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Old 07-27-2012, 01:09 AM   #1
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Throwing around some flooring ideas...


My husband and I have purchased our first home! The main portion was built in 1937 and is 748 square feet. Our plan is to try and go room by room but I'm a bit stuck on what to do about the floors. All advice and ideas are appreciated!

So, we would like to have some sort of hardwood (maybe engineered or a cheaper option would be fine) but I see how that's a bad idea in the kitchen and bathroom. We have been looking into cork or bamboo so we could use it in all the rooms. Even though we don't have much square footage doing a higher priced option in the whole house is prohibitive.
At the same time... the house is so small we were hoping that a continuous flooring throughout would help it "feel" bigger than it is. However, doing one room at a time isn't really conducive to a continuous floor. And our bathroom and bedroom floor is raised (don't ask, grrr) so doing a whole floor at once would also involve lowering those two areas first.
Then I thought, maybe we could do cork or something in the kitchen and bathroom, and then the hardwood option in the two bedrooms and living room. It wouldn't be continuous but would fit better into our remodel schedule. I'm just worried it would look uuuuggggly. I thought about the "cork tiles" because then it could "look" continuous but I'm giving up the uh... plank look of wood? I guess is how I would describe it.

I'm so lost. I have everything in my head worked out perfectly but these floors are really throwing me for a loop.

Like I said, any advice or ideas would be SO appreciated, and I'll gladly offer any more information as needed!

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Old 07-27-2012, 04:59 PM   #2
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Throwing around some flooring ideas...


I really like quality, not box store or LL, bamboo and cork floors. I think they are an excellent investment and bamboo is harder than domestic hardwoods. With a nice warranted finish you will leave the house before it does. And you can get it in just about any color and different widths. This is a company with great products and service I have specified a lot. There are others a good flooring company near you will know about.

http://www.duro-design.com

See their portfolio of cork tile floors too. I know some think it industrial but it is nice underfoot and so quiet.

I am curious why you would be concerned about putting hardwood in a kitchen? I worked mainly on antique homes and often found old farmhouse maple and cherry floors to put in kitchens. Many came out of kitchens and had been down and working fine for a hundred years. I planed them, nailed them in places, sanded and stained them. Then I put on nice, durable clear finish and I am sure they may last another 100 years. I think it really comes down to the finish you put on. Some companies recommend a final layer of finish after pre-finished floors are installed in kitchens and baths.

I have put bamboo and hardwood in baths too if I was certain of the plumbing. There may be better choices for baths though.

Have you looked into wood grain tile for the kitchen and bath? It is not cheap but looks nice. The only thing is you are already higher than the rest of the floors in those rooms, right?

When you say the kitchen and bath floors are higher, how much do you mean? Is there carpet or something abutting them now? Was a layer added to them to bring them up to carpet height? If so, you might just have to remove it to bring them back down to level with the rest of things.

As for continuity, 12x12 tiles would be easier to cut-off room by room and then replaced when you resume your pattern I guess. In thinking about it, there is no reason it would not work for running floor boards too if you planned ahead and got used to the idea of having to replace some pieces to get the random look going each time you take on another room. If I were going to phase flooring and hope to match it all, I most certainly would want to get the material from a responsible flooring company that could give me some assurance the same color, lengths etc. would be available in a year or five. Not sure a box store can.

You should, if you haven't already, scale your new home so you have something to work from in establishing your tile patterns etc. I use Sweet Home 3D for basic floorplans. It is accurate, has a fast learning curve and works well. It also has lots of templates for things. It is free, open source and available for Windows, Mac or Unix. Others on this site like Google Sketch Up. I have not used it yet. Another poster liked HomeStyler, an AutoCad product offered for free in basic form.

Having a scaled drawing will come in handy for many things and give you a means of communicating about material, furniture, lighting, paint, etc. needs.


Last edited by user1007; 07-27-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:48 PM   #3
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Throwing around some flooring ideas...


Wow! Thanks so much for the helpful info!

I will say it's not that I think hardwood in the kitchen is horrible, but I really don't like the idea of using it in the bathroom. The design choices I'm making are a little bit matchy-matchy in the bathroom and kitchen so I would like for the floors to be the same too. Personal choice I guess :-/

As for the floor height, there used to be a gas floor furnace in the back bedroom and bathroom. The previous owners, rather than remove everything properly, just built a new floor over the top of it. I would say it's a good three inch step up into the bathroom. Not only do we want it lower, but portions in the bathroom are obviously rotting and the cheap-o tiles are cracking and sagging.

I planned on making a scale model but hadn't done so yet. Thanks for the suggestions on the programs!

If you don't mind my asking, why do you not like LL? We're open to exploring many options and I did see they offer warranties with a lot of their products so I was just curious.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:38 AM   #4
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Throwing around some flooring ideas...


Only used LL once for a client that insisted and it was a disaster. Stuff was obviously seconds and all kinds of weird lengths. It took the installer forever to patch things together so the floor looked halfway decent. He worked for me a lot so held to his bid but was not a happy camper. We both vowed never again.

With any flooring warranty you want to be sure to read the fine print for disclaimers. I cannot comment on LLs since it has been a long time.

I know their prices seem to good to be true sometimes. You know the old saying though. And I haven't bought any other flooring that requires a spokesperson to move it marketing wise.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:31 AM   #5
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Throwing around some flooring ideas...


LL tends to give you a lot of shorts and they are not good at honoring their warranty.
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