Back in action

Hello!!  I’m back!!  Thanks to all of you for hanging in there while I took an unexpected 2 month blogging hiatus- I got held up by a pretty large project we have going on behind the scenes (don’t worry, I’ll share what that is soon) and also a few trips (for work and play) that got in the way of blogging.  But I’m back now, and going to make another effort to resume blogging!

I thought I’d give y’all an update.  Since the theme of 2012 is “flooring” around here at DavenportDIY (read about it here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here– wow, that’s a lot of posts about floors!) I’m going to talk about…you guessed it…flooring!  ha.

The last bit of flooring we had installed was the Trafficmaster Allure in “Tradition” in the kitchen and living room.  You can see the finished results here and here.  I’m going to try and keep it real here on the blog, so I’ll tell you that we loved it…until the dogs entered the picture.  It became like an ice skating rink for them- and just like skates leave scratches in the ice, the dog nails left scratches in the floor (we keep their nails fairly short, using a dremel to shave them down every couple of weeks, so this was not caused by untrimmed dog nails).  After a month of use, the floor looked like we’d had it for 30 years instead of 30 days.  It broke my heart to see the floor look so beaten up already.  Luckily, we had some floor polish on hand, which, according to the manual that came with our flooring, is recommended for scratch removal.  I applied the polish as instructed- and with a little elbow grease, the scratches were gone!!  Hooray!!

Sadly, that’s not the end of my story, although I wish it were.  As soon as the dogs did their skating trick on the floor, the scratches were back.  Boo.  A quick Google search told me I was not the only person having these troubles with their floor.  A few people mentioned they had filed claims with the company who makes the flooring– and after a lot of foot dragging I decided to go down that road.  I gave them a call and they asked me to send them photos of the damage.  Here’s what I sent (it’s really hard to take a decent photo of a scratch, by the way):

Can you see them??  They are between 4 and 8 inches in length, depending on how far the dog slid. It’s much more noticeable in person- especially when the sun shines on the floor.  Imagine these covering all of the high traffic areas in our house- sigh.

About a week after sending the photos, we received a package in the mail.  A bottle of spray on scratch remover.  Hmmm.  Not quite the response I was hoping for, but I decided to give it a try and see if it would solve our problem.   Here’s what I got, after following the instructions to the letter:

Oh goodie- shiny scratches!!  And a REALLY slippery floor.  All of us about broke our necks on the spot I tried it on, until it finally wore off on our socks/paws.  So I sent the above photos to the company, waited a few days and then called about the claim to see where we stood.  Surprisingly, they offered us a full refund without any hassle.  I was able to go to my local Home Depot and get our money back on the boxes of flooring that we used.

It breaks my heart that we had to go this route- I did a lot of research on this floor before we purchased it and a ton of people said it held up great to dogs.  And we have a similar floor (Trafficmaster Allure in Cordoba) in our bathrooms that we LOVE and looks fabulous, with no scratches in sight.  I also am a huge fan of Home Depot, especially our local store.  We shop there all the time and it hurts me a little to get our money back from them on such a large purchase.  But we’ll definitely be shopping there again in the future.

Do we still have a scratched up floor after all of this?  Yes.  But at least now I won’t cringe every time a dog runs on it or something gets dropped on it, because we were able to get our money back on our purchase.  I hope this post gets found by other people looking for information about Trafficmaster Allure floors, because it’s helpful to know the truth about what you’re buying before you buy it.

One day down the line we’ll probably end up covering them up with something else, but for now we can live with them.  This also frees up some money to do some more flooring in the last part of the house needing new floors- so stay tuned for that post in the near-ish future. 

Thanks for reading and thanks for sticking around!!

Sneak peek!

Because I can’t wait until it’s all put back together to show it off…I’m gonna let the pictures do the talking again here:

About half way there!

You can see the dining room is done- the flooring looks very orange in this picture- it’s not.

A close up of the new carpet (on the stairs) and the new floor- this gives you a good idea of the flooring color

A shot of the kitchen- again, the flooring color is off in this picture.  It’s actually very similar to the cabinet color, both have a lot of color variation to them
Done done and done!!

Lookin’ good!  I even have a hard time believing it’s vinyl honestly…

Now we just need to put down a ton of quarter round and touch up the trim paint and move all the furniture back in!  Easy right?  Ha!  We spent most of last night cleaning and polishing the floor- it’s recommended to strip off the original wax finish with a vinyl cleaner and then put down a couple thin coats of polish to protect the floor.  The polish removed any scuffs that were made in the original finish by the installers- and if we get new scuffs/scratches in the finish (dog nails!) we just apply a tiny bit of the polish with a sponge to remove them.

Can’t wait to move things back in- although our living room feels HUGE right now! 

