Saturday, October 1, 2011


I feel guilty that I haven't posted much in the past two weeks.  My husband and I have been preoccupied because I finally decided to swallow hard and confront my latest case of Analysis Paralysis: flooring.

We currently have wall-to-wall carpet on most of the main level of our (12-year-old) home.  We have 12x12 inch tiles in the remaining "wet" areas: kitchen, laundry and baths.

When I got a part-time job about four years ago, I decided to start saving a chunk of cash every month for new flooring for our home.

I desperately wanted wood flooring to replace the carpet both because I love the look and because I much prefer the upkeep.  I also wanted to upgrade the tile in the kitchen and laundry room with a larger 18 or 20-inch square porcelain tile.  What I am aiming for here is a classic look that will last for the rest of my life, since I don't plan on moving again and I think I only have it in me to do a project of this scope once!

About a year and a half ago, I was ready to move forward.   Unfortunately, around the same time, my husband lost his job.  We had five months of economic uncertainty, so we put the project on hold.

Good thing, because now that I have gotten detailed estimates and compared them with our guess-timates, I realize that I wouldn't have had enough money back then to do the entire project.

Part I of the process is to choose the hardwood floor.  Neither my husband nor I has the stomach for the multi-step process of living through solid, nail-down hardwoods installation.

Solid hardwoods are absolutely beautiful floors, but they're not worth the anxiety and chaos and dust that would be created in my household.  Kudos to you if you can weather the dust storm, but I just can't.

So we have settled on engineered wood floors.  Engineered wood flooring is comprised of multiple layers of wood in the form of a plank. The top layer is the wood that is visible when the flooring is installed, and is adhered to a plywood core (or substrate) which provides the stability.

My husband is a mechanical engineer and is absolutely convinced that engineered floors are superior to solid floors for our application in that they are (1) structurally stable and better for use over concrete (our house is built on a slab) and (2) coated with both stain and aluminum oxide finish coats (up to 8) that are factory applied and very hard and durable.  Besides that, he absolutely hates the height differential between tile and solid wood floors because there is probably a 1-inch difference that must be "bridged" with reducers.

Neither of us loves the hand-scraped look, mostly because a lot of the stuff out there is actually machine scraped and has a predictable lined appearance.  But we do like the fact that handscraping camouflages  inevitable scrapes and scratches.

We found a flooring line called Bella Cera Amalfi Coast (in some areas, it's known as Southern Traditions) that has a very subtle handscraping.  We're going with a random width configuration of 4, 6, and 8 inch Hickory planks.  We have decided on the color Deruta which is a warm medium brown.

Bella Cera Amalfi Coast

Next we need to decide on a tile.   My goal is to get this thing done before October is over!  Stay tuned!


Carrie said...

we need to upgrade our flooring... but have been putting it off the past month or so. We put carpeting down in the main level of the house and bedrooms 2.5 yrs ago... but then my 2yr old got into some nail polish.... living room and downstairs bedrooms floors have some pretty art work =/

Anne said...

I think you have just made the right decision regarding your flooring. Engineered flooring is great since you get the look and feel of the real wood and on the other hand you can enjoy other advantages of the engineered technology such as the easy installation and the extra strength. You can refinish this floor few times, too. I really like the random width of the boards. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

What an investment! Yikes! Love your choice of wood..

Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...

Did not mean for that last comment to be anonymous. Sorry.