*Photos of completed floors to be added shortly - camera is out on the town at the moment :)*
There are two occasions in our home when my family begins to get nervous. One is when we are preparing to go away on vacation and the other is when we are preparing to have out of town guests. Both however involve very similar actions, namely thorough cleaning and in the case of the latter, possibly a good amount of re-doing including some remodelling. I've been known to run around for days prior to such an event and redecorate entire rooms simply because I'm terribly bored with something and well, any excuse for a change I always say.
We'd known about a family wedding for over a year and as the days twindled and I wasn't getting any 'great ideas' as my husband often calls my frenzies, the household was calm and of course no one was mentioning anything about 'mom's deco-rage phase' being absent. Even I thought I had things pretty well in hand. That is until I went over to a home where renovations were under way and new flooring was being prepared for installation in a family room. The place looked great and I was still fine until I came home and started to wash the kitchen floor.
Our home was built in 1988 and although it's a gorgeous place and you wouldn't think it was over 20 years old from the outside, the inside has rooms that scream of the good old 80's era. The kitchen cupboards and floors were in dire need of updating and although not terrible looking, they did indeed date the room. After finishing cleaning, I stood back and waited for the 'ahhh, great looking!' feeling to sweep over me as it usually did. Nothing! Time to do something about that.
That evening my poor husband received the news, "Honey, what do you think of putting a new floor in this weekend?" to which he replied, well he didn't say anything actually. He just looked. Sad. Forlorn. As tired as he could possibly make him self appear without actually falling asleep standing up.
"Sounds good dear, but do you really want to do that now?" He already knew the answer to that one and so off we went, I do believe I heard the word 'spoiled', 'suck' and 'crazy' used all in one sentence at one point but he and my children are use to my sudden bursts of 'let's do this' and usually, when they hear 'I would like to ...' coming from me, my husband knows immediately that it's more a matter of honey I'd like YOU to!
Home Depot is right up there on my list of favorite stores to visit. I don't go there for the tools or the wood or the plumbing or the bbq equipment. I go there for nothing more than to change something. This time I had to visit several of the outlets because it appears I wasn't the first to have the urge to change a floor lately. The selection of tiles, sheets, wood and carpeting had been pretty well picked over and I was a little saddened that what I envisioned being done just might not happen yet. I caught my husband looking relieved more than a few times after each store resulted in a no-purchase event.
Finally, at the 2nd last store on the list, we hit what I refer to as 'our deco-jackpot!'. I was excited to see a huge yellow sign announcing a laminate wood flooring on sale for a steal...just .65 cents a square foot. That there was just enough to do the kitchen was my sign that this flooring was meant for us. While trying to locate a floor person who could help us get the pricing straight, three other couples sauntered up to steal my deal! I guarded the flooring with my life and even refused to budge when one of the couples tried convincing me that the same flooring in a 'nicer' color was just around the corner on display. Nice try but no sale!
Although laminate wood and the particular color it was were not my first choice, I figured that for the price, we could do the kitchen now and then later change it to the bamboo flooring I really want to have eventually, leaving us free to put this flooring in a powder room or even in the hallway downstairs at some point.
The wood isn't very thick but snaps together quite easily as most laminates will. The necessity to use underlay isn't required unless you are installing it on basement concrete but for the added quiet we want in the kitchen due to the fact that one of our children's bedrooms is directly below, we splurged on a sound proofing underlay as well.
The entire bill came to $105 tax included! At 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning my dear husband began the job of laying the new flooring and in under 2.5 hours the job was pretty well complete except for the addition of the molding and the trim to divide one room from another. The floor looks awesome! It even blends nicely with the cupboards just the way they are.
The flooring comes with a 25 year warranty. Friends of ours used this type of flooring in a home a year ago and out of curiosity they stuck a piece of the flooring in their back yard and let the weather deal with it. They wanted to see just how sturdy the product was. This summer just prior to their moving, they brought the piece of wood in, cleaned it up and laid it on top of the flooring they'd installed. The pieces matched identically. No sign of weather issues, no wear, no damage, nothing. The flooring still looked great!
In the kitchen very little cutting was required and we used 3.5 boxes. We had enough left to do the small main floor powder room and although the job of installing in that room required a lot more cutting, we still have 2 full lengths of flooring left in the event we ever do need to replace a piece. The flooring snapped together without effort and layed out well enough that change in the kitchen alone was quite dramatic. It not only brightened the room up but also made it appear larger.
