Author Topic: Replacing a kitchen floor  (Read 5926 times)

chilliepepper

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Replacing a kitchen floor
« on: September 22, 2012, 07:27:12 PM »
Well, I guess this is my first post here though I hope to be posting more in the future. But my burning question, as of this moment, is as follows:

Couple months ago, our 20-year-old dishwasher leaked all over our 20-year-old wood parquet kitchen floor, resulting in an insurance claim in which our entire kitchen floor will be replaced (in addition to having the whole place dried out). It's an opportunity to go for a different style of floor if we want, which we do. We feel that wood in the kitchen is just not for us. Too much risk of something similar happening again and would rather have a more water-resistant floor.

We have two options: vinyl or Duraceramic, which looks like ceramic tile (big squares of hard stuff with grout in between) but isn't exactly. I won't bore you with the details.

Anyhoo: if we go for the vinyl (many styles are offered, and a lot of them are basically a great big photograph of ceramic tile, or stone, or whatever you want), we will have $0 additional out of pocket (having already paid the deductible, of course). In fact, depending on which one we choose, we could potentially get a few hundred bucks back which use in paying ourselves back for the deductible.

Going with the Duraceramic route, we'll have about $1000 additional out of pocket. I could probably cull some funds from various budget categories and cover this without dipping much into our savings. (I might get into this more in a future post, big picture is that we are nowhere near FI but it could be worse...only debt is our mortgage and we're living well below our income though I can't tell you the exact percentage at this moment)

My question is: given that the Duraceramic is, like, light years better than the vinyl IMO (looks tons better, more durable, better impression if we ever want to sell our home), would it be totally antimustachian to shell out the $1000 to get this nicer product? Several of my friends, who are of course not acquainted with mustachian ways, agree that with the kitchen being so much the hub of the home, and with this being a decision that we'll be living with for a long time, it's worth paying the extra (within reason) to get something that will make us happy.

So putting the question in more generic terms...who here thinks it's worth setting yourself back a little more (delaying your FI by however many more hours it adds up to) in the case of a home improvement such as this?

I know that we're really the only people that can answer that for US...I'm just curious to know what all of you Senior Mustachians would do. :)

Another Reader

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Re: Replacing a kitchen floor
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 07:42:47 PM »
I had to look the product up, because I had not heard of it before.  The pictures look like it's somewhere between vinyl and ceramic tile.  However, the product looked to be as expensive or more expensive than a nice porcelain tile.  If the installation costs are similar, I would look into having tile installed, if it's compatible with your subflooring material.

Jamesqf

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Re: Replacing a kitchen floor
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 09:38:32 PM »
Couple of things to think about.  First, what fits better with the overall level of your house? Would the impression it creates be along the lines of lipstick on a pig?

Second, since it seems as though your current plan is to keep the house for a good while, how do you like it?  Not just to look at, but to stand & walk on?  Ceramic can be uncomfortable and slippery.

chilliepepper

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Re: Replacing a kitchen floor
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 05:33:49 AM »
I'll have to double check with the flooring company, but I have been under the impression that the Duraceramic would be less expensive to install than ceramic tile. (this is addressed in the following rather thorough discussion of the pros and cons of DC vs. tile: http://tinyurl.com/cj5xj55) We also might have a clearance issue with the dishwasher if we used ceramic tile because it requires a thicker underlayment and the tile itself is thicker.

As for lipstick on a pig---I don't think so. I mean, not that our house is a palace or anything, but it's not a dump either. If anything, I think putting a better quality product in the kitchen would bring the whole place up a notch, whereas the vinyl to me gives an impression of cheapness...even though some of the vinyl products really do look pretty decent. But anyway, if DC is lipstick on a pig, then ceramic/porcelain tile would be as well.

Regarding how I like the product, I like it better than ceramic tile because it addresses the issues you mentioned with ceramic: uncomfortable and slippery (it's softer under the foot and not slippery). It's also warmer than ceramic and stuff won't shatter into a billion shards if dropped on it.

But anyway: the decision is not between DC and ceramic tile. It's between going cheap (with $0 out of pocket) vs. paying a grand to get something better. I want to know, WWMMMD?

twinge

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Re: Replacing a kitchen floor
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 08:29:59 AM »
My thoughts:

I would say if you're planning on selling the house in the relatively near future, it's a fairly inexpensive way to get an upgrade that would likely pay off.  I would go for the slightly more expensive option if it's fitting with the overall style of your house. 

If you're not planning on selling in the next 5-7 years or so then I think it's more on you as it's less likely to have an impact on the ROI in your house. Just think it through like any other purchase: Do you want to allocate that $1000 to this purchase rather than invest it?  Is the improvement it would make in your life worth forgoing the advantages that $1000 invested would bring? Is one more long-lasting or durable than the other? If so, run the numbers on what an earlier cost of replacement would entail vs. the investment opportunity lost of investing the $1000 now.

 Don't get into the trap of saying that it's a "good deal" to get the better quality now if you don't actually care about it or it doesn't bring added value in terms of longer life or better anticipated selling cost.  But if the experience of seeing and standing on your floor day in/day out is really worth forgoing the investment for you, or if the numbers seem likely they would likely work out in favor of the DC tile in the long run then go for it.

freelancerNfulltimer

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Re: Replacing a kitchen floor
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2012, 05:58:13 PM »
I had almost the exact same thing happen. I had a flood in my home which required my entire kitchen floor (and cabinets, countertops and hallway and hallway bathroom) to be gutted and replaced. My insurance covered it. I upgraded everything. The kitchen needed it eventually and while I planned on doing it years later this horrible flood became an opportunity for my insurance company to subsidized my kitchen remodel. I went for the most expensive I could reasonably afford in everything and I will never have to touch my kitchen again. I got a $16,000 makeover for $8,000 out of pocket and easily added more in value to my house then what I spent. I paid for it by killing myself working extra so I could pay cash for everything and I don't regret a dollar of what I did.

In your case you're only looking at a $1000 out of pocket. I would spend it. Vinyl looks cheap and doesn't last as long as real tile. I would suggest going to a discount tile warehouse in the cheap rent area of your town and seeing what real ceramic tile would cost. Real tile is easier to keep clean and lasts longer and it is worth the price distance. Make sure you get the grout and tile sealed too.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 06:01:11 PM by freelancerNfulltimer »

Jamesqf

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Re: Replacing a kitchen floor
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 09:23:00 PM »
But anyway: the decision is not between DC and ceramic tile. It's between going cheap (with $0 out of pocket) vs. paying a grand to get something better. I want to know, WWMMMD?

What I would do is to forget about any potential difference in resale value (unless you're planning on an almost immediate sale), and go with what you like.  Houses aren't investments, they are machines for living in.  If spending the extra $1000 or so would increase your quality of living by at least $1000 worth, (and spending $1000 on that wouldn't require foregoing some even greater improvement) then do it.