DIY Vinyl Plank Flooring – Part 1 – The Decision

The Flooring Decision

One of the first things we wanted to do when we moved into our house almost two years ago was replace the white carpet flooring with something anything else.  I would’ve even been ok with new carpet.  What we had was rough.  I mean when you have a dog and 3 children, who can keep a carpet clean?  We had it professionally cleaned twice and while it was really nice immediately after, it didn’t take long for life to happen again.

Ideally, I’d love to have hardwood flooring.  My dream is to find an old house that has beautiful, original hardwood, pull up old carpet and be in heaven refinishing it.  My great-grandma’s house was like this when we moved in when I was a kid and while I was too young to appreciate and help, I look back and can’t imagine the house with carpet!  Since our house is newer (20ish years old), we have plywood subfloors so the dream plan was not really something that was going to happen here.

Where and What to Buy

I stopped by a local flooring shop and took a look at what they had on sale.  Once a year, Karpet Korner has a 10% off sale.  I think I have gone every year to see what they have and decide it’s not really in our budget at the moment.  This year, I ran in on my lunch hour spur of the moment and truth be told, I thought this year would end up the same as every other year.  I found out that they now only sell hardwood and vinyl plank flooring.  I had heard of vinyl planks because a co-worker had recently bought it to put in their house, but I had never really seen it or felt it.

Neil and I have both agreed in the past on a wide and long plank as far our style goes.  I also knew that he preferred a weathered gray look.  My style includes several different grains and colors of flooring that appear to be wood, so I could really go several ways here.  The manager let me snap a couple of pictures of what they had on sale and headed out.  Karpet Korner sells a brand called Happy Feet International and I’m very pleased with the brand.  It just so happened that the product we chose has a cork backing that helps with comfort and noise reduction.

How Much – “The Measurement”

I knew we wanted to cover about 1000 square feet of floors so I got a ballpark figure of how much this was going to cost us.  We measured again just to make sure we were right with our previous measurements.

Let me tell you, I’m not the greatest with this kind of stuff and I teach myself a lot as I go, but first I measured the whole area and it was getting too confusing to add up square footage.  Then we decided to break up the rooms in smaller sections and we were I was able to “get it”.  Neil is a numbers guy so I could’ve just said, “hey will you measure and calculate the square footage we need to cover?” and he would’ve done it.  Knowing me and my type A personality, he just went along with my plan so I still felt like I was in control of the situation  😉  He’s such a good husband.

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The Color

After a little discussion, we decided on the weathered gray plank from the picture in the top left above.  The products we ended up purchasing is Northwinds Deep Grey Oak.  I don’t think it’s a color they manufacture anymore, but that was fine with us because they had plenty in stock for our project.  What I really liked about it was that it had a painted, beveled edge so when it clicked to lock together, it looks like actual wood planks against each other rather than just piece after piece lining up and not really being able to tell where one ends and the next begins.  You’ll see later what I mean when you see the finished floor.  That was a huge selling point for me.

The Decision To Go DIY

I couldn’t believe that we were actually going to buy flooring!  It was like Christmas morning for me!  Neil had asked about installation, I’m sure just out of curiosity.  It was going to be $1.50 a square foot!  May not seem like a lot, but at around 1000 square feet, I wasn’t willing to pay $1,500 more when I could probably do this!  I watched a few YouTube videos and decided it was not going to be that hard.  Of course, I never tend to factor in tediousness of a task when I’m preparing to attempt something for the first time.  But I was not about to pay any more for new floors than I had to.  So the challenge was on!  I would do it myself!

Stay tuned for the demo day post coming soon!

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