We had a little friend visit and try out our new floor.
Here are the first few runs of the new Allure floor.
We had to start the floor on the back wall and then continue it around the bump out where the basement stairs come up.
Keeping the whole thing straight with a less than plumb wall was fun.
Thankfully the baseboards will cover the expansion gap and a tiny bit of inconsistency.
Keeping things clean is SO important as you work.
We used a slightly damp wash cloth to wipe the old floor in sections as we worked, drying it with a small dish towel before laying the next run.
|Stopping for the Night|
When we stopped for the night we covered the gray lower lip on the Allure planks with the paper that came between the planks. Protecting the sticky stuff from dust is of utmost importance.
We also covered the lower lip with paper several time to do trial fittings to see if our cuts were correct around door frames and such prior to final assembly.
|Now to clean up the Mess|
This was taken just after the floor was finished.
This is a lived in picture, complete with real dishes and clutter from the pantry on the counter.
Next the transition strips had to go in.
We looked at T strips and all sorts of things.
(T strips require cutting the carpet back and installing a track, not my idea of fun.)
And moldings can really rack up your project budget if you are not careful.
Our Allure is on top of a sub-floor and vinyl, so the thresholds sloped edge was perfect for our situation.
|Allure does not make Transition Strips, but you have Options|
We bought Oak threshold at Lowe's and we stained it with Walnut Stain and sealed it with a spray on satin sealer. Today we some small oak quarter round for the transition against the sliding glass door and the door into the garage. I will stain it and seal it before putting it down. It is pretty important that you do not pin the floor down when you install transitions or quarter round. More on that later.
|The new Toe Kick is not in yet and we are watching the Dishwasher for Leaks|
The bottom panel is not yet on the dishwasher and I have not yet replaced the under cabinet toe kick. (It will be black.) I am watching for leaks under the dishwasher.
Sometimes when you tweak the hoses they are no longer dependable.
Since dishwashers are common culprits for ruined floors I feel cautious.
I did see a few drips, but tightened the fitting.
(Buying a new line for the dishwasher is recommended.)
I used a lot of silicone calk around the sink area in the expansion gaps against the cupboards and under the dishwasher. The baseboards, toe kick on dishwasher will hide it all and I will feel safer down the road.
|Minor corner lifting on a really tight seam in front of the Sliding Glass door.|
We have not had any further problems.
The area against the sliding glass door was put down last.
Tiredness abounded and the expansion gap may not have been wide enough against the edge of the sliding glass door. I learned just how serious his can be. My seams were very tight, maybe too tight. I did not know that was possible... The morning sun came and warmed the floor and a corner buckled. The floor was warm and soft, so I pushed the tiny pop down with my toe and ran for a weight. It will be left for the next week for piece of mind as the floor expands and contracts with the warmth from the window. Then I trimmed the expansion gap back with a razor blade knife to make it wider. In the next few days I will finish the quarter round and pin it down behind the expansion gap, taking care not to pin the floor so that it can expand and contract under the molding.
I am guessing this spot will not give us trouble down the road.
If it does it may need a little injection of adhesive under the lifting or worst case a new plank. Oh, my! But, I will not get ahead of myself. It will likely be just fine now.
When we took the baseboards up we used a sample of Allure between the wall and a small flat pry bar to pop them off without damaging the wall.
And now I have been putting the baseboards back down, calking them in and filling the holes.
Soon I will paint them.
We put felt pads on the bottoms of ALL of our chairs, table and Island.
Our floor is American Walnut and it shows scuffs because it is dark.
It is just going to happen.
One of the kids slid a chair right after the floor was done and left a scuff. So, I will be treating this floor with respect.
When we tested samples of this floor a year ago this was the thing that held us back.
The lighter floors will hide the scuffs better than the darker floors. But, this is not tile and it is not bullet proof. The floor is supposed to be alright for high moisture situations, but I have my qualms.
If you have any spaces at intersections (we have one) there is a possibility for water to get through.
We used a dab of clear silicone calk on that spot.
I am using a 1/2 tsp. Murphy's oil soap and water in a Wet Jet type mop made by O cedar after I use a Swiffer type dust mop with washable microfiber cover to dust the floor.
It cleans up nicely.
After we ordered the floor it took nearly a month to arrive, so plan ahead.
But, if you are looking for an affordable flooring option this might the one for you.
The installation takes a lot of time if done neatly.
Our tiny bathroom took hours because of all of the the complex cutting.
But, it is beautiful!
I am pleased with the appearance and texture of the floor.
But, remember to do some scratch testing on samples before you choose your color.
This floor will require gentle living if you get a color that shows scratches and dirt.
The American Walnut requires a lot attention with the dust mop.
But, it has a very classic traditional feel and that is what I was going for.
I have read mixed reviews on using Allure's floor cleaner/Polish. Murphy's oil Soap mixed up weak.
Thanks for stopping and looking!