Ok ok, we finally closed on our new house in Multnomah county and as I’ve mentioned, my place was a foreclosure so they did the bare minimum when getting it ready for sale. But, I did get lucky in that apparently the floors were bad enough to need replacing so I got builder grade carpet and linoleum.
So, to begin with, I love wood floors … who doesn’t? But, real wood is a huge investment and I don’t know about you or your experience, but just getting into the house took a lot of wind from beneath my wings. So I’ve found a cheap alternative to change up the look of the floors until we can get wood in there.
If I had my way I’d have 100 year old wood flooring in my 100 year old home, something like this
But, alas, I do not have a 100 year old farmhouse and instead this is the standard linoleum that was put in the kitchen/dining area, all bathrooms and the laundry room. As you can see there is nothing particularly heinous about the floors, but nothing exactly stylish or pretty either.
The very first thing I knew I had to get done in the house was getting floors down in the laundry room because we closed Monday, moved Tuesday and appliances were delivered Friday. If you search online, sites like Wayfair and Overstock have some nice options. But, in the interest of time, if you go to Home Depot or Lowes you can find some pretty inexpensive laminates as well. I’m talkin less than $2.00 or 3.00/sqf, but then if you don’t know what you’re doing (like me) and don’t have time nor money to get them installed you must get creative.
In comes luxury vinyl plank and both big box stores carry their own versions, each with a “good”, “better” and “best” option. I first saw the product at Lowes, was promptly blown away and the guy who told me about it literally said, “it’s dummy proof”. Well … I’m a dummy, at least when it comes to installing flooring so I was all about it right away.
But, this is special order only and they did not have any in stock.
Eventually I went back to Lowes and chose the “good” option, Style Selections luxury vinyl plank in “driftwood gray”. The $1.47 price is per plank which covers about a foot and a half which makes the per ft cost actually only $0.98. Yes! Less than a buck per sqf. And, to make that better in the end, it was not only cheaper but easier and I liked the color more than the other option.
So yes, this is a peel and stick product. I know what you’re thinking, but no, it does not look super cheap and tacky. Lowes (Home Depot does not) has the peel and stick option and they both have the “floating floor” option that quite literally sits on top of the existing floor without ruining it. This requires you to remove the floor molding as this is what holds the floor in place. I did not want to take the time to do this so I went with the peel and stick, it’s also cheaper.
The instructions to install this product called for a bunch of things I did not get. I literally got a pair of heavy duty scissors and went to work. Again, in the interest of time I did not take the floor molding off. Instead I just did my best to butt up to the edges. This actually worked really well with only a couple of spots not entirely flush.
I thoroughly cleaned and dried the floors and got after it.
So, I started somewhere in the back middle of the room and tried for an offset/random placement and just kept going from there.
The room is roughly 5’ x 5’ and it took me about an hour and a half to complete the floor.
The project was quick, cheap and like the Lowes guy originally said, “dummy proof”. I don’t think I could’ve screwed this up had I tried, but in hindsight I may have done a few things differently.
- If I had the time I would remove the floor molding because you don’t have to make the cuts exactly perfect if those are gone. If the edges are a little off, once you put the molding back it looks 100% perfect. That being said, mine turned out 98% perfect so if you’re ok with very minor imperfections, and you’re kind of a lazy DIYer, and/or don’t have the time … you can totally skate by without taking them off.
- I would’ve started right at the front of the room – still probably in the middle so I could get a random effect, but I’d butt right up the front wall where the door is. The reason behind this is that inevitably you’re going to end up having to split a plank. By this I mean the full width of the last plank is not going to fit so you’re going to have to cut it long wise and for this project I think it would have looked nicer not to be in the front. It’s not ugly, just something I would do differently.
- To complete the above I would’ve bought the box cutter/straight edge knife on my first trip. I actually was going to do this to begin with but the Lowes guy said the scissors would do the job. Which, they did … but not for that long straight cut down the middle of the plank.
- The instructions called for a chalk string and all kinds of other things I did not use. My planks went in evenly with almost no unevenness, but if you don’t think you can get that right a level might help. I just lined the first plank up with the lines on the existing floor.
- Lastly, the instructions call for a 100lb roller … not even sure what that is, but I did not bother to figure it out. So, if you’re like me and (a couple pounds over 100 < – – LOL) then you could probably use body weight like I did. I put some socks on and kind of slid around each plank after I stuck it down. I’ll update if there are any issues with this method.
I would 100% recommend this product and plan on using it again. I will cover all the existing linoleum with it until the time I can have nice floors put in.