Inspiration

I’m sure y’all are getting sick of hearing me talk about…you guessed it…flooring!  But I’m not quite done yet.  We have round two of flooring installations happening on Monday!!  The lucky rooms receiving the treatment this time are the living room, kitchen and dining room.  When deciding on flooring (there’s SO many options choose from) I pulled from some Pinterest inspiration:

Via

Via
Via

Can you tell by my inspiration photos which way we’re planning on going?  Yup- all wood tones.  Our kitchen cabinets were a big selling feature for us, so we’re planning on leaving them the medium wood tone that they are.  I didn’t want do tile (or the Allure vinyl “tile” that we did in the bathrooms).  My goal, since all three rooms are somewhat connected, is to try and make them more of a cohesive  space- right now the kitchen and dining room have a really awful old dirty looking linoleum and the living room is carpet.  So we’re doing wood floors.  Well- “wood” floors actually.  The budget doesn’t allow for real wood- and we don’t want to do laminate because of the water issue- we have an ice maker and then the dishwasher, plus a door that gets a lot of traffic from the dogs.  I’ve read some really bad things about laminate and water and it just sounds like a terrible combination.  So we’re doing more vinyl.  I know- it sounds weird and something that might not be great for resale.  But Allure makes a really realistic looking vinyl plank- and it’s gotten some amazing reviews.  Jen at IheartOrganizing used it in her entire basement after it flooded- it’s beautiful!  It’s supposed to hold up really well to water, foot traffic and dogs.  We’ll see because in it goes on Monday! 

Based on my inspirations and the amount of natural light we get in our house, I knew I didn’t want a dark wood.  I’ve also heard the darker wood colors show every single speck of dirt and dust.  I wanted to choose something either very similar in color to our cabinets or slightly lighter.  So we brought home a ton of samples and held them up to the cabinets, furniture, walls, trim, etc.  Here’s the winner:

It’s called “Tradition” and looks a tiny bit on the rustic side, but not enough to look like a cabin floor.  It’s very similar to our kitchen cabinet color, and light enough so it won’t make our house look like a cave.  And there are currently 27 boxes of it sitting in the office!

I’ll be back with photos of the install soon- have a great weekend everyone!!

New flooring!

Look!  Another post!  See, I’m trying!

2012 is going to be the flooring year for us, I can already tell.  Up to this point, we’ve only touched the flooring in the downstairs bathroom, and that was out of necessity- a rotten subfloor meant the linoleum had to come up.  Ooof.  That was an eye-opener, 4 months into home ownership and we’re tearing out floors!!  But we survived, and the floor looks great.  Here’s a reminder of that process (and you can read more about it here):

Allure Trafficmaster vinyl plank flooring in “Cordoba“, mid bathroom re-do

 We’ve been holding onto an almost full box of this flooring for about a year and half, and I’ve been DYING to do the upstairs bathroom floor.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that floor (thank goodness!) aside from looking a little dated- but hey, we had some of the flooring already!  So I begged asked my husband nicely to help me install the flooring- I even said it could wait until after football was over- and he said sure.  He even got the DIY bug and we installed it over the weekend! 

Here’s a look at the bathroom when we bought the house:

And here’s what it looked like before the weekend:

Looks good- but it just needed that extra ooohmf from new flooring!

We choose the Allure Trafficmaster flooring (from Home Depot**) because of price and ease of install.  It’s around $50 per box, which covers about 25 square feet.  Three boxes was plenty to do the upstairs bathroom, with room for mistakes, and we only used a little over 2 boxes in the downstairs bathroom, so it’s a pretty inexpensive adventure.  It’s also waterproof, has a 25yr warranty and is scratch resistant- love all of that.

This flooring is installed as a floating floor, over the existing flooring or subfloor, with 3 tiles “combined” together in a plank (with fake grout in-between the tiles).  The planks get stuck together with overlapping sticky strips- it’s hard to describe but they stick together very well (although if you make a mistake you’re stuck- literally).  It’s kind of like click and lock flooring, but click and stick instead.  The best part is, it’s vinyl and you can cut it with a box cutter!  No saws involved- just score and snap.  Well, score several times and then snap- it’s not quite as simple as they make it sound, but it’s certainly easier than using a saw, that’s for sure.

Here’s an up-close photo of the “tiles” so you can get a better idea of the sticky strips:

The tiles are nice and thick (0.15 inches)- not flimsy at all- and each strip of tiles weighs almost 5 pounds- it’s pretty heavy duty.

Here’s a mid-install picture:

Why yes, yes we did use a rolling pin in this process- that’s to seal the seams after you stick the tiles together.  You can also rent a 100lb floor roller to press the seams, but the company actually recommends walking on it- the more you walk on it, the better the seal.  I wouldn’t walk on it until you get it all stuck together, since it is a floating floor.  Walking on it mid-process can make the whole thing slide around a little and throw your alignment off, which is key, especially around doorways.

Flooring a bathroom can be tricky-  you barely get one run of tiles laid out before you encounter a doorway or something you have to cut around, which can be a bit of a brain puzzle.  For that reason it took us about 8 hours from start to finish to get this done.  I’d imagine if we were doing a living room that was basically a rectangle, things would go a lot faster.  That’s what I’m trying to convince my husband anyway- Trafficmaster makes a wood version of this, and I want to install it in our living room/dining room/kitchen!  Which will be a lot of work, I know!  But I still think we can do it ourselves.

Ok, I know you’re dying for the finished product, so I won’t disappoint!

 
I LOVE it.  Love.  I can’t believe we waited so long to do it.

Just for fun- another photo, with the room all put back together:

Oooooooooh.  Ahhhhhhh. 

What do you think?

**Disclosure:  I was not paid or compensated by this company for my opinion- we just shop there A LOT, and have had good experiences with our local store