Mid-Century Modern(ization)

Redefining modern for a family-friendly home

One Hurdle Down: The Floors in Real Time


Well, the floors are in.  If I don’t sound excited I think it’s because I’m still processing it all.  It’s been a highly stressful week and the set backs just keep on coming, but the end is in sight!  Some parts of the final product I absolutely love, others I don’t love at all, and some elements may just take some getting used to because they’re so different from before.  One thing I do know is that I love is this tile.  It’s so crisp clean.  Perhaps little too clean — I may spend the rest of my days trying to keep a nearly white floor pristine, but we shall see!


A brief run-down of my lessons learned if you will:

1) Know how long it will take your flooring to set.  I thought our floors would be good to go in a few hours, but when I went to double check to see if it was safe to apply the sealant, I found conflicting information.  It was 8pm and the manufacturer was closed, but we really needed to get it done so we took the advice of the installer and waited 4 hours before applying two very light applications (trying to reduce the occurrence of seepage that may effect adhesion).  We’re still crossing our fingers and our toes on that one because some literature said to wait 5 days which was not going to happen!   Which leads me to….

2) We haven’t had hot water for 4 days and it’s looking to be at least another 1 or 2 before it’s up and running again.  Some valve broke.  I don’t know.  I don’t ask questions of the husband when he’s looking furious and freezing.   From what I understand, as soon as we can hook up the washing machine we should be good to go.  Oh, and we still can’t get the doors back on our refrigerator.  We’ve never been so thankful that our previous owner’s kept a kosher kitchen — that second refrigerator we stashed in the garage has come in handy this week!  Which leads me to…

3) Know how long you need to wait before moving furniture and appliances in.  We installed commercial tile, not residential tile, so the specs don’t really touch on this.  I need to call Armstrong today to determine when we can move appliances back in and get life back to normal, but it’s looking like 72 hours (which means we’ll be hosting a large party on Saturday without the benefit of a fully functioning kitchen).  At least the fridge is already on a dolly so maybe we’ll just wheel it around to the backyard and plug it in next to the bbq.  Wouldn’t that be classy?

4) Understand your finishes.  This is my biggest shame.  After our discussions I (poorly) assumed that our installers would be replacing our base moldings with like materials, but when our order arrived this was not the case.  I later learned that there were various options that our materials dealer was supposed to review with us but had failed to do so.  I’m so mad at myself for not catching this!  I can’t say for certain I would have chosen anything different, but I might have! I scrambled in the last few days before the installation to get things right, but one thing I didn’t notice was the heft of the quarter round.  I thought quarter round was, well, quarter round, but no, not really.  The moldings they installed are substantially thicker than what was there previously. I’m still trying to determine if I hate them or if it’s just something that will take a couple days to adjust to.  (I think I hate them) I’m particularly against the white QR around the kitchen cabinets (the walls don’t particularly bother me or at least I don’t think they will once the walls and baseboards get a nice coat of paint — then they’ll all blend in together nicely).  I may try and paint those along the cabinets to better match the wood or even swap them out for walnut quarter round so they’re less in-your-face.  Given the clean lines of our home I’d prefer not to have quarter round at all, but something needs to cover those gaps.


Carefully placed “weights” to encourage adhesion.  Also note crazy quarter round (not that you could miss it).




Damn, those walls look yellow now!  They’re screaming, “Paint me, paint meeeee!”


I love the floors, it’s just that the crisp newness of them highlights everything else that needs attention.  This project is starting to wear on me…maybe I just need a good BBQ (and a beer or two) with friends and family to get me back in the celebratory spirit.  Come one, come all — just don’t judge this disaster we call home. :)

We got the white quarter round replaced with matching maple hardwood and it looks amazing.  Check it out here!


Author: Olivia @ Mid-Century Modern(ization)

I am a wife, mother, and writer. I am also a crafting, furniture-refinishing, home-designing nut.

8 thoughts on “One Hurdle Down: The Floors in Real Time

  1. First-up, the flooring looks AMAZING! There are definitely advantages to getting it installed by professionals…rather than our DIY phased approach!

    I’m with you on the quarter-round. I guess lower profile would have been ideal but, like you say, with paint all will look fine. The kitchen, as you say, is the only place it really stands out.

    We have something similar in our (tiny) kitchen right now, but there are so many other problems in there, you hardly notice it! We are planning to remove it, and install VCT right to the base of the cabinet, where it meets the floor, then run a line of gray caulk over the gap (the cabinets and floor will be gray).

    I’m not sure how big your gap is (considering they knew they’d be laying baseboard over the top) but this could be an option for you. Or, your idea of matching the wood tones could work. It would certainly help it to blend in.

    That said, you should live with it for a little while, and see how much you notice it. I’m betting a lot at first, then you probably won’t. I certainly wouldn’t beat yourself up over it –I know what feels like.

    Overall, it’s a HUGE success! Hope you find time for a few beers and some relaxation time :)

    • Andy, I REALLY like this idea of yours! I’m very curious to see if we can remove the quarter round in the kitchen and just pipe a line of caulk in its stead. That’s what they did on the other side of the room where it meets the brick, but like you say, there’s no guarantee as to how meticulous they were …. maybe I can ask them tomorrow. They are coming back out to fix the door to the laundry where they accidentally installed molding across the door jam (whoops!).

      But you’re right, once we got the appliances, furniture and rug back in it’s not as noticeable. Thank goodness!

  2. The floors look fantastic with the navy partition wall! Seriously!

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  6. Your floors look so nice! I am also thinking of putting bio based tile in our new kitchen and den and was wondering how they have held up over the last few years. And, are they easy to maintain? Thanks!

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