After my daycare closed, we converted the playroom to a giant office space of sorts.  A crafting area in one corner, real estate stuff in another corner, my desk in the middle- and then just a huge open space.

I wasn’t a fan of the carpet.  Exercising on carpet feels weird.  Trying to do craft projects on carpet is also weird.  Sometimes you just want a big hard flat space to spread out on!


We have a tendency of coming up with project ideas, but just letting them simmer… and then suddenly BAM!  Let’s do this!

This was no different.  It was on a Friday afternoon that we decided it was time to do something different with this space.  We were going to rip out the carpet and install laminate flooring!

We measured the room and headed to Costco to see what laminate flooring they had, saw a gorgeous HDF Strand Bamboo flooring (on sale, too!),  calculated the number of boxes we’d need….priced it out….and we decided we’d go back Saturday morning to purchase it!  We would have bought it that night, but we didn’t have our truck with us.  Plus, we had JUST come up with this idea, and perhaps we should sleep on it.


Something many people fail to read on the installation instructions is that the flooring needs to acclimate to your house for a minimum of 24 hours prior to installation.

Picking it up Saturday morning meant we wouldn’t want to start laying the flooring until probably Monday morning.  That gave us a bit of time to fix up some things in the room- like painting the trim (oh my gosh it was horrifically banged up from the daycare toys)….


Saturday after the girls MMA tournament, we came home and took everything out of the bonus room- EVERYTHING.  I had a work appointment, so the kids helped Jim pull the carpet out (stay tuned for what we do with that!!).  Brooke did a great job of photo-journaling the entire process….


Sunday, we couldn’t do the flooring yet (still needed that time to acclimate)…so I decided to paint over that last bit of deep teal on the north wall….

Before we emptied the room….



I stayed home from work, we got the kids off to school, and at 8am we were ready and rockin’!  You can’t just start slapping boards onto the floor- you have to make sure that when you get to the other end of the room, you have a large enough piece- ie minimum 2″ width.  Which means you have to measure the surface area of each piece EXACTLY to the 1/16th” and figure out how many boards will span the run and what that last one will look like.  Our measurements showed that we could start with a full board and we’d end with a piece about 2.5″ wide.  WHEW!

So we were off- I was laying and marking, Jim was cutting.  When he wasn’t cutting, he was opening boxes and laying out the various boards and designating them as either being unique and cool (to showcase in a high traffic area) or just typical bamboo (which could go any place).

Further complicating the process is that there were 3 sizes of boards.  Typically with wood flooring there’s only 1 plank length.  This time we had 48″ pieces, 24″ pieces and shorter 18″ pieces.


So now when you vary lengths, you have many more seams to deal with on the next row- wanting to make sure each seam has at least 6-8″ of spacing.  Gah.

It took us about 10 hours to lay that floor.  TEN HOURS.  The girls came home from school and started helping me- I could call out “short boring” or “long fancy” and they’d bring me the boards.  Saved me from getting up and down so much.


By the end I could barely stand, er sit, squat.  I had essentially been doing squats for 10 hours.  My thighs and glutes ached for days.

We couldn’t finish the room completely because we had to special order a piece of transition (under the double doors- transition to the carpet).


It was delivered that Friday….but we had plans Friday night and Jim was going fishing on Saturday so it would have to wait until Sunday.

That ended up being a good thing because Saturday I had gone shopping to purchase a new area rug for the room, and as I was laying a new rug out on the floor, I noticed a flaw that NEEDED to be fixed.   One of the boards about 3/4 of the way INTO the room was wonky, not laying flat with it’s neighbors.  OH NOOOOOO.

The decision was made.  LIFT UP THE ENTIRE FLOOR ALL THE WAY BACK TO IT AND THEN RE-LAY IT ALL.  Actually, it wasn’t bad!  Riley and Brooke helped me. We lifted each row and stacked it in order and had the entire floor lifted and re-set in less than 2 hours.  It was actually just over 1 hour.  See- all that initial design laying is what took the longest!


Alas, the floor is perfect now.


SUNDAY….. while Jim worked on the bathroom (another post)… I spent my time installing the transition piece, then we reinstalled the wall trim and started moving furniture back into place.


Still an awkward room, but soooo much better than it was before!