blank'/> Getting Floored - adventures in wood | NidoBeato

Getting Floored - adventures in wood

As I may have mentioned here, I'm buying a house. Well, in truth, I've already bought it in the sense that money has changed hands, though it's currently sitting in escrow till the official closing date of May 1.

Naturally, that hasn't stopped me from redecorating the whole thing in my head, and some of that effort has spilled over into real life. For instance, last week when I went by to deliver the check, I asked the current owners for another peek inside so I could do some measuring. I actually wanted to measure everything since I have big plans for my little mobile home-cottage on the canal, but with the realtor breathing down my neck at every turn and the current owners in the middle of packing the place up to move, I had to settle for grabbing the dimensions of the bedrooms and hallway, since one of the first things I want to do is rip up the carpeting in there and replace it with some kind of wood/laminate/alternative.

By the way--that will NOT be tile. After living in two straight rentals with all tile floors, I never want to see tile on the floor again. Aside from being hard on the feet and back, you drop something on a tile floor and it either shatters into a million pieces or bounces into another dimension, never to be seen again.

The current owners of the house had kindly replaced all the subfloors and put down wood flooring in the livingroom/diningroom/kitchen, as well as the dressing alcove of the master bedroom. Don't ask me why they didn't do the whole bedroom; I figure it was to make my life miserable. Unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), the wood they put down was parquet. Now I have to admit, at first I was kind of disappointed in that, but then I started to do some research and found that parquet is currently making a comeback, and who wants the same stuff everyone else has?

Parquet floors in the diningroom

Naturally, the bad side of that is parquet is more expensive than your lower-priced plank flooring, which is where my budget currently resides, and it's way more difficult to find. Both facts I didn't know until I started looking, but more on that another time.

Since I had envisioned my cozy wannabe cottage having beautiful old reclaimed barnwood floors (Pinterest will be the death of me yet), I went on a mission to resolve my heart's desire. Not wanting to rip out what was already there, I decided I'd settle for resolving my reclaimed wood fantasies in the hallway and master bedroom. That lead me to my local architectural salvage yard, Schiller's. I'd seen reclaimed flooring on their website, but when I got there, the reality was a little different. I needed 190 square feet for the hallway and carpeted portion of the master bedroom, and the 4-inch wide oak plank inventory I liked was less than half of what I needed. In fact, unless I wanted to pay $9.00 a square foot for actual reclaimed chestnut barnwood, they had nothing in the quantity I required. With a wistful sigh, I headed back to the drawing board.

I decided to check out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in East Tampa, one of four in the Tampa Bay area. For those of you who have never visited one, what are you waiting for? It's a picker's paradise. Besides building supplies, I've found furniture and lighting super cheap there and years ago found the vintage yellow, five burner, double oven stove for my bungalow on Cornelius Ave for $100.

I started digging around in the flooring stack and came out with four boxes and a few stray pieces of a high-end dark engineered hardwood (everything they have is job leftovers, so it's hit or miss). That gave me roughly 48 square feet for $12.00 a box. With two other people eyeing my stash, I decided to grab them and hope I could find enough of something to match them for at least the guest bedroom, which is roughly 10 x 12. Ha ha, the joke was on me.

Dark wood flooring

Naturally, this was a discontinued item, and a search of the manufacturer's website turned up nothing under $6.00 a square foot, plus shipping. So I headed to Home Depot to see if they had something similar. Having never actually laid plank flooring, either wood or laminate, despite briefly working in the flooring department at Home Depot several years ago, I had no idea how much the interlock system varies for different brands of flooring. I wandered in on a busy Saturday with my sample plank of flooring under my arm and started comparing it to what they had available. Wrong thickness, wrong color, wrong interlock...nothing even came close. Ugh. Next I tried Lowe's--another bust.

That's when my sister-in-law Fran called to see what I was up to. Knowing she's been looking at new flooring for her livingroom, I suggested a trip to Lumber Liquidators. We decided to head over to the store on 22nd Ave N in St. Pete because it's located in the middle of a mile of nothing but flooring and hardware stores. We hit every single one of them and both came up empty. We even ran up to the ReStore in Largo hoping they'd have something, but all I found there was a great chandelier for my bedroom for $10 (more on that in another post). After hours of running around town, the only thing I saw that I liked was a hand-scraped hickory laminate at Home Depot for $1.39 a square foot, though it didn't come close to matching the dark wood I bought at the ReStore.

I was mentally kicking myself in the butt for wasting $50 on wood flooring I couldn't match when I got the brilliant idea of using it in the hall bathroom. 48 square feet should be just enough to do that floor. It wasn't exactly what I'd had in mind, but I could work with it. I'm not a big splasher in the bathroom, so water shouldn't be a problem, and if it did get ruined, so what--it was cheap.

With that decided, I figured I'd pick up the hickory I liked for the guest bedroom. I got up early Sunday and ran back to a different Home Depot. Turns out they had two different hand-scraped hickory laminates side-by-side, the second one with wider planks. Since it was early and the store was practically empty, the sales associate helped me pull out a few planks of each and lay them on the floor. I actually liked the wider one since it looked more like real barn wood and the great part was, it was cheaper. $. 99 a square foot!

Hand-scraped hickory laminate
I don't know how good it is, but for a spare bedroom that will get little traffic, it will work fine and I only spent $125.00 for the whole floor. Not bad.

Now back to my original quest--the hallway and master bedroom. Stay tuned.

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