...because home doesn't happen overnight.
01.11.12 / The Flooring

…Oh, the flooring. This is the post where you’re probably expecting some great ‘after’ shots of our new engineered hardwoods. Sorry to disappoint, but we’re nowhere near done with the flooring install. This is real life people. So, I’m not going to sugar coat anything. Not even for the sake of keeping a chipper attitude on a blog.

First, let’s start with the underlayment and flooring we’re using. We purchased both the underlayment and engineered hardwood flooring from Build Direct. Everything arrived on time and undamaged. We’re actually quite happy with that part of the whole flooring thing.

The underlayment is 3 in 1 Sound Choice Acoustical Underlayment. As the name suggests, it provides acoustical insulation along with a moisture barrier. Both of these characteristics are necessary for our Underdog as we’re installing the flooring in a room with vaulted ceilings {echoes, hello…hello…hello} and onto a concrete slab. It has a lifetime warranty and is made from recycled materials. We paid $0.49/sq ft for the underlayment.

The engineered hardwood flooring is Jasper Handscraped Birch in Texas Brown. It’s recommended for residential use above or below grade and has a 25-year warranty. It can be glued, floated, nailed and/or stapled during installation. We chose it for its ability to be placed on a concrete slab, its aesthetic {5″ width, handscraped, color and grain} and the price. We scored it for $2.04/ sq ft.

Once the underlayment and flooring were delivered, we stored them both in the Underdog’s garage – against the manufacturer’s suggestion and our better judgment – but we really had no other choice as the Underdog’s interior was a disaster zone. If you ever choose to purchase hardwoods, you shouldn’t store the flooring in a garage or basement due to high levels of moisture that can cause the wood to warp. We did keep the stack of boxes up off the floor with a skid and brought the flooring inside the house to acclimate once the house was in working order…about a week before we started installing the floors.

Handy Hubby laid the underlayment which was a piece of cake. Basically, you just cut it to size and tape all seams. The big thing here to remember is that your subfloor {in our case, the concrete slab} is clean, dry and free of debris. We scraped, vacuumed and mopped the slab in preparation for the underlayment.

Once the underlayment was down, it reminded me of turf and I couldn’t wait to cover it up. It’s like a giant green screen on the floor and it messes with your eyes and brain after a while. All the paint we had just put on the walls and ceilings started looking quirky but it was just because of the very green underlayment.

The next step was where stuff got a little hairy. You may have previously read that HH is an engineer. So he likes things {particularly measurements} to be exact. Which is all well and good – except when things aren’t exact.

We decided we wanted the flooring to run the length of the house {parallel with the hall} as opposed to running from the front of the house to the back. HH wanted the boards to run perfectly down the hallway so we made a chalk line straight down the center of it into the great room. We used the chalk line to line up our first row of floor boards under the big picture window in the family room. To square things up, we used spacers along the wall. We were very promiscuous with our spacers along this first row. Everything was measuring up, so we set to work placing, cutting and gluing our tongue and groove engineered hardwoods. We used Roberts Tongue & Groove Adhesive #1406. It’s no VOC, non-toxic and non-flammable.

Now, when I say ‘gluing’ I don’t mean gluing the boards to the underlayment. We’re gluing each and every board’s tongue and groove to the adjacent board which will essentially create one floating floor in the end. Typically, tongue and groove flooring can be nailed down but with a concrete slab and no subfloor, that’s not an option for us. {We weren’t willing to put down a floating subfloor and lose height/mess with all the door openings.} Quick-click flooring would have been a great time-saving option for us but, when we were shopping around for flooring, prices for quick-click floors were at least $2 more per sq ft than the $2.04/sq ft we paid for the Jasper Texas Brown. That would have doubled the cost…although it probably would have knocked off our installation time by more than half. Next time we install hardwoods ourselves {which I don’t foresee happening for a long time}, we might think twice about paying more $$$ for a floor that can be installed in a timely manner. But for now, we’re on a tight budget and sticking with what we’ve got.

I wouldn’t say installing this flooring is difficult but it’s definitely time consuming. Gluing every last seam is tedious. And because we stored the flooring in the garage, some of the longest boards {the floor comes in random lengths} are warped. Boo. Totally our fault. The good news is they aren’t completely unusable. We’re finding that if we use them at the end of a row and cut them to fit, the cut is releasing the board so that it no longer bows. So all is not lost. Plus, not all of the longest boards seem to be affected…only the ones that were in boxes at the bottom of the stack in the garage.

