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I think we may be a little insane…

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Derek thinks it is insane that he is now responsible for hauling 2 pallets of tile into the basement.  Box by box by box.  Or just not use his side of the garage for a couple of months.  His choice I guess.

Yep we are starting another project.  The basement.  And from the beginning of this project, I am announcing that it is going to be the longest DIY project in the history of our house.  Because we now have a baby which infringes on marathon weekends of work.  And because we don’t need the space, so it will be quite easy to close it up and not work on it for awhile.  And we are starting it before we had originally planned meaning that the cash for the entire reno plus the furniture plus the electronics is not all there yet.  So expect a renovated space with old ugly furniture for awhile.  Unless we win the lottery.

So why the basement?  Well for two reasons…a sump pump and a baby.  If you remember we had a bit of a flood back in March

water damagewater damageThe good news?  The insurance company is helping contribute to the renovation of what was ugly carpet.  Back in March I was bummed that we lost the laminate we installed in the workout room as well as the timing of the whole thing.  Renovating a basement while you are 7 months pregnant and trying to juggle working full time and baby showers was not going to happen.  But actually the timing was a blessing in disguise as it gave us a couple of months to think about what we really wanted.  And to decide that laminate in a basement was a bad choice because a little bit of water makes for an entire new floor.

The baby’s role?  One he has a whole lot of stuff that has already invaded all parts of the house. Which we are currently trying to corral in baskets, but we know as he gets bigger the size and amount of toys is going to follow suite.  And the family room is not big on space for things like train tables.  And since Carter needs to eat about every three hours and he is lazy/slow nurser and I am currently on maternity leave, we are watching a whole lot more HGTV than usual.  The DVR is my new best friend.

Lots of HGTV makes me want to start new projects.

I have always loved Candice Olson’s designs.  Especially because she is not afraid to make beautiful basements.  I even blogged about it back in the early days.

So when I was watching an episode of Candice tells all, I was excited that she used a flooring choice that I had not thought of.  Vinyl plank flooring.  Waterproof and it looks like wood.  And if it was good enough to use in her designs, it was good enough for ours obviously.  Bonus?  It was cheap. And easy to install.

I tried my best to find a picture of this particular makeover or even a screen shot from a video.  However the episode “family room fundamentals” is not to be found online.  Sigh.  Trust me, it looked great, just like all her other makeovers.


So why then do we have tile sitting in our garage? I am getting to it.

Carter got to have his inaugural trips to Home Depot and Lumber Liquidators.  He was super excited.


We picked up tons of samples of vinyl plank flooring to take home and consider. But since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to stop at our favorite local tile warehouse just to see what they had on closeout.  And surprisingly they had one of our former favorites, a gray quartzite, there at a much reduced price.  So then we had to consider this and make a decision quickly because we were dealing with a close-out and we needed a lot of it-

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Vinyl plank

Pros- Slightly cheaper, easier to install, easier to store until ready to install, could bring more color warmth to the room, and warmer on the toes

Cons- The product is waterproof, but if we had a flood like we did in March, we would most likely have to air it out and reglue the whole floor.  Would it be lost, no, but it would be a lot of work.  Also it is vinyl so no matter how good it looked, it was not real wood and that would be apparent.  Dog nails could also possibly gouge it.


Pros- Only true waterproof option, loved that it was a natural stone not an imitation of something, and pretty much indestructible

Cons-More difficult to install and could get a little cold underfoot in the winter


The winner?  (I know I already gave it away….pretend to be surprised)

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The water thing was the most important, especially to Derek.  I think the idea of moving a basement full of furniture and regluing an entire floor was not appealing to him for some reason.  And the fact that we loved this tile months ago, but until it was reduced to approximately the price of the vinyl, it was not an option.  Because when we need 1000 square feet of something price is very important. But on the flip side Derek scored us a even better deal because we were buying two pallets of it.

So there you have it…the first basement decision done.  Hopefully you don’t think we are crazy for going the tile over vinyl plank route. Unless of course you want to give two pallets of gray quartzite a good home.

12 comments on "Coming Up Next…"
  1. Good luck on your new project! We are wrapping up our two bathroom renovations (master and guest bathroom--both downstairs)...we just need to install the floor trim and quarter rounds.

  2. How exciting! At least you're going into it with the mindset it will be a "marathon" project. I can never do that. I like the tile you picked.

  3. I feel your pain with basement flooding. Ugh...That is one reason we decided not to ever redo our basement. It's happened too often to justify it for us. I love the vinyl planks!! They are a great alternative to wood in areas like a basement! But, this tile is stunning!! I think I would have picked the tile as well.

  4. Good luck on the project! I know it's going to be an amazing!!! And Congrats on your beautiful baby!

  5. I LOVE the tile. (Of course I do.) It's going to look amazing and I cannot wait to see it all come together.

  6. We tiled our basement after it flooded thanks to our dumb sump pump. I really think tile is a great option for a basement. Laying it wasn't exactly fun but well worth all the hard work. Can't wait to see it all done!

    Your little guy is adorable!!

  7. Wow, you guys don't hesitate in making decisions. But you've got the first step done! Good luck with the reno.

  8. I live in an 1891 Victorian townhouse in England. When I looked at the house before renting it, the landlord showed me the cellar, which was basically straight out of Poe's Cask of Amontillado. I closed the door and locked it, and that was that...until my husband decided he wanted to use it for storage about a month after we moved in. storage there. THREE FEET of standing water in the cellar. Turns out, the cellar was originally built under the water plateau with buried pipes leading to a hand pump in the kitchen, which was evidently quite posh in the late 1800s - the servants didn't have to go outside to pump water! The kitchen was renovated, modern plumbing installed, and the water was no longer being hand-pumped out of the cellar, but no one ever bothered to install an electric pump. So yay, indoor pool. (The landlord did just recently install a pump and fill in the cellar, so now we just have a Cupboard Under The Stairs a la Harry Potter, instead of a creepy cellar.) Cool story, right? lol

  9. Our house is all tile except for carpet in the bedrooms. After 10 years, even here is earthquake-prone California where the ground settles and re-settles, we have just two small cracks. The BEST thing we did was to have the grout professionally sealed; I can clean it easily with just one of those Mr. Clean magic erasers. On the other hand, with gray tile, maybe the grout will be dark and not require cleaning at all ! :) I also bought professional tile cleaning solution in gallon bottles. They ship it to me from Orange County, and you mix it with water. Works very well; I'll send you the name if you like.

    You'll need a (wet) tile saw. Maybe for a job this big (and over time) it would be worth it to actually buy one. You could probably re-sell it down the road. Messy job. I don't envy you, but I do admire your DIY spirit!

  10. We live in a split level and our front room is on a cement slab at grade and goes to below grade at the rear. We want it to be a formal living room and have talked about a slate tile or doing the vinyl plank flooring. (We have ceramic tile, currently.)

    One thing to consider, with little ones especially, is that the floor can be really hard for falls. Just make sure you have thick rugs with the cushiest padding you can at the base of stairs and in the lounging areas.

  11. You've been BUSY! Major props to you for juggling a newborn, reno projects, & a job. You're my hero. =]

    We have very similar grey quartzite tiles in our main bathroom & we LOVE it. Fairly low-maintenance (we seal it once a year). The light catches it in the prettiest way. Great choice!