Jul 17, 2012

Flooring that we're not so sure about

We finished up our flooring appointment a few hours ago. I'm not completely happy with the experience. I thought this would be a pretty easy meeting. I was wrong.

We had discussed our budget for flooring well in advance. The way we look at it is this: whatever upgrades we do, will be rolled into our mortgage... do we want to be stuck paying for flooring for 30 years when we'll probably only get 10 or less out of it? I don't. I know Joe doesn't either. If we ever decide to sell our house, the flooring will probably need to be replaced anyways.. we have 4 kids at home!

Our plan of attack:
  • Stick with standard flooring and upgrade to laminate wood if the price is right.

Important things to keep in mind:
  • Maple Spice cabinets in the kitchen
  • Standard ugly-ass Oak in the bathroom (I'm going to paint these suckers). I haven't mentioned how much I despise oak yet have I? Stick around....

Other important factors:
  • I don't like carpet in the main areas. Bedrooms are ok.
  • We have 4 kids at home!  

Our meeting started out kind of awkward. The sales rep had a sample of our cabinets on the table. It was the wrong cabinet sample. After grabbing the right cabinet sample, she told us to grab our countertop selection. We haven't had a meeting yet to select our countertops. She told us to go ahead and choose one. REALLY? Ummm.. we haven't even discussed what we want yet and you want us to select a countertop in the next 3 minutes?

We took about 3 minutes and selected our top 3 choices based on NOTHING. Remember, we haven't even discussed what type or color of countertops we want yet. Do we want dark? Do we want light? What about something in between? What are the benefits to light or dark colors?  

We moved on to talk about what type of flooring goes in each area of the main floor. It goes a little something like this:
  • Living Room - Carpet
  • Great Room - Carpet
  • Powder Room - Vinyl or Laminate
  • Foyer - Vinyl or Laminate
  • Laundry - Vinyl or Laminate
  • Kitchen - Vinyl or Laminate
  • Possible Morning Room - Vinyl or Laminate
  • Dining - Carpet.... WAIT.. Whhhaaat? Did she just say CARPET?
She did. I told her that I was under the impression the dining room had vinyl or laminate. It doesn't. That's an upgrade. A $350 upgrade. Are you kidding me? Nice. Ok, so there's an upgrade we have no option but to pay for. Can you imagine what carpet in a dining room would look like after 4 kids finish eating? 

I'm not happy but we moved on. There are two upgrade levels for the laminate wood flooring. We decided to go with the cheaper Level F laminate wood flooring.

Pricing for the Dining, Kitchen and Foyer:
  • Kitchen - $350
  • Dining - $595
  • Foyer - $150
We also added in the following rooms:
  • Main Floor Powder Room - $100
  • Laundry Room - $150
If we're able to add on the Morning Room it will cost another $200 or so to carry the laminate wood flooring out there. Not bad.

After all of that was decided, the sales rep directed us to a rack of laminate wood floor samples. There were about 7 of them. There was one dark, one light and about five or so medium. At first glance, I didn't like any of them. We took a few over to the spiced maple cabinet and laid them on the floor. Nope.. not one of them really coordinated with it.

Joe started asking about warranties for the different levels to see if the higher priced would be worth it. The sales rep wasn't very knowledgeable about the warranties. She just read from the small paper highlighting the warranties that was hanging above the samples.

We ended up pulling all of the Level F samples over to the spiced maple cabinet. I didn't really like any of them. We kept looking to the sales rep for advice but the only thing she would say is, "I like that together". We finally narrowed it down to two and moved on to the vinyl. There wasn't much to choose from so I grabbed three samples that would work for us. The vinyl will only be in the upstairs bathrooms and the basement powder room.

Ok then.. on to the carpet. We held strong and didn't upgrade. The price just wasn't worth it for us. We've read a few other blogs that say to definitely upgrade the padding. I could swear the price sheet our Ryan Homes SR gave to us said the upgraded padding is only $395. Our flooring SR said it was $1895... NOPE.. sorry.. I can live with the standard padding for a few years. Although, I am going to double check my pricing sheet again and ask our Ryan Homes SR about this. I could have mis-read the price sheet.