After 6 hours of nothing but installation on that first day, HH and I didn’t even get half of the great room done. :( We knew then and there that we were in for a looooooong project. The next day, I worked at my real job while HH spent his last vacation day over at the Underdog working on the floor. I got a call from HH just a few hours in and he was distraught. He had busted out his trusty laser level and found that at the rate he was going, it was going to put that elusive center board down the hallway ‘off.’ Here, I’m thinking the hallway is going to be all crooked, diagonal. I asked him how ‘off’ it was. He said 1/4″. I thought he was maybe going to cry.

I immediately told HH that it might not be perfect and I would be okay with that. No big deal. I advised him to put his laser level away. All I could hear on the other end of the phone was heavy sighing. That’s when I all but forced him to take a day off. Up until that day, HH had spent 3 straight vacation weeks working on the Underdog. During that time he only took one day off…Christmas Day. He needed a break. He was sore. He was exhausted. And if you ask me, he was a little delirious – and rightfully so! Who wouldn’t be after all that hard labor and little rest?

HH’s response? “But I have to get us in here.” Meaning, he wanted to get his family into a true home instead of a temporary apartment. I could have cried myself. That’s all he wanted. I assured him I was fine with our temporary living arrangement. Even if it was turning out to be longer than what we had anticipated. Even if it meant bringing home a newborn to a teeny apartment.

No house is worth HH’s physical or mental well-being. So after some coercion, HH did it. He took a break. A much needed break. After 4 full months of putting in an extra 20-30 hours of labor per week {on top of his regular 40+ hour work week} at the Underdog, HH got out of there and traded sawdust for fresh air instead.

This is where I want to tell HH in front of a lot of people how much I love and appreciate him. Do you think that’s too sappy? Well, too bad because this man completely deserves it. He is working his a$$ off and not complaining one bit. He misses dinner with his family regularly to squeeze in a little project at the Underdog. He comes home exhausted yet manages to bathe and dress the kids for bedtime because I’m the one who’s complaining of being tired. Sometimes he misses the kids’ bedtime altogether to stay late and renovate then comes home and plans what he needs to DIY the next day. He’s nonstop. I don’t know how he does it. But I love him for it. He’s doing it for us, for our family and I feel very lucky that he picked me to be his wife. He’s amazing. ‘Nuf said.

So after coming to the realization that this flooring install isn’t going to happen overnight {but if the Flooring Fairy wants to pay us visit we won’t turn her away!}, we’re taking it one day, one board at a time. “Patience is the key to joy.” That was HH’s fortune in his fortune cookie this past weekend. How fitting, right?

The *very dirrrrty* install looks like this currently…

HH has been randomly placing painter’s tape onto the flooring once glued to keep the seams nice and tight. We’re still holding out on painting the brick fireplace surround. Since removing primer and paint from brick is nearly impossible, we just want to be 100% positive it’s what we want before we take the irreversible painting plunge.

If you ask me, the hallway looks fabulous! Just don’t ask HH’s laser level. ;)

The best news? HH and I both love the way the floor is looking – minus the dirt and dust. Here’s a better shot of the wood tone and grain…

I can’t wait to give it a good cleaning. After we finish the bedrooms and other half of the great room, that is.

Thanks to all of you who have shared your own tongue and groove glue installs with me! It really helps to know that others have done it and found the results to be well worth their while. Such an inspiration!

FYI – I was not compensated in any way for mentioning all those products. Just sharing what we’re using!

images: 1&2) Build Direct  3-12) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



The floor looks AWESOME! Sounds like you have a real keeper there too (husband) :) All this work will be so worth it in the end – there is a lot of love going into that house. Congrats :)


I have been following the progress of your house for a little while now. It’s going to be beautiful. We have the same flooring. I love!! Easy to clean and hides the dirt fairly well otherthane when it doesn’t get cleaned and huge rays of sunlight shine on the floor. I get so many compliments from friends and families. You have made an excellent decision. All of the hard work and sacrifies your husband is making will be well worth it in the end.
Best of luck and I can’t wait to see how the whole house comes together.


That flooring is stunning and in the end when you’re using it HARD (kids! lol) every single day for years to come it will be so worth it.

We put a laminate click floor in several years ago and it wasn’t anything near as brutal, but still wore me out. You and HH have my utmost sympathy and kudos to you for forcing him to take some time and kudos to him for taking it. In the long run sanity is worth so much more!


