Works in Progress

Vinyl vs. Laminate Plank Flooring

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

My friends, I am up to my ears in plank flooring samples and could use some insight. We want to replace the stained Berber carpet in our studio above the garage and we’re finally ready to tackle replacing the flooring.

Originally, I thought we’d go with hardwood or engineered wood but the more we thought about it, we decided to go with a laminate or vinyl plank flooring. It’s a small studio, not used for anything other than extra storage and styling right now, but it will be occupied by a tenant in the future so we need durable good looking flooring in the bedroom/living area that flows into the kitchen (seen here), and potentially the bathroom (seen here) and a product that won’t break the bank.

I’m drawn to the weathered plank look in grayer tones, and the ones that look and feel more like wood are favored.

vinyl and laminate options

I’m really so surprised how far laminate and vinyl products have come in the past few years! So many of these really do look and feel like wood but bonus for those of us on a budget, they lack that higher price tag. Prices range from $1.50 for more basic products to $4.50 a square foot for more luxury products. We prefer to keep the price as low as possible, don’t we all :)

Thankfully these samples are all the easy click/lock together styles so the replacement doesn’t require professional installation and is simple enough for us (or any DIYer) to tackle. We will have to remove existing baseboards but it’s all very doable with an underlayment and the right supplies.

I like the feel of the laminate options, the samples I have are textured and feel more authentic given they’re a faux wood plank product. The boards are longer, the install is simple, but the price point is a little higher.

laminate flooring options

Then there are vinyl plank products, waterproof instead of water resistant so great for kitchens and bathrooms, but some of the cheaper ones are thin, lack warmth, and feel more like plastic to the touch. Will these vinyl options hold up better than the laminate?

vinyl flooring options

I’d love commentary from those of you who have installed and lived with either laminate or vinyl plank wood lookalike flooring.

How durable are yours? Are you satisfied with the look after living with the floors for a period of time? If they are laminate, how are they handling water in wet areas such as the bathroom or kitchen? Did you order from a local merchant or from an online source? Is there a brand of laminate or vinyl plank flooring or company you recommend? .

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Duvet to Window Panels

Monday, July 29th, 2013

A week ago, I spent some time working on my friend’s in progress dining room, the same one where we installed the tongue & groove wall treatment a month ago. It started with a shopping trip to World Market last week where I discovered the Sonoma Floral Ikat Duvet and thought, oh hello gorgeous fabric, you’d be perfect as curtains in the space!

I’ve always believed a fantastic fabric can be a jumping off point for an entire room’s design, so this duvet has been reinvented into window panels to do just that.

duvet to window panels

World Market has a similar window panel but the background is brown. I loved the smoky gray background on this duvet with its touches of plum, cranberry, and mustard yellow – perfect for this dining room we’re filling with mixed wood finishes, warm metallics, and more plum accents.

A duvet is 88 inches wide so you get extra fullness compared to most conventional fabrics by the yard. To line the backs of the new panels I used two flat cotton sheets from Walmart for $11 each – less expensive than two lengths of liner per panel and the exact same width as the duvet.

sheets as liners

With this project, your only limitation is height. This duvet was 92” long, but I did add 2 ½ inches to the top and bottom with a plum linen border fabric so the panels ended up at 97” in height. Here’s the step-by-step for turning a duvet into window panels!

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