This is the second post about our unexpected home renovation (here’s the first). Many across the South are dealing with burst pipes and repairs of their own; I hope our experience helps others.

After sopping up the gallons of water that flooded our home, it didn’t take long to shift from crisis to planning mode. “I think I saved a catalog . . .” I mumbled as I walked into our bedroom, 30 seconds later emerging with a Lumber Liquidators mailer in hand.

I guess I’ve imagined these floors for a long time.

The next day we stopped by their new store in Alpharetta, GA, so fresh it appeared on the website but not yet on their app. {If you’re seriously considering purchasing flooring from Lumber Liquidators, the app is a great way to view samples and bookmark favorites.}

Lumber Liquidators

Their showrooms not only feature smaller samples on racks, but also installed sections on the floor. Three woods that I’d bookmarked were on display, which either means I’ve got great taste or I’m not very original. I haven’t decided.

We settled on the Morning Star 9/16″ x 5-1/8″ Handscraped Strand Anji Bamboo. I could lie and say we chose it because of the eco-friendly nature of bamboo, but we picked it because it’s lovely, durable, and has a distressed finish.

Floors in a house with eight inhabitants will become distressed anyway, so it might as well look intentional.

I can’t say enough good about our Lumber Liquidators experience. Stephen, Stephen, and Phillip have been a pleasure to work with—no high-pressure sales tactics!—and they recommended an installer that we feel comfortable with. Our new bamboo sits in piles around our house acclimating to the temperature and humidity here and Rudy will install it this Friday and Saturday. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

Although we talked to other flooring companies, we ultimately decided we wanted to work with Lumber Liquidators. This experience showed what to do and what not to do to win customers, and they did it right.

Removing Our Engineered Hardwood from a Plywood Subfloor


I include this for anyone trying to save money by removing their old floors themselves. My husband considered installing our new floors, but because of the large area involved—1460 square feet—and the fact that we’ve lived in this chaos since late December, we’re taking the faster option and paying an installer.

Our insurance company compensated us for replacing engineered hardwoods and builder-grade carpet, so we chose to do the uninstalling ourselves and put the money we saved into upgraded flooring. We (my husband, sons, and sons’ friends) removed it all.

The carpet was the easy part, you just have to go back and pull up the staples and the tack strips along the edges. The engineered hardwoods were a whole different story. A strong glue held it in place, especially in high-traffic areas where we’d walked on it for years.


At first they scored the floor with a table saw set to the proper depth and then used pry bars and hammers to remove the floor. It made my ears hurt! Thankfully they discovered that rubber mallets work as well with less noise.

My husband made sure we had enough equipment that any teen boy who walked through our door and wanted to help would be able to. Smart man!

My contribution didn’t involve manual labor, but a timely Google search. I found a blog from a family who removed the same kind of floors from the same kind of subfloors and used a heat gun to soften the glue.

What a revelation!

Before my husband could bring home a couple of heat guns from work, our 19-year-old son discovered that my hairdryer worked well. Yes, the same one I use each morning. I’m thankful that the floor removal process of this project is over and I no longer have to pick sticky wood chips off of it each morning.



Chaos still reigns, but by the end of the weekend our new bamboo will be out of the boxes and on the floor, nailed this time (apparently it’s done in the grooved part where the boards fit together and doesn’t show) instead of glued. This is another cost cutter since the glue would run over $1600. That’s a lot of glue!

It’s amazing how much less stressful it is to have people in your home when there’s no possibility of it looking pulled together. I need to hang onto this feeling.


We’ve already hauled off a loveseat; taken a table to the basement that won’t come upstairs again; and tagged another chair for a trip to the dump. Although this renovation was unexpected, we’re rolling with it and excited about the changes, like a new home (no longer the mantle) for the Braves zombie bobble head that my daughter gave my husband for Christmas . . .

I can’t wait to show you our new floors!

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This post wasn’t sponsored by Lumber Liquidators, I’m just a happy customer (and the floors haven’t even been installed!).

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