. Its attractive and long lasting. Can be refinished if needed and is generally regarded as the only flooring that increases the value of a home. But, it is a pain to deal with when you have kids and pets.
We had beautiful white oak hardwood flooring in our old house in Beaumont. We had it refinished professionally for quite a cost but it was worth it. I loved the look but after a while I started becoming quite concerned about surface scratches from pet claws and sliding furniture, spills from the kids, etc. No matter how careful, there will always be accidents and problems. So, with that in mind, Whitney and I decided of going in a different direction for the new house.
We chose a Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring from Home Depot. This flooring is different from your grandmas’ vinyl peal and stick squares. It is waterproof and quite nice looking, Important when you find a trail of spilled milk from the table to the sink and no one told you. Its also pretty easy to put down for the DYI’ers out there.
The floor that we picked is from Allure in the pattern of khaki oak. This is a plank that has a 1 inch overlap on the sides with glue. Basically you can start in a corner of the room and start placing a row, rolling with a tile hand roller to bond the planks. At the end of a row you measure out the remaining length, score a line on the plank with a box cutter/utility knife and bend. The plank should snap off along the line, then place the last partial plank. Now at this point, what I chose to do was use the remaining piece as the beginning of the next row. This way I was shifting where the seams were for strength and aesthetics while decreasing the product waste. Think of it a building a wall with blocks. The wall is stronger when overlapping the blocks.
As the flooring is produced, there can be color and grain pattern repeats. As such, you want to be aware of this to avoid accidentally having a repeating pattern. The goal of the flooring to to look like wood without being wood and true wood planks will never be identical due to color and grain pattern. In order to be proactive to not have problems, I used multiple boxes of flooring at the same time and randomly took planks. It is also important to remember to let the boxes of flooring to sit in the area that they will be placed for at least 48 hours to allow the flooring to adjust to the temperature and moisture levels of your home. Honestly, I am unsure how much that this matters with this flooring as there should not be any significant changes with minor temperature and moisture changes. I mean its basically rubber/plastic flooring. I did this anyway just incase, much to Whitney’s displeasure.
I prepped the floor with a cushioning under laminate. This should add some protection and slight softness to the floor when walking in bear feet. I also left the existing base boards and was able to slide the planks under to hide the unfinished edges. When I finished a room I used white silicone caulking to finish the gab between the floor and the base board. I could also have added quarter round but we did not know the color of the base boards and were not ready to attempt painting the trim and doors on the entire house yet.
To date, I have placed ~ 800-900 square feet of flooring. There has been very few issues thankfully. I will purchase the rest of the flooring when the income tax return come in and then it will be a flooring party.