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Laminate Floor - 101st Penny Pinching Party

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

While Mr. ThriftyHome was out of town I made a decision on the floor and bought it. I ended up getting a Shaw laminate that looks a lot like real wood. I emailed Shaw some questions about their engineered wood floors and laminate floors and they emailed me back saying that the laminate would be stronger. Since the laminate was also a lot cheaper, it wasn't hard for me to decide to go with a laminate over the engineered wood.

The prep work, as with most projects, took the most time. After removing the tile, we discovered that the top layer of subfloor was missing since there had been tile and the backer-board took the place of the top layer. Some of the subfloor was also uneven due to rotting and had to be replaced. The prep work is probably the most important part of the job and the least fun.

We discovered 2 dead mice under the floor. They looked like they got trapped in there during the construction of the house 27 years ago. It made me wonder how many other dead mice were inside the walls and floors of our house.
I didn't put a close-up photo because it was not pretty looking. I can't stop thinking about all of the dead mice that we didn't find. Where are they? Is there one in the ceiling above my bed? How many are there?     Will I ever be able to get their images out of my head?

Here is the floor partially laid down. My 4 year old thought it would be a good idea to draw with permanent marker on it. After a quick google search I discovered that non-acetone nail polish remover would clean it. Try using nail polish remover on real wood. I am already happy with my decision to use laminate.

I bought my laminate at RC Willey for $1.99 sq. ft. with free padding. I even found a coupon for $200 off! The name of the laminate is Left Bank by Shaw. I bought both the 3" and 5" boards to create a custom look. 

What projects have you been up to?

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100th Penny Pinching Party - Wood Flooring

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Welcome to the big 100th Penny Pinching Party!

Sadly I am not doing much these days other than looking at flooring, reading about flooring, and looking at some more flooring. I will feel like celebrating when I finally have a floor in, so for now you will have to endure endless posts about flooring.

When we took out our tile, we had to put a new subfloor in. Since we will just be covering up the subfloor, I figured I would let the kids have some fun coloring on the floor. How often do kids get to color all over the floor without getting in trouble? We did this at our last house when we re-did the floor there about 8 years ago so my older kids don't remember much and my youngest wasn't born yet. It is kind of like having a time capsule under our feet for years to come.

So here is what I have decided about wood flooring so far:

1. Real Hardwood
Too easily scratched, costly and messy to refinish when needed, expands and contracts more, very thick. The thickness is really the main reason I am ruling real solid wood out. I need to have the wood floor meet with the tile in the entry and I don't want to trip every-time I walk into the kitchen.

2. Engineered Wood
I had ruled this out until I saw some BEAUTIFUL engineered wood floors at Lowes. I thought they would scratch easily but the sample I ran my key on hardly scratched. It seems to be just as tough as the laminate flooring. I have been doing some research and have discovered that Shaw has developed a new technology called ScufResist Platinum. It is said to be up to 6X better than the competition and will help the flooring retain its beauty longer. It seemed to make the flooring as durable as laminate.
Another great thing about engineered wood is that every plank would be different as opposed to only about 5 different planks in laminate.

Here are a couple of pictures I took with my phone. Even with the bad quality photo, these floors look so beautiful. The problem is that they are a little over my price range (I was going to spend up to $3 a square ft. at the most).

3. Laminate
I had Pergo laminate at my last house and it lasted 7+ years and still looked great. Laminate is really durable and doesn't scratch easily. The engineered wood is hand scraped and has grooves which is beautiful, but not ideal for my kids. They like to spread out big sheets of paper and color on the floor. Having a nice smooth laminate would make a great place for them to stretch out and do their artwork. It is also in my price range from as low as $1-$3 per sq. ft. We are doing 1000 square feet of flooring so every dollar we add equals another $1,000. Here is a photo I took at Lowes of their $1.19 laminate.

So what would you do? I really need to decide soon and get my life/kitchen back together.

99th Penny Pinching Party

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I am still working on my kitchen (it has been almost 4 weeks now). The cabinets are painted, the tile is out, and the subfloor is almost in. I am still choosing the flooring which is a very difficult decision. I posted about it in the blogpost below and have gotten a lot of great advise so far:
Hardwood Floor Colors
I LOVE this kitchen over at
My profile over at Houzz is ThriftyJen and I have a ton of kitchen pictures that I love in my ideabook.

Michelle from The Big Yellow House linked up her big kitchen remodel and suggested Allure flooring from Home Depot. I was actually considering that and even have a sample. I like the idea of it being waterproof, wear as laminate hardwood is not. Here is her cute kitchen:

Keep the ideas and comments coming. Link up your flooring and tell me what you love/hate about it and I will do a post next week with everyones links. You can link up with the Penny Pinching Party or leave a link in a comment. All other Penny Pinching Party links are also accepted as always.

Hardwood Floor Colors

Monday, August 15, 2011

We finally finished painting our cabinets, but before I reveal them I want to get the new floor in. The tile that was there was a pink/salmon color and many of them were cracked and broken.
I want the look of hardwood with the durability of laminate. I have found some really good laminates that look like real hardwood. I even took a sample and pounded on it with a hammer and barely dented it. I have been wanting a really dark hardwood, but hear that pet hair and lint shows more with dark wood. We don't have a pet now, but will in the future. What do you think? What experiences have you had with laminate and hardwood floors? I would love any opinions and experiences.
This is the floor we installed at our last house:
We installed this pergo laminate floor almost 10 years ago and it still looked like new when we sold our house a few months ago. I really loved it and always got compliments.

Here are some photos from that I like:












So what do you think? Dark wood or a little lighter (really light is not an option)? Leave a comment or a link to a blog post with a photo of your floors.

98th Penny Pinching Party

Get Rid of Fruit Flies - 97th Penny Pinching Party

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Since it is August and all sorts of yummy fruits and veggies will be available, so will the fruit flies.
Here is a great way to get rid of those pesky little insects:

1. Find a mason jar and put in about 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a piece of fruit.

2. Make a funnel out of paper and leave a fruit fly sized hole in the bottom of the funnel.

3. Put the funnel in the jar and seal with tape.

The fruit flies will go into the funnel, but not out. Any fruit will work in the jar as long as you have removed the fruit from your kitchen counter (If there is fruit on the counter, they will go to that first).

4. After you catch the fruit flies, put the jar in your freezer for a few minutes to kill them and then you can take it out and use it again.

My jar was full of fruit flies after 2 hours on the counter.

Here is my original post back from September 2009:
Freezing Peaches and How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies