Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Floor's the Thing

I mentioned briefly that the seller was offering a "carpet allowance" but that she wasn't actually allowed to cut us a check. So instead she paid our closing costs and tile insurance so we would have funds to replace the carpets.

At the same time we bought the appliances (but obviously before we had the fridge delivery fiasco) we used the same big box home improvement store and arranged for someone to come to our house after closing and measure for flooring.

We knew we wanted to replace the carpet - the seller had a rather large dog, and the carpet was a white or cream color. But we were torn on whether we wanted to upgrade to hardwood downstairs, or if we should just save the money and put new carpet throughout the house again, and then re-visit the hardwood issue in 10 years or so when the downstairs carpet got worn out.

Regardless of our decision downstairs, we knew we wanted to carpet the upstairs, but put tile in the upstairs master bath. The master bath was a "must do" because it was carpeted, with little "landing pads" of tile around the sink vanities and the tub and shower. I don't know about you, but carpet in a bathroom has an overwhelming ICK factor to me.

There was a bit of trouble getting the guy to come out and measure - the first guy called promptly and set up an appointment, but had to cancel when he hurt his back. So then they rescheduled a new team to come. Then the new team measured but measured only for carpet - he didn't note the areas we wanted tile or possibly hardwood (we wanted two quotes one for all carpet, and one for carpet up and hardwood down).

Once all that got straightened out the price difference wasn't too drastic between the quotes, so we went with the hardwood. We picked a bamboo (I love the eco-friendly), and it was a surprisingly pretty price-friendly option. It was on the low side of the mid range prices, and I loved the fact that it wasn't orange colored oak. The color is called "spiced."

Installation was interesting. The carpet all got installed in one day (a Thursday), and then a different crew came a couple of days later (on a Saturday) to start installing the hardwood and tile.

First they went to town demoing the master bath. They made a lot of dust removing the tile that was there, and installing cement board to make the floor solid (so the grout doesn't crack from flexing on the plywood sub floor). Then they started laying out the tile. One guy worked exclusively on the tile.

Then the rest of the crew went downstairs and started pouring the self-leveling stuff, and as that dried they laid out the foam under layer. This acts as padding and vapor barrier. We scrimped on this stuff, since the only benefit to upgrading would have been for installation upstairs - the more expensive stuff would have muffled the sound of footsteps more. But since it was downstairs, on a slab, and they low end version protected from moisture just as well as the high end version, we saved a few dollars.

The tile guy came back on a Sunday to make some more progress on the bathroom. He spent about 3 hours and knocked out a lot of the difficult cuts and all the rest of the tile.

Then everyone came back on Monday and the bathroom got grouted, and all the hardwood was laid in one day. It was pretty great to see!

The left us with the thresholds glued (plus they taped them and weighted them down with leftover boxes of hardwood), and told us we could remove the weights and painter's tape in a couple of hours.

And that was it! All of the flooring was in!

No comments: