Disclosure: I was provided with a credit towards home flooring from Empire Today Store in exchange for this blog post. All words and opinions are my own.
We've been in our house 9 years this month–yay! Except that this is the longest we've ever lived anywhere, so most surfaces are dinged, dented, and in need of refreshing. I've already shared my ugly flooring in my entryway. The stone tiles by the door are cracked quite badly and I've repaired the grout many times over the years. The carpet in the living room is stained from the toddler years, and we're ready to upgrade to hard surfaces. I was really excited when a local store reached out to work with me on doing refreshing our home flooring.
I'm sure you've heard of Empire (most of us have their phone number song stuck in our heads after all these years!), but the in-store experience is different. It's a more modern way of shopping, now that there are so many options, and you get the expertise of the sales staff. Empire Today Stores have recently opened here in the DC area as well as in Long Island, New York.
If you're looking to upgrade your home flooring, the first step is to visit an Empire Today Store near you (DC and NY so far) and take a look around. I was a little overwhelmed with the samples in the store–over 4,600 in all–between carpeting, tile, and other hard surfaces. I learned about the various options to replace our living room carpet, knowing that we wanted a hard surface, and learned the differences between each of them.
Next, schedule a free in-home estimate. The representative came to my home, measured with a laser measuring tool in just minutes, and created a digital map of my entire first floor. He answered all my questions about how the process works–how the installers will move all our furniture (we just need to clear off all the surfaces of lamps, books, etc.). They pick up and haul away all the old flooring as part of the per-square-foot cost labeled on every sample. No extra or hidden charges!
I went back to the store and chose a few samples, which I brought home to hold up against the walls, put under the furniture, and get others' opinions. I also got two free quotes: one was to redo the entire first floor, the other was for half the area by keeping the laminate we already have in the kitchen and dining room and finding a coordinating color for the entryway and living room. I am really bad at matching home decor, so I appreciated the sales staffs' expertise and artistic eyes on that.
Choosing Home Flooring
We decided to choose wood laminate to refresh our home flooring because we've had an excellent experience with the 12+ year-old laminate in our kitchen and dining room all these years. It has held up great, through rough kids, a dishwasher flood, and so much more. I know that many hate laminate, but it has changed over the years. Laminates are more moisture- and scratch-resistant than solid hardwoods, and I really liked the samples with beveled edges to make it look more realistic.
In the store, I was immediately drawn to the lighter color, but once I got home, the whole family agreed that the darker tone will look great with our paint colors. It's also a better contrast with our medium-toned kitchen cabinets. I expected some back-and-forth on which type of laminate we'd choose and deciding on what we wanted to spend, but my family surprised me with a unanimous choice of the darker color and doing the whole first floor. I am eager to get rid of all the transitions we have on our first floor, especially the big one in between the entryway tile and our dining room. It's just tall enough that the kids often trip or stub their toes on it, so they actually cheered when I mentioned that it would be gone after the makeover.
The Empire Today Store said that doing this square footage will take one full day and possibly part of a second. The kids are happy to help with moving all the stuff for the big day (and I see this as a great opportunity to declutter while we're removing everything from the shelves and cabinets). The laminate we chose (Holiday Tudor by Shaw) is being ordered and should arrive in two weeks, so we're looking at an installation day very soon! I'll share our results with you and how the rest of the process goes.
What type of home flooring do you have?
What do you like about it?