First here is what the floored pantry now looks like.

Floor in the new pantry

The number of times I changed my mind on the flooring option for the pantry was ridiculous. I originally planned to use TrafficMaster Allure from Home Depot in something like Traditional or Pacific Pine. I like the idea of a vinyl plank floor that would be resistant to water damage which is not inevitable but fairly likely in the basement. The pantry is underneath our downstairs bathroom / laundry room and though I hate to think about anything happening up there, this is where the water would end up. I was okay with the price point (about $2 a sq. ft) but nervous about the amount of flooring in a pack. I think I would have had something like %5 extra with 3 boxes so there was a good chance I’d have to buy an entire extra box, boo. So I went and I happened across a similar product at Lowes that was in stock for a similar price and you could buy individual planks as well as cartons. The only problem was that it glued down to the floor and I was nervous about getting a good bond, moisture in the concrete ruining the glue later, etc. etc.

So back to Home Depot I went and I happened to look at the Allure Ultra section, knowing it was pricier but didn’t have any glue. Unfortunately I would have been even worse off in terms of carton sizing, having to buy a full extra carton for sure in order to finish the floor, and at 1.5 the price it wasn’t looking good. And then next to the Ultra was a VERY similar looking product called Traffic Master Interlock. It looks very similar to Allure Ultra, and has a near identical locking system. The only difference I think is that the Interlock is less flexible, a little thicker (maybe) and comes in only like 2 colors. The price was exactly the same as the Ultra BUT the carton size was different! Meaning I only had to buy 3 boxes to get enough for the floor plus the 10% extra needed for end cuts / staggering the line or what have you.

The floor probably took me 3 hours to lay. I had worked with Allure Ultra when I laid it in the upstairs bathroom so I was ready. It cuts easily with a sharp knife and then you snap it and clean up the cut. I think I used a jig saw for the more complicated cuts in the bathroom (toilet drain, water supply hoses, etc.) but all I needed in the pantry was the knife and at the end some tin snips to cut out flaps for under the cabinets.

This was my usual method for cutting anything. I really only had to cut around the base of the lolly column, a bit by the door so that the threshold will fit in later, each end for my staggering of the joints and then under the cabinets.

I was especially psyched that I had just enough left over to fill in the freezer space that I hadn’t 100% planned on doing, and that my left over scrap pile was so small.

I still have to add the toekick to the cabinets, but I did get to replace the outlet cover on the outlet in the back of the large double cabinet. I didn’t move any of the receptacles around when doing this, and even though I will likely never use this outlet, I’m still glad it wasn’t blocked by a shelf or cabinet divider. Also here you can see the little flaps I cutout to go around the cabinet “feet.”

The moment I was most proud of in this whole thing though was probably moving the freezer back in without hurting the brand new floor that I laid. All I did was to grab 3 2x10s that I had in the basement and walk it across back into place, but it felt like a ridiculous triumph. I know I’ve been burned in the past by trying to do one last thing at the end of a project and I really don’t know if I could have taken the blow right now. So here’s me (in my work sandals) shimming the freezer back into place.

Okay one more shot of looking in at the new floor.

So I can now check floors off the list and move on to the big faux beam (to cover the real LVL beam that kind of holds up the center of my house) and a door to keep out dirt (and kids, covered in said dirt). Speaking of…

Also I had to share that while I was busy laying the floor the kids were equally busy playing restaurant cooking me up some delicious lunch. I believe this was chocolate cake, scrambled eggs and a tomato salad.


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