A Sneak Peek at the Floors

February 28, 2014  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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It’s been a really hectic week over here. I thought I could get a painting in, but I am glad I didn’t push it. I haven’t been feeling the best (pregnancy-wise) and Greta, Charly and I were stuck in the basement all week while the particle board sub-floors covered in mortar were being torn up upstairs.

We’re so glad we opted to hire out the job. We found a great handyman on Craigslist with a reputable website and lots of positive reviews. He charged $40/hr and over the course of three days (just over 14 hours total) was able to get the floor cleared. He finished the job yesterday afternoon and I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have a quiet house and cleared floors today.

Unfortunately, the plywood subfloors aren’t in as great condition as we hoped. “They’re ookkayyy,” Todd the handyman said, “but I would really think about putting another 3/8″ down.” Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but Chris was thinking we may want to anyway. (There may have been some tears on my end.)

So while we’re still not ready to start laying the floors, (gotta finish cleaning up a bit, lay 3/8″ plywood or OSB, and then the hardi-backer board first) they were delivered this week! And for the sake of restoring confidence that we’ll get there, we busted open a box and dry-laid a few of the faux-wood tiles.


We. love. them. And wouldn’t you know it, just seeing them temporarily in place, has really given us a second wind. It helped us visualize what we’re working toward and that we are, in fact, getting closer regardless of the demo-field that currently surrounds us. We’ll get there.We’re getting there.

Happy Friday, friends! Any projects (large or small) happening at your place this weekend?

What do you think?

  1. Beth says:

    Agh, sorry. Rip out the dirty carpet in our family room, is what I meant to say….not that it really matters much to my question….

  2. Beth says:

    Hi! Last month, we decided to rip out the dirty tile in our sunken family room to replace it with “faux wood tile”, hoping to eventually carry this through the entire 1st floor of our house. We’ve hit hurdle after hurdle. And I was hoping to get it done by Thanksgiving, and now I’m just hoping to get it done by New Year. Anyway, our current issue is with self leveling concrete. We tried patch jobs and that didn’t work, so we laid a whole layer, but it didn’t self level….agh! So, now my husband is sanding it smooth (aka…..a HUGE, HUGE mess ALL over my house, even when we tarp the room off). I can’t even tell you how many melt downs I’ve had over this room. I can’t find anywhere where you guys talk about self-leveling for this project. Was this because your floor was completely flat/level? Or were you able to fill in some small issues with thin-set??? Just wanting to hear from someone else who has laid this larger tiles, and hoping that there will be an end in sight for our project.

    • Julia says:

      Oh Beth. We had so many issues with our subfloor, we had to tear it completely up! Then lay down new subfloor, THEN new concrete board. After all that it was level enough. Good luck!!

  3. Fantastic floors, its perfect also for carpeting, Thumbs up!

  4. Wow, those look so real! Never would have thought of faux wood tiles. We just finished our floors yesterday and it’s amazing not to be living on a concrete slab anymore. Hope you’re getting in some good rest : ]

  5. Anne says:

    Those tiles look really good! Hang in there!

  6. Judith says:

    You know what, this is going to be amazing, and you’ll pretty much forget the in-between stress. Those tiles look great! A friend of mine just used some very similar ones (just a darker tone) in a bathroom-renovation, where real wood obviously wasn’t an option. The make for a great atmosphere and are at a glance also hard to distinguish from real wood planks.

    I’m also stuck in a seemingly never-ending renovation project. I’m a renter of a flat in a really old house, and have been stuck on renovating the kitchen for half a year now (around here, it’s rent-as-seen). The previous renters only lived here for a year and have done some slap-dash things that are hard to undo, add to that the really old base materials and it’s been one step forward, one step back, basically. And being on a really tight budget doesn’t help. I had planned to have a nice birthday bash next week… not happening. Booh. The chaos has spilled into every other room as well, and preparing food without a kitchen is also not really an option. So, I feel ya. And I hope I’ll also forget how awful it was in between when I get to enjoy the after :)

  7. I just cant get over how real they look. I guess that’s technology for ya! Hope that second wind lasts — take care!

  8. Ooooo! Pretty! It’s going to look great!

  9. I’m amazed at how realistic those look! I love them!

  10. Laura says:

    Just recently found your blog and love your style.

    I think your floors will be great! We just finished up an exterior face lift at our house. We replaced the cedar siding on the back of our house with new “Certainteed” cement board siding. Thankfully, we were able to hire this work out. You can check it out at

    Also, I am a commercial interior designer. I recently used wood look tiles in one of my projects (love how it turned out). You can see the final install pictures here

  11. Carol says:

    Crossing my fingers that the rest of the kitchen arrives with my father-in-law on Sunday! It was to be installed Thursday – no wait, Saturday – well, maybe it could be squeezed in Sunday. Hard to argue with the free-labor family member who got us an amazing deal on new cabinet doors AND countertops AND THEN gifted us with backsplash tile! So, yeah, whenever it happens, it will be beautiful :)

  12. Ahhh! I cannot wait to see the completed project. Definitely keeping faux-tile in mind after we buy a house in a few months.

  13. Tina says:

    LOVE the floor! Can’t wait to see it finished!

  14. Susan says:

    We just moved to San Diego in December…and even though its a bit rainy this weekend, we will be constructing our square foot gardening modules ( two 4×8 sections) and planting our veggies!

    Having previously lived in snowy and cold OR and NY, I am loving the CA weather :)

    We’ve also lived in TX-and our next door neighbor there had something similar to your tile; he put it throughout his entire house. It was beautiful! That seamless look is awesome, IMHO.

    It’s a heap o work, but it will look so awesome when you are finished.

  15. BEAUTIFUL! Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!

    Our big project this weekend is buying a CAR and driving to Charlotte tomorrow! Lets plan a skype date next week.

  16. They look great! A nice boost to keep you going. Hang in there!

  17. Allison says:

    Ooooo pretty pretty! I am amazed at how realistic those floors look – I’m very impressed!

    We got a new dishwasher last week that is beeping at us and not running water properly, so this weekend we get to figure what the dealio is with that. Not the most fun prospect – but hopefully it’s the pump and we can just get a new dishwasher from the manufacturer as opposed to it being a plumbing issue that we’d have to pay for!

  18. Wow, those faux-wood tiles look really realistic! I know it’s discouraging to think you may need to add more steps into the process with more subfloor, but you will be glad about it once it’s done. These big jobs can feel so overwhelming and you just want to be done with it as soon as possible so you can enjoy the results. I feel your pain!

    We’ve been dealing this week with a furnace meltdown, during single-digit freezing temperatures in our Midwest area. We’re hoping to have our new heating and cooling system finally set up by tomorrow, but it’s been a few very cold days in our house!

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