Saturday, February 23, 2013

Choosing floors

My Hubby and I have a problem.
Our old oak floor that we put in 11 years ago has scratched beyond being refinished.
Our carpet is 19 years old and is coming apart at the seams.
We want to get rid of carpet in high traffic areas, which is, well, expensive.
We went shopping, and shopping and shopping.
I started off looking at many stores...and landed at one very nice store....and checked out sample after sample.
Finally, we found one that was just "yummy" and we both agreed. Wow. Agreeing on a sample.
So, we called the store, they sent out their guy to measure and give us a quote.
Needless to say, that isn't going to happen.
I love, love this flooring. It is Provenza. And at that store the material cost was very affordable, really.
But, where they get you is installation.
After shopping around at some other shops we found that this is what they that installation makes up for the "great price".
Then, we rethought the floor as it really doesn't necessarily stand up to our household (I am not OCD about housekeeping and we have two labs).
So, out we went again.
We went to one very wonderful store and they had a new type of laminate, that really looks like wood and even has a surface finish like wood....

They are truly amazing laminates....and would stand up to yours truly in the kitchen and the dogs, it's just well,  we (I) want wood....

    So, another store has something cool. It is a 25 year finish, all wood (engineered) and it is already "distressed" so when the inevitable occurs, we just put a little old english on it and enjoy the extra patina.
 Here you can see our present floor underneath (yes this section doesn't look too bad, but trust me there are areas of horrible wear).
This floor comes from a store that will do a cash and carry as well....sweet. (Where you can buy the product and have someone else install it. Not all of them do this, you have to ask.)
They have installers and their installation is much better priced than that other store (we think)...but now we have our friend, Kobi, who is going to give us a quote on installation.
If it is what we hope it is (demo and removal of old carpet and floor and installation), then the living room can have flooring instead of carpet too.
So, that is what I have been up for flooring.
There are few things to keep in mind that I have learned that I can share.
Stores vary a great deal.
What looks too good to be true, probably is.
Don't forget the removal cost of old flooring.
Engineered floors are often glued down not just floated, so ask about the installation process. Most will charge extra for glue, vapor barriers etc and that is not always included in the installation fee.
If you aren't sure, ask. Ask and ask.
Consider your lifestyle. They will tell you that this floor or that floor is lifetime finish, but won't tell you that if you spill red wine, it will stain.....(just sayin...)
Many floors that are very affordable are not made here in the USA....they come from Germany (the cheaper of the laminates we looked at) and Canada and China.
Laminates are not always affordable...the laminates we looked at were the high end (1/2" backing), and cost much the same as the wood we looking at. However, with laminates, they are often floated, so installation is less...
So, where are we in the hunt? Frustrated and tired.
We have looked at 15 stores. Considered roughly 35 samples. And if our friend the contractor cannot help us out at this time due to cost, we are going to "table" the discussion for the time being.
We had set aside what we thought would cover the flooring, we were wrong. It is roughly 50% more than we thought, and that has been due to installation, not the product itself (although there are some floorings that  can be really expensive!!!)
So, I hope our pain and hunt helps you. It is important to know how YOU live. And, set aside more $$.
Oh, and I forgot.
We cannot do this ourselves. We are not physically able.
Those of you who can remove the existing floor and put it in yourself, I applaud you. That really does make a difference. DIY does make a difference....and you will save lots of money.
It is just we cannot...and that is why it may not happen at all.
Have a great weekend!


Jennifer @ Town and Country Living said...

Good tips! I hate when things are more expensive than you think they will be. I hope you'll be able to get new flooring. :)

Laura Janning said...

how about large floor carpets over the worn areas??