Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New wood floors....what a nightmare



I have wanted wood floors since we bought this house. The house was only 15-months old when we moved in. It had white carpet and white ceramic tile (Yikes !). The house is roomy and worked for us when my son and his wife and my mother lived with us. Then the kids found a place of their own. And last year, we lost Mom. So now, it is just us, the dog, Mokey and the cat, Speedbump.

So I started investigating wood floors. The house is on a concrete slab so our choices were limited to wood laminate flooring or engineered hardwood flooring. Pergo makes a nice engineered floor, 20 year warranty. It can be sanded and refinished. That's what we chose. The floor is called Ginger, a reddish brown.

We went to Lowe's to get it because of their 1 yr no finance charges. The flooring salesman was very knowledgable and answered all my questions. The installation contractor came to measure and do a concrete moisture test. That went well. The delivery of the flooring was when it all fell apart. It was a total screw-up. Lowe's finally got it right on the 3rd try and it arrived, 2 pallets of flooring in boxes and 5 5-gallon cans of glue. But then their delivery guys wanted to leave it in the driveway... saying "We don't break out pallets". Say what? The store manager and I had already spoken (6 times) so I called him again and 5 minues later the delivery guys were hauling the stuff into the house so it could get acclimated to the house as required by Pergo and the flooring contractor.

So we made reservations at a hotel, put the dog and cat in the kennel (we call it doggy jail) and had our son, a plumber disconnect the stove, icemaker on fridge and remove the dishwasher. Of course, we had to store 4 rooms of furniture here and there in the house. We took time off from work for the first day to get the job started. We thought we had prepared well and were ready for the installer bright and early Monday morning.
The installer arrived about 11 on Day 1. The living room and hall had carpet - we knew that was going to come up easily. But the tile in the foyer, dining room, kitchen and half bath had white 13" ceramic tile. We figured that would be a wooly-booger to take up. Yep. We decided not to put wood in the kitchen and bathroom but we wanted the white tile removed all at once. The dust is AWFUL. We now know that we could have waited until day 3 to go to a hotel. The tile removal is noisy. The dust comes when they grind the glue off the concrete. That started on Day 3.

By Day 5, most of the wood was down but no thresholds yet and Lowe's screwed up ordering both the stairnose and the 1/4 round baseboard- we're 80 feet short. Who knows when that will be here. Somehow the installers did not refer to their installation instructions and did not realize that the dining room was also getting wood. They had squared off the doorway between living room and dining room. That meant that they had to 'remove' some of the new wood to stagger the floor; no blunt boards in the middle of the floor. But the most aggravating thing is that when I open the front door, it scrapes my new floor. It never scraped my tile. So I don't know if they put on too much glue or if they sprung the hinge on my door. The door looks odd so I'm guessing it is the latter. We had asked for an extra box of flooring in case of problems a year from now. The installers left with their tools, debris and any leftover flooring.

So we called the contractor, the guy who came out originally. We have not seen him during the installation. Frankly, I think he just hires installers and parses our jobs. We asked him if he would come out and do an inspection.

The moral of the story: When you add up the time and money for new floors, don't forget to factor in the misery time into you calculations. And keep saying "We'll probably laugh about this in a few years."

2 comments:

Marcie said...

When my son had wood floors put down the installer used the wrong glue and had to rip and atart over. Personally, if I wasn't 60 years old, I think I could do it myself! I wouldn't want to remove all that tile though. My grandson would have to do that. Ha! I hope, after all the agony, that you love your floor and it gives you years of pleasure!

paula, the_quilter said...

What was the outcome? Did he finally show up? Did he fix the door?

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My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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