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Building a home, week 13: Will Karndean Loose Lay floors stand the test of time?

This Karndean Loose Lay vinyl floor was installed on concrete in the basement. It looks great. Only time will tell if it will do all that it promises.
This Karndean Loose Lay vinyl floor was installed on concrete in the basement. It looks great. Only time will tell if it will do all that it promises.
Gander Builders, Steve Lecas

It was unlucky week 13 in the home building process. Unlucky because for the third week in a row work on the outdoor landscaping has been postponed due to heavy rains. Landscaping was supposed to have started June 1 but here we are in the last week of June and nothing has happened. Instead, work focused on the interior and once again, we watched the work remotely since we were out of town.

We wanted a fun floor for the basement bathroom that would go well with our white cabinet, deep Mustee sink and Cesarstone Apple Martini countertop, so this retro-inspired vinyl floor from Mannington was the perfect choice.
Gander Builders, Steve Lecas

We used Builder Trend, an online site facilitating communication between builders and owners, as well as numerous texts, calls and emails to Steve Lecas of Gander Builders. We're in the home stretch now and it was the worst time to be away, but work progressed smoothly and quickly. Lucky for us, week 13 in this ongoing series, "Building a Home," was a fast one.

The focus this week was on floors, specifically, the basement floor. Originally, we were going to finish the concrete with a stain, but threw that idea out when we saw the samples. (To read more on this change, click here.) Instead, we opted for Karndean Loose Lay Vinyl Flooring. The flooring comes in strips (for those patterns that resemble wood) or large squares, if you opt for the look of stone or tiles. We went with both. The flooring is undoubtedly realistic and cost-efficient, too. However, what is truly unique is its installation process. Only the perimeter of the floor is glued down; everything else is just laid in place.

As a result, if a piece gets damaged, you just pull it up and replace it with a new one. If the floor gets wet, you just pull up the pieces, dry them out and lay them back in place. Sounds simple and it is. We chose the floor because of the reviews we saw online and the actual quality of the floor and its appearance when you see and hold it in person. Lecas, who wasn't familiar with the product, was impressed by it but was skeptical about its longevity. We admit that we were doubtful, but after reading the reviews and noting that it comes with a 20 year warranty, we decided to give it a try. We like the way it looks, but only time will tell if it can stand up to daily wear and tear and three dogs.

June 21: Finally, the last tile floor was laid in the first floor powder room.

June 23: Prepping for interior painting started with puttying nail holes and sanding. It is long, tedious process that doesn't have much to show for itself at the end of the day but it is a necessary step.

June 25: All the stone countertops and sinks were installed throughout the house by TTS Granite. Sinks were also installed as the kitchen island and bathroom vanities started taking shape. Other carpentry work continued with installing built-in cabinets in the exercise room and a half wall in the basement.

June 26: The concrete floors in the basement were covered up with Karndean Loose Lay Vinyl flooring. For the main basement living area, we chose a Series One Wood floor called Burnt Ginger, while the exercise room was outfitted with Nevada, from Karndean's Series Two Textile Collection.

Next week, we're hoping to finally get enough dry days so that the outdoor work can begin but even if it does, we have the July 4th holiday to contend with. Now that we're down to our last 30 days of the home building process, we want to keep things moving along.

To read this column from the beginning, click here. To read the next installment, click here.

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