Week 2 of the One Room Challenge is here and man it came quick! Full disclosure, we started this challenge a few weeks ago so we could knock out some of the heavy lifting like installing the laminate wood flooring. But we are working in real time now, so the pressure is on! If you missed the week one plans, check that out to see what’s in store. So far we ripped out the carpet, scraped the popcorn ceilings, painted, and installed the new floors. Do you want to see our progress so far?
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As a reminder, this is what the room looked like when we started. Dated popcorn ceilings, dirty carpet, and a fan that I was SO over!
We started off by ripping out that nasty carpet. This was probably one of the easier steps.
Then we auditioned to be on the new re-boot of Dexter. Just kidding. But the room definitely looked like that is what we were doing. Also, I was shocked by how many people voted in my Insta Stories who have never seen it! You have until the end of the year to binge it on Netflix and the new season starts on November 7th! I am SO EXCITED!!!
If you want to see the behind the scenes on the popcorn removal, it is all saved on the 2021 Fall ORC highlight in my Instagram stories.
With the ceilings scraped an re-textured, we moved on to painting, because painting is so much easier with no baseboards or flooring to worry about. Now I would have focused this post on choosing the right paint color, but we all know from last time, that is not my specialty. I tested 12 different grays before I came to a decision here. The struggle is real. I finally landed on Sherwin Williams Jasper for the accent wall and Sherwin Williams Conservative Gray for the rest of the room.
The new ceiling fan also went up, thank goodness! There were many evenings working almost in the dark with just a lamp. I wish I were kidding.
Installing Laminate Wood Flooring
We have laid a lot of laminate flooring in our family room, downstairs hallway, office, upstairs hallway, our bedroom, and now this guest room. Naturally we have learned a lot along the way so I want to share some tips, especially since laminate is such a great DIY option.
Buy more flooring than you think you will need. The worst case scenario is running out and the laminate flooring becomes discontinued. This happened to us. The Pergo we laid in our family room, downstairs hallway, office, and our room became discontinued before we got around to the hallway upstairs. There was nothing we could do except pick the closest flooring to what we already had. This is the flooring we chose.
Don’t skimp on the prep work. Prepping for your flooring is one of the most important steps. The sub floor needs to be clear from debris including all the tac strips and staples from the carpet. You will also need to remove the baseboards so have a plan for reinstalling or replacing them. In our experience, it is not easy to salvage baseboards especially if they have been caulked in. We also patch any low or really uneven parts of the subfloor with floor patch.
Have the right tools. This one is big. Sometimes when we get started on a DIY project costs add up quicker than we anticipated and we think we can get by with less. In our experience, this only adds to the frustration and stress. Having the right tools makes installation SO much easier and faster. This is a great starter pack for installing laminate flooring. I would also pick up some knee pads for your own comfort.
Be prepared for awkward cuts. It is inevitable you will have cuts to make and some will be more difficult than others. We use all of our saws when laying flooring. This goes back to the last tip. Having the right saws will make this so much easier! We use our 12in sliding miter saw for cross cuts at the ends, our table saw for long rip cuts against walls, and our jigsaw for complicated cuts. If you are not replacing door trim at the same time, you may also need a multi tool to cut the door jams.
Mind your scraps. As you go this becomes easier, but this type of flooring has a male and a female end. If you cut off an end at the wall, that piece can now only go against a wall at the other end to start a new row because one of the locking ends has been removed. If you end up with a piece that has both ends cut off, it becomes useless unless you have a small closet where it will be sandwiched between two walls. Waste adds up fast, so be thoughtful.
Math out your room. Figure out how big your room is and how many full size boards will fit. It is unlikely you will not have to rip cut along one wall. Very narrow pieces are difficult to install and we try to avoid them at all costs. Rather than starting the room with a full size piece along one wall, rip cut your first piece to accommodate any partial pieces and prevent small slivers at the end.
Keep a scrap piece of baseboard handy. Use a scrap piece of base board to make sure your expansion gaps around the edges will be covered by the base boards. I have seen some horrific laminate flooring installs where this was not considered. And no, you cannot just fill it with large amounts of caulk!
Have an emotional support animal by your side 🙂 I must say, when I am feeling stressed, nothing makes me happier than Marvin coming up to give me a kiss. And he has been by our sides throughout the install of our laminate wood flooring. I think he is just anxious for his new playroom to be complete!
I cannot wait to move on to the next steps of the room. We will be building the bunk beds next week and then starting on Barry’s closet! Here is a little sneak peek of the design elements to come 😉
Join me again next week to see how the rest of our makeover is coming along! Fingers crossed I actually have bunk beds to show you next week, haha!
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Don’t forget to stop by the One Room Challenge to check out all the featured designers and other guest participants and be prepared to be inspired! So many rooms are being transformed by incredibly talented folks!