One, Two, Three, Floor

I have one… two… three floors (AH AH AH!) to install in my crappy house.

A beautiful wood floor for my living room and kitchen…

Some sort of tile for my dining room…

And in my basement…

Something inexpensive, but nice looking, moisture resistant and easy to install. Also, very low maintenance. Like me!

I’ve been shopping for… well, years, actually, trying to decide on what to put where. (I was totally kidding about the whole “me being low maintenance” thing…) But now, I have finally come to one… two… three (AH AH AH!) decisions!

OK, two decisions and one half decision.

Whatever. I’m trying, dammit.

Let’s start with the half decision that lives in my basement. I still have no idea wtf to put down on the floor, but whatever I do choose, that concrete needs to be leveled. I thought, once I emptied out the crap down there in my super fun yard sale, I could just use some self-leveling concrete and be done with it.

But noOo…

My basement floor is painted. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but did you know that concrete will not adhere to stupid, shiny, gray paint? Yeah. It was news to me too. I have to remove all of this freaking paint. And I have to do it by hand. I know from experience that I can’t use strippers on this floor because they make a huge mess and they do a terrible job.

Plus they’re kinda skanky and I just don’t keep that many singles on hand. (Who does, really?)

Obvs, I can’t level the floor around a pool table (Duh… I have to pour concrete…), but once that’s done, I’ll finally be moving it downstairs. Did you catch that? I’m not waiting to install my floor before I move the pool table to the basement. I’m not using the pool table as an excuse to procrastinate! Aren’t you so proud? Well, don’t be. I have tons of other excuses. I don’t need the stupid pool table.

I lied before when I said I had no idea what to put down there. I do have some ideas, but maybe I’ll save them for a future post. (We like future posts.)

Let’s talk about floor number two now: My dining room. This one was actually easy. These slate tiles caught my eye in Home Depot…

I liked them and they were cheap, so I bought a few…

And I love them! Boom. Done. That was probably my easiest decision… like, ever.

Floor number three is much more complicated. My wood floor. I’ve been to every flooring showroom within a 50 mile radius. I’ve collected every sample that has ever been milled. It’s gotten to the point that, when I search online, Google says, “Dammit, woman! I’ve shown you everything there is! Pick a friggin’ floor already!”

You can’t even imagine how excited I was to finally, finally find my floor!

Only to be told by this man (I shall call him Satan) that I can’t have that floor.

The devil wears gingham.

Yeah, OK. He was actually very nice. But he really did tell me I can’t have that floor. He refused to even tell me what it was at first. I had to threaten violence. (That worked. People fear me.)

That perfect floor is thermally modified, rift and quarter sawn white oak. That means that it’s been kiln roasted to bring out the tannins in the wood which changes the color making it look all awesome. (That floor is not stained!)

The deal with the perfect floor is that they can’t seem to replicate it. It’s like it was a happy accident never to happen again. Basically, they have it in their showroom to make people cry. Incompetent, sadistic, bastards…

So, that one’s out. But I did promise you a decision…

That’s unfinished, Brazilian walnut. It’s got a lot of variation from board to board (which I like) and the grain in it is really pretty. It’s also one of the hardest hardwoods Nature makes. You may remember I really wanted American walnut, but Nature makes it stupid soft. Because she’s a jerkface.

Here’s a sample of finished Brazilian walnut (in the skinny boards I’m getting):

It definitely runs a bit too orange for my taste, so I’ll be staining it brown. Something sheer with blue undertones to kill the orange and make it more neutral. I’ll probably lose some of the variation, but hopefully not all.

Listen to me all sounding like I’m going to stain it myself. So not gonna. I’m going to try to do the installation on my own, but I’m leaving the finish work to the pros. I ain’t stupid, yo. I got a guy…

So, when is all of this happening? I’d like to get the pool table down into the basement before my new couch arrives on October 17th. (Macy’s finished my couch weeks ahead of schedule, but they’ve been kind enough to push back my delivery date.) (They’re not enablers. That’s just good service…)

Anyway, I’d better go and peel some more paint. Kill me.

Well, first subscribe below. Then you can kill me.

(If you’re an internet psycho, that was totally a joke. Please do not kill me. Do not. Zero people killed! AH AH AH!)

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    • My Crappy House

      Thank you! I wish you your own crappy house! (Don’t get excited though. If my wishes worked, I’d have hit lotto and I’d have a really cool boyfriend by now…)

  • Barbara H.

    Well, these are huge steps forward! They will make such a visual difference in your house. Are you really ready for that? Yeah, I know – so ready!

    • My Crappy House

      That’s not manufactured slate. It’s the real deal! And the pic doesn’t do it justice. It’s so pretty!

