A few months back I told you I was partnering with BuildDirect on new laminate floors for the main living areas in our house. And I also asked for your opinions on which flooring I should go with. But we’ll get to those results in a second.
I feel we should start with the ‘before’ photos.
The center of our house is what I call the ‘great room’. It’s a big room with vaulted ceilings that contains our living room AND dining room. I haven’t shared the great room on the blog very much because I’ve really struggled with the space the entire time we’ve lived here. It’s a difficult room because there’s multiple things I have to work around– the doorways and doors, the kitchen passthrough, where we can put the TV, where we can put the couch, where we can put the loveseat (we can’t fit two couches), the tall walls, and the big open space.
The room also doesn’t get much natural light. It might look like it in the photo, but it’s because I shot it in the morning when it gets the most light and I lighted the photo some in Photoshop.
One of the ways I wanted to help improve the look and function of the room was by tearing out the frieze carpet and putting down wood laminate flooring. We also knew the laminate flooring would reflect light rather than absorbing light like the carpet did.
After almost 8 years of use, the carpet was starting to look pretty worn down in our high-traffic areas.
And the seams were starting to come undone in a certain spot. I’m guessing from Jack’s ‘running fits’ as we call them. You know, when your dog gets excited and runs around your couch 15 times without stopping?
We decided to go with laminate floors instead of engineered hardwood or hardwood for a couple reasons. The main reason is because laminate is a lot more economical, especially for the price bracket our house falls into. Laminate is also very durable, which is important when you have a dog and toddler.
Back in late November, I showed you the options we were considering for the new laminate floors. And 49% of voters went for the darker flooring, which I can appreciate. But I’ve learned that I’m just not a dark flooring kind of gal. I hate how dark floors show every speck of dust and crumb. One thing I’ve always loved about the oak laminate floors in our kitchen is how well it hides stuff. Another thing I had to consider is the lack of natural light in the great room. I wanted the room to look and feel as light as possible, so I knew I needed to go with a lighter floor.
I ended up going with #5– Batavia Hickory because I wanted something lighter and more on the modern side. It also helped that it got great reviews.
We’re really happy with how it looks in the space. The flooring makes the room feel so much lighter and bigger.
Plus, the solid surface seems to be helping with Brad’s dog allergy. It’s also helps when Owen drops entire containers of Greek yogurt on the floor.
Now I feel like I need to paint the walls because they don’t mesh well with the floors. But I’ve never been a huge fan of the wall color. It’s probably time to paint anyway since the people we bought the house from painted the entire house this color before we moved in.
Our friend, Aaron, installed the floors and shoe mould. He typically does custom builds, so if you’re in the Indy area and need a kitchen island or custom built-ins, he’s your guy.
I had the super fun task of caulking and painting the shoe mould and baseboards. I have some shoe mould/baseboard painting tips that I plan on sharing because I’m basically a professional now.
To make everything flow, we carried the flooring through the great room, entryway, kitchen, and pantry. But since our kitchen laminate flooring was about the same color, it wasn’t that big of a difference.
Here’s what the kitchen looked before.
And here’s how the kitchen looks now.
You might notice that the direction of the flooring is different then how it was with the old flooring. Since we started the flooring from the front door with the flooring leading into the great room, we had to continue that direction in the kitchen.
I think the new floors look great with the color of the kitchen cabinets and wall color (SW Mint Condition).
You can really see in the side by side before and after photos below how the carpet absorbed light and how the laminate floors reflects light.
And while it was, literally, a pain in my butt to caulk and paint the new shoe mould and baseboards, I like the look of it.
In case you’re wondering why we went with laminate instead of engineered hardwood or hardwood. It’s because laminate is a lot more economical, especially for the price bracket our house falls into. Laminate is also very durable, which is important when you have a dog and toddler.
Again, big thanks to BuildDirect for donating the materials for this project.
BuildDirect is having their Spring Sale until March 31st. They have up to 50% off more than 8,000 products from 16 categories (flooring, decking, carpet, furniture, home decor, etc.). Definitely something worth checking out if you’re looking to upgrade some things in your house.
So, what do you think about the new floors compared to the carpet?