Flooring Frustration & Floor Plan Fixes

I’m ending the week with very little progress in the studio, which has me very frustrated. But on the flip side, after reading all of your comments and suggestions on the floor plan for the addition, I’ve made some changes, and I’m pretty sure this is it. I feel like I’ve finally landed on THE best plan.

So let’s start with the flooring frustration in the studio.

A few months back, I purchased a few boxes of the vinyl tile that I was planning on using for the studio floor. I selected this marble-look groutable vinyl tile.

I’ve been pretty excited about using this tile in the studio, and it took me a long time to finally decide on vinyl tile as the best option ford the studio.

Well, a few days ago when I decided on the design for the back entry (a herringbone with alternating marble-look vinyl tile and a darker charcoal color vinyl tile), I headed to Home Depot and got the 18 pieces of plywood subfloor that I needed to build up the height of the floor to be level with the breakfast room floor, as well as a few more boxes of tile.

But as I opened and inspected the tiles in the store, I noticed that they were two very distinct colors. Some of them had brighter white backgrounds (like the ones I had already purchased), and others had very obvious greenish undertones in the white background. GREEN.

I thought, “Well, maybe it’s just the awful fluorescent lighting making it look green,” and I decided to try them anyway.

Well, I don’t know that they look as obviously green in the studio as they did under Home Depot’s fluorescent lighting, but they do look awful. Dingy, dirty, and awful.

There’s no way I’m putting that dingy, dirty-looking tile in my studio. And sadly, they only had a few individual pieces of the bright white background (and I looked in all three sizes), while all of the full boxes were that darker background.

So until I figure out this flooring issue, I can’t move forward. There’s no need in putting the extra layer of subfloor down just yet, because what if I can’t find a replacement vinyl tile? If my only options now are real tile or hardwood flooring, then I’ll have to take all eighteen pieces of plywood back, and either load up on the hardwood flooring, or get the proper underlayment for real tile.

I’m beyond frustrated about this. I wrestled with this flooring decision for so long, finally made a decision, felt excited about that decision, and now I’m back at square one.

Anyway, moving on to a happier topic, I read every single one of your comments about the floor plan for our addition. There was so much good input, but there was one comment in particular that got my wheels spinning. (Thank you, Rose!)

She suggested moving the laundry room so that it is right behind the hallway bathroom, and then extending the new hallway all the way back to the back wall of the house, which would allow a hallway by the master bedroom entrance with windows and sunlight coming in.

This is the image she linked that really stuck with me.

I did try that exact idea — moving the laundry room right to the back of the hallway bathroom and making the new hallway extend all the way to the back wall. But that made for a reeeaallllly long and narrow hallway that seemed to have very little purpose.

So I asked Matt his thoughts, and he said, “I’ve never understood why you want a hallway there anyway.” After he said that, it dawned on me that many (most?) new houses today are built with a master suite that is completely separate from the rest of the bedrooms, so that’s what I tried.

And y’all, I think it’s perfect! This makes so much more sense to me!

Don’t pay too close attention to the measurements I’ve assigned each room. I’ve made so many changes to this floor plan over the last five years that I’d be surprised if any of them are actually still accurate. 😀 But they’re a good guess.

Anyway, you’ll notice a few changes:

  1. The master suite is separate from the other bedrooms. I love this because if and when we do have guests, they can feel a sense of privacy in the guest area, and won’t be bothered by us.
  2. Matt and I decided to move his future game room back to the other room, and add a door from there to the master bathroom. Since we plan on that bathroom being accessible for him, it makes sense that he’d have easy access to it and not have to make a big lap around the house to get there.
  3. The master bathroom now has an odd shape since it will acquire the area that is now the master bedroom closet. I’m not quite sure how the bathroom will be arranged, so we might have to hire someone to specifically design that bathroom for maximum use of space, and to use that odd space in a way that looks natural and purposeful.
  4. This new floor plan doesn’t have closets in the master suite, but of course, we’ll have closets. I’m still set on the idea of NOT having a walk-in closet, but I’m open to the idea of using some of the room in the bathroom as closets since that room is so big. (Big as a bathroom, that is. It’s not so big as a bedroom.)
  5. The back doors to the deck have been moved out of the family room area (yay!) and into their own separate back entry area. This allows me to have a whole wall of windows in the family room, and puts the traffic pattern back behind/around any possible living room furniture arrangement rather than putting a traffic pattern through the family room.
  6. This eliminates the need for an additional door straight into the laundry room. The back door is still very close the laundry room if I need to bring Cooper directly in the back door and into his doggy shower.
  7. I now have space for a coat closet. That’s always convenient for guests.
  8. I also have space for a storage closet in the master bedroom. This isn’t a clothes closet. This is an area that I can use to store things like the hydraulic patient lift that I use to help me get Matt from the bed to his wheelchair and back. Matt’s wheelchair can go in there when he’s not using it. And there are a few other things like that that I’ve wished for years I had room to store out of the way when not in use, and now I’ll have space for that.