No additional tools were required save a saw, a hammer and spacers with most of the installation being done simply by snapping the pieces together by hand. This particular floor doesn't have a high sheen to it but it's an understated elegance that will work perfectly with the rest of the ideas I have for my kitchen makeover.
Now, much to my husband's chagrin, I'm on the hunt for new tiles for the upstairs children's bath and our ensuite. He's instructed me though that this time, I'll have to contact our family expert, a brother who does awesome renovation work and works magic with tiles in particular. If all goes well though, we'll be laying more wood flooring in the dining and living room areas sometime within the next year hopefully and given that laying this particular flooring was a very simple, straight forward procedure, we have no problems purchasing another of this Company's product line, particularly if they ever get into Bamboo flooring. Although I did very little to make the magic happen, even my husband said he was impressed with just how quickly it came together and yes, he even agreed he's up for laying more wood flooring in the other rooms eventually.
With a generous 25 year warranty and the ability to be able to lay this floor directly over the linoleum that was on the floors already, we're confident that should we ever decide to leave this house, we'll be able to take the flooring with us if we really get greedy! So far after several days wear, this flooring shows absolutely no signs of stress and is beautiful to keep clean. A simple quick wipe with a damp mop and we're done. Now that's how floors should clean up!
Update On Sep 04, 2008: Sep 4: Cross my heart, I'll have pics for the weekend, just running through energy testing which has us pretty well preoccupied, but I can say with all certainty these floors are wonderful to have. 5 days of wear and they are still CLEAN and better yet, they still look clean. Magnificant, so glad we did this!
Update On Sep 09, 2008: Sep 9: Well that cross my heart promise was a bust, my apologies that pics still aren't avail. I'm afraid we've been hit by a few gremlins and have a couple of things we MUST get corrected otherwise I won't be thinking very straight. Most things in the house have been shut off at the breaker til we can determine why we're still racking up more kws a day than anyone else on the block. Electrician is helping so hopefully after I'm able to get a decent meal in me instead of cold foods and take-out (ugh) THEN I'll up the pics, rest assured they ARE coming. Sorry for the inconvenience of trying to 'imagine' with this review right now. Thanks for patience & votes.
Update On Jan 31, 2009: Jan 31/09: My husband has just redone his offices in a Blonde Pine flooring from this company. According to him when it's time to retire from his current business, he'd consider going into business installing just this product. Easy to install, low maintenance, extremely durable - in his words a "dream to work with". Highly recommended product that transforms any space into a gorgeous one!
Update On Jul 11, 2009: Not quite near a full year with this flooring (wow, time flies) but close enough to update with a "wear and tear" report and I am very pleased to say this flooring still has that whoo hoo appeal! There is one teensy weensy problem though - it has turned my hubby into a 'hater'. Yes indeed - bamboo flooring came on sale a few weeks ago and he literally refused to have any part in the purchase or the laying down of it. Why you might ask? Well because the bamboo flooring wasn't made by Kaindl!! "If it doesn't say Kaindl then Kent doesn't touch it"...hubby's exact words! Can you believe it? No, neither could I but true. Seriously though, this flooring has been a dream to live with and so far, despite lots of traffic from lots of feet, a few teen parties, cooking spills, water splashes etc., it still looks perfect & is easy care. So I'm going to beg them to please make a bamboo flooring!!! Wish me luck! ;)
Update On Jul 11, 2009: Whoo hoo....prayers answered - one design, countryhouse BAMBOO!!! Kaindl also now offers Real Wood flooring and it is gorgeous....http://www.kaindl-two.com/en/blended/ (that link is for all you ladies out there who want to turn your guys into Kaindl guys) - but be warned once they have worked with Kaindl you'll probably not ever get them to work with any other flooring - don't say I didn't warn you!
Update On Jun 16, 2010: As we prepare to move I have to say that I will miss this flooring. It has been exceptionally easy to care for and has stood up to lots of traffic, dropped dishes, spilled foods and even water splashed by two big black labs every time they visit. I would not hesitate to buy flooring from this company again. The flooring looks as great today as it did the day we installed it. The home we are moving into has wood and ceramic throughout with carpet in bedrooms and lower level family area but a few areas in the basement are not yet finished. I'll be on the look out for flooring from this company again to possibly finish the one area that will work well for a server/computer/den area. Although we could easily remove this flooring and take it with us if we wanted with very little trouble, we've decided it matches the cupboards so well that it really should stay for the next family.