August 16, 2008

Overestimating Your Interest in Flooring at This Hour of the Morning

Elizabeth and I are up pretty early this morning. I'm still having trouble sleeping, and my new radical plan is---wait for it---to get up and go to bed at a consistent time each day. Wake-up time is going to be the time Paul gets up for work, also known as "Dumpster-slam JAM!" in our neighborhood (5:30).

So this explains why I am sitting here with my under-eye bags perched on my cheek-tops, drinking instant orange-flavored cappuccino (predominant flavor still "instant coffee") and feeling sullen. It does not explain why Elizabeth is up, walking up and down the stairs and singing TMBG's Never Go to Work. Elizabeth doesn't like to miss out on any action, so she's got some sort of monitoring device on me that woke her up just as I sat down with my mug, thinking, "Well, it'll be fun to play on the computer for awhile, anyway."

Er, not that every moment with her isn't a treasure and a joy. But at 5:30 a.m. I'm scheduled to be treasuring the beauty of her eyelashes on her rosy sleeping cheek, not the glory of her piping little voice full of ideas for my time.


I'm feeling more optimistic about the dining room floor. I'd been overwhelmed by too many choices, ranging from $1 a square foot to "why not just forget about your kids' education and have a nice floor instead?" a square foot. It was too much to consider. I don't feel happy until the options start narrowing. To make a wall comparison, I'm unhappy in the "Wallpaper, paint, paneling, beadboard, hay?" stage. I feel a little better but still stressed in the "Okay, I've decided, it's paint! But what COLOR?" stage. I don't perk up until I'm at the "Okay, PINK! Now which SHADE?" stage.

With the dining room floor, the first significant narrowing occurred when I chose fake wood rather than fake stone or fake tile or real wood or real stone or real tile. The second narrowing occurred when I read the August issue of Consumer Reports ( <--- total lie: my dad read it and summarized it for me in an email), in which they'd rated the very sorts of floors we were considering. I love Consumer Reports, and they love Armstrong laminate. And so I love Armstrong laminate, and the only thing to decide now is which kind of wood will it be pretending to be?

I did a little research to find buying-location options ( <--- total lie: my dad did the research, including emailing me a map to the nearest store). The local store didn't have much Armstrong on hand, as it turned out (they can get it easily, but didn't have samples), so I went online ( <---truth!) and managed to arrange to have five samples of Armstrong fake wood sent in the mail to me. I knew you'd want to see, so I did one of those screen-capture things I have only just recently learned to do (hello, elementary school students! I see you zooming past me in computer proficiency!) Those links aren't clickable or anything---they're part of the picture. I know this, because I am tech-savvy. (Shut up, fourth graders.) If you click anywhere on the picture, though, you'll get to see it larger.


Feel free to weigh in! You know, as long as you remember that I am TIRED, and on a HAIR-TRIGGER with stress over this floor thing, and also that I chose those five from a pool of thousands and thousands and so clearly I LIKE them and the only issue is which one is BEST. So no "That looks like my cat barfed and then spread it out in a thin layer to maximize the Bare Foot Contact Zone"-type thing.

If you need to visualize, the dining room borders only the kitchen, which currently has actual bona fide linoleum (it dents! and has asbestos under it! and is supposed to be WAXED!) ( <---notice use of words "supposed to be," indicating lack of compliance) in a small pattern of red/orange/gold/brown squares and rectangles, classic 1960s. We'll be replacing that eventually, but probably not for a few years. On the other side of the kitchen, the rest of that whole floor of the house is oak hardwood we don't take care of so it's scruffy.


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64 comments:

Fiona Picklebottom said...

My favorite is the Yorkshire Walnut, but I don't know how it would look right up against oak hardwood.

Maggie said...

Excellent choices! I think that my favorites are the second and last ones, but I tend to favor lighter flooring.

I can't wait to see photos of the dining room once it's all finished!

R. said...

I'm a big fan of the wide plank style. I would go with the maple, it's a nice colour, too. If not the maple, the olive. And then, in descending order of preference: Italian Walnut, Yorkshire Walnut, Black Walnut.

Mommy Writes said...

I like the Black Walnut; it just seems to glow a little bit. My 2nd and 3rds would be the Italian Walnut and the Yorkshire Walnut. I guess I like Walnuts.

Is there any wood furniture in that room?

Erica said...

I really like the Walnut varieties. They seem less "fussy" and "shiny clean."

Kelsey said...

I like the Yorkshire Walnut, you're welcome!

Angie said...

Ok, I like the maple, mostly because it seems to have less texture to it.

aibee said...

My love for the maple and the olive is interchangeable and is wholly dependent on your own decor.

Which I know nothing about.

So I'll just have to marry them both.

(what?)

edbteach said...

I like the second sample and the last sample but I think the last sample might be too light and show dirt too easily. So, my vote is for the second sample!

