Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Flooring Bargain!!
Since my plan from the beginning is to get a trailer that is 24' (pipe dream, I know), I figured out the floor space to be 8.5' x 24' = 204' minus the area covered by framing. So, to be safe, I just figure the square footage to be at 200 (not counting the lofts) when I have looked at flooring. I was budgeting about $500 for flooring and would peruse the big box DIY stores to see if they had any good sales while I was there buying whatever I needed for my latest project. The other day I was on the Home Depot website looking at hinges for a project to estimate costs before heading to the local store when I decided to take a virtual gander at flooring. I found a great bargain on flooring that I thought I would share.

Before I get to the actual flooring I want to touch on options for tiny house flooring. Many have used reclaimed wood of some kind, which I think is lovely and has great charm, but I live and am building in Phoenix. Our history here is about 5 minutes long (with exception of the Native people who lived in portable housing without wood flooring) and the opportunity to purchase "reclaimed" anything is pretty slim. Shoot, we only entered the Union in 1914. So, while I would love hardwood floors, new they cost a fortune, reclaimed they are an enigma. As a result, durable laminate flooring installed over a quality subfloor that is well insulated is my best option.

New Ellenton Hickory
Ok, that leads me to the flooring bargain I found. I purchased 8 boxes of TrafficMaster New Ellenton Hickory laminate flooring at $17.50 a box. One box covers 26.8 sq. ft. of space. I purchased 8 boxes to cover my estimate of 200 sq. ft., but also so that I have enough for any "mistakes" I make in the installation process. So, let's do some figuring. My total cost, including tax, out the door was $139.38 which makes 26.8 x 8 = 214.40 sq. ft. of material. Divide the total cost of $139.38 by 214.40 and that makes the cost .65 cents a square foot! That is a FANTASTIC deal.

Now, in case you are scoffing and thinking I bought some off-brand, cheap laminate flooring, please don't worry. TrafficMaster has a 15 year warranty and the boards are textured just like higher end products. As best as I can tell, the significant difference between this flooring and the higher end laminate flooring is the thickness of the planks and no attached underlayment and, rest assured, that is just fine. Thinner = lighter, which in a tiny house on a trailer application is perfect. Underlayment is not expensive either. The reviews on the product seem good. Most point out that this is a lower price point product, but the bang for the buck is significant.

Here are the stats on this flooring taken directly from the Home Depot website at

New Ellenton Hickory is a caramel colored floor. The 7mm wood grain boards create an incredibly realistic look of hickory hardwood flooring while providing the strength and durability of laminate. This TrafficMaster product is guaranteed for everyday household wear and tear, and is designed for easy angle tap installation. The floor is a floating system that does not require glue or nailing: it can be installed directly over most existing floors. TrafficMaster New Ellenton Hickory achieves the look of costly real wood with the ease of worry free installation and care, and is proudly manufactured in the USA.

  • TrafficMaster New Ellenton Hickory Laminate Flooring
  • 7 mm Thickness x 7.6 in. Wide x 50.79 in. Length Planks
  • 26.8 sq. ft. / case. Case weight 32 lb.
  • New Ellenton Hickory, Medium color, Wood Grain texture in 3-strip patterns
  • Planks have a square edge
  • No attached underlayment
  • Simple do it yourself glueless installation, suitable for above, below and on grade installation
  • Can be installed over smooth, flat, dry surfaces: concrete, ceramic tile, vinyl and wood
  • Radiant heating may be used
  • Residential use only
  • 15 year limited residential warranty
  • MFG Model # : FB0352CJI3409WG001
  • MFG Part # : FB0352CJI3409WG001