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Operation: Floating Floor

Where have I been? (I just assume you wonder.) Moving. Moving is the worst. When we took residence at our (now defunct) apartment in September it was supposed to be for years, not months. No sooner had the last shelf been hung, walls painted, and an awesome light dimmer installed (thanks, Dad!) we got the sad news… the building had been sold. In Boston, you never hear of a building being sold and everyone living happily ever after. We were no exception.

I definitely won’t miss things like getting visqueened in to the apartment by the construction workers.


Seriously. This happened. Ask my mom, she was there.

But moving on – literally – it’s 3 days in to life at the new apartment I jumped in with both feet to a crazy project. There were only two negatives to the new apartment: weirdly short bedroom ceiling (glad I’m only 5’2″) and a bizarre floor. Apparently the style was quite a ‘thing’ back in it’s day, used in ballrooms and function halls to be very grand. That’s great, but it’s not 1920 and this isn’t a ballroom (anymore).

I investigated rugs and vetoed that option pretty quickly based on expense and the fact that the little goblin dog likes to use rugs to make her piddle disappear like a magic trick. We needed something that would be inexpensive and leave the current flooring exactly as it is when we vacate (it is a rental, after all).

We went with this flooring from Ikea. At $0.65 a sq ft we could do the entire downstairs for less than $425, and I had budgeted up to $500. The flooring snaps together much like a puzzle, except you have all the pieces. This would have gone much faster with some power tools but it seemed like a rather dramatic capital investment when living in a 700sqft Boston loft apartment that we’re renting.

Did I mention no power tools? That red/grey mess under the board is what we were covering up. Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?


I will say that dealing with corners was less than enjoyable. If you had a perfectly square room, you could put this flooring down in less than three hours. Once your initial boards are set, you can go to town. It took me about an hour to get to the point you see here.


And this was the progress made in less than an hour! PS – that little metal tool with a lip is your best friend. Ikea sells the “Installation Kit” for about $10. Buy it.


This is what we walked in to the day we decided to rent the apartment. So much promise…


The first day of occupancy, this is what moving hell looks like. I think even Hoarders would have said I was a lost cause.


And one week after moving in, this is a beautiful sight for sore eyes (and knees. and back. and arms).


Moral of the story: If you’re short on cash but have the motivation to put in a day of manual labor, you too can make over your living space in a day in a rental-friendly way. I think they should give me a makeover show on HGTV… “Rental Rehab” or something like that (not that I’ve thought about this a lot…) where I help you update your apartment without breaking the bank. I’ll start putting together a pilot concept just as soon as I get my make-believe cooking show on the air.

Time: +/- 12 hours

Cost: Flooring: $297.76 *** Floor Liner: $59.97 *** Saw: $13.99 *** Laminate Floor Cutter from Amazon: $50.10

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Hi, I'm The Ginger! Or Whitney, whichever you prefer. I'm in finance to pay the rent, but someday I'm hoping to find a way to make it through life as a self-taught chef, sundress designer and helicopter dog mom. I love to cook but don't do it enough. I hate to run but keep signing up for races. I'm a foodie with a shameful obsession with McDonald's. My sewing machine and piano are collecting too much dust. I'm trying to fix it one day at a time. Come on in, let's hang out.


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    • I actually put it down on a concrete floor. It can go over any hard surface, but if the carpet is cushioned you’ll want to pull it up first. You don’t want any give underneath the boards since they lock together.


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