Well, it has been a long 2-3 months since I have blogged. I have been super busy. Yes, yes, I know I ALWAYS say that. However, it has been extraordinarily busy this time. July was literally a blur. It was like the first of July, I blinked, then it was August. Three events occurred in July-August that I will be blogging about in the next few weeks:
1) We got new flooring in our house
2) I went to China :) -this will be an extra long blog entry
3) I went to training- may not be blogging about this too much.
Anyway, Ivan and I will also be updating the food blog Just A Couple of Critics. My last blog entry introduced this new venture of ours. We have had so much fun trying different restaurants and rating them. We have to update that blog as well with some our newest places.
So, for topic number 1) the flooring. Ivan and I have been searching for flooring for our home. When we moved in, all of the bedrooms had carpet. The living room and the formal dining room also had carpet. I have never really liked carpet, especially contractor carpet. It wears out so easily. We have only lived in our house for a year and it was looking awful. Additionally, Harmony was having really bad allergies. Ivan and I were too!
(FYI-I only took a few pictures of the floors. We got all the rooms done, but I just took a few pics of the living room and dining room).
We spent a few months shopping around. We originally thought we would do them ourselves. Of course, we quickly through that idea out the window since we would be doing 4 bedrooms, 1 living room, 1 dining room, and 4 walk in closets. We knew that it would be a huge project. There was no way we would have the energy to do it all even in a week (it would probably still be “in progress”).
Anyway, we shopped a few places like Lowes, Roberts Carpets, Home Depot, Direct Floors, Direct Buy, a few small local places, and Jack’s Carpet. After pricing everything out, they all ended up being very comparable. So which one did we go with? We went with Jack’s Carpet. The store manager worked with us, he was super nice! Additionally, he came to our home to measure everything as soon as he closed down the store that night. What we liked about Jack’s was the service. The people who came moved all the furniture, took out the carpet, cleaned the floors, installed the laminate, and then put all the furniture back. They also offered interest free financing for a year. Although I hate to finance things, Ivan convinced me it would be worth it.
So, here is our decision process. Maybe you want to hear it, maybe you don’t… either way you are going to hear it … haha! Basically, we had to decide between laminate and hardwood. After deciding that, we had to decide the quality we wanted. We also how decide to install the edges.
Laminate vs. Hardwood-You can easily google the positives and negatives of either. The reason why we chose laminate was 1) it was cheaper, 2) it was more durable, 3) it was easier and quicker to install. Honestly, laminate is just better if you plan to have kids. It will last longer.
Quality-Since we decided to get laminate, we wanted to make sure we got something that was good quality. This meant that it would be handscraped (if possible), single plank install, and was thick. I can’t remember the thickness of our laminate, but I know that it was one of the thicker ones you could purchase. The thickness really will determine how long it will last and how it will sound when you walk on it. Handscraped laminate basically means it looks more “real”. All of the laminates we looked at were hand-scraped. I was very insistent that we did not get a shiny finish laminate. A shiny finish would scratch too easily and show dirt too easily. I wanted something with texture. I really was attracted to the rustic looking laminates; however, in the end we decided to go with a more classic wood look. I am really happy we did. Additionally, we wanted a single plank install. This is pretty self explanatory. Basically, some laminates come with two-four planks connected. So basically, you install slabs of connected pieces. We wanted each plank to be separate (like real wood).
It took the people at Jack’s 2 days for the install. The first day they basically came and put the wood in our house. It has to acclimate to the temperature and humidity in our house. They also rip all the carpet out, and sweep the floors. You would be surprised how much dirt is under the carpet. This is dirt that the construction people left when they installed the carpet. After seeing that, no wonder we had allergies!!! Of course the carpet removal left a nice thick coat of dust on EVERYTHING. I am still cleaning stuff… and it is almost September! The next day they came and installed the floors. It was pretty simple.
Installing the Edges- Part of our decision was also how we wanted the edges to be installed. In Texas it is very popular to have a quarter round piece around the edge. I originally wanted to pull off the baseboards and then replace them after the wood was installed. However, I realized that would be a tremendous amount of work AND I would risk possibly breaking a baseboard. I didn’t want to do that. Therefore, we went with the quarter round. We actually are pretty happy how it all turned out. See pictures below.