Linda said...

I like the walnuts, any of them. I think the different shades of brown are fun.

We have something like the last one (light) in our house and it doesn't show dirt any more than any other wood, IMO. It also coordinates easily with any wall color.

Shelly Overlook said...

I'm a fan of the walnuts - Italian and Yorkshire in particular.

g~ said...

I add my vote for the walnuts. They look like they could go with a variety of different wood colors--which might come in handy when you decide to redo the kitchen.
g~

Fine For Now said...

I like the Black Walnut, it has an interesting two-toned theme going :)

Mrs. M said...

yorkshire walnut or the antique

Kristi said...

I like the maple because of the wide plank and because it's not too dark. I also think the color would look decent against your old linoleum. Can't wait to see what you choose as I like them all.

I have the same trouble with sleeping - and lament it constantly in my posts - and the "getting up early so you will pass out at the end of the day" has worked better for me than anything else I've tried. Also, this time of the year isn't exactly condusive to quality sleep. Good luck.

Leticia said...

I really like the 1st 3...Yorkshire Walnut probably my fave.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

The Black Walnut is appealing to me the most; but I also like the Olive because the lighter colour would be nice and bright. So those are my two votes! :-)

Jess said...

I love them all, especially the second and the last. Good choices!

Tracy said...

yorkshire and italian walnut are my favorites. After you are done there, can you come finish helping me (or just do it because I seem incablable of deciding) with my remodel choices??

jen said...

I vote for the wide plank maple with the black walnut coming in a close 2nd. Any of these will look great though - fake wood is a wise choice!

fairydogmother said...

I don't know which one I like because I'm having sleep issues too, which kind of leaves me unable to make decisions about anything, and long story short: they all look good to me.

I've been up since 3:00 am today. Again. I'm currently annoying the dog with my typing on the laptop. He keeps opening his eyes and giving me these deep "I'm trying to sleep here" sighs. Preachin' to the choir, buddy.

-R- said...

I like all your choices.

What color are your baseboards and other trim? I think you should either match the color of the other wood or choose something very different. Otherwise, it might look like you tried to match and failed.

Or maybe when you put in wood flooring, it comes with baseboards that match? If so, you can ignore everything else except that I like your choices.

Mommy Daisy said...

Yikes on the lack of sleep thing. I've been off too...seems like all summer. Then last week I was up late watching Olympics. Now I'm all messed up. I keep thinking that I, too, need to get up earlier at a certain time each day. But....ugh.

ANyway, I really like the MAPLE option that you have there. I like the lighter look of Maple. And that's the only reason why. Good luck.

Amy said...

I really like the black walnut.

Klynn said...

Delurking to suggest the Black Walnut. We have a Brazillian Cherry laminate in our house that has the same multi-shade mixed board look (and it's gorgeous, if I do say so myself...and I do). It makes adding various wood furniture pieces a breeze. Because there are varying shades in the flooring, almost any other type of wood will look fine with it. Good luck.

Alice said...

i like the black walnut. i like the 2-tonedness, and it seems easier to match things to AND harder to see dirt on because of the varied colors :-)

Megan said...

I like the wide one, the black walnut and the italian walnut. Just sayin.

skiplovey said...

I like the Maple antique wide. It's a moderate tone (hard to know without seeing pictures of the room) so it'll blend with a lot. Plus it's not too light so it'll mask dust, not that you don't constantly sweep or anything but I certainly don't and I like a little bit of flexibility in that area, ahem.

Ellen said...

The maple is perty. So is the olive.

d e v a n said...

I like 3, unless you like a lighter wood. Then I say 5. I guess it depends on the color of your furniture, if it's wood and etc.
Still, I like 3 best.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

Italian or Black walnut.

Shannon said...

Italian Walnut.

Do it, I triple dog dare you.

Little-Bit said...

I like the Balck Walnut. But I bet it is the most expensive one. That's just how i roll.

Bird said...

I like the black walnut.

Swistle said...

So far, no other furniture in the room. Or, rather, we have a 1970s dark brown pine table and chairs that we'll be using at first, but plan is to eventually get a new table/chairs and also a sideboard and/or china cabinet---so we can base that wood choice on whatever floor we choose now.

Marie Green said...

I can also get really overwhelmed with things like this, but then I get over that hump (probably the same momentum issue I have with cleaning, housekeeping, being motivated). Once I start making decisions, each following decision gets easier.

I like the black walnut best.

Swistle said...

Oh, and the walls will probably be white, the very-tiny-bit-of-yellow type of white.

Baseboards and trim---oh dear. I hadn't thought of baseboards and trim. Medium brown, I think. When we did our downstairs, my dad mixed a color of stain that was not too startlingly different from the dark 1960s brown of the rest of the house, but was lighter and warmer (more orange). Probably we'd do that in the new dining room, but because he can mix it to get what we want, he can tweak it to look better with whatever floor we choose.

squandra said...

