Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Flooring That Isn't Boring! But IS Affordable AND Easy to Install!

When designing My Tiny Perch, or any tiny house to be used as a rental, the material choices make a BIG difference when it comes to how well it will "hold up" to abuse and traffic. While you or I may treat our floors gently, and take off our shoes, and clean the floors frequently; the same cannot be assumed with guests in a short term rental.

My sign by the door....hoping the guests honor the request and appreciate the humor.

When I was deciding on flooring I knew I wanted it to be 1) easy to install myself 2) durable 3) waterproof 4) easy to repair scratches.

And the flooring I found at Lumber Liquidators fit my needs perfectly! I chose Coreluxe Dark Hollow Oak floors because I chose white "cotton" as the wall color, black as the accessory accent, and am using lots of other colors throughout. I didn't want the walls or floor to "compete" with the design, but rather, blend into the background.

There is so much to love about this flooring. First and foremost, there is no need for an underlayment. It can be easily installed on top of existing flooring, or in my case: OSB subfloor.

Next, because I installed the flooring in a new space there was no need to pull up the baseboard trim.  The baseboards would be installed after the flooring was done so the hardest part of a typical or renovation install didn't really apply to me.

Getting Started

The MOST important thing to do correctly is setting the first "course" (aka section of flooring) Because the flooring is engineered (aka perfectly symmetrical) any tiny error in the placement of the first row will cause the ENTIRE house or room to be off. So, measure, measure, measure, and then measure again.

It took less than an hour to install the flooring in the bedroom, including prep time!

I have to admit, although the instructions do not say to do so, I put one trim nail on each end of the first row to hold it in place. I tried to place the 2nd row without the trim nails but they both ended up shifting so badly I had to remeasure and re-place the first row. The floor will expand (according to the documentation) so I have no idea how my two tiny trim nails will affect that but I'm crossing my fingers. And, the first section of flooring is UNDER the bed so any future buckling won't be seen really.  It may have been a mistake, however, I don't know....

In a nutshell, the flooring slides and snaps together. The grooves are engineered, however, so even a slight bit of misalignment will cause them to not snap correctly. It's easy to do, but does take a bit of practice.

Installing the bed frame, the next day. What a mess!

The next thing I had to remember was the flooring could only be installed from left to right. Because the flooring snaps on the short sides AND the long sides, once you cut a piece, the cut renders the spare piece usable ONLY on the left (starting) edge.

For cutting I HIGHLY recommend using a chop saw. After having just installed an entire house of cladding, my chop saw was handy and made perfectly square end cuts.

My already-installed bathroom door did cause some issues. I had to slide the flooring under the door frame because I couldn't "click" the floor together using the 45 angle degree that is necessary. This is pretty impossible to explain here (and I tried to chat with my boyfriend over the phone about it and after 30 minutes we gave up.  It's hard to describe a 3D problem without standing over it!  LOL) and suffice it to say it looks amazing but required a bit of brain work to figure out how to slide it under the frame.

My quandary is hard to explain, but the results are arguably easy to appreciate!

After the install I taped down some protective paper I had which certainly helped but didn't keep the floors completely scratch free. After the worst of the construction process was over I pulled up the paper and cleaned like a mad woman. It was then I discovered a few deep, and several little scratches.

Oh Crap.....

Luckily, I found an amazingly well designed scratch pen which works literal wonders on fixing scratches. For my next install I'll use a cardboard product meant specifically to protect floors, instead of the kraft style paper I had available.

Poof! Scratch is GONE! 

This flooring is really awesome!  Unlike many AirBnB's, I will allow pets and have NO concerns RE the floors. They clean easily, look great, I won't be worrying about water damage, and if all else fails, scratches are easy to fix!

Looking good, but still a lot of work to do.

Thank you, Lumber Liquidators, for your support and help with choosing and installing my new and totally amazing floors!

Spills in the dining area? No problem!

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