DIY · Farmhouse

Let’s talk floors

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

Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring

source

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.

Laundry Floors Before

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.

After my original research I had settled on the Home Depot brand Traffic Master Allure in “khaki oak”. It’s a nice light wood color with a lot of grey tones, almost a reclaimed quality.Home Depot Flooring Option

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.

Lowes Flooring 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.

Laundry Floors in Process 1Laundry Floors in Process 2

The room is roughly 5’ x 5’ and it took me about an hour and a half to complete the floor.

Laundry Floors After

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.

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “Let’s talk floors

  1. I am excited to find your blog! I am a 42 year old single gal and am tackling home improvement projects on my first home, too. I found your blog while reading reviews on this flooring (that I will likely use for my basement). I have done a lot of projects for my family members over the past few years so I’ve become pretty good at a lot of things, but no two projects are ever the same. I wanted to share something that my ex said to me when I told him that I thought he was crazy for suggesting that we should move a wall in our house: “Honey, take a look at some of the guys that are contractors out there – they can’t show up on time, calculate an accurate estimate, or comb their hair. If they can do it, you can too.” Turns out he was a little crazy, but not about the wall! We can do this….. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL!!! OMG Amanda, that is hilarious! And when you really think about it, it totally seems legit. Electric and gas scare me, but I’m going to try to work through that. I actually spent a week in the house with no hot water because I was waiting for the gas guy to come light the pilot light. I drove an hour each day to take a shower at my best friends house. I also spent about two weeks with no heat thinking I couldn’t figure the thermostat out. Finally when I got an HVAC guy out it turned out that the filter was dirty! I guess you live and you learn 🙂

      About the floors, it said not to put them directly on some type of subfloor. It was another language to me, but I am planning on pulling the carpet out in the entry hallway and carrying this from the door into the hallway. I’ll let you know how that goes! Good luck with your projects and let me know if you start/have a blog. I’d love to follow you!

      Like

    1. Thanks for coming by Renee. Once the washer and dryer were delivered I realized how small a 5 x 5 space really was. As I mentioned before, I wasn’t home to take the delivery myself and I didn’t plan on having them stacked. I honestly still don’t want them stacked because I’m only 5’1″ and I need a stool to get all the way in the back of a stacked dryer, but we need the space. I’m planning on finishing the space off and I’ll post pics as soon as I do so please check back when you can!

      Like

    1. Hey April, to be fair we’ve only been in the place for a little over three weeks so I can’t fairly tell you how these will wear. They look perfect even after the Home Depot guys came in and did their thing though so that’s a pretty good sign. We’ll be stacking them soon so I’ll report back after that. Thanks for coming by!

      Like

  2. Hello! Thanks a lot for doing this post. It is really helpful. I am planning on doing this exact flooring for my laundry room. I read a review on Lowes site that said it is necessary to buy more adhesive (gorilla glue) to make the tiles stick. Have you had any issues with this? I will be laying mine on a painted cement floor.

    Like

    1. Hi Chelsey,

      I stuck mine over the existing linoleum and haven’t had any problems. Since then I stuck just one plank in front of where they installed the dishwasher which is also linoleum (so it would be under once I finished the kitchen) … well, it’s been there for a couple weeks because it was the holidays and then I got sick. But, with just the one plank the edge is exposed and it’s not coming up even though it’s a high traffic area. I’ve even picked at it just to test the adhesive. I think it’s safe to say that it’s pretty sturdy on linoleum, but the instructions did mention not to install directly on subfloor. Not sure if painted concrete counts as subfloor or not though. I can scan the instructions (which are found inside the box) and email them to you if you like. If you want me to do this email me fortunateforty@gmail.com and I will get it done ASAP.

      Like

  3. Hey there Tammy! I was wondering how many planks you purchased for a 5×5 room. I’m currently doing a project that is 4×4 and have no idea how many planks to buy. Thanks in advance

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Allie,

      I purchased a whole case of them because I’m using them in other areas, but for just the laundry room I used about a half case … probably a little less. I wanted the sizing to look random so I probably did a few more “cuts” than I really needed to. So the half case seems legit because a case is enough to cover 60 sqf and I used just about half of that. If you follow that math you should plan to “waste” about 20% of the total sqf you’re trying to cover … or, in your case 3.2 ft … probably 2-3 planks. But, here’s the good news. If you buy a whole case and don’t use it all you can take the unused portion back (with receipt obviously) and they will refund you for all the unused/uncut planks. So, if I had to do it again and wasn’t planning on needing it all, I’d still buy the whole case just to be safe and then return the left overs. Hope that helps!

      Like

  4. Love the look of your floor! Okay – looks like you’re about 10 months into the floors. How do they look now? And do you notice any problems with water causing issues? I am planning to remove the carpet in my back bedroom and put this down instead. I foster rescue dogs and needless to say carpet needs to be ripped up and replaced…

    Like

    1. Hi Eileen,

      I haven’t had any problems with water or wear and tear on the floors. Needless to say, the laundry room isn’t a high traffic area but I did take quite a long time (read:still not done) to finish the front with the “split” plank. This left an exposed edge which you can just barely see at the very bottom of my first photo. Well … this never peeled or had any damage and this is right where we go in and out of the laundry room, drag clothes and baskets over and generally where you’d expect to see some wear but there is absolutely none. The sock and slide method I used to help adhere the planks clearly worked. High traffic, fur baby paws and claws, plus water and food will probably reduce the lifespan of these babies. So, if you’re on a budget and can accept that these won’t last 10+ years, but still want something to look nice I’d still say go for it.

      Like

  5. so how is the floor a year in? I am considering this option for my kitchen. I did decoupage floors in my other rooms where people do not view it… but they look great! At this point it is a time thing. -Heidi

    Like

    1. Hi Heidi, I’d love to see a photo of your decoupage floors. My vinyl planks are holding up perfectly. So far I still only have them in the laundry room which isn’t a high traffic area, but I have no complaints.

      Like

  6. I’m considering using this flooring for my kids bathroom. Just wanted to see if your floor is still sticking ok? Many of the reviews on Lowes.com discuss issues with the floor staying in place. Have you put it anywhere else in your house yet? I’m considering using the prep primer first but wasn’t sure if this is a good idea because I’m also going to put the new tiles on existing linoleum. What do you think? I also see some people recommend using an adhesive. Any help would be great!

    Like

    1. Hey Stacie, sorry I didn’t see your post. As of now I only have the tile in the laundry room, but I haven’t had any trouble with it. I do want to mention that I didn’t use the roller they recommend, I just kind of pushed it down with body weight. So, there was a very slight lifting of one or two of the planks behind the door where no one ever steps. I pushed it back down and it’s never come back up. I would imagine from my experience that the higher the traffic the better the adherance. I also placed it directly over existing linoleum so I don’t think that’s a problem. I was hoping to get tile into my bathrooms, but I’ve decided to go ahead and put the vinyl planks in those as well. I’ll do an update once that happens… soon. One thing I do plan on in the bathrooms is to do a clear caulk around the toilet and where it meets up to the tub. I don’t want to have to worry about water seeping under and any potential mold problems.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s