Picking out the floors

Well hello! I’m happy to announce we have some progress with the floors in the kitchen and family room. Nothing is torn up, nothing is laid down, nothing is even picked out. But the insurance company has given us the green light to move forward and that is AWESOME news!

I’m clicking my heals over here! (OK, in my head…I’ve tried doing it for real and it ain’t pretty.)

I told  you a couple of weeks ago about the water issues we had in the kitchen – and since then we’ve lived with a big rectangle cut out of the floor, down to the plywood. Thankfully most of that plywood is covered with our island again (I’ll catch you up on that soon), but we’ve got that pesky problem of covering the hole to deal with.

That means picking out floors. And if I thought buying a new sofa was bad, wowza…that was nothin’. This is BIG people. Very, very BIG.

One thing we know for sure – we aren’t going back to laminate. I know – I professed my love of laminate here and I have loved our floors:


But that’s back when they looked pretty and shiny. ;) Over the years they have lost their shine – they are dull and will not clean up no matter what – I’ve tried absolutely everything. The only thing that works is getting down on the floor and working on one square foot at a time, and even then they are just dull and yucky.

Secondly, the water issue. Overall our floors have held up GREAT – but you just don’t mess with water and laminate. I’ve discovered it takes VERY little time for the water to seep into the floors and then spread. And they can’t be dried out – at least ours couldn’t. I believe there may be laminate flooring you can “patch” now (replace sections), but at least with the kind we got, it’s not easy (if even possible). And once bitten, twice shy you know…I just want to avoid this situation ever again if possible.

With real wood, or even engineered, the floors can be dried out and then repaired. Even then I know it’s not fun, but it can be done. (We’ve already ordered these to try to avoid water damage in the future.)

And now…because we’re tearing out the floors in the back of the house…we’re considering tearing out the carpet in the front of the house too. Mostly because of things like Christmas trees falling:


And (lots of) red ribbon staining the carpet. :) And our beautiful (late) pee cat (in the pic above) did her share. And the dog. And the cherry that was stuck to the bottom of my shoe while I walked around the living room the other day – that was awesome too.

Let’s just say, it’s not pretty. I will spare you the pictures. :)

So anyhoo…the insurance will cover most of the flooring, and we’re deciding if we’ll pay some extra to have the whole bottom floor done. I’m leaning toward yes. Hubby is leaning toward putting his hands over his ears yelling “nananananananaaaa I’m not listening!!” because of all of our mishaps this summer. I can’t say I blame him. ;)

I started out looking at engineered flooring, but our “Guy” says his “Guy” is saying we could do real hardwood for the same price. Specifically unfinished wood, finished on site (our house).

Say whaaaaa?

I’m still looking into all options – engineered, prefinished and unfinished. The unfinished and all the work involved is already giving me hives. With the sanding and staining and moving furniture out and US out and three animals and a fish out – HIVES.

Our Guy swears we won’t have to be out of the house, but I think he’s sweet talkin’ me. I’m definitely leaning toward engineered or prefinished. So he brought  me a prefinished sample today and I’ve been showing her around the place. ;)

I picked out the laminate floors to match our kitchen cabs, which I will do again – umm…never. Wayyyy too much reddish going on. I like the contrast with these dark beauties:

Check them out against the black island:

Oh la la!! :)

I tested her out with the sofas – in the living room:

And in the family room, with the rug:

My heart was beating a bit faster. ;)

But I think I may have squealed a little (out loud) when I tried it up against the white dresser in the living room:

OH my gah. That. is. gorgeous.

And then I about passed out when I put her up against the white molding and the drapes:

Oh be still my heart, I am in LOVE. Is it bad to pick the first sample you see? (Those last few pics are more the actual color – it looks reddish up above.)

But I still need to look around – I’m a compare 342 options and then research it on 289 web sites kind of girl. This site is by far the best I’ve found to explain the different options in flooring and what you should look for. Check it out if you are trying to figure out the flooring conundrum yourself.

I’d also like to check out wider planks too – the sample has 3 1/2 inch planks and I’d like to see the four inch. I also love the look of the hand-scraped wood, but our Guy has mentioned that many he’s worked with have had issues with those. I’m not sure of the specifics yet, but I’m going to dig deeper on that one.

And of course there’s the budget – if engineered is cheaper, we’ll most likely go with that. But he keeps telling us we can do real for the same price. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but I want to trust Guy. ;)

So…again, I ask you to help a girl out! Any advice? I know I’ve asked before, but I would LOVE specifics! If you could pick between engineered and wood, what would you do? What reasons? Have you had issues with either? Happy with one over the other? Did you go prefinished or finished on site?

I’ve never had wood floors and never thought in a million years I would – but here I am, looking at wood floors.

That is why I never say never. Ever. ;)

I’m hoping to make this the fastest, most well informed decision ever, so hopefully I’ll have an update for you soon! Thanks in advance for all your help, my Squeeeeezies. I REALLY appreciate it! :)

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