Home Office Transformation - The floor Goes In!
One Room Challenge - Week 4
Last week was SO MUCH PAINTING! But now that all the walls, ceiling, and closet are all painted, it is time for flooring! If you didn’t get to check out last week or the first two weeks, check them out here to see what you missed! A lot of hours have been put in, but yet it feels like this project is moving along so very slowly! Since the One Room Challenge has us on an 8 week clock to complete the project, start to finish, I’m getting a little anxious!! But it’s getting there!
Also, please go and check out all of the amazing transformations happening over on the One Room Challenge blog! I continue to be amazed at all of the creativity and hard work happening across the other participants!
So, it is time for the room to start feeling a little more like a room again. Flooring is one of my favorite parts of a space. I’m really not sure why, but flooring and paint seem to really make a space for me. Those are usually the first things I notice when I enter a room. And I am SO IN LOVE with the flooring I have for this home office. I am not going to lie, I didn’t pick it specifically for this space, but we picked it last year when we started renovating Jeremy’s office (which is also the first room of the house you see when you walk in the front door) and our living room, but not only does it work perfectly in the rest of our house, but it is also exactly what this black-walled home office needs! And I don't like to have a ton of different flooring throughout the house if I can help it and I already have a different LVP in the kitchen/hallways that was done several years ago when we toyed with selling the house - so it made sense to keep the flooring consistent with one of the 2 styles we already had installed.
The flooring is LVP (or luxury vinyl plank). I have been gradually changing over all of our flooring throughout our entire house (with exception of the bathrooms) from laminate/tile/carpet over to LVP. We have 3 larger dogs and they run around and play fetch and keep away in the house, and spill lots of their water, and are just hard on floors. And the LVP holds up like a champ. Our previous flooring would just get so dirty (carpet and tile grout) or just didn’t hold up to water well if spills were left unattended (laminate). So the 3 bedrooms are the last on the list to get LVP starting with the old guest bedroom that is turning into my home office!!
So I went with a lighter, extra wide plant LVP that I got at Floor and Decor -> Deerfield Hickory. It is light and will help balance out the black walls but still has so much warmth in the browns and greige tones. And bonus that it is super wide and long planks because that makes for a much faster install process!
I have installed LVP once with my dad before, but Jeremy and I have done 5 rooms together including a giant basement. So we have this installation process down pretty well. The tools we use to make the install pretty seamless are our cordless Milwaukee miter saw, cordless Milwaukee jigsaw, flooring installation kit, and a rubber mallet. You are supposed to be able to score LVP with a utility knife and break it on the scoreline to cut it, but I never had much luck doing that. The saws are much, much faster. The flooring installation kit is seriously worth its weight in gold. I did my first couple of floors without it trying to use a piece of 2x4 as a tapping block. Just spend the $22 (not an affiliate link, just really like it)!
We were actually going over existing hardwoods that are in all 3 bedrooms and hallway of our house. I thought about just refinishing them, but, I know the dogs would eventually destroy them and I sanded and refinished 8 rooms of hardwoods in a previous house and vowed I never would do it again - check out that post if you haven’t read it yet. The thing about our hardwoods is that they sat below the tile in the kitchen that we had gone over with LVP a few years ago. So the LVP that butt up to these bedrooms was about 3/4” higher than the hardwoods.
So we had to raise up the entire subfloor with OSB. Which if you are reading this near the time I am posting it, you likely know how insanely expensive wood is right now. So, ouch, that was an unexpected several hundred dollars I was not planning on for this reno. But, such is life.
And unfortunately, I quickly measured the difference in the flooring at about 3/4". I figured OSB came in that size since there was OSB under the hallway floor to get it to match up with the kitchen. When we got to Home Depot, I saw that there was not 3/4" OSB so I went with Melamine because it was cheaper and in 3/4". We drove it home in a mini snowstorm (yes, it's Michigan). We plopped in on the floor and.... it was too tall (insert face palm emoji). Many very choice words came out of Jeremy's mouth, and rightfully so. So back to Home Depot we went in the snowstorm to return the 4 sheets of Melamine and get 4 new sheets of 23/32" OSB. I mean, who knew?? (I do now!!) So you can see the OSB above added on the floor to raise up the subfloor.
Since we have done this a few times, we have learned things along the way. LVP technically has underlayment already attached, but it is extremely nice to get additional underlayment to put down first. This will help smooth out any areas that may be ever so slightly out of level so that you won’t feel it in the floor. It also warms up the floor (especially if you are on concrete) and is softer underfoot which my old lady knees and feet need! If you are going over concrete, you will need a moisture barrier regardless if you decide to use underlayment or not (some underlayment can act as a moisture barrier).
I am pretty OCD when it comes to laying flooring, or really anything with a manmade pattern on it. The flooring only has so many patterns among the boxes and sometimes there are boxes that have like 4 of the same pattern in them. If we just pulled the next plank from the box, we would not get the “random” pattern I want. I like to call it a self-directed randomized pattern. I make sure that the same unique feature, such as a certain graining or knot in the wood image on the plank does not end up right next to the same one.
I like to open about 3-4 boxes at a time and lay out all of the patterns in separate piles. This particular flooring had about 5 patterns and then the mirrored image of that pattern (so going in the opposite direction) so I had about 10 piles to get me started. In Jeremy and my process, I’m the “picker” and “cutter” and he is the “layer”. I am usually what is slowing the process down as it takes me a minute to find the next plank that is different from all of the surrounding planks for a cohesive look.
I am also in charge of determining the start length of the first plank of that row. This is super important because you really want the planks to look like they were laid randomly like wood flooring would be. You don’t want an even progression or “stair stepping” look because it just does not look natural. So I cut the first piece to length for Jeremy to start and he begins laying the planks from there. Since the planks are so long, it is easier for us both to angle the plank up to interlock the edges. He uses his mallet to pound the edges down after they have been locked in and then secures it by using the tapping block to get the last little bit of the way together. He usually has me stand on the plank behind it so it won‘t move when he taps it in.
Because it is such a small room, we made pretty quick work of the floor. The only hard part is the fact that I still don’t have new lights installed in the room yet so we were using multiple shop lights to work by as most of this was happening at night. I also ran out of enough flooring to keep my "random" pattern because we found several flawed pieces in the boxes so we had to finish over 2 days.
All and all, the flooring came out beautifully and look how amazing it looks with the black walls! I think the wall color really makes the floors sing (I know, I’m weirdly obsessed with floors). But you guys, they are just fantastic! I can’t wait to get all of the trim up and make it start to feel like a finished space! That will be next week so stay tuned! Please let me know how you like the flooring with the walls!
Happy designing + diy-ing!
Check out the previous weeks of this ORC!
Week 1 - Guest Bedroom to Home Office Transformation Intro
Week 2 - Home Office Design Concept and Demo
Week 3 - Paint Goes Up