Kitchen Makeover Part 5: Flooring

Bamboo Flooring

I made the decision to install U.S. Floors solid bamboo flooring throughout the house. So far, I'm very happy with this. It is natural, renewable, and made in the USA (in Georgia!). They are formaldehyde free and have an anti-UV finish. This flooring is extremely hard, but will scratch. It will also splinter if you do something stupid while cutting it. You need a sharp saw blade. Large dogs with sharp claws would destroy it, and it is probable that a pair of soccer or football cleats would do the same. Ask yourself these questions first:

  • Have my children not been adequately trained to take off their sporting gear in the garage?
  • Do I keep a sharp-clawed canine in the house?

If your answer  is "yes", then this flooring may not be for you.

Save yourself some headache, and buy or borrow a table saw. I did the first two rooms with only a circular saw, and it is possible, but much slower and more challenging. Be sure to use a hammer-driven pneumatic nail or staple gun. I tried going the cheaper route, and using one that was not hammer driven. This gets you gaps in your flooring. It is one step where the extra $100 can make or break the project, so do not ignore it!

Lowe's does not keep this flooring in the store (at least in the two stores local to me). They only keep much cheaper, softer bamboo laminate in the store. Don't do it! They do however, carry this flooring on their website, and I ordered it there.

I was able to first find the same exact product item number on wayfair.com in the form of sample pieces. I was nervous about ordering flooring sight-unseen, so I ordered samples in natural and spice from Wayfair. I carried these around in my bag and truck for a week. I smacked them with keys. I got opinions from everyone on them. Then, I ordered the flooring from Lowe's.

You must remove the flooring from the packaging and let it acclimate to the house for the best part of a week before you install it. If you do not do this, it may shrink excessively. Installing flooring is hard work, and done on weekends, was slow going. However, by doing it myself, quite slowly, I've saved almost half the cost of new flooring. Friends helped with the bedroom. Family helped in the living room, and bit by bit, the house has transformed. I chose the natural finish, and this added a good deal of brightness to the kitchen. As with many of my DIY projects, it's been a learn-as-you-go experience.  

Old kitchen flooring

The old kitchen flooring was ugly vinyl, on top of particle board, on top of more vinyl, on top of plywood, on top of more vinyl. No, really.