Goodbye Carpet, Hello Select Surfaces

Ok, I have been so stinking excited to share this post with you all.  Now that I am finally able to get some good “After” photos, here it is!

Select Surfaces Barnwood hdr

The floors in the flip house were a nightmare when we bought it… as a matter of fact, the first day we took ownership, we immediately ripped the stinky, nasty carpet up.

Here is a picture of what the living room looked like and the walkway to the bonus room, which, by the way, we tore down and made in to one large living space.


If you’ve forgotten what the house looked like before, you can check it out here: Our First Flip  

We tore down walls, painted, installed lighting (this house had NO overhead lights… seriously??), put in new windows and were finally ready to lay the flooring.

before flooring

The whole color scheme for the house has been gray and white, so what floors do you pair with that?

I had seen Select Surfaces Cocoa Walnut at Sam’s and thought this would be perfect with the gray and white in the flip.

cocoa walnut

I had actually told my husband that I wanted to put it in our upstairs about a year ago.  I held off because honestly, the thought of laying laminate made me nervous.

  • Would it be durable?
  • Would it sound hollow?
  • Does it look like real wood?
  • What if I didn’t click it together right?  How do you even tell?

It’s funny, tiling a floor is as easy as breathing for me, but laminate scared me away!

Luckily, we partnered with a couple who had laid all kinds of laminate, so this was my chance to learn!

I reached out to the great folks at Select Surfaces and they were kind enough to send us a couple of sample of their new colors, Barnwood and Toffee.  After a lot of deliberation, we decided on the Barnwood.

Just kidding, the guys liked Toffee and we girls liked Barnwood, so we overruled them…we had a vision!

Select Surfaces sent us enough of the Barnwood to do the living room and hall, then the plan was to carpet the bedrooms.  But plans change!  More on that later!!


Be sure to let your laminate flooring acclimate for at least 48 hours.  And if, like us, your house is on a concrete slab, you MUST lay a vapor barrier.  The barrier is simply a thin sheet of plastic that goes between the concrete and the flooring.  Concrete sweats moisture and that moisture will destroy laminate if they come in contact with each other.  Google “moisture damage laminate flooring” and you’ll have nightmares for days about cupping, warping and floors coming up!

We unpackaged about 4 or 5 of the boxes and made stacks of “like” patterns, this way, we could pick each new board from a different pile so that similar patterns were not next to each other.

The boards were 4 feet long and you want to lay them in a staggered pattern.  We went with 4 different lengths. 1 foot, 2 foot, 3 foot and 4 foot lengths.  Then we mixed those up because you don’t want them to look like stair steps!


Once we got in a rhythm, it went FAST!  We had removed all doors and door frames, this was a huge advantage to us because we didn’t have to work around anything or make any weird cuts.  When it came time to install the doors, we simply installed right on top of the flooring for a perfect fit.

dusty floor

Click and Lock
The pieces MUST be clicked together (tongue fits in to the groove at an angle then pushed down) then tapped in place with a tapping block.  We made our own tapping blocks out of scrap boards.  I don’t necessarily recommend this… it worked perfectly, but the block would start to fall apart after a few hits with the hammer.  It would be 100% worth it to buy a kit that has this in it!

The tapping locks the flooring together and you can visibly tell when they are locked in place.  Once together, they are VERY secure.

room and tapping block

Here’s what we noticed about this flooring.  It seems like it is higher quality than most laminates.  It was very thick and came with padding already attached on the bottom of each piece.


It does not feel hollow at all.  This was a main concern for me. But now, as soon as this flip house sells, I’ll be making a trip to Sam’s to purchase the Cocoa Walnut for my upstairs! (I love the Barnwood color, but the flooring in my house is much darker, and the Cocoa Walnut would be perfect!)

The grain and character this flooring has is amazing.  Just look at this!

floor close up


It took us a total of 2 days to lay the flooring in the entire house (one full day and two half days).  We then installed baseboards and quarter round, which gave everything a finished look.

Select Surfaces Barnwood Floor

Select Surfaces - Barnwood laminate flooring


So do we like it?

We LOVE it!  So much so, that we scrapped the plan of carpet in all 3 bedrooms and drove an hour to the nearest Sam’s Club that had this flooring in stock. For the 3 bedrooms we paid approximately $1.75 per square foot. However, I ordered it online through Ebates and got 1.5% back as well, then just set it up for an in-store pickup!  Score!

Since we had already laid the flooring in the hall going to the bedrooms, we had to purchase the matching t-molding (also available at Sam’s) to make the transitions work.


So, just a reminder… here is how it looked before:


And here is the after:


Both of these photos were taken from the front door.  What a difference knocking the wall out makes!

Are your floor screaming for a makeover?  I know mine at home are!!

**Select Surfaces provided me with this flooring.  However, all opinions are 100% my own.  If you are interested in the flooring, you can find it at a Sam’s Club near you.  Click here to see the details!


This post is linked up to the following FAB Link Parties”

Thrifty Decor Chick

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  1. Christina in FL says:

    Wow, karrah, the floors look spectacular! That said, I did not realize laminate floors had a lot of the same issues as hardwood floors. I admit I’ve never wanted laminate or wood so I am truly sold on wood look tile. Thanks for sealing that decision for me!