And as far as the family room goes, this is pretty much exactly how I want ours arranged, with the wall of doors in the picture replaced with a wall of windows.

I’m so excited about this new plan!

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  1. I have a suggestion on your floor tile. If you have the lot number for the tile you like (usually on the box) request that Home Depot (or the manufacturer) put out a request to all their stores for the same lot number.

    Also, would it make sense to swap your laundry room with the storage/coat closet to keep plumbing costs down?

    I love your plan. It’s amazing.


    1. I agree, Linda and if I were a popular blogger like Kristi I’d be on the phone calling the manufacturer for help. She has the power to “sell” their product to all of us who follow her!

      1. Duraceramic makes a marble ceramic/ lvt look that is more expensive, but a better product and will last longet than these peel n stick tiles.

    2. Good idea on swapping the location – it would also pull the coat closet closer to the back door, which might be nice.

    3. Ditto to that. Also try the Home Depot website. I’ve been in those circumstances and what tile was no longer available at my local stores, was readily available online.

  2. I love this rendition. One thing you might want to consider is to add insulation to the laundry walls. Ours is close to our bedroom and too often we have things in the dryer at bedtime. I’m a light sleeper and it keeps me awake.

    1. As for the vinyl tile…I installed the “luxury” version from Home Depot in my office. Two years of rolling my chair back and forth has worn three holes in the surface. You can see the actual black vinyl through the holes. It reminds me of how people used to paint their linoleum to cover the wear. Sad deal because I live it.

  3. About the tile, a similar issue might come up for me soon…
    Like fabric, tiles are made in dye lots. So buying the same floor years apart, can be different. I don’t know where many places carry your tile. A neighboring store might be easier. Also call the company to ask if they can help you locate a particular lot of the tile (also politely note the dinge). I bet there is some manufacturing # on the box. The manufacture might not know a bad lot got out, you got a great lot, or they had to change it over time.

  4. I agree with the lot # comment above. Other suggestion would be to return it all and order a whole new shipment all from 1 lot #. That is horrible. I’ve found that to happen with other items, as well, such as fabrics.

    I love the new plan, especially relocating Matt’s game room so that he has easy access to the master bath and the dedicated entry to the back porch from the family room. I hate when rooms end up being walkways, because the placement of the doors. I also love the inspiration family room. That is gorgeous!

    I think the new nook in the Master bath might be a great location for lower hanging rods and lower shelves – anything to make Matt’s dressing process easier and centralized. Seems like it might be nice for him to have all his stuff nearby when bathing and dressing.

    I also loved the comments on the other post about having a lift integrated into the ceiling, so as to not take up valuable floor space, a full on wet area integrated into the bathroom, and a lot of the other accessibility comments. Such great advice there!

    Sorry about the flooring! These other developments and discussions are really exciting, so hopefully that eases the pain a bit!

    1. As for the vinyl tile…I installed the “luxury” version from Home Depot in my office. Two years of rolling my chair back and forth has worn three holes in the surface. You can see the actual black vinyl through the holes. It reminds me of how people used to paint their linoleum to cover the wear. Sad deal because I live it.

