Soft, Carpet-free Floors

by Daisy

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This is a little more ‘suburban’ than our usual projects, but it’s still out there on the do-it-yourself fringe so I thought someone might like to see it.
My oldest son has The Dreaded Asthma, so we’ve cheerfully replaced most of the carpet in our home with laminate. However, we’d left the bedrooms alone since we couldn’t think of any surface that was washable, yet soft enough to safely catch any bunk-bed tumblers. Laminate, vinyl, and painted concrete were all out. Additionally, I hated the idea of putting in a thick-enough, LARGE-enough area rug in there after just ripping out the carpet. How often was I really going to move the GIANT bunk bed to haul out the GIANT rug to beat it in the backyard? Not often. I’m not that great of a housewife.
So, this project has been stalled for a while. Until this weekend. Until I spent 8 hours in the ER dealing with The Dreaded Asthma. Yes, there were more factors than the carpet…and we got
lovely maintenance meds and all that, but it still feels good to do something HANDS-ON in a crisis. I flew into full problem solving mode and bought a bunch of these type things:

I re-floored both kid rooms and the kid bathroom in two days. They cost between .75- 1.25 per square foot of 1/2″ thick material. I was in a hurry, so I paid towards the higher end at a retail store. Still, in flooring that’s hard to beat. Especially since there are NO extras to buy. No trim. No transition pieces. No padding. Here’s the finished product:

Actually, when I first did the boys’ room, I didn’t like the pattern. But since I left the cut edges alone and just changed whole tiles, I rearranged the whole room in a few minutes.

Another benefit of the semi-permanence of this floor is that it can easily change as the kids age. Say, for example, my daughter wants to go more PINK and get rid of the green tiles. For about 30$ I can order some pink tiles online and have a new floor within minutes of delivery!
Also, there’s NO QUARTER ROUND. If you have the blessing of high baseboards, these slide up under them. Otherwise, you may have to cut off some of the puzzle parts, but it still crams up against the boards well.

The only CON I’ve run up on is that once the bed, or other heavy furniture, has been in one spot for a few days, there will be a permanent (I think, so far) indention. There are three solutions to this problem if you plan to move your furniture around periodically:

1. Put some of your extra chunks of tiles under the pointy feet objects to minimize indentions.

2. Rearranging a few tiles to hide the old indentions under the new furniture arrangement.

3. Figure this into the cost of the floor and buy some extra tiles so you can replace them if you can’t hide the indentions.



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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Shebadoo September 10, 2008 at 3:26 am

These rubber puzzle mats are actually heaven-sent for me! We have this all around the house…on the floor and even along the walls.

They have saved my 1st kid from numerous head bumps when she was a toddler.

Since they are fairly cheap and wear out easily, I am now planning on buying more (for my 2nd kid this time.)


Caramel Corn September 10, 2008 at 2:47 pm

hi! thanks for the visit.

i used to have mats like these when the kids were toddlers. more like a safety net. now i’ve taken them out.. it’s a good buy.

ga.farmwoman September 11, 2008 at 12:31 am

It looks really great. I bet they are enjoying their new flooring.
I hope your son is feeling better now.
Have a good day.

Ivory Soap September 12, 2008 at 2:06 am

Thanks, all ya’ll! And yes, Nate is feeling much better. And guess what just happened today. My two year old PEED on that floor and all I needed was a rag and vinegar. SO much better than carpet…

Rosemary September 24, 2008 at 11:59 am

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