Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell Part III

A reminder, if you haven't done so already, to check out the story we produced this week about Charity Sunshine Tillemann-Dick and her two double-lung transplants. It's one of the most amazing stories I've ever heard. You can find Strangerville on any podcast app, or just listen to the episode by clicking the play button below.



You might remember that sometime ago I complained at you that Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell and that Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell Part II.

Well, I'm worried that you might have forgotten so today I wanted to inform you that Laminate Flooring Comes Straight From Hell Part III.

You guys. THERE ARE NOW THREE POSTS ABOUT HOW THIS THING COMES FROM HELL. You can stop doubting it now.


When I found my house over three years ago the listing was all like "this house is eleventy million square feet and it has 20 bathrooms and a pool!" But then I showed up and discovered that the pool was actually a dilapidated four-foot concrete pond that was a nightmare to remove, there was really only one bathroom and then a scary room in the basement where an old toilet sat flat on a concrete floor, and most of the eleventy million square feet was actually uninhabitable crawl space.

But it had "a good feeling" and I didn't know what I was doing and I was probably way too much of a hippie to be making a huge decision like this by myself so I immediately sold my entire life to a bank and now I burn magical herbs on the daily so that this hundred-year-old house doesn't collapse on me in my sleep. Because I would rather it happen while I was awake.


You know that I love my home, and I truly don't regret buying it. But I had also lied to myself at the time of purchase about how much work I was going to have to put into it.

I didn't want to buy a place that would require any updating at all because I was working an insanely demanding job, I had exactly zero handyman skills, and I was really uninterested in home-improvement anyway.

Fortunately I had people like Matt and Adam in my life who have been around to help coach me through several home-improvement half disasters. And in the last three years I have actually learned some basic skills, to the point that I was able over the last couple of weeks to do the below by myself.

You might remember that early last year I hired Tim the Contractor to build an actual real bathroom in my basement. It took him one full decade and my entire basement was covered it construction dust, but he finally got it done and it turned out really nice, for a basement bathroom.

Before and After:



I know. All of the pictures you are going to see in this post are going to be terrible. This isn't a photography blog. I make no apologies.

I also had him build a hallway out for me leading to the bathroom so people wouldn't have to walk through my furnace room to get to it anymore.

I've been needing to give a little more TLC to the basement since then because the floor has been adorned with what I lovingly call "cat pee carpet."

For a while I have known that I needed to rip out this carpet and replace it with something else. I also needed to do something in the hallway since the floor I was left with there was just concrete.

So finally, about two weeks ago, I woke up one morning and I was all like "Eli. Today, you become a man."

And then I drove myself to the store, purchased the gdp of a mid-sized country worth of supplies, and then spent the next two weeks installing laminate flooring and baseboards in my basement.

I learned that most laminate floors are not appropriate for basements because something about leaking and flooding and blah blah blah, so I had to buy a certain kind of floor and then I had to spend eleventy million dollars on some special water-proof blah blah blah, but in the end, I turned the space from this:


To this:



I've still got some work to do and I know that I probably should have just waited until I was done with everything but I used table saws by myself for two week and I still have the same number of limbs I started with so I just couldn't wait to show you.

I've got some threshold pieces to finish off, baseboard touch-up, and I need to install shoe molding. After that I'm going to paint the walls and ceiling to lighten them up. Then, down the road, I'll start updating some of the furniture.

BUT, laminate flooring still comes straight from hell.

~It Just Gets Stranger

28 comments:

  1. "I've got some threshold pieces to finish off, baseboard touch-up, and I need to install shoe molding." you say that as if you know what any of those things mean.

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  2. It looks so good! Fortunately I've only had the urge to fix up pls pieces of furniture since I don't own a house, but perhaps my furniture restoration products are foreshadowing of a much bigger money pit. Dun dun duuuuuuun

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  3. Too late now, but why didn't you paint first? Then you could have thrown out the drips/spills with the old carpet...

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    1. I didn't think about it until it was too late.

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  4. Also, I think the flooring is beautiful, and so is the bathroom. You may want to raise your Airbnb prices ...

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  5. The space looks so much better. Even the TV looks bigger!! Well done!

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    1. That is a big ass tv...not that we know what TVs ARE CATHY.

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    2. I feel like my joke was lost in textlation.

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    3. Haha nah, I got what you were saying.

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  6. Wait, is the before picture what it looked like when the essential oils people stayed there? Because maybe they had a good reason for all the smells they used, trying to cover up the cat pee smell. ??

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    1. This is exactly what I was thinking. 😂

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    2. This would be a sound argument if the essential oils didn’t smell worse than cat pee.

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    3. I want to know more about “now I burn magical herbs on the daily”. You hate the oils, love the smoke? Also, my daughter had an activity that as a parent i was invited to attend and the leader (unbeknownst to me!!) is a doterra person and all down the hall all I could smell was this overpowering basil and i thought i would be so so sick and headache and wah wah wah but tell me why infuse basil?! (Infuse? Is that what they do when they leak it into the room with their little machines?) anyway, i actually thought to myself “i half wish eli were here right now so i could suffer in good company” but then i didn’t actually wish it on you, but man. BASIL. WHY.

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  7. I'm impressed! My husband and I tried to install an engineered hardwood floor in our rental house (and he's a remodeling contractor). We got three rows installed, said screw this and went back to Lowes and paid for an installer!

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  8. OMG I have that same sofa bed (twinning!) and is that a jar of wine corks #NotThatWeKnowWhatWineIsCathie ?? Your floors look great 👍🏻

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    1. I'm more interested in the 4 randomly sorted bottles of peaches...and the bottles of what I'm guessing are pickles. HashtagHeComesFromHeartyPioneerSockAndBottlesHisOwnFood

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    2. The Suzzzz, I totally thought that about the peaches too and instantly felt obligated to add "learn how to can stuff" on my ever-growing adulting list of which I may or may not actually do.

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    3. Peaches were actually pretty simple to can once you gather all of the right supplies. Pickles were a bigger pain, but totally worth it. #CathieMcCannSchoolofPioneering

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    4. Sarah I spent my childhood and young adult years being forced into slave labor shelling peas, snipping beans, peeling * slicing peached, skinning tomatoes, and washing bottles. I learned how to do it, I now want to UNlearn how to do it. Ain't nobody got time for that. Except when it comes to bottling your own dill pickles and dilly beans...so much better than store bought and they go great in my Polish Pickle Soup.

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    5. Is Polish Pickle Soup a real thing? And can we have it at the Strangerunion this summer??

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    6. I LOVE Polish Pickles and always buy at least two cans of them whenever I see them at the grocery store. Teach me your polish pickle ways and you will be revered by my sister and myself for years to come! Also, Polish Pickle Soup sounds amazing as well.

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    7. Jessica, yes, and it's amazing. It's a creamy vegetable soup with a tangy dill pickle flavor. Here's my version of the recipe http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/soups/ogc3b3rkowa-polish-dill-pickle-soup/

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  9. I'm excited for you to start painting! I'm one of those freaks who really, really enjoy painting walls. If I was back home in SLC I'd honestly come over and start painting it for you, regardless if I had permission to enter the premises or not. It's my civic duty to fix what needs mending.

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    1. Everyone who reads this wants you to be their painting-fairy now. I know I do.

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    2. And I'd wear that title with honor!

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