So much drama in ORC…
What would the One Room Challenge be without a few challenges and a little drama? The good news is that I now have the new home office flooring of my dreams. The bad news is that, due to some unexpected challenges, it cost a lot more than we’d planned, and we won’t be continuing these beautiful new floors throughout the rest of the basement as I’d hoped.
Let me explain. After completely cleaning out the office (in last week’s ORC post I showed you how I tackled the huge mess), the first thing on my to-do list was replacing our ugly carpet with new, solid surface flooring.
I wanted the look of hardwood in the home office, but since it’s located in the basement, real wood wasn’t a possibility. I researched our solid surface flooring options and compare the pros and cons of laminate vs LVT. After talking to quite a few people, we were convinced that luxury vinyl tile (LVT) was our best bet. Next up, we compared prices and color options for different LVT brands. Our favorite – and the best deal we found – was CoreTec from CarpetExchange in the color Galveston Oak.
Though we started shopping for the home office, I started envisioning how great it would look to have this flooring throughout the basement family room/game room as well. The sale price was great, so we decided to order enough for the entire basement. The plan was to have the CoreTec installed in the home office first, and then CarpetExchange agreed to hold onto the remainder of our flooring order until we were ready to install it.
But when the installers showed up to get started on the home office, things got complicated. The removed the carpet and pad, and then came upstairs to inform me that unfortunately, they wouldn’t be able to lay the CoreTec. Wait, WHAT?!
They took me downstairs to show me the problem. The concrete floor was extremely unlevel, as you can see in the photo below. Laying CoreTec requires a very level surface, so they recommended we choose a new carpet and move on. While this is extremely unfortunate, they tell me it’s not at all uncommon. They said that builders typically don’t bother perfectly leveling the basement concrete floors if the plans call for carpet, because the carpet pad tends to disguise the imperfections.
I wasn’t ready to give up on my solid surface floor dreams just yet, so I called the installation manager and begged and pleaded for other options. They said the only way to make it work was to sand down all of the high spots and pour additional concrete to raise the low spots. The quote for this gave us sticker shock (a couple thousand extra dollars of the office alone), so we decided to compromise. We would spend the additional money to level the home office for the CoreTec, but we’d scrap the plans for the rest of the basement. If the entire family room was as unlevel as the office (and it seems that it most likely is), then the cost to level that full space would be totally prohibitive for us.
So, moving forward in the office, the first step was for them to sand, and sand, and sand some more. Which, of course, meant a fine layer of white dust on everything despite their best efforts to keep the mess to a minimum.
Then, they used Planipatch Fast-Setting Polymer Modified Cement Based Patching Compound to fill in the remaining low spots. We brought in a few fans to help things dry/set a bit quicker.
Finally, a couple of days later, they were finally able to install the CoreTec LVT floors. Rather than laying the planks directly on the concrete, the installers recommended an underlayment for better sound absorption, increased comfort underfoot, and to prevent mold and mildew (although this last one is of much less concern in Colorado basements).
Finally, a few days and a few thousand dollars later… click play to see the transformation:
Although it’s disappointing that we won’t be able to continue this flooring throughout the rest of the basement, I’m thrilled with how it looks in the home office.
Next up on our to-do list are closet doors and paint:
Completely clear the space Replace carpet with solid surface flooring
- Install new pull-open closet doors (previously removed the bi-pass closet doors)
- Paint walls and closet doors
- Install new light fixture
- Install new window blind
- Select / assemble new furniture
- Select rug
- Create double sided desk
- Set up computers / technology
- Organize new storage spaces
- Hang gallery wall
- Hang other art
- Style the space
A LOOK BACK AT ALL MY PAST ONE ROOM CHALLENGE PROJECTS
It can be interesting to see the week-by-week progress of a big project, but if you prefer the satisfaction of the final reveal, check out the eleven One Room Challenge spaces that we’ve completed over the past decade: