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Thursday, April 25, 2013

22 Cottage8: Our Flooring – a Photo Tutorial!

We’ve been bouncing back and forth between indoor and outdoor house projects these past few weeks. This warm weather’s got me ready for some serious project completing and bulky tool toting. I think I could even rock a fancy tool belt like the one Schneider used to wear on One Day at a Time.

One project we successfully checked off our “Do It” list was the flooring in our guest bedroom/office. It’s a tiny room (10 feet x 10 feet) and it works as a fully functioning bedroom and combined office space for two super busy individuals that require separate, shared work spaces.

Right away we knew we wanted to go with the Allure Flooring by TrafficMaster, from Home Depot. It’s the exact same flooring we used in our living room, dining room and kitchen. It’s vinyl, flexible, and waterproof. And it comes in a ton of different styles. We personally love the Country Pine.
floor1new iphone pics 054

We found the Flooring Project Calculator chart (below) to be particularly helpful when trying to decide just how much flooring we needed.

Side Note: We also plan to replace the carpet in the master bedroom and tv room, hence the mega stack of boxes on the cart as seen in the above photo with Adam.
It is recommended that you allow the flooring to properly acclimate in the room it is to be installed in for a period of 48 hours, with the room temperature between 65-85 degrees.

Let me just say, this acclimation period was like waiting for a large pot of water to boil. Those two days couldn’t go by fast enough. C’mon, acclimate already!

The old carpet had seen better days…


Adam couldn’t tear into the stuff fast enough, and Chloe (RIP) always liked to be center stage where all the action was…

And then there were these sharp suckers that all had to be yanked out…

Not to mention the occasional rogue nail we’d find hiding in a random corner.

It is absolutely vital you make sure you pull out all nails before installing your flooring, otherwise it will come back to haunt you later by poking up through your flooring after installation. This happened to us weeks after, and we and to go in and replace the plank, no joke.

At this point, all the carpet, tack strips and any loose nails were carefully removed, the floor was swept and ready for installation.

We installed the flooring directly over the old linoleum, being that this actually a “floating floor” product. According to the instructions, it can be installed directly over wood and tile sub-floors. However, installing directly over carpet is not recommended.

For this project we used:


First we started by measuring out the floor and planks to plan our layout. You want to make sure you stagger and vary the lengths so they start and stop at different points throughout the space.


Once you’re near the end of your first row of planks, chances are you will need to cut the last plank for a nice custom fit. Simply measure the remaining length…


Measure twice, cut once…


After making your cut, carefully press the edges of the two end planks together…


And gently press the plank down into position.


: It is imperative that you leave an expansion gap around the room’s perimeter (1/8”) to allow the vinyl to expand and retract due temperature change and humidity. If you fail to leave a gap, the planks will naturally expand, causing them to buckle against one another.
In our particular situation, there was a space just beneath the underside of the floor moulding, giving us a perfect expansion gap. Once the floor is fully installed, we will then run shoe moulding around the perimeter of the room, giving a nice finished, seamless look.


Making the cuts is so easy! Just take your wooden ruler, score the plank deeply with a utility knife…

Gently bend to encourage separation…


Then bend in the opposite direction…


Oh snap!


Notice the thin grey strip - that’s the adhesive layer that allows each plank to stick to the next…

  Don’t forget, it’s vinyl so it’s super pliable!

And just like that, you gently press into place!


Once you’ve laid your entire floor, you’ll need to get yourself one of these bad boys:


It’s a 100lb roller, which you can rent by the hour at Home Depot. It’s a lot like pushing a lawnmower.


Rolling the entire floor out with the roller is absolutely critical. It pushes out any air pockets and gets all the seams as tight as possible. It’s easy to use, and it took us less than 30 minutes to roll out this space. 

Here’s a list of pro’s and con’s for those still on the fence:


easy to install
durable, wears beautifully
attractive design
good warranty


some people complain of chemical odor (we didn’t have this issue)
not impervious to scratches and scuffs
mimics patterns/lines/bumps from sub-flooring underneath

In summary, we are extremely happy with our flooring. We installed it in our kitchen, living room and dining room nearly 5 years ago, and we have yet to have an issue. We’ve never had a single plank lift. I think adhering carefully to manufacturers installation guidelines (leaving room for expansion and rolling the floor with a 100lb roller) has ensured a good experience with this flooring. Just two more rooms to go, and practically our entire house will be covered in this flooring.

If there’s anything I’ve left out, please leave your questions or comments in the comment section below and I will respond. Lastly, here’s a direct link to the installation instructions which you may also find useful.

Disclaimer: Our opinions are our own. We are not flooring experts. We are not affiliated with Allure Flooring or TrafficMaster. All materials we purchased ourselves, and we were not reimbursed for our opinions. We are simply sharing our own experience and our personal techniques for installing this flooring material. We cannot guarantee you will have the same results if you purchase this product and follow our tutorial.


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  1. Jennifer, I have been waiting to see your latest Allure Flooring project since you posted about it, months ago. I am still planning to put these floors down in our house, hopefully soon. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Good luck with it, Lynn. It's a great DIY project that's very do-able!

  2. Hello Jennifer,
    I was so happy to see that you have this type of flooring in your beautiful home. We put this type of flooring in our beach condo last year and LOVE it! Now I don't feel alone with having this thrifty type of flooring:)


  3. Thanks for sharing all the details on your floor! Very informative! :)

  4. Hi Jennifer, we bought Allure flooring for our home too. I bought it in Alpine Elm. I cant wait to get it down. Your tutorial is really helpful, thanks so much. I'm going to bookmark this post for future reference.

    1. Hey Karen, I just googled the Alpine Elm...gorgeous! I'm glad to hear my tutorial will be of help for your flooring project!

  5. Really enjoyed your tutorial! We installed bamboo flooring, and it's like installing bullet proof flooring! After going through 2 nailers specifically for bamboo floors (that broke because of the flooring being so hard), and finally buying one of our own. We have floors that we continually get compliments on after 7 years. We'e glad it's so hard and durable, because we'll never have to do it again.

    1. We were at one point also considering bamboo, Nancy. Another beautiful choice!

  6. We looked at flooring like this too. The reason we went with laminate wood over the vinyl is that we liked a little bounce you get with laminate because of the padding underneath. So the "hardness" of the vinyl was a con for us. However, the big PRO in my book was that it looks just as good as the real stuff. And you don't need to replace existing floor boards. We were replacing ours anyway so that didn't matter to us.

    1. Glad to hear you found something you're happy with, Donna!

  7. Looks lovely! I can't wait to see the entire room finished and decorated out :)

    1. That'll be for a future post, Little Cottage : )

  8. I just took a tour through your beautiful cottage via http://eclecticallyvintage.com/ and just needed to pop over here to let you know that it's beautiful. There's a great balance of just the right shades of neutrals... dark and light. I love the small black wall with the brown table in front. You did a wonderful job. CONGRATS.

  9. Hey Jennifer! Great job, I was wondering is that laminate the guy was laying the floor down on? I saw where he tore up the carpet then the padding but I was having trouble figuring out what the allure flooring was actually being laid down on. I currently have a hideous laminate in my hallway and if I can just plank over it without tearing it up that saves me a ton of time. However planking over laminate doesnt seem like a good idea to me lol. Please help! haha.

    1. Hi Jason, my husband Adam laid the Allure flooring directly ON TOP of the old existing laminate. Hope that helps!

  10. Hey Jennifer, I really liked the tutorial you guys posted. I was curious as to what type of flooring you were laying the planks on. It appears you laid it down on laminate and I was under the impression you had to tear up laminate before you laid planks down. I have ugly laminate in my hallway and if I can just lay my planks down over them that would save me a ton of time. Thanks a bunch!

    1. Hi Jason, we've found this flooring can be laid on top of just about anything. However, just know that the vinyl planks might "mimic" deep groves if there are deep grooves underneath. If there is heavy foot traffic, the vinyl has a tendency to conform to shapes underneath. In the case of the laminate tiles we were placing the Allure planks over, the grooves were more surface and fairly smooth, so we just laid the planks right over, and not a single groove in sight : )


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