Hello! Sorry I’ve been away for so long. A friend texted today that she was afraid the kitchen renovation had done me in. In case anyone else out there is wondering, I am still alive and things are actually progressing rather nicely. In fact, we’re almost done! We’re waiting on a few final things (including some panels that needed to be ordered late from the cabinet maker) but hopefully those will be done soon too. Of course, things are a little more chaotic than normal and when I am at home I generally try to avoid it all by hiding in our room. So far, this is very good for my sanity. Not so good for blogging.
It would be hard to give updates without ruining the final reveal, but we can start talking about a few things that have gone wrong. Let’s start with the biggest error (which was totally on our part) that could have also been the most expensive.
When we started planning, our intention was always to extend the laminate that’s throughout the rest of the living space into the kitchen. Light maple looking laminate. We had seen plenty of it at the home improvement stores. And we even had an extra piece which had the name and serial number on the back for an exact match. No problem.
When we were getting estimates from contractors, the one we hired is the only one who expressed concern at the feasibility of this plan. We assured him we were set. Now, in hindsight, why I thought we were set is beyond me. It’s entirely un-characteristic of me to think something will work until it has actually worked. But, with my momentary lapse in judgement, off we went ordering cabinets and proceeding with plans before we had the actual product secured.
The day after we ordered the cabinets, I decided we needed to order the floor as quickly as possible. And this is when things started to get a little more difficult. Turns out Armstrong no longer makes the same exact flooring. Oh. And do you know how many color, wood grain, and plank size variations laminate flooring comes in? By my estimate, a gazillion. Sure they all look the same when you’re not trying to match them to something but, let me assure you, they are all VERY different.
We checked every local home improvement store. Nothing close. We had a local Armstrong dealer trying to help us find the current version of our floor, which he promised is something they do all the time. It was close, but not great. I searched and searched and searched online. No luck.
I started to have a minor breakdown (mostly because I was so angry at myself for not having it figured out before.)
Right about now, I started thinking about how we’d go about replacing the floors throughout the entire entryway, kitchen, and living areas. We were planning on extending the existing floor because otherwise there’s no place to stop and start something different. If we couldn’t find flooring to extend into the kitchen, it would all need to be replaced. I actually don’t like the floor very much so I wouldn’t be too sad about replacing it. However, that was not in the plan – financially or logistically. I was already worried about the disaster soon to come. I couldn’t imagine moving around furniture and replacing the floor too.
My meltdown progressed from minor to major.
And then something funny happened. Pete gave me a hug, as he generally does when I’m upset. On the TV, the Chicago Blackhawks game was just ending. Niklas Hjalmarsson was recognized as one of the players of the game. Niklas Hjalmarsson made me think of Ikea because I think this commercial is hilarious. And then it hit me that our floor looked like it could come from Ikea!
My meltdown shifted back slightly towards hope.
I wasn’t sure if Ikea sold flooring but of course they do. Tundra in maple effect. Exactly what I had been looking for all along.
Here’s an image of the transition. Can you see where the color changes slightly? It’s in the center of the picture, right at the opening of the cabinet doors. Not too bad, right? It’s not a perfect match but it is close enough to do the trick for now. Best of all, this was a solution that cost less than $100 instead of $400-$600 for the option from the Armstrong dealer or who knows how much to replace it all.
Thank you, Niklas Hjalmarsson, for saving me thousands of dollars and a lot of anxiety. I bet you never thought your commercial would have that effect!