We pulled all of our selections together and tried different options. Here's what we ended up with... 
  • Carpeting: Shaw - Baseline HGG84 - 00751 Rockport 
  • Vinyl: Armstrong - Initiator 66177
  • Laminate: Bruce Laminate Floors - Heritage Heights Collection - Honey Oak L0008
  • Railings: Scandia Teak
  • Countertop: Formica - Travertine - Matte Finish - 3526-58
After we got back home I started having second thoughts about the laminate wood flooring. I googled Bruce Laminate Floors and looked up our selection. It's OAK! How did I miss this all so important detail when we were at the flooring place? If you recall, I despise oak. I even mentioned that more than once to the sales rep. It may work for other people, and that's great, but I just don't like it.

Now I'm thinking, why did I pick oak? Why wouldn't I look for a maple. Our cabinets are maple. Did they have a maple to choose from? ........ and OHMYGoodness I didn't ask about durability or any of that stuff. Shouldn't our sales rep have brought that up when I mentioned 4 kids at home? What's going to show dirt more.. what will show it less? 

I'm feeling even more confused now. Our sales rep didn't walk us through anything or advise us on what would work best for us. Isn't that what a sales rep is for? I don't pick out flooring everyday or work with it all the time. She does. Now, I'm actually really disappointed with the meeting and I'm not confident in any of our selections.

Wouldn't it be nice if they had a little flooring packet that they gave to you a few days before your meeting? It would have small samples of all your choices. You could look at it in your home and spend more time figuring out what you want.  

I have an email to the sales rep asking when I can come in again. I'll keep you updated....


  1. I felt super rushed in our flooring meeting too:/ We actually chose the same carpet, hand rail, and vinyl as you! Ours should be in probably in the next week or so if you want to see pics!

    1. That would be awesome! I can't wait to see the pics :) I'm glad we're not the only people that felt rushed at this appointment. We're going back on the 25th for a 2nd appointment with a different sales rep.

  2. We chose the cabinets and countertops when we signed the contract for the house, then had a separate flooring appointment. We had the opposite thought you did: Let's just roll all this into the mortgage because we will probably never want to go through remodeling/vamping 10 years from now.

    We got hardwood floors throughout the entire first floor, carpet upstairs (standard) and upgraded padding in the basement.

    1. I thought we were supposed to do those selections when we signed the contract! It was kinda late when we finished so maybe our SR figured we could do it later.

      I would have LOVED to do hardwood throughout the entire first floor! -Bobbie

    2. We picked our original selections when we signed the purchase agreement . When we went to visit the flooring, tile and electrical companies it allowed us to solidify our choices. Our sales rep at both the flooring and tile were efficient. They had our original selections laid out for us and it gave me the opportunity to make changes because on the day of the purchase agreement I felt very rushed; however, at those appointments I felt relaxed and changed my entire scheme. I have to admit, I was bummed about not having the carpet I wanted for the basement. The choices are very limited for the flooring and tile company and as you know Guardian is an entirely different experience. The sky is the limit.

  3. If you hate oak so much, you should upgrade your bathroom vanities. This only cost us $150 total for the double vanity in our master bath, the large vanity in the hall bath, and the vanity in the basement powder room. Our 1st floor powder room has a pedestal sink. $150 isn't bad for three bathrooms and they would match your kitchen!

    1. P.S. I just found your blog and I look forward to following your progress! Feel free to check mine out at buildingouryorkshire.blogspot.com

    2. Is it really that cheap to upgrade the bathroom vanities? I really need to look over our price sheet again! I may just do that.

      Thanks for the link! I'm adding you to my sidebar. -Bobbie

    3. It really is that cheap! When I upgraded I was a bit surprised! The catch is both bathrooms in the basement and secondary baths must have the same cabinets and countertops.

  4. I'm so with you on the oak cabinets... hate them! They look so outdated.

    I'm sorry you felt rushed during your flooring meeting. Our meeting wasn't rushed at all... I think we were there for 2-2.5 hours, but I am now finding out about other options that we had that we weren't told about... like shelves in our upgraded tile bathroom instead of the generic white soap dish.

  5. I felt the flooring and bathroom tile choices were outdated too. They really need to add more modern selections. As for bathroom cabinets, that really is a cheap upgrade (compared to others).... But you've probably made a your selections by now.