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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Floor It Baby!

Well, we move on to project #2 of our "love the one you are with" house remodel and re-did our kitchen floors. Here is a little Before and After indulgence for your viewing pleasure:

{This is the original vinyl sheet flooring that came with the house when we moved in. I have always hated it. Is peeling at the thresholds, is scratched and chipped in places and has a strange texture to it that HOLDS dirt and grime no matter how much I scrub.}
Drum roll....

This is our DIY Smart Core vinyl plank floating floor. It turned out beautiful and was actually easier than I anticipated. After a few minor issues with one stupid tiny wall near our refrigerator it was smooth sailing.
We used Smart Core Vinyl Plank flooring in Epic Oak. We opted for this after doing lots and lots of research on the best type of flooring for our situation.
a. It is a kitchen...lots of water, and messes and food
b. we have children...lots of fluids and messes and food
c. We have an older pier and beam house that shifts and moves ALOT depending on weather and seasons. We literally had a window crack in it's frame last winter when our house shifted and put pressure on it.
d. We wanted something durable and low maintenance that was something we could install ourselves, and not break the bank.
So we opted for the Smart Core Vinyl Plank Wood flooring in Epic Oak from Lowe's. It wasn't the cheapest option in vinyl plank flooring, but it was still reasonable and within our budget. As we searched for the one we liked best, we opened boxes in the store, felt the planks, scratched it with our fingernail, and picked at the edges to see if there was peeling or separation. We were very discerning.  It is a "floating floor" in that it does not get glued down! All you do is install it directly over your current floor, even the old vinyl! Yep!!! I was sold.
Our prep work included taking all children to school/ daycare, taking out all the furniture and piling it in the living room,  removing our quarter round toe kick trim with a crowbar thingy, thoroughly cleaning the yucky old sheet vinyl so there was nothing to make unevenness in the new planks and that was it! We opened several boxes and mixed them together- also a great suggestion from the box directions, as to mix up the patterns and colors, as each plank/batch is a bit different and you want the different patterns and grains of the wood to be mixed through out your floor.
We used 1/4 inch spacers around the walls per the directions on the box, that will also help with the flexing and shifting of our old pier and beam.
It went really quickly once we got past the refrigerator area and all the cuts. The Hubs used his chop saw to cut the boards.  We used a rubber mallet to seat each board thoroughly after snapping it into the latch system of the previous board. It goes together just like a puzzle! It took us about 8 hours from prep to finish.

We have had it about a month now. So far, we love it. It is quiet, durable, and cleans very easily. It looks beautiful and really changed the look of our entire home.
Next on the to-do...painting the trim we ripped up and then put back down (Doesn't look half bad though right?..we (And when I say we I mean the Hubs) were pretty careful) painting the walls in the kitchen/dining/living room. Redoing our master bathroom, and a deck. Whew.. But...two projects down!


  1. Wow... huge change... really, really nice!
    Funny how the internet works... and the odd world of blogging... You can stumble across someone, get a glimpse into their life, then think of them as a friend... oh, yeah... a friend that you've never met and most likely will never meet.
    Something happened at school the other day that reminded me of something from a post you did a long time ago... pre-piglet...
    I hope you and your family are doing well and had a Merry Christmas.

    1. Oh Helen Merry Christmas to you and your family too. Yes making friends through blogs is one of the best surprises of the Internet. Thanks for reading and your cyber friend :)

  2. I was looking for more info about the Smart Core vinyl flooring at Lowes and came across your page. Your floors look great! If you don't mind me asking, how has your flooring held up so far? (We put a different brand in our bedroom/bathroom and it is terrible! It scratches so easily, if you vacuum it, slide lightweight furniture over it, etc. It leaves big scratches.) We want to put vinyl flooring in the rest of the house but are not sure if this brand will be better than what we already installed!

    1. Your pictures look great, Miranda! Like Jen, I'd also like to hear how the floor has held up over time. We're considering this exact flooring, and we too have little ones.

  3. Miranda, I am looking at using the Smart Core flooring for a project at my sister in-laws house. Any update on how the floor is holding up would be appreciated.

    God bless,

    1. Hi Scott, did you end up going with the smartcore flooring?

  4. Just as a comment for anyone else reading -- we ended up going with this flooring as well, and so far we are very happy with it. It looks great, and is easy to clean, which is good because it needs it often in our house. You will want invest in a good dust mop, as this floor shows everything. Since installing it almost 2 months ago, we've been dusting/sweeping the floor at least twice a day. The wool rug in our living room is partially to blame, as are our two children :)

    During installation I did notice that there were some boards that just didn't fit together well. After talking with the manufacturer, I found that the number before the date printed on the back is the factory number. It seems that the two factories were producing boards with slight differences in the boards. They said that these boards may not be "100% compatible". Paying attention to this during the rest of the installation helped cut down on fitment issues. Overall I put down about 650 sq. ft. of this flooring, covering all of the lower level of our home.

    I have found a couple small gaps on the long edge that are visible when the light hits just right -- probably where those "incompatible boards" meet. I'm keeping an eye on them, hoping that they aren't an indicator of trouble to come. I also rolled out the refrigerator to finish some trim work, and didn't use thick enough cardboard, so now I have nice dents in the floor in front of the refrigerator. Something to keep in mind...

    Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or want to check in on how this floor has worked out for us...

    Shaun Hey

    1. Shaun: We just installed the flooring (1400 sq ft) and I am so upset...there are weird little streaks all over it. I have no idea where the streaks come from but worse, how do I get rid of them? Is this anything that you have experienced? Nina

    2. Shaun: We just installed the flooring (1400 sq ft) and I am so upset...there are weird little streaks all over it. I have no idea where the streaks come from but worse, how do I get rid of them? Is this anything that you have experienced? Nina

  5. We had the same experience that you did with your SMARTCORE flooring (except it was a year later). What a transformation it made to our little living space. We are so impressed with it that we're going to carry it over to our other bathroom. How is yours still holding up? It will be interesting to see how these floors stand the test of time.
    Seasons Greetings,

  6. Nina, can't say that I've had anything like that happen... Could they be from moving furniture around? We installed felt pads on the bottom of our kitchen chairs, and floor protectors for under tables and the sofa. Our kids are pretty hard on the floor, lots of toys and stuff being dropped, etc, and the floors seem to be holding up pretty well so far. Do you have a picture you could post? Maybe someone else has seen something similar...

    1. I don't see how to post a picture on here but we haven't even moved it isn't furniture....I really cant fathom what caused this and I have tried scrubbing them out to no avail.