Finally the flooring is installed! (First Floor Refresh, Part 3)

After seven months, the flooring debacle is over!

I started planning this first floor refresh project in February 2020. Due to pandemic-caused shortages, supply chain issues, and home-improvement big box stores with major customer service problems, the flooring didn’t get done which caused the whole project to be delayed. See this post for that story.

Finally in November 2020–eight MONTHS later–my new flooring was installed in one day. I essentially waited eight months for something that was done in a day. But I’m not complaining. I love these new floors!

Why are you doing it this way?

This floor is part of a refresh I’m doing for my main living areas. I’m using my creative side and what I’ve learned from home design shows to update the finishes in these areas. Instead of doing it all myself, this time I’m getting professionals to do the work.

These are major projects that would take me forever to do and cost me a lot more money than just getting someone who knows what they are doing to handle it. For instance, this floor install took one day because there were several tradesmen with proper tools who worked on different parts of the install until it was completed.

And while it was worth the cost, it was more expensive than I thought it would be, and it did put me over budget for this refresh.

BEFORE: KITCHEN AND LIVING ROOM– TWO DIFFERENT FLOORS

If it was so expensive, why did you go with them?

I found a floor color that matched my previous sample the closest. As stated in my very first video, I had already got my design together and even though I had already decided I wanted to go with vinyl plank when the laminate didn’t work out. It is a commercial grade floor, and it costs about 1.50 more per square foot, which almost doubled the total price, and the company I went with put a slab sealer product which added another $500 to the total. The installation costs were pretty much the same between the final two companies.

Why vinyl instead of laminate?

I decided to go with vinyl plank for 2 reasons:

  1. Because I was putting the floor in couple of wet areas ( and even though laminate has gotten better, it still doesn’t beat vinyl with spills and splashes)
  2. Availability at the time. During the pandemic, many people have been working fromhome and re-doing things like floors. With that and the shortage of toilet paper, there was a wood shortage which led to a laminate shortage.
    1. If you’re thinking of going with vinyl, you’ll find now, there’s a vinyl shortage (as of this posting), because of supply chain shortages and people switching to vinyl like I did.

Here’s how that day went: (video below)

Before During and After: Flooring Installation video

Lessons Learned

  • Get quotes from a variety of sources before picking the floor. While I had looked at a lot of samples, if I had seen the options during design phase, I might have picked a workable option that cost less. Instead, I ended up trying to match options to my sample of the laminate I couldn’t get because I had a complete design already and I didn’t want to change that.
  • Get quotes and SPECIFIC expectations from contractors. What will they do? what won’t they? What are their capabilities? I thought this company would take out and re-seat the toilet because they said they could take out the toilet. However, they did not reseat it, and I was not told that until after the flooring arrived. So, I had to get a plumber out. And because they miscalculated one edge around the hole in the floor, I paid an extra fee because the plumber had to come out twice.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I wrote my questions down when I thought of them and asked. Blogs, videos, and shows can only do so much. Each project is slightly different, and each person’s knowledge is different. Know for yourself.
  • Be (safely) present for demo. Don’t get in the way of a swinging hammer or a crow bar, and wear safety gear, but make sure you see your project when stuff is ripped out. Demo shows you things that you may not have seen before. I actually learned this from the many home reno shows I’ve watched over the years. And while this demo didn’t show any problem areas, I was surprised to find I actually had six floors instead of five. (There was Linoleum at the entrance that had been covered by laminate.) Knowing what you are working with helps with estimates for future projects.

The Money

I am currently about $1500 over budget on this refresh with only a few things that have not actually been estimated or purchased. With the flooring changes, this is where I under budgeted.

What’s next?

Next will be professional painting. Subscribe to the blog and my YouTube Channel, so you don’t miss a minute of the process! (And no, we will not watch paint dry. Although, that is oddly satisfying when doing a home update project.)

BEFORE

AFTER

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