You two are an amazing team and inspiration. What a wonderful Handy Hubby to put his family first, and what a wonderful wifey to put him first, as well. It’s hard work, but how wonderful you have each other to lean on!


Good job guys ! That flooring looks great ! Take care … and a little rest once in a while !


The floor looks amazing! I’m loving seeing the progress of your new home and all of his (and your) hard work is paying off. Your words were so sweet – I just kept thing, “awwwww”. I wish I could come help you! :)


Looks great:) Can’t wait to see the finished product. Believe it or not your hardwood was probably better off in the garage. Your hardwood, would have sucked up all the moisture from your drywall and the painting. I used to manage a flooring company. Hope you don’t have lots of glue to clean off your hardwood, cause that sucks. Good Luck!


It looks absolutely beautiful! And I’m so impressed with your hubby and how hard he’s working – isn’t it always such a great feeling to know that someone cares enough about you and your family to work that hard? :)


The floor looks amazing! Your husband is definitely amazing too for working so hard and doing such a good job, and taking some time off when he needed it!

We put in laminate last year, on a much much smaller scale though, but I can’t relate to the feeling of working your a** off. But it’s worth it in the end, seeing what you have accomplished by yourselves!


Wow, looks great! Good call on the break for HH– you will have a lifetime to enjoy the home, but you have to take care of yourselves, and each other!


Wow I feel bad saying installing floor was easy and fast. Now after reading I see the difference between a concrete and wood sub floor. We did not have to glue and it saved us a ton of time. However your floors are BEAUTIFUL! I love the color and wide plank.


HH is certainly a hard working guy! After almost 30 years of marriage, my dad is still like that with my Mom and it absolutely blows me away. So awesome!

The floor is looking great! I can’t believe what a huge difference it makes. :)


The floor looks amazing – you guys are such a great and inspiring team, I think you are both lucky to have each other :)


The floors look awesome!!! And just think when it’s all done you’ll (hopefully) neverrrr have to do it again, HH. They are really beautiful and you will enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come.


You guys are such an inspiration. The whole idea of your downsizing, to how you are rehabbing a classic home yourselves for your family is wonderful. HH and you are so hard working and you should be so happy and proud of what you’ve gotten done. HH I know it’s easy to get down, but try not to be – it truly is amazing how far you’ve come and the beautiful transformation you guys dreamed up. I bought my house in August of 2009 and didn’t move in until the end of February 2010, it took that long just to get it livable and I just had to accept it wouldn’t be finished when I moved in – not even close. Nights and weekends of me and a friend or two couldn’t cut it. Major structural stuff, etc. was done but that was about it. One room was painted when I moved in, my bedroom. I don’t have a family of my own, just my parents and grandparents and sister that I go downstate to see every weekend. But, I felt so overwhelmed I wanted it all done and perfect and 2 years of living there later it’s not close. I’m trying to find the time to push through and find help even if it means paying for it, but I have lots of unfinished stuff, spare bedrooms untouched, things I’ve fixed and something else breaks, trust me I understand. You guys are doing amazing – and in just a few months at that! To put it in persepective, I had a flooring guy lined up to refinish my floors after my one week of vacation when I bought it. I thought I’d have stuff fixed enough for him to start after that week. Easy to do while the house is empty I thought. After realizing the floors would be ruined if he did it with all the work that had to be done, structurally and cosmetically even, that I couldn’t get done and him telling me my wet crawl space’s moisture would ruin them again anyway, they didn’t get done. Now that project is something I’ll have to do in phases a few years from now, I settle for waxing them and trying to make them look as good as possible now. No matter how many months it takes to get into what will essentially be a brand new custom to you house that is finished contruction wise – you are truly inspiring!


Great post, Dana! I think EVERYONE can relate to where you are at this point in the project, and that is a testament to your blogging style and, really, who you and HH are as a couple/family. I rarely read blogs, except when they come up on a specific search, but I follow yours daily – it just “resonates” with me. You “had me” long ago at the yellow barn door in the bedroom (and Ikea spread folded on bed), and you’ve kept me with this huge project and life change. I think many of your readers would tell you – we’re sending positive thoughts and energy your way!


Wow, you poor guys. It looks amazing!