  5. In my architecture classes, they used the term “Poche Space” to describe rooms like bathrooms, mechanical, storage, elevators, etc. The idea is that these rooms do not need windows or doors to the exterior and should be placed in the center of a plan so they don’t take up the valuable exterior wall space. I like your new plan so much better! I wonder if you adjusted the laundry room door, could you have space for a little wet bar there? That’d be convenient, a place to wash hands or drop dishes temporarily since your kitchen is a bit far from the back. I was once in this architect’s home that was worth millions, right on the edge of DC. His entire kitchen was just a 6′ or so wide hallway, with one wall for all cabinets and appliances, and the other wall was all glass. It was so clean and beautiful!

  6. my thought…(but since I am not good at visualizing a floor plan take it for what it’s worth)…swap the laundry room with the storage room and closet…this way the laundry room would be right near the bathrooms for easy plumbing(unless plumbing is already there)…and also you would not have to drag your laundry through every room to put away…also the coat closet would be closer to the back door for guest coming in there. hope that makes sense!!

  7. Have you ruled out a wood look vinyl? I was wondering if dark these would go better with floors in rest of house. Something like Pergo?

      1. I said in the post that of course we’ll have closets, but they’re just not on there because I don’t know where to put them yet.

  8. Those seem like great changes.

    I would definitely seek out an bathroom designer with experience in designing accessible spaces. That space seems like a great spot for a toilet or shower.

    As for flooring, I’d branch out from Home Depot and check a flooring store. In my experience, their selection is far superior to what a big box store can offer.

  9. Hey there! I’ve run into that same issue a couple of times – not with vinyl, but ceramic and stone tiles. I first discovered the problem when I laid one large commercial floor. Because of the design and time frame we laid one portion first, sealed it, buffed it, and everyone raved about it. We came back a couple of months later and began to lay the second portion and immediately noticed the color difference. So even though we purchased all the materials at the same time (and from the same lot number), the colors were very different. Not horrible, but different. We ended up installing some carpet for a portion of the floor to separate the two tiled areas. Worked perfectly. We can tell the difference, but because the two tiled areas don’t butt up against each other, nobody else seems to mind. Since then, we’re much more careful. Lesson learned. 🙂 I love your stuff!

  10. Kristi – Love all the changes you made. Hallways are always a waste of space and if you can eliminate them, all the better. If you cannot locate more tile in the correct dye lot, maybe you could use a border around the perimeter of the studio with the darker tile so that perhaps you would have enough of the light tile you already have. Or maybe a dark “rug” in tile in the center of the room. LOVE the family room inspiration room. We have doors with transoms just like the photo in our great room and have loved it for the last 20 years! You are doing great work!

  11. I wonder if the irregular shaped part of the bathroom could be a great spot for the shower! I think this floor plan is so much! I love that you get to use the space that would have otherwise been a hallway!

  12. Love this new floorplan! So many great benefits to the layout and love the back wall of windows. I can’t wait to see what you do with these fresh spaces when they are ready!

    I’m always so curious about Matt’s game room, too. What kind of games – board, video, etc? Will we ever get a peek in there or is that meant to be his “offline” space?

    As for the floor, what about a sealed, white/marbles painted concrete with some standing pads in key areas for comfort? I think a whole floor of your acrylic process might be a bit expensive (joking!), but how cool would that kind of effect be with some white/gold in the floor!?

  13. You’ve made some good changes in your plan! If you moved the laundry room next to the hall bath, you would not only be able to group the plumbing, but it would give you a longer wall in the bedroom where you could potentially put your his/hers closets. The bathroom wall, on either side of the door, would also be a good location for those, would work with the window placement, and not encroach on space elsewhere. The storage area in the bedroom for Matt’s equipment is a great idea. And I’m thinking that area between the guest bedroom and hall bath could be made into a great “box” room–that term you see so often in novels that refers to a storage room in older English houses. You have great potential there for designing some specific storage for things that get stuffed wherever. I always said if I could build a house I’d design a storage room specifically for all the “stuff” that gets piled, never conveniently, everywhere else throughout the house. The whole floor plan looks so much better now; more cohesive. You’ve done a great job and I’m sure that however you finish, it will be a great space and meet your needs. And that is what is most important since you’ll be the one living in it. What a disappointment with the flooring. I hope you can find a solution without too much trouble.

