Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sponsored Post: Laminate Flooring

The first time I saw laminate flooring for sale, I thought it was a pretty cheesy idea: A money-saver for starter homes, perhaps, but no substitute for "real" traditional hardwood floors.

Of course, that was before I came up against my current do-it-yourself nightmare. The linoleum-type floor tile in our kitchen was old when Tamara moved in 13 years ago, and lately it's become just plain unacceptable (faded, cracking, etc.). I'm going to have to do something about it.

My first instinct was ceramic tile, but that just has too many disadvantages. It's pricy, it's a pain to install, and it's hard on bare feet -- we generally don't wear shoes around the house.

When I worked construction, I had to help put down tile once (most of our work was rough-framing houses and leaving them for finish crews, but the odd job came along). Once was enough. I'm just not looking forward to it.

The link above leads to a full-coverage site on laminate flooring, and I learned a few things there that are pointing me in the direction of going with it. Easier installation is a plus, of course, as is price.

One thing I didn't know (I'd never looked!) is that the stuff is available in patterns that mimic tile, marble and such. There's a ten-foot open entrance connecting our living room (with its "real" hardwood floor) and the kitchen. Trying to match them would be difficult -- at the very least I'd have to stain, and then there's the matter of grain and texture -- and I prefer a contrast anyway. I'm thinking perhaps a dark red ceramic tile look. The site's notes on durability and laminate flooring's standard aluminum oxide finish are also encouraging. I'd rather do this job again 20, rather than 12, years from now.

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