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We Added $2000 in Credit Card Debt…

but we paid it all off the next day!

We put about $2000 on our Discover More card to get the 5% cash back on home improvement purchases this quarter (the first $400 of it. The rest is at 1%), but what did we buy? Well, I’ll give you an image hint:

meadowbrook oak pergo flooring

Yep, we bought about 580 square feet of Pergo Meadowbrook Oak laminate flooring for our front room, hall, kitchen and dining room (they’re all connected rooms), in addition to molding and thresholds. This flooring was $3.27 per sq. ft., which is on the pricey end (for laminate flooring). However, Lowes had a 20% off sale that ended this past weekend that brought the price down to about $2.61 per sq. ft.

In addition, the flooring already has the padding attached which, according to my experienced father-in-law (he does this for a living), makes for a much easier installation. We’ll be doing the installation ourselves, which shouldn’t be overly difficult since both our dads will help and both have experience with laminate flooring. The biggest concern is whether the floor will match BOTH our cherry cabinets AND our rosewood dining room furniture.

Since the kitchen and dining room are both really one room, we couldn’t choose 2 different styles/colors. We took in a cabinet door and a stained wood sample (from the dining room suite) to match colors, and the the Meadowbrook appears to match the best in the Lowes lighting. Let’s hope it still matches when it’s on our floor!

So why laminate instead of hardwood? Well, all but the dining room has original hardwood underneath already, but we don’t know the condition. In the kitchen, we know the vinyl flooring’s backing is nailed down, so it’s probably not in good enough of a condition to be worth refinishing, and we just want to make doing it ourselves much easier. We’ll be doing the floor in May when I’m done with the semester.

And if you’re wondering where we got the $2000 to pay off the card so fast, it came from this month’s debt overpayment that was intended for either my truck or student loan (we paid off Stacie’s student loan last week). I’ve wanted hardwood floors since moving into the house over 3 years ago, mainly because the dining room carpet is so darn ugly (the last owners were sooo proud of it, but it’s just ugly). So now we’ll be getting what we want, and we “paid cash” for it and earned rewards at the same time!

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Clever Dude


  • We put laminate flooring down in the bedroom that had this ugly cream colored carpet. The net result is that the place is worth more if we were to sell it. So that $2000 in laminate flooring might translate to more money when you sell your place (assuming you own it)

  • Matt, other than hating the carpet in the dining room, the main motive for installing wood floors is the visual appeal, which of course would translate into a higher value (our intent). Yeah, it’s $2000 now, but the clean look it will add when you walk through the front door and see all the way through to the dining room will be well worth it.

  • I really wish we had gone this route before moving into our house. I had some time before we moved in to knock out a couple small projects, but I have no experience in laying down wood floors, and at the time could not afford to hire someone to do it. We all have allergies, and I’m convinced the old carpet doesn’t help. Keep us posted how the project progresses next month.

  • @FD, yeah I can’t wait to tear out the ugly carpet and the aging kitchen linoleum. However, since there’s no hardwood already under the dining room, I’ll have to wait a while on that. However, I can do the front room, kitchen and hall anytime. Oh, and we’ll be using the front room carpet for our mudroom (it’s still decent, if stained, berber) and giving the dining room carpet to my parents for their basement (it’s still in great shape, just ugly).

  • Bamboo is the way to go now, Dude :-)…
    A wee bit more expensive than laminate, but it’s beautiful, comes in every colors, it’s just as resistant as hardwood. The environmental impact, well…

  • We just bought new flooring at home depot as well…but we bought hardwood for $2.72 as sq ft (the 20% off sale). We are putting it down ourselves too!

  • We just had some friends that also just installed laminate flooring to replace the carpet and linoleum in their dining room and kitchen. What a difference it makes! It may not increase the value necessarily but could certainly be the deciding factor of someone buying your place over someone else’s.

  • If I had to do it again, I would’ve picked laminate. I have beautiful wood floors…with many scratches and gouges. I have a German Shepherd who has the run of the house…don’t get nice wood floors if you have pets! I think laminate would’ve held up much better! Another option…and I didn’t even know this was available, but my neighbor has linoleum with wood grain and I’ll be darned if you can’t notice that it’s not laminate!…it looks that nice (and has held up over the last four years)!

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