In December 2012, in anticipation of our basement remodel, we purchased new living room furniture and we have absolutely loved our living room set since. One thing we haven’t loved, however, has been the wear and tear on our carpet in the five years since we purchased our house.
I really don’t like carpet for a multitude of reasons but primarily because it’s a hot bed for germs when it gets a lot of traffic (which ours sure did) and, over time, it gets kind of ugly. There are a lot of options when it comes to replacing flooring and we wanted to make sure whatever we did with our house offered the best possible return on our investment. Since the purchase price of our home five years ago is almost $10,000 more than what comparable homes in the area are listed at right now, we wanted to be careful not to end up spending money that wouldn’t be “worth it” to us in the end.
When we were working on finishing the basement, I found this beautiful laminate flooring by Harmonics that is exclusively sold at Costco. What I love about this flooring is that it comes with the underlayment already attached so, as someone who has never put down flooring before, it was very user friendly. When I purchased for downstairs, the flooring was on sale for about $28 a box (which was awesome) and, since we did all of the work ourselves, it saved us a TON of money. I knew when we were ready to replace the main floor carpeting, we would likely go with the same flooring we used in the basement. Even at the full price of around $35 a box (including tax), using this laminate flooring was significantly less expensive than it would have been had we decided to go with a real or engineered hardwood.
After all of the furniture was removed and we were preparing to tear up the carpet, I realized how much obvious wear the carpet had sustained throughout the years. Even though it wasn’t the worst carpet in the history of mankind, I was a little embarrassed that we’d hosted friends and family with it looking that bad. Whoops. I had actually already listed the carpet on Freecycle (a sustainability group that I’m involved with) and had someone coming by to pick it up later that day. I’m sure with a little hard work and a great carpet cleaner, this made a decent rug for the new owners (hopefully).
After the carpet was completely gone from the living room and hallway we were ready for the new flooring to go down. One thing that I learned when planning out new flooring is that you should always account for potential cutting errors. I purchased a little over 10% more than the measurements for this space just in case we needed it and ended up with one extra box of flooring. Since the laminate needed 24+ hours to acclimate to its new environment (to account for humidity and temperature in the space), I really didn’t want to run the risk of needing to buy a brand new box last minute.
We left the carpeting on the stairs (awkward, I know, but we’re lazy and stairs are hard) and in each of the bedrooms in the house so we ended up purchasing all of our transition strips (along with the shoe molding that went between the floor and trim) from Home Depot mid-way through the project.
Since the shoe molding was white and the existing trim was a different shade of wood, we decided to go ahead and paint all of the trim and door frames white (this part is still a work in progress). I really think that the new color adds a little character and elegance to the new flooring and I’m happy we made that decision.
Even though the space is not 100% finished, I’ll go ahead and share pictures of what the living room looks like today:
I should mention that all of the accessories, including the new rug, were purchased on clearance at Hobby Lobby & Target for less than $150 total. I’m so happy with how it looks that it might just be my favorite room in the house!
The upstairs of our house looks so vastly different with the changes that we made and the transformation is so easy I definitely recommend this type of project to anyone looking at projects around the house. The biggest advice that I can give is to make sure whatever you’re doing with your house is worth the time and investment you’re putting into it. The laminate flooring we went with has the look of hardwood flooring but is a much better option for our current home.
Next on the docket: An updated office and guest bathroom. Stay tuned!