    1. Hi Teckla, the space between the guest bedroom and the hall bathroom is Kristi’s very beautiful (and finished!!) hallway with gerat built-in storage, so I guess she won’t be changing that again any time soon 🙂

  14. I love the new plan! I wish we had had the storage area in our MB for Jim’s power chair. That is a perfect spot for a charging station and lift. Well and thoughtfully done!

  15. Is your hall bathroom a full
    Bath? It should be. Also do you want your laundry on complete opposite side of the house to access? Also you could make laundry larger and have folding counter wrapping station etc and use some of storage area in master bed and move some of the extra room from bathroom instead.

  16. I really like your floor-plan changes. Since you asked, I see another option about getting another closet (or built-out closet). That offset in your master bath could be squared off into the adjacent little hall, which would put the jog there instead. Then that whole end of the bath could become a large closet or built-in area for storage. Re the tile, I would probably return it all and reorder to make sure that it is all the same manufacturer’s run. I used this type of tile in another house, and was very happy with it.

  17. Your floor plan is definitely improving. The fewer hallways and doorways that break up wall space the better. While I completely understand your thoughts regarding a walk-in closet for the master bedroom, bear in mind that when it comes to resale, a master bedroom walk-in closet can be a dealbreaker. Perhaps it would be possible to allow sufficient space for a good sized one in your floor plan, but fit it out as your storage closet with the potential to reconfigure it into a walk-in should you decide to sell at some point.

  18. LOVE it! So excited for you. Recently when doing a reno on my master bathroom I had a Home Depot associate find me a store location with the quantity of tile I needed in the right lot. I did have to drive a bit out of my way but I got exactly what I wanted! Good luck!

  19. Hi When buying flooring it’s better to go direct to contract flooring suppliers. As they sell to contractors they have a faster turnover of stock. They also have a greater knowledge of flooring than any stores like B and Q etc.

  20. You actually accomplished a huge amount this past week.

    Some suggestions:

    Regarding the flooring, I also think it’d be worth your time to see what a comprehensive flooring store has to offer. We will know what you finally decide on that floor after you have laid it!

    Regarding the laundry room, as someone who has designed and built two houses and now lives in someone else’s spec house, one of the things I miss about my houses is natural light in the laundry room. It utterly wonderful. If you leave you laundry room in the rear of the house, consider adding clerestories over the laundry room door plus a skylight.

    Have you considered moving the coat closet to the middle room that gives access to the two bedrooms and guest bath? It would be closer for handing up coats from guests who come in your now-exceptional front door, plus is right across from the guest bath.

    In the master bath that great space would make a spectacular place for a roomy roll-in shower, with lots of elbow room and floor to ceiling glass panels. For us, I would put a private water closet room, but this may be less than desirable for Matt and his wheelchair. Doing a fully accessible bathroom will not only be good for your husband now, but for you, too, in decades to come. When I took a class from a kitchen and bath designer, she showed us what she had done with her own house, and she also made a fully accessible bathroom, because she said she did not want be forced to sell her house when she was older due to shortsighted, inaccessible design.

    It will definitely be a “sound” idea to insulate the walls of the laundry room (sorry – I couldn’t resist), but it very important that you insulate for sound transfer, not R value. In one of our houses, we had our daughter’s bedroom wall against a guest quarters, and added plenty of insulation bats in it to, we thought, deaden the sound. No. Sound traveled through the empty spaces inside the electrical receptacles, as well as straight through the wood studs. To insulate for sound, you will need to stagger the studs. I haven’t investigated this recently, but you should do this will all walls of the laundry room, not just that one against the laundry room. You don’t want to hear the churning and spinning when you are in your (fabulous) family room in the evenings.

    Thank you for your remarkable eye and constant inspiration! I learn something new with each of your posts.

    1. Ditto what Christina said about the large roll in shower. Your new master bathroom floor plan seems perfect for two separate vanities. Matt’s vanity could be designed to meet his needs (lower sink and roll in) and your vanity designed to meet your needs. My last house had separate vanities – as in ALL the way across the room (our mirrors reflected the other mirror) and we loved it. No more bumping into each other.

