Back in June I did a blog post titled “Apartment Hunters” where I did an HGTV style review of each of the apartments we looked at. Our first choice was the one with the hardwood floors. Not just because they are cute and stylish, but because the messy mom has three very messy kids and I know carpet wouldn’t stand a chance with us.

In the end though we were not able to get our first choice apartment, but it’s okay because our second choice was actually a little bit more spacious believe it or not. Playing the hand we were dealt we were determined to make this space work for us. We signed a lease on a carpeted apartment and that was that. Except, when my husband has his mind set on something you can’t hold him back.

J making a digital floor plan on in the carpeted apartment when we first signed.

A little research, some grunt work, and BAM!

 We now have laminate wood flooring in the living area of the apartment. How did we do it!?

Well, first of all we talked to our Land Lords before we started and assured them nothing permanent was taking place and they’ve seen it, so we’re good. We didn’t “install” anything, we just more or less laid a floor on top of a floor. We found the hardwood for our space from Lumber Liquidators and it was 39 cents a square foot. If you keep your eye on it you can find deals like that frequently.

I’ll tell you right now, it didn’t all go as planned. If you have a low profile carpet such as berber you can lay the laminate flooring right on top. If you have a higher profile carpet that is plush and padded (like we do) you need to lay a solid surface down to make it firm. We learned this the hard way.

After J spent a full day and a sleepless night measuring, cutting, and laying the floor down it ended up being way too “spongy” because of the carpeting. It felt like walking in a bounce house or something and J was worried that it would put too much stress on the flooring and cause the joints to snap. So we pulled it all up and put down a particle board plywood called OSB, which J got from Home Depot for about $6 a sheet. Then we relaid all the flooring.The next issue was making the sure the floor wasn’t too high or else the front door wouldn’t be able to open. So we left more relief in that area, by spacing our plywood strategically to have more give in certain areas.

I wasn’t planning on a full blown tutorial for this so I didn’t take many pictures of the process, but here is a picture that shows the three types of flooring.

More importantly here is the video that J went off of for this little home improvement. This tutorial is great if you have a firmer floor to begin with, if not then take my advice and add the extra step of laying down something like OSB.

If I would have been stuck with the light colored carpet in the dining area, I would have made it work because that’s my life’s theme right now (make it work), but having this wipeable surface is just one less thing for me to worry about. I am extremely grateful and I’ve been very happy with the results.

For more information about how this project turned out and a time lapse video of the entire floor removal process then check out Part Two HERE.