It’s obvious from the pace of our living room updates that generally, I take the slow boat to renovation destinations. But when the hubby and I finally decided it was time to seriously investigate updating our tired, grungy carpet, we moved way faster than our normal snail’s pace.
My “ideal world” floor pick would have been some gorgeous, solid hardwood floors. Most hardwoods can be refinished between 3 and 5 times during their lifetime, which is pretty perfect if you’ve got a hound (or wee people) at home. But, budget-wise, it wasn’t gonna happen. After a few trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot, we’d picked out some laminates we liked. Pergo’s Hand Sawn Oak looked pretty realistic, thanks to some well-placed distressing and individual plank construction.
And I really loved Armstrong’s Sapele Long Plank in Wrought Iron.
Before we picked one, though, we decided to stop by Lumber Liquidators to see what the fuss was all about (have you noticed that they provide the flooring for SO many HGTV shows?). We were definitely impressed with the selection, and ended up taking home 8 lovely samples, including several engineered hardwoods and a few more laminates – all priced less than the two laminate samples we’d found at Blue and Orange.
After lots of stress-testing on our various floor types (think dropping a screwdriver, point-down, from 6 feet up, dragging a paint key across the surface, and pooling water on the surface) we came to the conclusion that our samples were all pretty equal in terms of durability – and that not a single choice tolerated having a screwdriver dropped on it without any damage. So add that to the list of no-no’s. We narrowed the pool down to 3 favorites – a laminate and 2 engineered wood planks (from left to right).
With literally no price difference between our favorite laminate and the darker engineered plank (on the right), it was an easy decision to make. We bit the bullet and ordered 650 square feet of the engineered wood to cover the front hallway, living room, and dining room. The best part? We ALSO bit a second bullet and are going to have it professionally installed.
Of course, while our installer was measuring the spaces, he mentioned that any tile work in the kitchen or on our fireplace had to be completed prior to installing our new floors. Luckily for me, I snagged a quote on removing our old kitchen tile and installing a lovely new tile, and it passed muster with both me and the hubby. So the only DIY in this super-speedy project will be our fireplace. I’ll be sure to share our progress as we go, so stay tuned!