The process we went through to get our water damaged wood floors repaired was long and frustrating…one that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. If we chose to do the repair through the insurance company, we would be required to use their contractor. That was fine with us as there were certain quality guarantees in place with that choice. We just wanted the job done so we could have our house back! However, the contractor was very busy and was not able to get to our house for months. So, we moved to our second option which was to take a lump sum insurance payout and find our own contractor. Next came the exhausting search to find manufactured flooring that would match our original flooring. We checked the large flooring chain stores, as well as other smaller recommended suppliers and were able to find a color/finish match. However, the “click,” or how the wood connects to our current flooring, was not compatible. Even after an extensive search, no match was found. That specific “click” was no longer produced. So, as a result of all this research and looking at all the product options, we are replacing our wood floor with laminate due to the water leak. It’s a very big deal!
Now we needed to hire a company that could do flooring. We revisited old files to locate the contractor we had worked with when our Hickory engineered floor was installed. They agreed to do the job and worked with us to execute a complete “start over” on our floor. It must have been strange ripping up all the wood flooring his team had installed only a few years earlier!
Where It All Started: Refrigerator Plastic Water Tube
All of this started when two tiny holes opened in the plastic water tubing that led from the water supply at floor level to the back of the refrigerator. The tubing carries water to the ice maker and to the drinking water dispenser. After our unpleasant and inconvenient experience with the hidden, leaking plastic tubing we highly recommend you regularly check behind your refrigerator or install an alarm that triggers when a leak occurs.
New Floor Means “Everything’s Got To Go” Somewhere!
All our furniture was relocated so the old flooring could be removed and the new installed. That meant everything that could be moved without serious back injury was moved. The first floor bedroom became the temporary storage room for the safely movable furniture and accessories. The large pieces of furniture stayed in their original room and were moved around on an as needed basis. Once the flooring was installed the furniture was carefully moved to the new floor.
Removing Glued Down Engineered Wood Is Very Messy!
I cannot tell you how sad it was to see our engineered wood being ripped up and trashed! Plus the mess that was being created was mind boggling. It was several days of noise and dust…lots of dust! I did eventually get a grip on reality and began to look forward to the job being completed. We were into this process for several months at this point and a sense of urgency to get our home back was developing among our family.
Flooring Removed and Subfloor Exposed
As you can see in the photos above, there is a big difference between the two floors after removing the engineered wood floor. For some reason the previous engineered flooring in family room floor (top) did not release from the subfloor as well as it did in the living room. Therefore, the family room had deeper damage during the process.
Self-leveling Underlayment Application
Before installing the new floor, the subfloor required leveling. The flooring installer used a self-leveling underlayment to remedy the situation. It required the skill of the experienced team installing the floor. Once applied, it took several hours for it to dry enough to install the new flooring.
Our Brand New Laminate Floor is Complete
As you can see we made some big changes in selecting our new flooring. As much as we loved our last floor (Hickory Engineered Wood) we decided on a new look with durability. Considering who may be living in our home in the future, we assumed that it would continue to be a family house. Our research helped us decide that replacing our wood floor with laminate due to the water leak would be a good choice for the next owner. We learned that laminate has come a long way in the last few years. It’s historically durable, but now it’s available in colors and textures that resemble real wood. For us, the biggest benefit being it can withstand water better than engineered wood. Not that we plan on having another leak!