Hi, I never comment on your site, but I thought I’d comment today as this is a topic with which I totally feel your pain! My husband I did true glue-down hardwood floors a few years ago in our own ‘underdog’ adventure, and I jokingly say those floors have a lot of tears under them! It was the most exhausting, frustrating, and time consuming adventure we had during our entire home remodel project. Plus the glue was a nightmare. I glued a hammer (A HAMMER) to my pants one night accidentally.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that we got it done in a couple of weeks (instead of a couple of days as planned–we too had to go back to our regular jobs before we could finish), and I love the floors. We saved a ton of money by doing it ourselves instead of hiring a professional, and not a day goes by that I don’t look down at those floors and mentally celebrate our resilience in home remodeling!


It looks fantastic!! I also have a husband who is very analytical in his approach to home projects, so I completely understand the sighing and the needing to take a break. Well done-it really looks SO GOOD. This is just a season. This is just a season….chin up!


That floor makes my little heart go pitty-pat! You are wise to take a break when you need to. The details of the move/baby/reno will all work out. As my sweet Italian landlady, Mrs. Cristo, used to say, “Little bit o’ time, everything comma nice”.


we went against the grain as well and laid our floor “the length of the house” 50+ feet. and even despite insane chalk lines running the length every two feet, that first long run down the middle – got off by 1/4 as well. and because we were cutting back into our office off of the line, we ended up with a slight gap (we have a cement foundation and our engineer hardwood had to be glued with the most evil glue ever invented)…but after a week on my knees gluing and “mineral-spiriting” and pounding and cleaning some more, the front of the house is down and i don’t regret that gap for a minute – the statement that floor makes is worth it. i love the color you chose. i just can’t wait to see you guys in and hopefully before baby. best of luck.

The flooring looks great! You have an amazing hubby and you are also a trooper. We have a tongue and groove floor but we are in a raised house with a wood sub-floor. I feel you pain in having to glue those down. I had to giggle that he was so distraught about the 1/4″…that is so like my husband too.


Awww this was really sweet to read, in spite of your difficulties (sorry about those!). Working on our house project has made me a total sap about my husband, he floors me with how hard he works on weekends in addition to a long workweek and miserable hours-long commute. How do they do it? Your hardwoods are already looking beautiful. It’s amazing what the house looks like now.


It looks amazing, I love the color and the size of the boards. I just have to let you know that last winter I put some painters tape down on our hardwood floors for my boys to use as a road for their matchbox cars and when I took it up it pulled some of the varnish off of the floors (totally not expecting that). We have old, original hardwood floors so it may be completely a different situation than yours but I just had to mention it in case. I’d hate to see your beautiful, new floors damaged!


First — I think HH is amazing, has done an incredible, mind-blowing job on the whole place, and is a God among men!

Second — your floors look WONDERFUL. When you are done and they are clean and gleaming I think you are going to be delirious with joy over how great they look.

This is a such a sweet post. I love that HH is working so hard for his family and that his family clearly loves and appreciates him for it. I also love his fortune ‘patience is the key to joy’ Amazing and true! The floor looks fantastic and it will all pay off in the end. Wishing you all the best, thanks for sharing!


The floors look amazing! Having done many home projects with my own engineer, I can totally relate. HH and you are doing an awesome job!

I love reading your blog! Story: When I was a kid my family was living overseas in London and we decided to move to a bigger flat because I was getting a 2nd little brother. The landlord kicked us out 3 weeks before my mom was due so we had to move to a temporary tiny apartment. Of course on moving day to tiny apartment/move furniture into storage for 3 weeks my mom went into labor! She brought my brother home to that temporary tiny apartment and our neighbors had to supervise the movers since my parents were at the hospital. All worked out despite the craziness! Best of luck! Love the progress and photos!


I just finished installing about 1500 sq ft of nail-down 3/4 inch Brazillian Cherry in my home. It took A LOT longer than I expected, but love the result. A couple thoughts from my experience that I hope you and HH can find reassuring:

1. No home is perfectly square. You’ll ALWAYS have one side or the other that’s slightly off.
2. If you had hired a pro to do the install, they would have spent a fraction of the time you spent getting the line right, meaning it’s better now than it would have been.
3. YOU are the only person who will ever notice the imperfections. If, in the end, a 1/4″ difference is the biggest flaw, you’ll have a better-than-professional installation.
4. After you’re done installing the floors (trim and all), you’ll find yourself noticing the floors at your friends’ homes. Resist the urge to point out the flaws in their floors! Their ignorance is bliss, as you are discovering.

