This past January, I finally had enough of trying to keep a painted plywood floor clean with the mud and dog hair and all the other crap you drag in with you after being in the woods. I mean duh! right? A person is probably going to have to clean more when most everything around you is either hard as a rock clay and real rocks, or rocks and wet clay that sticks to everything, like that unwanted booger that will stick anywhere on your face but not a Kleenex? that kind of wet clay.
I purchased a product called Allure that is made by TrafficMaster I believe? You can purchase the product at places like Lumber Liquidators and Home Depot, I choose the latter out of convenience. I purchased the Gripstrip version for a couple of reasons. This is a vinyl product that has self adhesive “tabs” on each side of the product, two tabs face up, and two face down that stick to each other as you lay the flooring down across your floor space. I have included a install video at the end of this post if I have confused you.
Here are my main reasons for choosing this particular product.
Thickness, (hence the vinyl product) I had to deal with a door and similar wood based products would not have allowed the door to open and close properly or at all. The wood based products on the market are pretty thick once you add the underlayment that is generally required for a wood flooring type install. I was still looking at 10 or more millimeters thickness and the door just wouldn’t have cleared the flooring. And wood, at least I think would not have held up well with the dog and tracking in debris on my boots.
- Color, I like the color of what I purchased.
- Stupid easy to clean.
- Familiarity, I helped my brother install the same product in his vacation home a few years previously.
- Tools, you only need a few simple hand tools to cut and trim with. No chop saws or any power tools for that matter.
- It is a floating floor. No padding or under-lament needed.
- Forgiving to work with. Yeah I messed up a few pieces but I didn’t feel bad about trashing a piece because of the cost per as opposed to a similar wood product.
- The finish does have a texture, and not slippery to walk on with foot gloves. Or socked feet if you must.
I did the install over 4 weekends and it turned out pretty good. Just take your time, measure, cut, trim, lay down, repeat. In those areas where you do not have to trim around doors or other room features, this product goes down fast! In a few areas where I had to trim, I made a template out of the waxy tissue paper that is used as a separator between each plank of vinyl found in each box. This worked perfectly! It is very thin paper that can slide underneath most objects and allows you to scribe with a pencil or sharpie the outline of what you need to trim or cut.
I started in the bathroom first and worked my way out. In hindsight I was pretty lucky that when I began on the main room everything just lined up and I didn’t have any planks offset between the main room and the bathroom. Glad the building is square.
These are the only tools I used to install the flooring
- Measuring tape
- Utility knife (buy lots of spare blades, I found I needed to replace a blade every 2-4 cuts) I used this to scribe the material. After scribing, you then just snap off the excess material.
- Carpet/vinyl cutter (I used this more as a pairing knife than for actual cutting)
- Speed square
- Needle nose pliers
- Heavy duty straight cut tin snips or shears
- Not pictured, a straight edge of some sort.
Some of the weird angles I had to trim
About 1/3 complete. The original plywood sub-floor is in the foreground.
Seriously how can you say “no” to this??
End result? I like it, my cleaning consists of a wet swiffer mop and I am done. Sometimes I will sweep then swiffer, depends on the dirt level. My take when working with this product, at least the first few times you work with it, is just take your time. Unless you do floors for a living and already know a few tricks I suppose you could move faster.
Install tip: all the boxes say to let the product sit at room temperature for a few days before installing, and should be installed at a temp of I think it was in the upper 60 degree range? Well being January and the house is not heated or cooled while I am away. I disregarded that tidbit and plowed ahead with the task at hand. I never had an issue with the install over the 4 weekend period I worked with the product. I do run a heater when I stay at the cabin so I am not implying I did the install just above or at freezing temps. My point is I installed at varying temperatures and haven’t had any pieces separate or pop up. It has stayed flat for 9 months now? The product does expand and contract overtime but noting noticeable. Lets be real, anything you put on a floor is going to go through the expansion and contraction cycle, its normal.
So I received an email from Home Depot asking me to do a review on the product and I thought why not? I wrote my review, added a few pics and didn’t think about it anymore. About a month after posting my review I started to get phone calls from Macon Georgia, yep, my thought exactly! spam calls. So I ignored them. This went on for about a solid week everyday I would get a call from Macon. Then on a Friday morning at 0555 the phone rings as I am getting ready for work, a number from Macon Georgia again! I was pissed! Not being a morning person on any level, I racked the proverbial slide and answered the phone in the most pissed off voice I could muster. The conversation went like this:
Me: <answering the phone> WHAT!
Caller: Is this Mr. <insert name>
Me: WHO IS ASKING?!
Caller: Sir this is <insert name> from Home Depot, I have been trying to call you for a week.
Me: WHAT DO YOU WANT?!
Caller: Sir, out of 8000 reviews, your name was selected to win a Home Depot gift card based on the comments you wrote about Allure flooring
Me: uh huh? (I was calming down some now) so whats up?
Caller: I want to congratulate your on winning the gift card. Your review is pretty good and the picture of your dog sitting on the floor is perfect.
Me: you said I won something already. (I do not trust any solicitors on the phone in any shape or form these days, and being a security professional I am even more skeptical than the average person)
Caller: I would like to verify your address, can you tell me your address?
Me: what address do you have listed for me?
Caller: <he had the right address> Sir this is a (get this) $1000 gift card from HD and I would like to send it to you via FedEx if that is ok? you should receive it tomorrow.
Me: <silence> ( I didn’t know what to say, I was being a total dick to this guy and he was trying to give me money!)
Caller: Are you still there?
Me: yes sir, (I apologized profusely and told him why I was skeptical and why I didn’t answer)
Caller: Well this was my last attempt to call you, if you hadn’t answered this time I was going to call the next name and offer the card to him/her.
Me: <I’m a dumb ass> Well glad you didn’t!
We verified name, address etc and I’ll be damn, the card showed on Saturday morning (maybe it was a Monday)! The long of the short is, I paid for my floor just by writing a review! How crazy is that? Forgive the pun, I was floored and really didn’t know what the hell to do. I later used the gift card for another project that I will explain on another post. Training time out: Not all calls at 0555 are spam, or bad news calls. I am still pretty selective on answering unsolicited calls, but I think a moment before I just hit the silence button on the ringer.
I didn’t experience any off gassing of the product after it was down, which is what HD uses as a selling point. I was kind of bummed because I like the smell of vinyl fresh out of the box. Is that wrong? liking the smell of vinyl?