  21. I have peel and stick tile that I am in the slowwwww process of removing to replace with hardwood, the tile comes up easy, however the sticky residual is a flipping nightmare, any ideas, I was thinking of throwing cat litter down on top of the residue remover “goo gone” and try that

  22. Oh Kristy, I’m so sorry to hear about the flooring. I hope you can find what you want with the suggestions others gave.

    I don’t think I commented on your floor plan before. I always wondered why your bedroom would be as small (or the same size) as the bathroom. I like this new plan a lot better. it gives you a great suite! I think the odd space in the bathroom could be great for a walk in closet just for Matt. You could have the middle and lower areas accessible to him with enough space to turn around in the wheel chair. You could also have a higher section for additional storage of seldom used items, or whatever you guys decide. Then, your closet could be what you talked about in the bedroom.
    Thanks for sharing with your readers!

  23. I have 2 competing thoughts for your ex-closet in the master bath. 1. It’s a great space for a roll in shower. 2. It’s also a great space to create bathroom storage and potentially more built-in closet space. Matt will want roll up sinks, so you won’t have the standard vanity under storage, and a full built in would be a good spot to store linens, toilet paper, etc etc. Basically do your pantry again!

    I do have questions about traffic flow in the house. Is the plan carport to deck to family room door, or is the plan carport-studio-breakfast room-kitchen-music room – rest of house? And what’s your schlepping groceries into the house plan? When the studio floor is full of sawdust or confetti or bits of gold leaf, do you have a plan for feet cleaning to keep it from tracking into the rest of the house? (I get leaf bits all over the house if I don’t keep the garage swept. Two sets of floor mats help, but not as much as you would think.) The half bath off the carport is pure genius imo. 😉

  24. I love it! And I remembered something else from my accessible house that might help. Most of the doors were a little wide–maybe 38 or 40 inches?– and were pocket doors, often what we called “French” pocket doors because there were two panels that went left and right rather than just one. Pocket doors might work for your bedroom door and the two master bathroom doors.

    And I once worked in an office where the partners had motorized doors they could open and close with the touch of a button. Both would be easier to operate from a wheelchair than standard doors, I think.

  25. Dear Kristi, I like that changes in your floor plan and think it’s great that you change the rooms so that Matt can access the bath from bed- as well as his game room. What struck me as a bit odd is that the way into your bedroom is either through his game room and the master bath or all the way through the family room. Wouldn’t it help to have another door into the master bath from your hallway (next to the door to Matt’s game room)? That way you only have to pass through one room in order to get to the bedroom on that side (and can enter the bathroom directly) – and you don’t have to annoy Matt in his game room by passing through there frequently?! It’s just my experience, that either me or my husband is being absorbed in reading, games or small DIY and then the other one is entering the room and interrupting the flow or absorption – as we, alas, share our leisure room 🙂

  26. Not sure if this is a repeat comment but have you investigated tile other than the big boxes? We recently did our entire home in vinyl plank. We looked everywhere- but my suggestion is a flooring store- mine was definitely a warehouse type but the price was substantially better.

  27. It’s almost midnight where I am and it may be that I’m insanely tired, but I’m feeling a bit confused by the floor plan… It seems to me that if Matt wants to go from the bedroom to his game room the easiest way would be through the bathroom… I love the idea of getting rid of the corridor, but something feels a little off to me… Sorry I can’t be more specific, but it’s been a long, lousy day…

  28. As I look at your floor plan, I don’t see a direct route through the house from the left side of the house to the car port? Are you planning on going out the master bedroom doors and along a covered walkway outside of the house?
    As for the flooring in your studio, how about concrete? It can be painted, (with some of the colors from your wallpaper) (or marbleize looking paint job or scored into a design or even an aggregate concrete with your chose of color pebbles.
    I agree with staggering the posts in the walls to cut down sound transfer. I have used it and been very happy with the results.
    Will you be using a washable flooring from the washroom to the back door? If you like your vinyl tile, would you use it here?

  29. They have made great ideas contacting Home Depot. We were remodeling a bathroom, needed trim to match rest of house remodel but had been years. Unfortunately was discontinued but a store in Chicago shipped to Minneapolis for less than $10. We bought what they had left. I wish you luck.

