Friday, August 10, 2012

Get on the Floor

With the insulation done, we had the pro's come in to tackle the drywalling -  $2k for boarding and mudding our entire basement + a few areas upstairs?? Sold! 

The next step which was painting we tackled ourselves, hello... slapping some paint on the wall, no worries we can definitely handle that!

With the painting taken care of it was time to move onto flooring.  In the investigate/prep phase for the reno went investigated a lot of options:

Carpet- Although probably the quietest and warmest underfoot it was a no go for us as H has allergies to dust, and as a rental we knew that the flooring would need to be stain friendly- which carpet isn't really, and not the easiest DIY option.

Wood: Warm, natural, and what we have in the rest of our house, so an easy choice.  We'd have loved to do it, but price wise was not an option and again as it's a rental we were not sure about spending that kinda money one something that might get mistreated.

Laminate:  I'm personally not a huge fan of laminate, I know they've come a long way, but I'm still not convinced.  We find that they are noisy the lower end/budget friendly versions look cheap and are not the best at handling abuse.  I've also seen laminate floors that are laid by "pro's" that start separating and showing water damage in just a few months.  So that was out too.

Tile: Pretty tough and long lasting, as well as easy to DIY, even for a beginner, but laid onto concrete tile can be cold.  We felt that was a big bummer for out future tenants comfort, espeically as we live in Canada, and basements naturally tend to be colder spaces. Also, we figured that it's be harder on our wallet as they'd most likely crank up the heating to compensate.

Cork:  H was a big fan of this, I liked the sound absorbing and warmth factors, but at the end of the day cost was a the biggest deterrent as it is a rental for now, and secondly I've not found a cork that I love the look of aesthetically.  So, maybe next time when we are doing it for us...

Vinyl:  'Lino' has come a long way in the last few years.  There are lots of types here: sheets, planks and even tiles.  We liked the price point and DIY-able-ness.  It's used a lot by the super cute Scott McG on Income Property for basement suites, is warmer underfoot, quieter than wood, and easy to DIY.

We ended going with two different vinyl flooring products for our reno:  Karndean "wood" planks and Mannington grout-able tiles.  Why did we go with those to different manufacturers?

  • We thought that their planks had the most realistic wood look of all the brands we could find
    •  they use images of the real wood species so each type is totally unique vs "tinted' to be "oak" or "mahogany" coloured like some of the cheapo versions
  • They had the most variety in the plank "images"  - 'cuz there is nothing that screams fake wood then the same grain/knot being repeated over and over!
  • I prefer the smooth plank look versus the "textured planks.  I've personally never seen real wood floors that have raised graining (well, in a barn maybe!), so to try and keep with our looks expensive but doesn't cost the earth ideal for the reno we wanted smooth planks (FYI for anyone else considering using this type of floor- we were told that the "textured" planks hide scratches etc better than the smooth planks)
  • We were able to get a sweet deal on the Karndean due to some perseverance and my negotiation skilz - we got our Karndean for less than the big box cheapo version!

  • They offered tiles designed to be grouted which we though looked more authentic than non-grouted tiles.
  • We wanted a pale modern looking tile (12'x24') and we only found two suppliers that carried them, Mannington + ?? (can't remember the other brand anymore sorry!). 
  • Each brand had a tile we liked, but as we were tiling a small area which was "our space" (our hallway to our carport and the shared laundry) we decided to "splurge" and get the one we both liked the design/colours of better.

So, there you have it... our thoughts and reasoning's on choosing our basement income suite flooring.

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