The pictures look great!

The floors look great! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and it’s so wonderful watching the house transform. You guys are doing an fantastic job and should be so proud!


We recently installed laminate flooring in the house we just finished building. My husband is also an engineer, so I was LOLing at your conversation because we’ve had the same one several times. Like when we were installing an extra stair railing on the deck to pass code and he spent an hour trying to perfectly spaced out a dozen pickets. Engineers should not be contractors or carpenters!


Great post! I was looking for the magical “after” photos, but the honesty is so refreshing. So impressed with all the work you guys are putting into the house!


I think it might be easy to forget how far your house has come–time to pull out the before pictures for HH! I love the vaulted ceiling and the flooring looks great. The house will all come together and if your family is all together that is what really matters.


Wow, that floor is stunning already. And I’m so glad HH took a break. The love that’s around you guys and is going into that home comes through loud and clear. Here’s some true words …. “a house is built with nails but a home is built with love” … x


Handy Hubby is a GEM! :)

Enjoy some fresh air with him– you deserve it!


We are in the same place. We have 2 boys, are building a house, living somewhere temporary and expecting another baby in 10 weeks, lol! We are expats living in Guatemala, so my husband is at our house supervising everyday and working right alongside the workers. It is rewarding to create things yourself and get things exactly like you want them, but very time consuming too. Praise God for hard working husbands who love their families! Glad you made yours take a break. I need to find a way to get my husband to do the same=) Enjoy your blog!


The floors looks great!


The floor looks fabulous! Great job HH! All things in due time.. ;) no pun intended.


It looks absolutely terrific! Hang in there! It’s going to be SO worth it in the end! :)

And I still vote to paint the brick. I did on our smaller fireplace, and I never thought I could love it this much! ;)


Oh, and we just put up a barn door in our house. It’s a bit bigger than the one you had in your bedroom, but we absolutely LOVE it!!!



Gabbi – Your ranch reno looks great! Congrats!


That floor is gorgeous! The 5″ width makes it look super-luxurious, and the boards are just beautiful.

It’s good to see you appreciating your husband the way you do. You’re both lucky to have each other.


MIsty – We’re wiping up the excess adhesive as we go but it will definitely need a good cleaning once every board is in place. I’m thinking Goo Gone will become my new best friend in a few weeks.


Looks great so far!


You guys are amazing! I look forward to your posts and your journey of this brave remodel that your doing! Your a great wife for your husband and he is lucky to have someone who cares about him the way you do! We are doing our master bedroom soon with the same project, so I’m happy to hear that you love the product and how it looks to this point. Keep your head up, and I would send you some patience from my neck of the woods BUT I don’t have much either :)


What is done so far looks great!! Hang in there and tell HH to take a break and not be so hard on himself. All of your guys’ hard work will pay off when it’s all said and done. Love you!!


I love checking in here to see how the renovations are progressing, but rarely comment. (sorry!) But I have to say today that I think that flooring is absolutely gorgeous!!! In our next humble abode, I would love to have some rich, chocolate flooring. I think the hallway looks beautiful and it is really going to make the space seem big and open to lay the boards in that direction. Thanks for sharing the real-life, in progress shots!


Maybe it’s because I’m also pregnant and due around the same time you are, but the thought of your husband working around the clock to get the house ready for your family made me tear up. My husband and I have been putting in flooring and baseboards as well and it seems we have very similar attitude. Kudos to you for understanding and making him take time off. And WOW to your DH for being an awesome dad and husband! Your boys and baby-to-be will soon be able to be in a wonderful home.

I LOVE the flooring and even with you poignant out the 1/4″ difference, I can’t tell. Please let your HH know that he’s done an amazing job!


You and HH make a wonderful pair! The red fireplace… we have two brick fireplace walls and while I don’t love the late 60s-early 70s era brick, I don’t know that I can bring myself to paint over them either. I’ve been very seriously considering a product called Brick Anew that I’ve seen on the internet. Lots of good review, and it doesn’t look that hard to do. It modernizes the look of the brick, but keeps the “natural” look of it. Maybe this is a route for you? Maybe I just want you to test it out for me first… :)


It looks AMAZING. I’m glad to hear your love and praise for HH, I’m sure he deserves it. It sounds like you both are working long and hard hours, so I’m sure a break is just what you needed. But again, the flooring looks incredible- I don’t think there’s a soul who would be able to tell that it was a little off (at least without their laser level!!)


