Did We Make a Mistake?
It wouldn’t be the first time, I’ll tell you that.
I’m having to backlog much of this kitchen renovation (as well as a few other projects around the house) since I didn’t actually start this site until much of the painstaking think-sessions, backbreaking labor and battles over who’s right (me) and who’s wrong (hubs) were nearing an end.
But back in June when the floors went in, I was concerned. I still am. See, we didn’t hire a designer or contractor to help us with the new space, but after several hundred thousand drawings, critiques from the wonderful people hanging out in the kitchen forum on GardenWeb and a consult with the man who would officially become my cabinet-maker, I was fairly confident that we had nothing to fear when it came to our new kitchen layout.
Unfortunately, through all of the research, planning and phone calls to my mom, I never even thought about how I wanted the whole room to look. Not once! I knew that I liked darker stained cabinets, stainless appliances, some type of flooring that would hide the dog hair and this really great slab of granite that we found at the distributor, but it never even occurred to me to think about how – or if – these things would come together.
Where were John and Sherry with their mood boards when I needed them??
After doing exhaustive research on what type of flooring we should get, I fell in love with this laminate for the following reasons:
1. Laminate can stand up to our destructive canine family members. It won’t easily scratch, dent or otherwise succumb to most forces of nature found in our household.* Wood floors, however, can show wear fairly easily (depending on species and finish of course).
2. Unlike tile, laminate is easy on the feet. As a novice cook, I find that I sometimes stand for hours in the kitchen trying to prepare one little meal. Because it’s not an immensely hard surface like ceramic or porcelain tile, my feet, legs and back can hold out much longer while I’m standing on laminate.
3. Affordable! Okay, so laminate actually has a wide variety of price-points, but in most cases the material is much less expensive than hardwood floors and the labor (especially if you install them yourself) is typically cheaper than tile floor installs.
4. Ideal for DIY-ers. I’ll admit we didn’t install ours ourselves – we had some complications when it came to the cabinets that would have led to some intricate cuts we just didn’t feel comfortable making. However, these would have been easier than wood to install because they don’t require glue or nails, and much easier than tile (we should know, we tiled our own bathroom).
5. The aspect I liked the most about this laminate when I saw it in the showroom has ultimately become the aspect I’m most concerned about:
It doesn’t look like it’s trying to be something it’s NOT.
Huh? What I mean is that it’s not trying to look like another type of material (i.e. wood or tile) – a trait for which many laminates are known and loved. I, however, do not love that trait. Laminate is not natural, and therefore will never look natural. It is, in fact, a digital image repeated over and over and will always look the same. That, my friends, you do not find in nature.
I suppose that it could arguably be trying to look like stone, but for all intents and purposes I feel like it has failed in that respect, and I find that to be a very good thing.
It looks like….
…a deserted beach? (Wow, this was just after install. Please ignore my unswept floors. Thank you.)
…a supple suede?
…a plush wool blanket?
I can’t be sure, but all I know is that I wanted to find my own little patch of sunlight and bask in the warmth of this floor until the hubs became concerned and called the men in the clean white coats to come and take me away.
Until we picked the granite.
We had the floors installed before we picked out our counter tops (rookie mistake), and now I think they might clash! I just. don’t. know.
I will show you the granite in due time, but at least until then I will continue to fret that we made some horrific design mistake in the name of practicality. And while the logical side of me says this is not a big deal, the side of me who wants to be as naturally talented as that cute couple over at YHL is crying a little on the inside.