Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Flooring Selections

We just had our appointment for flooring and tile selections with T.A.C., and it was mostly a breeze – we'd done a lot of thinking about what options we liked, and where we wanted to save money.

If you can, I highly recommend going out to the showroom at least once prior to making your decisions so you can see what options are available and how much they'll set you back. In our case, the showroom is about an hour away and we both work full-time, so we weren't able to do that. On the other hand, we did look at Lumber Liquidators and Lowe's to get price estimates and also to see what kind of options they had.

Main Level

We chose Armstrong Hickory engineered hardwood with a Deep Java stain (part of the Rural Living collection) for the main level. We were lucky in that our design center actually had it installed in a corner of their showroom, so we could get a better sense of the color variegation. I guess our hardwood has an "off the grid" social media presence, because it was really hard to find pictures of it online!

Armstrong Hickory Deep Java engineered hardwood
Armstrong Hickory Deep Java

We love the look of a tile backsplash in the kitchen, but it's a significant cost outlay if you do it with Ryan Homes (around $2,000). It's also something you can install later with relative ease, so we skipped this option.

Second Floor

We went with the basic beige carpet upstairs. Nothing exciting there.

We already spent some serious cash upgrading to and end unit townhouse, so it definitely hurt to cut costs here. But – we definitely approach home ownership with the idea that we can improve it over time, rather than needing it to be perfect from day one.

The basic choices in the bathroom tile department are six inch tile in biscuit (like an almond color) or white. T.A.C. doesn't have any pictures for reference, and I was only able to find one teeny tiny picture of the biscuit colored tile. So, we went with white tile in the hall and master bath.

We asked the T.A.C. representative to see how much it would cost to add a listello with the basic tile, but we haven't heard back about that yet. We like the SF41 Ariston Random Blend, and if the cost is reasonable, it would break up the wall o' white tile. Although the choices at T.A.C. were fine, the choices they had for the listello trim were all rather disappointing. If you have the cash to have a nice bathroom, I heartily recommend checking out the options at Lumber Liquidators.

SF41 Ariston Random Blend Listello

We did request for two shelves to be installed in our shower ($35 apiece), because we hate that shower caddies tend to get rusted over time and the suction cups just fall off over time. It's also far easier to install these before the shower is tiled in.

One Final Tip

If you're schlepping out to T.A.C. in Elkridge, you might as well make a trip out of it. Arundel Mills outlet mall is five minutes down the road. Ladies, you can thank me later. ;)


  1. Congrats on the selections! Going with Hickory is a nice move, the color looks really nice. Good move on the backsplash, its a waste of money to have them install a backsplash. You'll find much nicer tile elsewhere and it will cost far less to install. Definitely add in that listello if you can, we really wish we added these in our secondary bathrooms.

    I wouldn't shop at Lumber Liquidators, these folks are total scammers. They may not be in business very long.
    Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E7M69cLDjc

    Locally pay a visit to architectural ceramics, porcelanosa or italo ceramica for some nice tile options.

    1. Thanks for the recommendations! My mom actually had her bathroom redone a couple years back and got everything from Porcelanosa, and it looks really gorgeous.

  2. $2000 for a backsplash??!! Made out of gold? Dang! I can see why you chose to do it yourself.

  3. We added the listello to our basic tile in the hall bathroom with TAC and it was only $65. it makes our basic tile look a thousand times better too.

    1. So, we heard back from TAC, and they wanted to charge us $165 to add the basic white ivy listello, and $370 to add the one I liked above! Guess we'll have to defer the listello trim.