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SOURCE:  JAYMI NACIRI for realtytimes.com

“True story.  The wood in our living room is scratched and worn, the dark tile in the kitchen imparts a sort of cave like feel, and there’s unfinished concrete in several of the bedrooms thanks to foundation repair that was done shortly after we bought the house…..The idea was to get new floors in soon after, and, well, three years later…here we are.  Sound familiar?

While we have examined many, many options over the last couple of years, nothing has stuck well enough to get to it.  Part of the issue is that we don’t want to hand over the installation to someone else.  While that would probably be the most  practical option, it’s not the most economical, and we tend to like to do things by ourselves.  You too?  Then come with us on a journey to find the best DIY solution to our (and your!) flooring dilemmas.

PAINTED WOOD.  Frankly, anything that starts with sanding is an immediate turnoff. If you lose control of a big electric sander, major havoc ensues.  But – that nowithstanding, painted wood floors do look pretty cool.  SF Gate (http://homeguides.sfgate.com/paint-heavily-trafficked-wood-floor-33730.html) has a good tutorial for painting heavily trafficked wood floors that involves really good preparation (so if you’re a step-skipper, maybe this is not for you) and high-quality primer.  But honestly, we’re skeptical about smooth floors.  Dogs will scratch the surface, right?  But that would create a homey, rustic look — right?

We first saw blogger Remington Avenue’s tutorial for painted floors in 2015 (https//remingtonavenue.com/2015/08/the-girl-who-painted-her-tile.html) , which should tell you how long we’ve been tossing around ideas for our floors.  She crafted a stunning painted tile floor using chalk paint and a stencil that created a trendy Moroccan cement tile look.

Stencils have become more readily available and in greater variety since then, and her new tutorial is even more interesting (https://remingtonavenue.com/2017/07/how-to-paint-stencil-tile.html) because she used luster epozy paint, like you would use to paint a garage floor.  That spells greater durability and since multiple children and multiple dogs live in this house, finishes that can’t endure kid feet and dog paws are a NO GO.

FLOATING FLOOR.  This Old House’s take (https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/8-easy-flooring-upgrades):  “it’s hard to imagine a house being cozy without the warmth of wood flooring.  The quickest way to get new wood underfoot is to install a floating floor.  Unlike traditional solid wood strips, a floating floor isn’t nailed down.  Instead, the plans are either glued or snapped together.  The planks go down fast, over virtually any material – concrete, plywood, sheet vinyl, even ceramic tile.

Now, our thoughts.  The advantage to using a floating floor is that it’s definitely DIY-friendly in comparison to numerous other options because it requires no demolition other than removing baseboards – something we wouldn’t have to do it we were painting the existing surfaces.  We would have to put down plywood on the concrete surfaces to make everything flush, but that’s not a big deal.  The continuity that would be created by laying down one surface throughout the first floor would be a dream given how broken up it currently is.  The downside:  it’s pricier solution than paint, and the price, not surprisingly, goes up with the quality.  Whether you are looking at using luxury-vinyl planks, laminate, or engineered wood, it’s an investment.

CARPET TILES.  We just haven’t been able to get rid of the idea of soft, cushy carpeted surface in the bedrooms, but we’re not about to try to put in wall-to-wall carpet on our own.  Just getting the carpeting into the room is a huge job.  Second, precisely cutting it to size takes experience – one wrong cut can ruin the entire piece.

The potential answer:  carpet tiles.  Carpet tiles have come a long way in terms of design.  New carpet tiles are beautifully textured with a great neutral color palette.  The best part is they’re super easy to install.  “One 3-inch-diameter dot is placed at each corner of a carpet square, with the sticky side up.  The next square is set in place right against the first square, and then it’s pressed down onto the adhesive dots.  In the end, the result is a floating floor of carpet squares all stuck together at the corners by adhesive dots.”  Actually, this may be the best part of all:  Remember those previously-mentioned kids and dogs?  They make stains.  If one area of your wall-to-wall carpet gets stained beyond repair, you’re out of luck.  If the same thing happened to a carpet, you rip it up and set an other one down.  Very  tempting.

SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com  IMAGE:  Pinterest

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