Thursday, July 18, 2013

Our Bamboo Floors...

If you've been following along you'll know that I've been getting new floors laid at home. When we bought our house nearly three years ago the cream tile and carpet were not my cup of tea, but the space was amazing and I knew eventually we would replace them. We chose bamboo for a couple of reasons... it was  great deal cheaper than traditional hard woods, it's a more environmentally friendly option (faster growth cycle than timber) and it looks great. We had simply gotten to the point where the floors were a real eyesore and something had to be done. Don't talk to me about saving a little longer to get the more expensive product... if you had seen our carpets you would understand!

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Last week at my place

The process has been the usual kind of frustrating experience. Ours was not the most straight forward job; we had a combination of tiles and carpeted areas that needed covering (meaning the floors had to be leveled, shown in the picture below), tiny little skirting boards that would all need to be replaced, a dishwasher that filled the space and meant boards couldn't go underneath, and doors that needed to be cut down. Loads of lovely challenges and what I would have thought were dollar signs hanging over my head, and which I thought would mean people would be jumping at the work.

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Leveling the floors

I visited four different stores to get them to come out and provide quotes. The first came out and realised it was all a bit too hard for him and tried to convince me to only get half the space done (just the carpeted area, and not the tiled ones) and in the end, didn't ever produce a quote. The second one tried to push a different product (vinyl, not what I was looking for) and then emailed me what seemed to be a random figure without explanation. The third was over an hour late to visit and then kept talking about how difficult it all was. Not a single one followed up to see if we wanted to go ahead.

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Half bamboo half cement, something I was getting used to!

The guys we went with had just amazing service (and they aren't paying me to say that). I expected Harvey Norman to be way too expensive and really not care about our sale but I couldn't have been more wrong. They were here when they said they would be. They actually knew alot about the product. They answered our questions. They followed up to find out what we thought about the product and about the price. We told them repeatedly how different the experience we'd had with them had been to all the others, and this swayed our decision in the end.

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Skirting boards and trims still waiting...

Unfortunately, installation has been awful. The combination of perpetual lateness and finishing early has been truly frustrating. If you tell a Mum with small children you will be here at 8am during school holidays, so she madly races round getting people ready, furniture moved, cars relocated and the children ready to go out for the day rather than be under the tradies feet, and then arrive at 10am - things are NOT starting well. If you then leave at 12 noon because 'that's all you can do' things are getting worse. And then when you don't finish in the five days you say you will, well, what can I say.

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Today was supposed to be D-Day, but since I had other appointments during the day (ok, we were going to The Wiggles at 9am), I wanted to be sure he was coming when he said he would (7am) and be finished when he said he would (8.30am). Of course what was 'max 2 hours left' suddenly became '4 or 5... will have to see mate' so it' still not finished.

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That needs painting...

I'm so in love with the finished product but I find it hard to recommend the business when the installation let them down. I KNOW its subcontracted out. I KNOW we could have jumped up and down during the process. I remind myself that it is livable right now and that I am lucky to have all I have (and chocolate helps too).

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So tomorrow, at 7am, the installer should be back to finish. Oh, and give me his bill... If you see smoke coming from Chittaway Point on Friday night I will have spontaneously combusted because it still isn't finished. Cross fingers!


  1. They look beautiful. I know a lot of people who have been using bamboo and they are quite happy.

  2. How frustrating, nothing annoys me more than dodgy slack tradesmen! What has been done looks lovely though...hopefully all the drama will fade from your memory and you can just enjoy your floors :)

    My home is all carpet and tiles and I don't think i can be bothered changing it in a hurry, lol! Actually we had new carpet put in the day we moved in, thankfully it went smoothly! I know it's not so common to have carpet here in Aus but it's what we know and decided to stick with even though sometimes I wonder why I bother as I'm cleaning up yet another kid spill!

    xx Karen

  3. They look gorgeous - in the big scheme of things it's ok right - you're going to have these floors forever - one more day isn't really sooooo bad is it?
    There did that help? lol

  4. After all the problems the floors look fantastic - you can now have your chocolate while gloating over your new floors!! I have been leaning towards bamboo also and your photos have probably convinced me to go with them - summertime job for us!!

  5. they look amazing- fresh, warm, and light!

  6. They look amazing, but what a shitty time you've had. When we renovated, were mucked around constantly and it drove me bonkers! Hope you've got a big stash of chocolate to get you through. Hopefully they finish tomorrow and you can see the back of them. Maybe you should tell them you'll pay their bill a little at a time like their work ethic ;)

  7. They look so good!! And in about five years time you'll be able to look back on this experience and chuckle...well maybe ;-)


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