*I have not been paid for this review, nor am I working with TrafficMaster or Home Depot in any capacity.*
If you’re like me, finding information on flooring can be overwhelming. There are just so many choices out there as far as different types of flooring, finishes & colors. The research phase of buying flooring really kinda takes over your life for a bit. So, even though I intended to only write about gardening & gardening-related activities on this website, I decided to write a review about the flooring that I ended up buying in hopes that I can help you in your journey to purchase the perfect flooring. Also, some of my houseplants sit on the new floor, so kinda related? Not really, but here goes my review anyway, mixed in with a little walkthrough of my floor buying & installing adventure. Hint: buy TrafficMaster’s Taupe Oak peel & stick vinyl plank flooring because you will love it.
We have been looking to change the flooring in our living room & adjacent hallway for years now, but we had a small budget & other home improvement projects kept popping up. A couple of weeks ago our search for flooring started up again, so off I went online window shopping different types of flooring from Home Depot, Menards, Lumber Liquidators, BuildDirect & Floor & Decor. I screenshotted a bunch of worthy flooring candidates & we hit the pavement to visit the above stores in person. A little piece of advice for you: always check out flooring in-store before you purchase it. The colors vary so much in-person versus online. Also, you really need to feel the flooring first too since the texture is also important, especially when it comes to wood-look flooring. We poured over the samples of laminate, vinyl & hardwood. Out of all of the different types of flooring, hardwood was the ideal for us, but we just couldn’t afford the price, so the choice was between laminate & vinyl. We weighed the pros & cons & decided that peel & stick vinyl was our best bet. Both of us have already installed peel & stick tiles, so we knew what we were in for & we preferred the durability of vinyl over laminate. We didn’t buy anything that day, but we left with a lot more flooring knowledge than we had had before.
So, vinyl it was then. But where should we buy it & in what color & finish? We have a small house so dark wood was out of the question for us. We wanted light flooring in either blonde, white or light grey to help make the room seem larger. Our living room’s color theme is green, black & white, therefore we needed flooring that wouldn’t clash with our emerald green velvet couches. Anything that pulled too yellow or red just wasn’t a match for the room. To be honest, finding the right color was one of the hardest parts of the research phase. There just isn’t a lot of light-colored flooring out there & our choices were really limited. I came across TrafficMaster’s Taupe Oak on Home Depot’s website, checked to see if it was available nearby, screenshotted it along with a few other available vinyl floor planks & back we went to Home Depot. Let me tell you, this flooring is so much nicer in person, the pictures online do not do it justice. It’s a really nice light grey that is overlaid with a nice warm tan. The texture of the wood grain is fantastic too, it looks & feels like real wood. The price was also great at $0.97/square foot. We couldn’t pass it up & finally bought flooring after years of looking. We bought the needed extras too, like flooring primer, a sponge, pull bar, transition pieces, paint rollers & a utility knife. We were ready to take on the project.
We came up with our DIY plan of action since paying someone to lay the floors was never an option for us. I love a good DIY & I love saving money, so I prefer to do everything I can myself. Vinyl flooring has to acclimate to the room’s temperature for 48 hours before you install them, so the day after we bought them was our designated move furniture & remove our carpet day. As a first-timer, I had no idea pulling up carpet could be so much fun & that part of the project went by quickly. We removed our old carpet, pads, tracks & about a trillion nails, then swept the concrete floor that was underneath our carpet a couple of times & called it a day.
Our 2nd day plan was to sweep again, mop the concrete, sweep more, apply the primer & lay the vinyl planks. But the best laid plans of mice & men… the plan was a bit too ambitious. Turns out half of our living room’s concrete slab floor was practically covered in dirt. Whoever built this house clearly had tracked mud in & out of the room from our backyard, left it there & carpeted over it. There was so much dirt that it felt like someone took a bucket of mud & threw it all over the floor. Which gave me the lovely job of mopping to all up with a sponge on my hands & knees for 4 hours. Amazing! I swept once more, for a total of about 34323234 sweeps & we quickly applied the floor primer with paint rollers & called it a day.
Day 3 was all about finally laying those vinyl planks & saying goodbye to the concrete slab floor. We removed all of the planks out of the 10 boxes we purchased & stacked them by pattern, making sure to mix up the boxes. This way we were assured that we would have a nice color variation & we would avoid laying the same pattern of plank next to each other. It took a bit of time to organize them, but it was worth it in the end. Installing the planks was very easy, just like its name, all you have to do is peel the paper off the plank & stick it on the floor. The planks stick very well & are solidly built. They are also really easy to cut, which you end up doing after almost every row of planks in order to stagger the flooring correctly. All you have to do is score the top of the plank with a utility knife, fold the plank & it breaks where it was scored. Me being me, I decided to install all of the planks by myself in one day. It took me 19 hours straight & I was completely exhausted, but it was done. I promptly celebrated by laying down on my brand new beautiful floor on my back surrounded by leftover trimmed vinyl pieces & paper backings.
It is a really beautiful floor & we are beyond happy with it. We have had it for a week now & everything is easy breezy. The color of the floor seems totally different depending on the time of the day & how much light hits it. The morning sun makes it look almost white, the afternoon is more grey, & our nighttime AeroGarden’s grow light glow pulls a lot of tan colors out of the floor. This is a rave review for sure & I have no complaints. TrafficMaster Taupe Oak peel & stick vinyl plank flooring is affordable, gorgeous, looks like real hardwood, has a great texture, good quality & it’s easy to install. Go & get it!