Hello there friends! Here are 9 things about paper floors! About three months ago “naive Nicole” decided to embark on the paper floors journey. Without much thought or consideration I ripped up my floors (see entire process here). I didn’t think too much about the time it would take, the money investment, or the complexity of the whole thing. I truly believed that it would take me three days! Three days! Are you kidding me? All I knew is that I really didn’t like the ugly carpets that haunted me in my living room and my husband and I were no where near the financial spot we needed to be in to purchase brand new floors.
I really wanted to make these floors work. I’ve been working on them every single day to repair and improve them for three months now! For three months we have been without a floor and we have been in construction mayhem for about 9 months. It’s been crazy!
It took me a few weeks to create that very first blog post. Mind you that was without the completion of the office. Three weeks just to get that!
Let me break down kind of what happened. So I decided to tear up my yucky and gross carpet. It was awful and I hated it. So I decided to get rid of it. I then came across an awesome post where a woman did paper floors. “Wow! I can totally do that!” So I ripped up my carpet. Yeah um…I didn’t even have any of the supplies yet. One of the pieces of supplies actually had to be ordered through Amazon, so we had to wait without any floor for 3 days before I could even begin anything! #IamanIdiot
Another problem was the fact that our carpet was on cement. That’s all… cement! So there we were on cement.
So I had to purchase OSB plywood to rest on the cement. However the OSB was awful and made my papers ripple so when I would put it down it would ripple. I got blisters on my hands by pushing the paper down so many times. The worst part was that I didn’t even add OSB into my budget for this project. Let’s be real…I thought this project would cost me $75.
Our whole living room was in our kitchen for three weeks while we tried to get our living room back.
I couldn’t work on the floor during the day because my kids would just ruin it and my toddler would try to pull up the paper. It was so frustrating! The worst part was when I would spend hours putting down glue onto the paper and then it wouldn’t stick to the OSB because there was too much water and not enough glue in the glue paste! Oh that was the worst! I would then have to re-do the entire place I spent hours gluing!
Finally I was done with the main section and I was happy with it. Except it was super shiny because I used a semi gloss polyurethane instead of a satin or flat. So it reflected like crazy and looked like I spilled water in it. My floors also had crumbs, hair and fur in it that had permanently been glued into the paper.
Within a week we noticed that our floors moved when we stepped on them. We didn’t screw them down!! So I had to go and buy cement screws where I had to go around and screw down all of the stupid boards. Gosh it was frustrating. Do you know how hard it is to screw through cement?! What a nightmare! I probably screwed 70 screws down. They wouldn’t go through all the way so I would screw as far as I could and then take a hammer and pound the crap out of it. Probably not technical, but it got the job done!!
Well the screws went through all of the paper so I then have to re- poly all of the paper tiles I ruined. Mind you I still hadn’t done the office yet. So I had to go buy more supplies and start re-applying all of the paper over the screws that I screwed in.
Throughout this process my husband continually suggested that we just buy new floors. As much as I wanted new floors they were really expensive and we just didn’t have the budget for them. We were both getting frustrated and this floor project was just getting more and more expensive. I ended up having to buy MORE paint, MORE builders paper and I was going to have to buy MORE glue and my husband finally said, “let’s buy floors!” I finally came to the realization that this project was going to be a constant battle and in the end people will notice that our floors are weird.
In the end my husband and I bought $170 worth of OSB (maybe more)
$10 in Glue
$25 in paint
$15 wood grain tool
$16 in builders paper
$20 in cement screws
oh and like 60 hours of my time!
Okay Okay….before you think that this is a post telling you to not do these floors…its not! I actually REALLY like these floors! I know you are thinking that I must be crazy and how in the world would I like these floors when they brought me so much heartache! Truth be told, I really like the look of them. AND it really isn’t that much money as long as you are budgeting for it. We were budgeting for way less than $100 so close to $300 was quite the hit for us.
If you want this to work these are the steps you need to take!
- Buy ALL of your Materials First: You need to go and buy all of your materials before you even begin this project. You won’t know what you are dealing with underneath your carpet until you pull it up so you will have to buy wood later (if you need to) so just buy the paper, wood grain tool, paint and glue right now! You may need to order the tool
- Cut and Paint: Now you need to just put on your favorite show and begin cutting and painting your papers. You should have all of you papers completely cut and painted before ripping up any carpet or old flooring.
- Take everything out of the room: It is at this point where NOBODY is allowed to go in your room. If you are planning on doing this, make sure it is a room that you don’t have to walk in for at least a week. We did it in the living room. The living room is primarily where my children play, where our television is and where our computers are. It is also the only access to our backyard. We were fighting a losing battle.
- Pick Your Boards Right!: You do not want to use OSB! Don’t!!! It took me 4x as long to use OSB because it wouldn’t stick to my paper. There was about 9 times where I would wake up in the morning and my papers had all come up from the floor and were not sticking! Use a regular plywood OR a basic headboard (the headboard is cheaper).
- Screw down your boards: Don’t trust that liquid nails is going to do the trick! This was by far my biggest mistake and I absolutely would have been done already if I wouldn’t have decided to not do that. Screw each corner of each piece of wood down, or your floors will bow and wobble when you step on them.
- Don’t leave ANY gaps!: You are not going to want to leave any gaps in-between the boards. I didn’t think anything of it and left a little gap here and there. Well it’s just paper, so once you have put down the paper you will be able to see it. In fact you can see the outline of every single piece of wood I laid down through the paper.
- Use a straightening tool: I really thought I could eyeball it, well I couldn’t. Although not crazy noticeable I can tell that some of my tiles are crooked and going slightly to the left or to the right.
- Work From One wall to the other side: So I decided to just do a little section in the room and then do another section, so that my family could still live in the space while I was working. NO! Not only did this make it harder to keep straight it took me longer to coat.
- Just Grin and Bear it: Just get it all done in a few days! This project will make you frustrated the longer it takes you. At first I was really optimistic and excited. After working on it for like 3 months, its not exciting anymore!
You can check out my paper floors in my previous post HERE
No, my project wasn’t all for not. All of the OSB plywood that we have now tightly screwed into our floors will be used as our base so we can place the new flooring on top. Would I do it over again? Hmmm….probably not. Now that I know we have the money to pay for new floors. However, if I knew that we wouldn’t have the money for new floors I would love to “try-again” where I started from scratch to see if I could actually make it work now that I know everything. I think I could actually make it work, but I would definitely not try it in our living room.
I am so excited to be able to cover this up though and leave it behind me! I am SO ecstatic for my new floors and my whole laundry room reno! EEK!! Stay tuned for that big reveal! BUT my husband told me that I couldn’t get floors until I finish all of my other projects that I have already started! How dare him?! (I say sarcastically). So before then, you will just have to wait for my laundry room reveal after the horrific flooding incident! You can check out what I am talking about in this post here! It also explains why hubby might not be too keen on starting another big project yet! 🙂 Love him!
Well stay tuned for all of my room reveals coming shortly! I am really excited and I have some AWESOME ideas to make this laundry room more functional! Peace Out Friends!