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3/31/2011

Flooring!

The new flooring has finally been ordered and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me!!! We actually started looking at flooring (way back in early December) long before we started looking at cabinets or countertops or anything else kitchen related.  We went to dozens of stores (Lowe’s, Home Depot, Edens Carpet One, DPM, Compton’s, Lumber Liquidators, Bristol Flooring, Floors 4 U, etc.) to try to narrow things down, but ended up even more confused.  So we basically dropped the flooring ball for a while.  So, needless to say I am VERY happy to see “purchase flooring” crossed off the ole’ listeroo

Our plan is to lay our new flooring over top of the existing parquet flooring (in the kitchen, family room, entry hall, and hallway that leads to the bedrooms).  We attempted to remove the parquet, but failed miserably.  We discovered that this task would not be worth the time or effort it would take to do it.  So instead we’ll just bury the old stuff under the new stuff!  We also plan to rip up the old mint green carpet (in the living room and dining room) and replace it with the same new wood flooring.  We think having the same flooring throughout (with the exception of the bedrooms which were recently recarpeted and the bathrooms) will make the house feel more cohesive and open up the space!  I had no idea, however, that there would be so many different decisions and choices to make in regards to flooring.

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The first question we had to answer was… What type of flooring do we want?  Laminate?  Engineered wood?  or Solid wood?  There are pros and cons for each of these options, so it was definitely not an easy choice.  But after much discussion (and hours of online research by Craig and countless visits to local flooring stores) we finally decided that we wanted a solid wood floor. 

The next question we had to answer was… What type of solid wood do we want?  Oak?  Maple?  Cherry?  Bamboo? Hickory?  Koa?  Teak?  and the list goes on and on…  We spoke with dozens of flooring guys about which species of wood would stand up best against us, our dog, and our child.  We took home several samples which Craig torture tested (i.e. dropped hammers on, tried to cut with knives, and left sitting in bowls of water over night) to see what might be the most durable and stand the test of time.

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All of our research (at home, online, and in the stores) showed that bamboo, more specifically strand woven bamboo, could be a very smart choice for us.  It’s the only species of wood that was rated over 100% for both stability and hardness on the chart below.  I mean it just blows northern red oak out of the water!  Plus it’s an environmentally friendly choice… so kudos for that too!

floor hardness chart 1

floor hardness chart 2

So once we knew what type of solid wood we wanted (strand woven bamboo) the next question we had to answer was… How do we want to install it?  Nail it (which would be easiest, but we can’t do since our house is built on a slab)?  Float it (I hadn’t realized that you could do this with a solid wood, but apparently you can)?  or Glue it (which could be difficult and time consuming)?  Again, there were pros and cons with each.  But in the end we decided that we wanted to do a glue down installation… I guess we’re just gluttons for punishment or something.  But we really think (or rather we hope) we’ll end up with a nicer finished product!

Once we decided on what we wanted it was time to compare prices everywhere.  We reviewed all of the notes that we had taken at all of the different stores we visited.  And the winner was… drumroll pleaseLumber Liquidators!  They had the best prices by far!  And since we were going to need about 1000 square feet (or two pallets of wood) flooring they were offering us a $0.10 discount per square foot (which is apparently fairly common practice in flooring, but exciting none-the-less!)!

We revisited the store (a couple of times) and LOVED their bamboo selection!  We fell in love with their 3/8” x 3-3/4” carbonized strand woven bamboo (in the picture above it’s top row, second on the left). We think the color is warm and rich without being too dark or red. It’s a happy medium for us, which we really like!  I guess you could say we were “bamboozled” by Lumber Liquidators’ carbonized strand woven bamboo!

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So, the plan (for over a month now) has been to purchase this flooring from Lumber Liquidators.  In fact, we even drove over to the store about a month ago with the intentions of buying the floors, but then realized that we’d have no place to put it until we were ready to install (Since our cabinets and appliances have been delivered and our kitchen and family room have been emptied out, space is currently at a premium in our house).  So, we just decided to put the purchase on hold until the kitchen project was a little further underway. 

Turns out we definitely made the right choice!  Low and behold, over the weekend Craig received an e-mail from Lumber Liquidators saying that they are having an “End of Quarter Clearance” on all in-stock floors.  Score!  I ran over to the store earlier this week and talked to the salesman about what exactly the sale was (a.k.a. how much moolah could we save).  On top of the $0.10 discount we would already get they were offering an additional $0.30 off per square foot!  That $0.40 total discount per square foot equaled a $400 total savings on the floors!  Cha-Ching!!! 

flooring sale

So the moral of the story is not that the early bird impulsive shopper always catches the worm best deal, but that good things really do come to those who wait!

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