Before and After: New Floors

Remember our old, dirty floors?

Yeah, those are gone.

In case you have more important things going on in your life than committing photos of my gross floors to memory, here’s what they looked like two weeks ago when we bought the place:

9 Living Room

Alcove Before

While the pictures showcase the big brown stains covering the carpet, I have no way of allowing you to experience the smell it contained. I’m not even sure I could accurately describe it. Maybe like a wet dog wrapped in old bologna that had been marinated in sour milk?

I don’t know … it was bad. Real bad. The end.

Thankfully that smell is now festering out at the county dump, and our house is filled with the aroma of new paint. You know how people say dogs can smell fear? If you breathe deeply enough, you might also be able to smell the death of my spirit that occurred during our new floor installation. But at least they are beautiful:

Living Room before and after

Alcove Before and After

Hallway Before and After

First of all yes, I am aware that my new floors are dusty . I was going to Swiffer them, but after a hectic day at work followed by packing a bunch of boxes and a trip to Walmart, I was not in the mood. The dark color definitely shows more dirt than lighter shades, but I don’t care because PRETTY.

My dad and brother worked on installing the floors Saturday, and then Dave’s dad and brother-in-law took over on Sunday. I am pretty sure there is not one good knee between them at this point.

The floors are Allen + Roth from Lowe’s, and the color is Burnished Cafe Maple (would have linked ya, but it looks like the color is not available online). We’re really happy not only with the color, but with the look and feel – even though all laminate is fairly inexpensive, some looks much cheaper than others. This looks a lot more like real hardwood than we expected. Plus, the underlayment was attached to each board, cutting quite a bit of time out of the installment process and saving us some money as well. Win-win.

We considered continuing the laminate into the bedrooms, but it gets so cold here in the winter that we wanted something a little more cozy under our feet in these rooms. I’m only showing you Dave’s “game room” since the other two rooms have boxes in them (the closets in the other rooms are white inside):

Game Room Before and After

It almost looks like the same carpet, except you aren’t bowled over by the smell of dog when you walk in the room. We thought about trying to install the carpets ourselves, but after reading about all the special equipment we would need (knee kicker! power stretcher!) we decided to bring in a professional. After watching him work, we knew we made the right decision.

Last night we moved the first boxes over. We’ll make our second trip tonight, and we hope to spend our first night there Thursday, barring any more surprises.


15 thoughts on “Before and After: New Floors

  1. Marsha Bass

    I just had these same floors installed in my downstairs. What are you using to maintain them. I’m interested in the best way to take care of them. Not much information in the installation directions about maintenance.

    1. heatherhomefaker Post author

      Hi Marsha – right now we are just sweeping and Swiffering with the Swiffer WetJet Wood Floor Solution, but honestly we haven’t been super impressed with it. Several people have recommended the Bona cleaning system so I think we’re going to give that a go. I’ll definitely post a review here once I’ve used it a few times!

      1. Marsha

        Yes I like they way they look but not the maintenance part. They show alot of dust. If i were going to do it again, I would pick something else.

  2. heatherhomefaker Post author

    The dark color does show dust quickly … I like the look of dark floors enough that I’m willing to sweep more often, but it definitely requires more work than a lighter color would.

  3. Kelly

    Really late to the party but did you find a cleaner that works? I have the same floors and I want to cry every time I look at them. They never ever look clean or shinny. Such a disappointment. If you have any advice please forward. Thank you! Kelly

    1. Marsha

      I like the look of the floors. Mine still look good. The only thing I’ve used is the bona floor cleaner. I did find that it’s better to take my shoes off at the door and I wear house shoes inside because anything from outside tracks up these floors. If you don’t you can see everywhere you walk in here and who wants to dust floors everyday. I have also used a very light damp mop in my kitchen area. Why don’t you email heather homefaker also-she seemed really impressed with hers last fall. Ask her how she is maintaining hers now.

    2. heatherhomefaker Post author

      Hi Kelly – we have had great luck with the Shark Rocket + Swiffering. We use the Shark first (in lieu of sweeping) and it works really well at getting every last bit of dust/cat hair up. Then we go over the floors with the Swiffer Wet Jet and they look nice and shiny.

      I HATE sweeping, so I’m really happy with this system. And I can’t recommend the Shark Rocket enough – here’s a link if you’re interested:

      If you have more detailed questions, feel free to email me!

  4. Nate Plummer

    We are about to put these floors in our house.. I’m curious if you guys installed them floating, glued, or nailed down? Also, how are they holding up? They look amazing!

    1. heatherhomefaker Post author

      Hi Nate – we installed them floating and didn’t lay down backing since the panels had it already on them. It went very quickly and was easy to do! It’s held up very well, been very durable and still looks great – only thing is that the dark color shows dirt easily, so if you have pets with light hair you’ll find that you have to clean them often. Hope this helps!

    2. Marsha

      I hated the floors. If you walked barefoot you could see everywhere you stepped. If you had on shoes they left a dirty shoe print everywhere. I would not recommend them. I have since moved.


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