Flooring tips to Raise the Value of any Room!
A little history before we start with our recommendations. We have a small dog and a couple of smaller kids. We purchased a newly built home half-a-year before the kids were born. Now, lets fast-forward 4 years and we have some NASTY flooring and even carpets that we need removed.
Last spring we decided it was time to replace the carpets with some new laminate flooring to add a nice feel to the home. We strayed away from real hardwood for two reasons - durability & cost - if we didn't have kids, durability wouldn't have been a problem. Unfortunately this isn't the case for us, even though we've used a Hardwood Flooring company in Portland, Oregon before, we decided to stick to our new plan. Our budget was roughly $1200-$1300 to cover our dining room and hallway. The dining room is a really large room - 36' deep x 18' wide. The year prior we decided to break that space up into a family room(couches and TV) and a formal study. We enclosed one part of the room as a foyer - as you can see in the pics. This was all one open room at one time. Anyway, there is some tile in the foyer we created so we didn't have to cover all of it with laminate. Here's a couple of pictures of that prior to going down and a finished product
Life Pro-Tip. We personally dislike the way the laminate sounds when it is walked on or stepped on. One of the quickest and best ways we've found to resolve this is to put roofing felt down on the sub-floors prior to putting your moisture barrier down. It makes a HUGE difference in how it sounds and feels and it takes the tinny sound out of it.
The laminate is very thick and with the roofing felt under it, the feel very much like real hardwood when walked on. We've had many people tell us they loved the hardwood flooring only to have them be utterly surprised when we explain to them that its laminate flooring. The next step is to find a good floor covering for the bedrooms. We decided staining the concrete in only the master bedroom was chosen as our next project. After much research and conversations about whether or not to go with a acid (chemical process) stain or water-based stain, we decided water based due to the reason that water-based is generally more health friendly and our results may be more replicatable throughout the house with the water-based stain than an acid based stain. Furthermore, depending on the lime content of the concrete flooring, it may or may not turn out as well - that is something we did not want to risk at all.
Onto the next project - My wife and kids spearheaded the project by pulling out all of the carpet up out of the closet and bedrooms. This is where we get to the most difficult part of the job. Preparing the concrete to be ready for the staining process. Unfortunately, when the painters re-painted the baseboard before they did so after installing it. This then led to a lot of over-spray on the concrete floors and we needed to make sure we cleaned it up before we could start the staining process. Using sharp razorblades and the proper tools REALLY help cleaning any extra over-spray off concrete floors quickly. These tools are extremely helpful; But, nevertheless, it still takes a LOT of elbow grease to get the over-spray removed.
Here's how it looks prior to cleaning the over-spray off the flooring:
The cleaning process took 4-5 more hours more than we anticipated. But it was then ready to put stain down after properly being cleaned. After we cleaned the edges the best we could - We moved onto the largest portion of the room. Home Depot rents out a floor buffers for around $50 dollars a day. We recommend that you Do Not skip this step as this is extremely important for the end result. Buy a mild detergent and use plenty of water to buff the floor. We ended up buffing left to right, then front to back and then left to right, then side to side twice over. I reiterate, this step is a really important and please don't forget to use lots of water because you can ruin the concrete with the buffing pad if you're not careful enough.
Staining the cleaned floors
Now comes the fun part of this whole process. There are many different ways to applying the water-based stain on the concreate floors. At the end of the day we ended up getting on our hands and knees and wiping it on in circular motions with a rag. Think "Wax on/Wax off method. You may be asking yourself: Is the the easiest and most efficient way? The answer is, No. The real question is, Did we like how it turned out? Definitely YES!
After the first coat, we put a second coat of stain on starting on the opposite side of the room working the other direction. The only thing we'd probably do different is the sealer. At this point, its time to let the sealer cure for about 48 hours so you don't end up scaring the sealer while moving all the furniture back in.
Some after thoughts regarding this DIY project
We bought the stain from Sherwin Williams. The Price is around $85 a gallon and they told us that we would need about 2 gallons worth to do our room and closet. We only ended up using a little over 1/2 of 1 gallon for both coats - we are not sure if we did anything wrong, but everything seemed to turn out fine. We are planning to do the kids' bedrooms and possibly pulling up the laminate and doing the dining room/hallway in the future - Having the extra stain is not a big deal since we will use it in a future project.
Costs including Tools
Project 1 - Total cost: $1200 or so. Project 2 - Total cost: $500 - About 1/2 of the total cost was the 3 gallons of stain and sealer we purchased from Sherwin Williams. The other half was purchasing random tools that won't be required when we decide to do the rest of the house. We also bought many different types of chemicals to get the flooring clean. At the end of the day it's really all about elbow grease.
We estimate that our house value as gone up by about $5,000 to $7,000 dollars now that we have refinished our Flooring. That is a nice Return on investment considering the amount of work and materials we had to put in.Read More