For Love and Flooring

Last Valentine’s Day, hubby and I bought bedroom carpeting for our love nest. The installation ended with a restoration company repairing a main beam that was cracking underneath our bed. You can read those stories here and here.

This Valentine’s Day, we gave each other a new kitchen floor. Not as romantic as bedroom carpeting. Or as scary as the floor almost collapsing under us while we slept. But, since our elderly house is feeling its age, frustration stymied us again. A sales representative quote $2,140.00 for Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring. This surprised me because our kitchen and pantry are small rooms.

Days later, an installer pointed to the bottom of our crumbling wall at the back door. He said he could put the floor in, but not molding. He needed a solid wall to tack the molding onto. And, no guarantee the strip molding wouldn’t pull away from drywall; strip molding on drywall needs a wood backing. My sales rep. had boasted she was a 16-year veteran of the large flooring company. Why didn’t she mention the crumbling wall when she sized and surveyed our kitchen and pantry? I cancelled.

Hubby repaired the walls. Then, dug out the name of our sales rep. from last year’s carpet installation. This new kitchen floor quote, for the same materials, from the same company, was $1,875.00.

Days after that, the second installer couldn’t put down the LVP because the floor was too unlevel. A supervisor from the large flooring company explained I needed to hire a contractor to install sub-flooring before rescheduling with them to lay the LVP. Once that phone conversation ended, the second installer told me someone from his home improvement company could lay a sub-floor the next day. Hmm.

The large flooring company sub-contracts their installation work to small contractors. I thought the installer was taking a risk; offering me his contracting services. But, after more than a week without my kitchen, I was desperate to get the floor installed so hubby could hook the stove back up.

Next day, all day, one carpenter worked putting down ¼ inch plywood that was supported on the lower areas of the floors with shims. He didn’t cover a small area near the doorway into our dining room. When I asked about it, he said it was okay because the LVP floor installers would cover it. As I walked on the sub-floor, the shims popped. I bounced where the plywood was hollow underneath. Again, the carpenter said it was okay, the new floor would take care of that too. I paid him $684.00. Tire tracks from his truck run along our side yard, and on our front lawn where he did a K-turn.

More days later, a third installer from the large flooring company bounced on the sub-floor. “That’s not a shot you’re hearing, it’s a shim,” he said into his phone to his boss at the large flooring company. The sub-floor had to be taken up and replaced with 7/16 inch material. The third installer took pictures of the business cards of the second installer and the carpenter who worked all day in our kitchen. I also asked him to take a picture of the receipt that I insisted the second installer give me before the ¼ inch sub-floor was laid.

Days after that, the third installer worked with an apprentice for 5 ½ hours. They pulled up the sub-floor, replaced it with 7/16 inch material, laid the LVP, installed wood backing around the bottom of the walls, and tacked strip molding. Thresholds to the basement, back door and dining room are clean. Transition from kitchen to pantry is capped beautifully. Gaps are sealed flawlessly.

The upside is that we got the proper sub-floor for more than $300.00 less than if the large flooring company had originally put it on our bill. Because of their employee’s mistake in selling us the wrong sub-flooring, we weren’t charged the extra money the large flooring company typically requires for sub-flooring. Add this to the money we saved going with the second sales rep., and we saved more than $565.00. However, since we weren’t told we needed a sub-floor to begin with, we put out $684.00 we hadn’t intended.    

Initially, going with the large flooring company was disappointing. However, they made good on giving us the floor we wanted and sucked up their loss with the sub-flooring. The saddest take away is the back of the carpenter’s business card. It says ‘Thank You’ above biblical scripture on love.

We started this process in January. It ended after Valentine’s Day. Hubby and I shouldn’t have put pressure, again, on our poor old house to make Valentine’s Day memorable. This day of love, lays enough pressure on relationships, let alone houses.




  1. Wow, that sounds like quite an ordeal. I'm glad it all worked out in the end.

  2. Well, I am happy you have a new floor now. In my experience, when a subcontractor for a larger company offers you his personal services while working for the larger company it doesn't bode well. While they are subcontracting they should be representing the larger company and not trying to undercut them. However, I am glad the flooring company did the right thing in this case. At least, it all worked out in the end and the floor looks beautiful!

    1. Even though I knew it was a little shady, I knew the large company would make good on the small contractor.

  3. I am so happy that you have a floor, but what an adventure to get it


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