January 8, 2014

installing our laminate floors {part 1}

 I've been teasing for the past few weeks with sneak peaks of our new floors, and if you follow me on instagram, you've gotten to see a bunch!
 Let's rewind 3.5 weeks to December 14th, when we started this project...
Well, actually, let's rewind all the way back to October when I posted about needing advice for what to do with the space in our kitchen. The space in this room is a bit awkward, so we were trying to determine if we should extend the island, rotate and extend it, or just leave it as is.  We got your results and 83% of you said we should rotate and extend the island (thank you so much for participating in the poll).
We quickly agreed that this would be the best option, so one night Matt turned off the electricity to the outlet on the island, got everything unhooked so we could actually rotate it, and then had to detach it from the 2x4s in the ground that keep it in place.  Here's where we were at: (FYI we actually rotated it the other direction, with the cabinets facing the open shelving, but I forgot to snap a picture).
You know how sometimes something can look so good in your head, and even really great in a picture and then it just doesn't work in your space? This is what happened to us! We moved this island around a million times, and stood around in our kitchen for hours trying to figure out what to do.  After all of that, we decided that the island was best the way it originally was...my poor husband (he truly is the best).

So, going back to December 14th...here is that wonderful husband of mine, putting the island back in place so we could get started on the floors.
 While he was working on that, I got the kitchen cleared out and cleaned up.  It was amazing how much space there was without all that extra furniture!
 I also removed the baseboards, and marked each board and wall with the same number so they would be easy to re-install.
As for the flooring itself, we found a great deal on a 12mm laminate at Home Depot, and scooped up 37 boxes (but we ended up getting to return 5 of them...CHA-CHING!!!!).  It's Traffic Master Farmstead Hickory, and at $1.29/sf for 12mm, it was a great deal!
We chose laminate over real or engineered hardwood because of its durability.  We have two very energetic dogs that like to play, and knowing we want kids in the future, choosing laminate was easy.  Plus, these hand-scraped planks look incredibly similar to hardwood.  Not to mention, this was a very cost-effective solution that we loved. Win-Win.

We also ordered this underlayment because it had great reviews, and it was 1/3 the price of everything else in the store. It took about a week to get to our house, but we planned ahead and made sure we had it before we started install.

 Our starting point was at the back sliding door, so we laid the track for the T-Bar transition that would go here (more on that later).
Then, we started laying the planks...
 Day 1 took forever!!! The first section was full of cuts and we were just getting into the groove of installing.  This section took us about 4 hours, and we were feeling a bit defeated/exhausted.
Day 2 was pretty slow, too, because we only had about an hour to get anything done and we had to get back behind the dishwasher.  But, we both learned how to disconnect our dishwasher and get it connected again.
If/when we get new appliances, I will stain the sides of the cabinets - I promise.
 We also ripped out the old transition to the carpet in my office and laid the transition track there.
 From there, install was pretty smooth in the kitchen- we got into a pretty good rhythm and the rest of this space went pretty quickly.
 Then, we got to the hallway and dining room.  We had oak hardwood in these spaces and did not love it, so I started ripping that up.  Well, that's when we discovered that after we removed the thick hardwood, the subfloor was lower here than it was in the kitchen. So, we trekked to Home Depot to get a bunch of sheets of subfloor so we could level it out.
That's when the back-breaking work of ripping out all the hardwood started...we shifted the table over so we could get enough flooring in to move the table back on top of it, so we could finish the flooring on the other side.
Cutting, and laying the new subfloor. Thanks for letting us borrow your table saw, Mom and Dad!!
 After we got that all installed, we moved the table over to start on the other side of the dining room. This is when it started to look really good.
 Stopping there for now, I will continue with part 2 soon!  Still working on finishing touches, so hopefully we can close the book on this project soon!


  1. This flooring is absolutely beautiful!! You guys are doing an awesome job!!

    We are looking into putting this exact flooring in about 700 sq ft of our home - a big project!!

    Our only concern is water spills / puppy urine. We will be getting a goldendoodle puppy in a few months and have heard that laminate wood flooring can easily buckle and become ruined with any liquid damage. Have you found this to be true? Does water damage this floor?



    1. Hi Amanda! Thank you so much!

      So far, we haven't had any issues and we have two BIG dogs. I clean this floor weekly with a damp mop and liquid cleaner with no problems so far.

  2. Hey how easily did the planks lock together? Did you have to assemble entire row end to end then lift and lock into previous row? Or could lock it piece by piece? Some I bought from lowes i had to lift and lock 30 ft rows!!

    1. They locked together pretty well. Some rows we did the whole row, but others we did piece by piece. It really just depends on your space.

  3. If you looked at the Shelton Hickory how
    Does it compare in color and design? Farmstead isnt carried in my local

    Any chips from the dogs? I have 2 big labs.

    1. I haven't seen that color, so I'm not sure how it compares.

      No chips from the dogs. Some small scratches, but that's it. We have two large dogs as well.


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