When renovating an old house, any house for that matter, you must draw the line where history begins and ends. The last owner of this coastal cottage owned it for a good many years so technically they added history to the house.

For us, history means historically accurate. Our goal in this renovation is to balance modern conveniences while retaining or even adding to the historical accuracy of the house. Tiled floors throughout the house didn’t fit into that definition so they must go!

Breaking up the tile plank floors is hard to do.

If you’re going to ruin a house with updates why not go all out (insert sarcasm)? In this case, pick a really cheap tile plank, made it a super trendy choice, and then apply it directly to the subfloor. What a mess and who knows how many hours we will have in trying to remove the thin set from the subfloor. Truly disastrous.

Alright! Here’s the fun part. Picking out the new flooring. We wanted to be historically correct and at the same time use a modern and waterproof material.

After looking around at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Floor & Decor we simply were not seeing any viable choices to fit our requirements.

I had the bright idea that we should go to Dalton, Georgia to shop. That’s the largest capital of flooring in the southeast I believe. More choices and better selection.

I’ll add to that what we experienced later is that you can get some knowledgeable help. Flooring is super confusing with so many options and brands. You have to be shrewd though and discren what is knowledge and what is a sales pitch.

Which one of these samples would you go with?

Although we did have a great experience in Dalton, ultimately we didn’t save a lot by going to the source. That’s fine. We learned a lot so we could make a knowledgeable decision and also enjoyed a vastly greater number of options to explore.

I can’t say enough about how helpful Shannon at Carpets of Dalton was. He even orchestrated the shipping so it would land on the exact day we would be in town at the cottage. Amazing service. We’ll work with them again for sure.

Shout out to Southeastern Freightlines as well for the “white glove” service.

How does one move 2,500 pounds of flooring without a forklift? The same way you eat an elephant. Piece by piece.

Our project lead, Luis was onsite until 4 on Friday but of course the load of flooring arrived at about 4:15. Ha! Time to roll up the sleeves and get busy loading the flooring into the house.

COREtec Nihland Chestnut

We went with the COREtec Nihland Chestnut. It seemed to have the warmth we were looking for. It had a good variety of patterns in the wood as well which will add to the authenticity of the look.

Here’s what it should look like installed.

Sample photo installed COREtec Nihland Chestnut

Check for future posts showing the actual installation. We still have a lot of thin set to remove from the subfloor before installation. God bless!

-John Dodson

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