The next stage of our downstairs den renovation was the floor. Like everything else with this project, the floor is not something we planned on at the time. However, once we got the new drywall up that emphasized how terrible the floor looked so it had to be updated.

When we originally moved in to the house there was carpet in this room. We didn’t think much of it at first, but we quickly realized that the carpet would hold moisture. This kept the room feeling damp all the time, so we quickly ripped it out. You can see that process in this older blog post. Our super cheap solution back then was to just paint the tile. That only looked decent for about a month. Since this room sits on a concrete slab, and we were doing other things to warm the room up, we decided on cork. Not only is cork really good looking, it stays warm and holds up pretty well to pets. We opted for a floating panel solution that clicked together. This way we could do the work ourselves and have the option to replace a panel if needed. Here are some picture of how the panels work.

These panels have been trimmed on the ends, but all panels have 2 male and 2 female joints.
Here you can see how tightly the panels click together. When done right you barely see the joints.

Once the walls were sanded and primed, we laid down a vapor barrier and started putting panels down along the outside wall. This was the obvious starting point, because it was a nice long straight line and we could get down a decent amount before had to start custom cutting pieces.

After a few rows of tiles we finally got the hang of clicking the tiles together quickly. It’s a great system and we have recommended to numerous neighbors and friends. When it came to areas like behind the bar things really slowed down. We took extra time to make sure all of our measurements were right before we cut a tile. After a few days of work we finally got to the last little nook and had to cut some pretty fiddly pieces to finish things off.

The last piece to go in.

Even without the walls painted the room looked SO GOOD. We were in love with our new floor. Putting up drywall in place of the wood paneling made a big difference, but not as big as the one the floor made.

Now that the floor was in, we could install the baseboard and decide on a wall color. We wanted to make the room feel cozy so we debated about this for a while. We eventually talked to our friend’s brother, who is amazing at decorating, and he suggested we paint the walls behind the bar and next to the fireplace a dark blue. The rest of the walls were just a simple off-white to keep the room from being too dark. Blue was definitely the right choice because it made the warm tones in the floor pop really well.

So what use to be the worst looking room in the house is now one of the best, if not these best, looking room in the house. The new floor has worked out so well and the room feels so much better in the winter. The only thing that wasn’t great was the bar. We will share that project next.

Be seeing you.

-Eric

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