  • judy

    Your blog is great, funny and informative. We wound up with Acacia just because the umpteen time I went to LL they had it on sale! LR DR 3 BDRMS 1HWAY. It is a dark brown with too much burgundy but worse than that it is impossible to keep clean. I like the floor and a 135 lb. Rottweiler and a 100 lb. Pit Lab mix haven’t been able to scratch it but the dog hair is like tumbling tumbleweeds. I’m 75 and I just watch it roll until I can’t stand it and up it goes into the Vac but I can hear a fresh batch moving in as I suck. I also suck at housekeeping-Damn 70 years of cleaning (I was handed a dust cloth at 5 yrs old) is enough! Where do I go to tender my resignation? Oh-you say there’s a weird looking guy behind me with a scythe? Guess that’ll take care of that problem. I wonder if Hell involves cleaning?

    • My Crappy House

      Omg you seriously just made me laugh out loud! Too bad you can’t swap out the scythe for a broom and make that creepy guy clean for you…

      On a serious note, how about a Roomba?

    • Mary Kay HATHEWAY

      Judy we all go to SummerLand and NEVER have to clean again if we don’t want to. LOL I’m 61yrs and got My Crappy Home 3 years ago, I got the living, Master bdrm, roofing,& outside of house painted. Got to get my front door replaced

  • Cathy C.

    Ya know, you could just put some 1/4″ backer board down in the basement and tile over that. We had to use backer board when we put down tile, because the concrete on our slab was so pitted and uneven leveler wouldn’t even help. Glued the backer board down and BOOM! – nice, smooth, level surface waiting for tile. It was SO nice that we didn’t rush to cover it up. Yeah. Procrastinators, huh?

    • Cathy C.

      Well, since we live in Houston TX (in a house that’s in a 200 yr flood plain) we haven’t had to test whether moisture is an issue. But, I don’t see how it could be a problem if you’ve glued the backer board down securely.

  • Katherine

    We put vinyl plank flooring down in our basement, and it worked really well. They were really easy to put down, since can you apply the directly on top of the concrete. They stick to each other, and just sort of float on top of the concrete. They are also very forgiving if your floor is not perfectly level. They are supposed completely waterproof; we live in the very damp PNW, and haven’t had any issues. I’ve even heard about people having their entire basement flood, and as soon as it dries out the vinyl floor is fine. I don’t think I would put it on the main floor of my house, but it was perfect for the basement. And it didn’t smell either, if you are worried about that w/vinyl. I promise that I am not a vinyl floor representative, I just really like my floors!

    • My Crappy House

      Vinyl is actually my front runner for the basement. I’d love to ask you some questions about your floor! If you wouldn’t mind, please shoot me an email using the contact link above. Thanks!

  • Mom

    I’m sitting here trying to figure out who’s house I was in a few days ago. You definitely are a witch (oh I mean a whiz) at cleaning. ????

  • Mary Kay HATHEWAY

    Girl you keep me motivated with my own crappy house. Love the floors My hubby came up behind me and asked who’s pooltable? I explained he said leave in the dining. lol I told him no it’s got its own room in basement. He smiled and gave you a thumbs up

  • Alison

    I would really love details on how horrible it is to peel all of that paint. We have an upcoming project in our laundry room/utility room/garage and it has a painted floor (blue-yay!!). We first thought tile and then saw the same warning that you cant tile over painted concrete, so now we are thinking one of those floating bamboo wood floors. I’d love if the heat gun thing is awesomely easy bc tile really makes more sense but if it is torture, I will go the lazy route.

    • My Crappy House

      For my floor, it’s torture, but that doesn’t mean it would be for yours. I don’t know what kind of paint is on my floor, but it seems to be some sort of indestructible enamel. I think that’s why strippers won’t work – they don’t penetrate whatever gloss is on the paint. Anyway, the heat gun I bought was from Amazon and only $20. Well worth the small investment, in my opinion, to see if it works for your particular situation. Good luck!

  • Susan Kuehne

    Love the Brazilian Walnut Floor, and the tile for the DR. If your “guy” bails on you, let me know. I got a guy that I recommend very highly, and I don’t do that with most contractors – lol.

  • Jengland

    I recommended vinyl planking before and will do so again. You will love how easy it is to maintain other than the dog hair tumbleweeds that Judy referred to. I laid my floor directly on concrete and have had no problems (not a basement though).
    If you do decide to go with vinyl planking make sure you floors are clean or you will notice any foreign object when walking on it.

  • mooninfog

    Oh boy–we had exactly that beautiful Home Depot slate on our outdoor balcony and some outdoor stairs. Here’s what we experienced with it outdoors…

    First, it’s very hard to seal.
    Second, you will probably want to seal the BOTTOM of each tile before you install them, because when water gets into the slate it leaches rust and mineral deposits. And it flakes.
    Finally, it has a high iron content so when the sun’s on it, it gets really hot.
    And finally finally–it is beautiful.

    • My Crappy House

      I’m putting it in my dining room so, no water, wind, sun, bird poo (etc.) worries for me, but I’m so happy to hear that it’s beautiful! I’m going to try to seal it, but I’m not going to stress it too much. I love that it’s a natural material. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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