You and your H.Hubby are so inspiring! The hardwork will definetely pay off.


Echoing what has already been said – the floors look amazing!! We are looking for a fixer upper to buy in the next year and I am now convinced that is the color I want for the floors.

Quick question about the engineered hardwood – if it does get nicked, is it possible to refinish or do you have to replace?


Cory – The top layer of engineered hardwood is real hardwood. From what I’ve read, it can be sanded and refinished once or twice. Since it’s not solid hardwood, it can’t be sanded down indefinitely. I plan on trying my darndest to find one of those Sharpie pens to match the stain for minor touch-ups. But honestly, I grew up with wood floors in our home…with my three younger siblings…and my dad has yet to refinish them nearly 20 years later. The patina is just a sign of life if you ask me.


I think the floors look Great! Older homes have uneven walls and floors. My husband and I live in a 1930s home and we are no strangers to tweaking to make things fit(floors/moldings… you name it) but it always turns out just fine, as yours will too!
I really like your design ideas, are you on pinterest?


I love that wood. Our main level is concrete flooring but it is painted. I can’t say I would want to install hardwoods down there, maybe eventually move to an acid stain. We installed teak flooring in our daughter’s bedroom and loft (200 sq. ft.) and our master bedroom (675 square feet). It was very different since we could nail down the boards because we were on a second story subfloor. Good job! And way to make him take a break!


I love your floors, but must ask, why does Build Direct sell their flooring in “random lengths”?


HH, the floor looks killer. From a couple who could only DREAM of doing what you’re doing, “We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy, we’re not worthy.”


Kelsey – The boards come in random lengths so that you can avoid having a bunch of seams line up together. The layout looks more, well, random. Even though they are ‘random lengths’ there are 3-4 different lengths and that’s it. It’s not like each board has its own random length. Hope that makes sense!

I remember how difficult the flooring job is. I give you guys credit for taking on such a monumental job. You also get bonus points for so sweetly doing it for each other. Congrats on the reno, and the good attitude. It’s something so few people have during a big project like this!


The floor looks beautiful. We did this in our great room but it wasn’t wide plank. I thought this project was going to mentally do me in. I don’t think I’ll ever take on a diy project like this again. Good job!


I didn’t expect this post about flooring to be so touching! Your family surely deserves to move in as soon as possible. With your patience and hard work, of course you’ll all be coming home to a wonderful house. The floors look good even if it’s uncleaned. As one working for a flooring service provider (http://www.prepcoflooringllc.com), I can see that you have really nice floors there. Can’t wait to see the house when it’s done!


Dana – my husband and I are about to undertake the same process with our new home. We go back and forth between the handscraped and the smooth prefinished look. What made you decide on the handscraped? And what was the turn around time for delivery? Your home is such an inspiration – your blog and YHL are my must reads!


Erica – We have friends who have the handscraped and we liked it. Plus, with kids in the house, we thought it would take on wear and tear a little better than the smooth finish. I think it will have a nice patina to it in a few years. Who am I kidding? It may only take my kids a few months to make it look 5 years old!


Sorry if this has been asked before but… Were you able to come up with a pattern when placing the random lengths down? We have 5 different sizes in each box. It would help to have a pattern so we don’t have to study the floor pattern every couple of boards. Any help would be appreciated.

Love your blog btw.


We didn’t use any pattern. Just checked along the way to make sure that seams weren’t all lining up in the same place to give it a more random look.


I noticed that you are using the Sound Choice underlayment from Builder Direct. I am also looking at using that for my click-and-lock bamboo flooring installed over concrete. Are you happy with your choice of underlayment? Is it as quiet as it claimed to be. Thank you. Also, it would be really nice if you post a picture of the finished and clean flooring that your husband worked so hard on. My Dear Hubby is also planning to install it himself. I would really appreciate your feedback. Thank you.


The underlayment does provide some sound insulation. It’s still a bit ‘loud’ in our great room but we think the vaulted ceilings really contribute to that. Once I layer some sound-absorbing rugs around the living room {on top of the sisal} and in the kitchen + hang some fabric curtains, I think things will quiet down a bit. During installation though, we could definitely tell a difference after just the underlayment was in. It’s waaaaaaay better than concrete.

A post all about the finished flooring is in the works!


I am considering the same Sound Choice underlayment from Builder Direct. I feel more comfortable ordering it now after reading this. Thanks for sharing.


