"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tile Floors

Recently, a friend asked me, “Why did you choose tile? Seems cold and well, hard. Do you have throw rugs for the cold winters or warm slippers?”

Just in case anyone else is trying to decide whether or not to install cold, hard tile in their house, I thought that I would share my response here.

In our first home, we had tile in our entryway, and I really liked it. It is so easy to clean. I think that it is the best option for entryways where wet and dirty shoes enter a home.

In addition, I walked on the porcelain tile that we bought before buying it and I really liked the feel of it. Cold tile doesn’t bother me. Truth be told, so far it hasn’t felt as cold as the vinyl used to feel under my feet downstairs. Plus, large porcelain tile looks better than vinyl. Since the cost of the tile installation (materials included) was very similar to what it would have cost to have vinyl installed, it was a no brainer for us. 

Finally, we decided to install porcelain tile in our upstairs bathroom and in our entryway because the tile that we purchased has a 0.4% water absorption rate. The old vinyl in the upstairs bathroom was black (bleach wouldn’t remove it) and swollen near the bathtub. We wanted flooring that wouldn’t mold. We chose tile for the downstairs hallway and bathroom because tile is the best flooring to use on concrete. The vinyl used to feel cold and hard downstairs. When we took up the carpet at the bottom of the stairs, the padding was falling apart. In our main room downstairs, the padding is stuck to the floor. We had thought about putting Pergo downstairs, but the Carpet Pros installer told us that even with the moisture barrier, Pergo, isn’t the best option on concrete. Carpet and wood aren’t really good options either. 

We are still trying to decide if we should eventually put carpet or tile in the main room downstairs. This room has always felt colder than the other rooms in the house. If we do decide to install tile in this room, I think that we might opt to heat the floor with this. I have heard that doing so not only heats the floor, but can also increase the temperature in the room by around 10 degrees. The thought of making this room warmer, makes the prospect of tiling it very enticing. Of course, we have to have the money to do so first, but I can always daydream. 

Monday, October 02, 2017

Water Damage (Part 1)

One morning in March, I was woken by one of my sons standing by my bed telling me that the bathroom floor was flooded with dirty toilet water. Before I could get out of bed, Cecilia came upstairs and told me that there was water dripping into the bathroom, her closet, and her bedroom. I got out of bed to go and see what was causing the problem. As I stepped in the hallway, I gasped. My foot was wet and slimy. I made my way to the bathroom, turned off the toilet and instructed a couple of my sons to bail the overflowing toilet. They had to bail it one or two other times during the day.

My husband told me to contact our insurance company. I did so, and the rep gave me the names of two water mitigation teams and told me to call one of them. I called one of the companies. An employee came out with giant dehumidifiers, fans, and a humidity reader. The man made note of high humidity readings and told me that employees would come the next day to take out flooring, walls, and ceilings. 

Once flooring, walls, ceilings, casing, etc. were removed, it was time to find someone to repair and texture the drywall. We called a couple of people before turning to Home Advisor for recommendations. We had four or five contractors come out to give estimates and chose one of them. The man was conscientious, hardworking, and friendly towards my children. My husband and I were happy with who we chose to do the work, despite the fact that the textured walls weren't matched exactly.

Next, we started to paint the main areas of the house. Thankfully, we had matched the paint a few years ago, making it possible for us to paint all the walls and avoid painting the ceiling in most of the rooms. We decided to paint our trim "Polar Bear" white which totally changed the look of the color on the walls. The money that we saved by painting everything ourselves was applied towards upgrading from vinyl flooring to tile in two bathrooms and our downstairs hallway. Thankfully, the porcelain tile that we liked cost less per square foot than vinyl.

"Lychee" paint
"Night Blooming Jasmine" paint

We were ready to focus on flooring for the upstairs hallway. Our upstairs hallway carpet matched our carpeting in the living room and on our stairs. Knowing that we wouldn't be able to match the carpeting and how much we liked the Pergo Original American Honey Oak in our dining room and kitchen, I set to work trying to find a close match. We thought that we could extend the Pergo from the kitchen and dining room into the hallway so that the upstairs flooring would still look cohesive. After a lot of research, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we would not be able to find a close match for the Pergo that was installed in our house over 20 years ago. 

We were left trying to decide whether we pay out of pocket to have new carpeting installed in our living room and on our stairs or whether we pay to install new Pergo in our kitchen, dining room, living room, hallway, and stairs. It's too bad that insurance companies don't pay to maintain the cohesive look of a house unless it's paint on walls and ceilings.

To be continued...

*We used "Greek Isles" paint in our daughters' bedroom and "Night Blooming Jasmine" in one of the boys' rooms.
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