Rhodes Remodel: Flooring update

08 October 2014

***To bring you up to speed in case you're new here: My husband and I are remodeling a fixer upper with my two brothers. For the riveting back story and similar posts, clickety click here.***

So I posted about floors a little while back, so you all could help me feel better about our choice to put laminate floors in the remodel. I'd pretty much made my peace with it. A lot of my friends have various types of fabricated wood floors here in Houston that work really well.

So last week we went to IKEA to pick up the laminate wood flooring that we'd agreed on.

We dropped Jake off in the play place where he promptly began an hour long love affair with the ball pit. Feeling the lightness of only buckling one kiddo into a cart, we started the long and winding road to the flooring section.

Along the way we kept seeing the laminate installed in display units...and it wasn't looking that good. It looked OK from far away, but then you'd get up close and notice some bubbling and peeling. Then you'd walk on it and there was that weird spongy give underneath your feet and the light echo that only the cheapest of laminates can boast.

So in a last minute decision under the glow of warehouse fluorescents, we changed our minds. We couldn't do it.
So we bought a couple jars of lingonberry jam and left.
My brothers took it in stride. Turned out nobody loved the idea of cheapo wood laminate to begin with. 

So what were we to do? We needed to start putting the floors in ASAP.

We looked at some other wood laminate options, but the sturdier ones were out of our price range. Our budget for the floors is cheap. Like CHEAP. Like less than 2$ a square foot.

We decided to carpet the bedrooms. I don't love carpet, but I can appreciate its good qualities - being soft, absorbing sounds.

But that still left us with several hundred square feet of living/kitchen space to floor. Because our kitchen and living area are joined and we didn't like the idea of a massive stripe of a seam cutting through that space, the flooring had to serve in both the kitchen and the living area.

So we ended up back at one of our earliest flooring ideas, an idea we'd all been initially excited about. We'd abandoned it because install would be labor intensive and we thought it was too bold for this project....also, every time we'd mention it to flooring people they'd look at us like we were stupid.

But whatever. We decided to go ahead with it, and yesterday we drove to north Houston and bought a pallet of Saltillo tile.

Here they are on the back lawn sealing in all their terra cotta glory.
 We're hoping to end up firmly on the classic southwestern side of the Saltillo spectrum.

And avoid anything that screams: "Bienvenidos. You'll love our puffy tacos!"


  1. I would love if you posted your source for the tiles! I can only seem to find super fancy ones on the internet; north Houston is totally driving distance!

    1. We got them from Pyramid Imports (http://www.pyramidimportshouston.com/) - They have a great selection. The basic raw tile cost us $1.35 per 12x12 tile...so really affordable if you can find cheap (free? husband?) labor. I think Pyramid's full installation would cost closer to 6$ per sq foot. :)

  2. ohhhh maaann. I am so excited to see how this turns out because I think it could look super awesome! But, ballsy Rhodes, ballsy.

    1. Go big or go home, Fountains. Verdict will be in in a couple days.

  3. Hi Kate. It's my first time here, though I think we have some friends in common ( Blythe, Kendra). Bloglovin recommended your blog to me based on my other favorites.

    Awkward intro aside, I LOVE the Saltillo tile. Really really love. Call me a So Cal girl, but it reminds me of the missions, and I love me some missions. :)Good luck!

    1. I hadn't thought of that! Looking like a mission seems a LOT more charming than looking like a Taco Cabana, so we'll shoot for that!

    2. Don't diss the Taco C! IT has it's charms.

    3. Ha! Far be it from me. I love me some Taco C. Just not in my living room.

  4. Can't wait to see how the floors turn out. What a great idea!

  5. The floors are going to look amaze. Gah! Can't wait!


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