A few weeks ago, I was presented with a unique and exciting opportunity. Flooring manufacturer Wilsonart contacted me to tell me about their eco-friendly laminate flooring, made in the U.S. with a minimum of 70% pre-consumer recycled content. When I questioned how practical and durable this flooring could be, Wilsonart generously offered to install my choice of high-pressure laminate flooring for free in my home. I selected the flooring I wanted a few weeks ago, and last Friday, a team of installers from my local Wilsonart retailer, Dalton Carpet One, came by to tear out our carpet and replace it with sleek hardwood laminate. And I wanted to dance a jig 🙂
The installers were scheduled to arrive between 8:30 and 9 a.m., and they showed up promptly at 8:40. And within 15 minutes, the carpet was no more. It took a little longer to prepare the bare concrete floor for installation, scraping what remained of the carpet pad and adhesive and removing carpet tacks. Finally, they laid a sheet of what looked like vinyl over the concrete to protect the new floor from moisture. The installers weren’t sure if the material was vinyl, and I was concerned about offgassing. However, I also understood the need to protect the new floor from moisture, and I was comforted by the fact that it wouldn’t be visible or accessible once the flooring was completely installed.
The installers assured us we could walk on the concrete and even the new floor as they finished installing a section, reminding us that it would be an all-day job. We still tried to stay out of their way as much as possible, but there were moments when we had to sneak by to get from room to room. The newly installed areas didn’t even shift an inch. The process wasn’t as loud or dusty as I expected, because much of the cutting was done outside — in the garage, thanks to a sudden thunderstorm. No adhesives were needed, because Wilsonart flooring is designed to be installed with a simple tap and lock system. It was actually pretty impressive to see the seams disappear as the flooring planks were tapped together.
All things considered, the installation process was relatively quick and painless, and the new floor was complete by about 3 p.m. A few planks were left over, and the installers left it for us in the event a plank is ever damaged and needs to be replaced. My mother made a quick pass with a Swiffer wet cloth to pick up all the remaining dust, and we stepped back to admire the new floor.
I couldn’t believe the difference in the room. In fact, I’m still in awe at how much bigger, cleaner and more open the space looks. I sincerely could not have imagined a better result. The varied tones in the wood are as beautiful as we imagined they would be, and it looks as much like real wood as I had hoped it would. The only “problem” is that the dark wood entertainment center now disappears into the floor because the colors are so similar. We plan to take care of that relatively easily with some darker stain or chocolate brown paint and new, more modern chrome hardware. I’ll be sure to post the results once the makeover is complete.
Suffice it to say we are all exceptionally happy with the results. Aside from the fact that I now have to sweep every other days because the laminate has a way of collecting a thin layer of dust, I honestly couldn’t be more pleased. I love the fact that the carpet is no more, at least in the living room and hallway, and I’m even happier that it was replaced with an eco-friendly option. My mother is so happy that she plans on calling Dalton Carpet One again to finish the kitchen and another hallway with the same Wilsonart flooring. At about $3-5 per square foot, it should be be pretty affordable. I’ll check in again a few weeks after we’ve lived with our new floor for a while.
Now we just have to figure out how to recycle the remnant carpet that’s now rolled up in the garage. Any suggestions?
Why It’s Green:
- Made of a minimum of 70% pre-consumer recycled content
- GREENGUARD certified for indoor air quality
- Made in the U.S.
Price: $3.89-5.09/square foot. Find a local retailer by entering your zip code in the top right corner of the Wilsonart home page.