I didn't know you were supposed to wax linoleum. I HAVE linoleum. I have ALWAYS had linoleum.

Your kitchen linoleum sounds awesome by the way; keep it! :)

ANYWAYS. I like all the Walnuts. I'm not sure why, but they do seem like they "hide the fake" better, so there's that.

gingermaxim said...

The first, Yorkshire Walnut, is my favorite. But they are all pretty and you cannot go wrong.

staci said...

I like the very last one. When we put laminate in our house we used something close to the third picture... and regret it a little bit because it looks a little "busy"... but the laminate is beautiful and so easy to care for.

Dr. Maureen said...

My ranking:
Black Walunt
Yorkshire Walnut
American Duet
Olive
Italian Walnut

Good luck. These decisions are SO STRESSFUL. But the good news: Whatever you get, you will like it because it will be 100x better than your old floor. (I'm extrapolating from my experience; possibly your current floor is not the disaster that was my old floor, so maybe it will only be 10x better.)

Bea said...

My interest in flooring cannot BE overestimated. The only time I stop thinking about floors is when I start thinking about paint (which is a lot, actually, but still).

I love the second one, the maple. Yum.

Bea said...

Oh, and linoleum is making a comeback, by the way. You can still find it, though not as easily as vinyl, and some people prefer it because it's a natural substance (made from linseed oil).

Bunny said...

#2. The end.

Also: nothing bugs me more than a child being up during my early morning alone time. Grrr.

SP said...

I just ordered rug samples for my living and family rooms so I completely understand your dilema. For the record, I like them all.

Also, stop by my blog, there is a surprise there for you.

desperate housewife said...

I like the first and last one, depending on what color wood table/chairs will be used in the dining room. I like the color of the last one better (I'm pretty sure it's the same thing we have in our kitchen, actually) but the first one seems more like YOU to me. It has character.

Kristine said...

I like the black walnut best, followed by the Yorkshire Walnut. The Italian walnut is ok too, but the other two look too perfect in color tones, and therefore will look like wood-looking vinyl - which scream trailer house to me, which I'm guessing is not what you're going for.

Sorry...I'm kind of stongly opinionated about wood flooring.

Julie said...

I like the Yorkshire Walnut because it looks like the inside of a tree. Not reason enough to select it, but there it is.

Beth said...

Yorkshire Walnut - the 1st one.

McWriter said...

My first like was #5, b/c it looked smooth and clean. Then, my more reasonable self leaned toward #3 b/c it will show less mess. And I'm messy. So, if it were me, I'd go #3. I think is says both "funky and modern" and "so clean you could eat off of me (but don't look too close)".

Miss Grace said...

I like the walnuts.

Jessica said...

I love the Olive. I can picture what a floor with that would look like overall quite easily, without having to worry about patterns that may or may not emerge once it was installed.

Marta said...

Yorkshire! Yorkshire! Yorkshire! =P just my two cents... now I'm going back into hiding =P

Amy said...

I like the Yorkshire Walnut!

Clink said...

Oh my goodness I am totally late to the personality test post so I am weighing in on flooring...

I like the black walnut :)

Oh and I love that TMBG is sung in your house at 5am...that makes it almost worth being awake.
Almost.

Tessa said...

I totally bought the maple for my house last week. And I had no idea about Consumer Reports. And I can now report that you have officially made my day. Now I just have to wait two long months until my brother-in-law can put it in. He's a carpenter, and my husband is...how can I say this...not handy. He'll help, but at least he'll have supervision.

Anna said...

The black walnut caught my eye.

Now there is a sentence I've never typed before.


Followed by the other walnuts.

But the black walnut is coolest.

andrea said...

I'm loving the walnuts. I think my No.1 choice has got to be Yorkshire Walnut. NICE. BTW, all of these I like much better than that last batch of samples you posted a few weeks back. Really nice.

JMH said...

Hee! Hee! As an elementary computer teacher, I loved your technology references :)

Megan said...

I love the maple. I love it so much it makes me want to rip out the completely real and newish hardwood flooring in my own house.

MaryB said...

If the photos are fairly true representations, then I like the Yorkshire walnut!

MaryB said...

Also, I think it would be hard to overestimate my interest in flooring, or in anything at all HGTV related!

Sam said...

I like the black walnut!

Thanks for introducing me to the They Might Be Giants video podcasts - I almost bought the CD/DVD the other day, but held off since I hadn't heard anything and didn't want to get stuck with something I wouldn't like (though I'd read rave reviews all over the Internet). I LOVE IT. I pretty much refuse to listen to kid music that sucks, and this stuff is SO GREAT. Just the thought of Elizabeth singing that song? Makes me laugh.

getdone said...

I have laminate flooring in my house. Everyone thinks it is real wood though. It is super easy to clean as well. All I do is use a Swiffer wet.