I ordered from build direct, Iam using laminate, they sent me a sample of their underlayment , which was very thick and dense with green barrier on the back and the other side with grey, so I made an order (2000) sq.ft. and what they sent was very thin about 1/16 thick, and purple on the back, so it must go back, I hate it when they switch and bate. So just saying keep your samples and compare. Just wondering did anyone order underlayment for laminate and what did you receive. Just wondering if I got a bad batch. the sample measured about .64 the sample about 0.125


sorry type o, what I ordered measured about .64 and the sample they sent was 0.125


UPDATE; The underlayment by soundchoice should have an average weight of 13.8 pounds – or + 2 pounds and no more, mine only weighed 9-10 each pounds, they said it may have been a bad batch and to send it back and will be replaced. Build direct has been very helpful.


Hi, we are considering putting these same floors in our house…everywhere. Now that you have lived on them a while, are you still as happy with them? We have the same issues you faced, concrete floor, high ceilings, and a lot of space to cover. Thanks! I really appreciate you sharing your experience.


Hi Dana, Just checking to see how the floor has held up over the past year. We are considering using Jasper wood floors (Standard Grade Canadian Maple) in our home, but I wanted to see how the product has worked out for you. Unfortunately there aren’t many reviews outside of Build Direct’s site, and I was looking for some outside feedback.


Please google “BuildDirect reviews,” and you will find many negative reviews of BuildDirect’s products.
I had a horrible experience with BuildDirect, and learned a great deal about wood flooring and BuildDirect. Bottom line is that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU AVOID BUILDDIRECT for the following reasons;
1) They are based in Vancouver, British Columbia. If there is a problem with your order and or/flooring, they are difficult to legally pursue and they know this. In my case they refused to honor their 25 yr structural warranty after my floor delaminated within weeks of installation and after acclimation according to their instructions.
2) BuildDirect’s Terms of Service WAIVE your right to sue them in small claims court.
3) BuildDirects Terms of Service REQUIRES that you utilize an arbitrator from an arbitration firm which is chosen by BuildDirect; you decide if that places you the consumer at a disadvantage.
4) If you choose to participate in the medication process, this will REQUIRE that you travel to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Do yourself a favor and purchase from an American Company which at least will have to adhere to U.S. law, and can more easily be held accountable.


Hello…can you please let me know how these are holding up? I see some negative reviews about these floors…but also some positive. Thx!!


I am also curious about your flooring from BuildDirect…We are building our dream home and were wondering how you like your floors. Thanks!


Timothy Tom, We’ve seen your grievances about Build Direct in different flooring websites. Your story with that company is heartbreaking. We are planning to renovate the flooring in our old home and would like to know if there are other complaints. In general, all we’ve heard of Build Direct is positive and we are tempted to take the chance because their prices are really competitive, right for our budget. We ordered some samples from them and they measure up to any fancy hardwoods. We have tested the samples from Build Direct and those of local suppliers, and the BD samples fared much better to the tests of water, ammonia, vinegar, hammering, scratches and even the broiler. We are loving the quality and looks of these Build Direct woods. HAS ANYONE HAD HORRIBLE EXPERIENCES WITH BUILD DIRECT? We are hesitant!! Thanks.


Please be aware that if you purchase flooring from BuildDirect.com that your warranty is a sham. How can I state this? Please dont take my word for it, and google humidity levels in your city, both AM and PM levels, and levels throughout the seasons. OK next please obtain the written warranty from BuildDirect for your flooring product. You will find that that is a REQUIREMENT that you maintain your home at between 35% and 55% humidity levels AT ALL TIMES. There is virtually not a single home in the U.S. that can maintain humidity requirements year-round to maintain BuildDirects warranty. Virtually 100% of the flooring products that BuildDirect sells can (and will) have its warranty voided based on their sham warranty (as they voided my warranty despite the written findings of a certfied Nevada court expert on wood flooring documenting manfacturing responsibility for the delamination of my flooring.)


We are contemplating using this same flooring. Do you have any comments to add after living with this flooring for a few years? Would you recommend it it?


Just came here to see what kind of flooring you installed and re-read your post. Very sweet tribute to Handy Hubby. I know this must have been such a hard task. All while juggling jobs and life. Care to say how your floors have held up? We need to make a flooring choice and it would be helpful. Hope you are well and Happy! Long time reader. You are missed.