Whooohoo! Happy birthday to me! I just scored 3 boxes of Traffic Master Allure Ultra in Aegean Travertine at $58 a box, down from the regular $78 per box. I walked into Home Depot (my 2nd home), and there they were...right in the middle of the aisle with a big sign that might as well have said "hey Carmona, buy me". Then a Home Depot sales person walked by, saw my longing doe-eyed stare, and told me I should buy them because it was a good deal. Well, how could I refute her incredibly convincing logic? *grin* Yeah, they were coming home with me. But seriously, there couldn't be a better 32nd birthday gift! I've wanted to redo the floors in my laundry room for a while but needed something I could lay myself to save some $$.
I have no idea how to lay tile or hardwood flooring (although I intend to learn!)...now, a utility knife I can wield with some skill, so Traffic Master's resilient vinyl tile flooring is just my speed.
First I have to rip this nasty old carpet up. It is glued down to the concrete, and I'm afraid some patched concrete is breaking up.
I was hopeful I wouldn't have much more work besides pulling up carpet, but now I'll have to scrape off and level any areas that look like this. Thankfully there aren't too many!
A project is never as simple as it seems. I'm always so optimistic that occasionally I fail to properly estimate the time frame and amount of work that will go into a project. Today was clearly no exception. The padding from the underside of the carpet decided to stay glued to its happy place...of which I was determined to part it from. This party is over Monsieur Carpet, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here!
Thankfully it scrapes off easily without putting up too much of a fight! *sigh of relief*
5 hours later my floors are ready to receive new flooring! Now somehow I have to lay flooring avoiding the washer since I couldn't move it. The dryer was light enough for me to "walk" it out on my own, but this washer is a beast! I wasn't sure even my husband and I together could move it out of the room and then get it back in (apparently we are very weak and may need to start lifting weights). Well my crazy plan is to lay as much flooring as I have space to, then move the washer onto the finished part and complete the rest of the of the installation. Honestly I'm not sure this is a recommended course of action, but this is an interlocking floating floor, so if a few completed rows can't withstand a washer then I'm going to have to question this floor's integrity. (FYI, it passed the test with flying colors!)
If you decide to purchase these stunning Allure Ultra interlocking floor tiles, there is one thing you should know; they are harder to attach than you think. I have installed the non-interlocking ones that stick together easily without incident in my old house. However these travertine-like tiles were a bit of a challenge.
After carefully reading several pdf instructions online, and utterly failing to get the second row properly clicked in place, I played around with techniques until I learned what worked and what didn't. I started with a single completed row, using quarter inch wood spacers near the wall as required.
Then I created a full second row and attached the entire 2nd strip to the 1st strip of flooring. This eliminated what I'm calling "the angle paradox", where the flooring experts somehow expect you to angle both strictly horizontal and strictly vertical at the exact same time to interlock the tiles (really ???). My method worked smashingly well until I reached the cleaning closet impasse, then I was forced to use the angle method. Those particular tiles definitely attached, but the tiles don't hug perfectly snugly as the rest.
To cut tiles to size you simply score with a utility knife, bend and snap. It is really very easy to cut! I may have also cheated a little by using shears to make small cuts and angled cuts, this little trick worked like a charm.
It only took me 2 hours to install all the tiles, compared to the 5 it took to prep the floor. 7 hours later (and quite a few "aah, my back locked up again" breaks), I was ready to add 1/2" trim around the 1/4" gap required by these floating floors.
9 exhausting hours later I'm finally done! Despite my very red hands, and aching back, I am head-over-heels in love with this flooring. Exhausted I plunked myself down where I could sit and admire my work for a good 30 minutes.
I wouldn't want to have to install this particular flooring in a room any larger than this one (or with too many weird corners), but it was well worth the effort in my mostly straight-shot laundry room.
These floors are waterproof, beautiful, and feel great underfoot! It was worth it, wouldn't you say? These are my floors before, then after.
If you missed it, check out the details on the art in this laundry room makeover here.