    I have grouted Adura Luxury Vinyl installed in my kitchen and a bathroom. I LOVE it. More forgiving for dropping dishes, easier to stand on, less slippery when wet. I can’t believe it is turning 7 years old, it’s is in great shape. People often confuse it for real stone. It takes a beating as I live a short distance down a gravel road, tidy as I might be sand still makes it in the house but this floor has performed beautifully.

    Professional flooring guy gave me this advise as I explore new flat surface for living, dining, hall, front entry…. wood versus laminate or vinyl. He encouraged me to be careful of choices based on sun exposure as some fade or discolor. I haven’t settled on a choice yet but I am being mindful. If I recall correctly you don’t have direct sun issues in your studio with your carport over your doors. Success is near!!!!

  30. I love the new plan! A suggestion for you to consider for your family room – floor outlets where you plan on placing end tables! We have them because we have an open floor plan and a triple window wall on the back of the house with a fireplace across from the sofa. The sofa backs to the dining area, with no wall for outlets. I have an outlet under the sofa, and one across the room from the windows. As for your flooring, I agree with some others here, that you should speak to a store that sells flooring. Not all are any more expensive than the home improvement stores and they know their products so much better. We actually got flooring for our newly built house at a cheaper price than the builders’ source, and had area rugs made for less than we found on sites like Wayfair or others. AND they made them to the sizes we needed, so we didn’t have to buy stock rugs. Plus, they delivered everything fight to us at no extra cost even though we lived 30 miles away. Can’t hurt to see what your area has to offer as well as getting good advice on the products.

  31. Love the new plan. Just wondering, since the sunroom will be current master bath & sunroom will be demolished have you thought about what to do for hot water & laundry in the mean time. I believe you had mentioned in the past that they are located in the sunroom. Hopefully you can get your contractor to get that part taken care of 1st.

  32. Will you be watching tv in your family room? Our laundry room is next to our family room and it drives me crazy (even if we aren’t watching tv). It’s so loud and we have no where else we could put it so we just have to live with it. I hate it!

  33. Like the new plan! Much better use of spaces. The old hallway space would make a great roll up to closet, or the huge shower you want. And I’m not sure but what you might want to leave the door from the hall into the bathroom area. But all that is ya’ll’s call!
    The floor is disappointing I know, but the solution might not be to bad or maybe there is a better one just waiting. Try the suggestions.
    One thing that would worry me about the floor plan is no way out to your East side, encase of emergency, is what I’m talking about. Maybe a door From the bath or the game room would solve that. Just in case!

  34. I have a suggestion, which admittedly is based on my own experience trying to store mobility equipment. Assuming that your guest will enter the house from the front door, and if I remember correctly you made an amazing coat closet in the hallway, would it be of more use to you if you skipped the extra closet and added that space to your master storage area. When you’re moving equipment in and out, there is no such thing as too much space. Particularly as we get older, so consider what you may need in 15 years time as well as now. Just an idea. Cheers.

    1. I just popped back to look at your hallway closet post. I had forgotten that you had out shelving in there.

  35. Hi Kristi,
    Have you and Matt thought about a ceiling mounted lift for him? You could run a track right into the bathroom. It might be a great convenience.

  36. Small suggestion: move the family room windows just a little–or change the number or dimension of them–so the edge doesn’t cut into the view corridor that runs from the entryway through the music room. And while the front door is narrower than the music room openings, the family room window doesn’t align with it either. Maintaining that view corridor could be an argument for moving the french doors to the right into family room territory, so long as that doesn’t create a muddy paws problem.

  37. I highly recommend a visit to your nearest FLOOR AND DECOR. They have an extensive selection of all types of flooring at prices below Home Depot! You won’t be disappointed.

  38. Typically the baths and laundry are all connect to save on plumbing costs. If you are doing your own then I guess it won’t be as big a problem.

  39. Home Depot as well as Lowe’s often call around for us to find the exact tile we need to retire a store (part of the work my hubby’s business does). We give a lot number and they call around to other locations and often order tile for us. We usually get it in a matter of a few days. Maybe they can do the same for your particular tile.

  40. Just a little thought that would make a big impact to your guests – maybe add a pocket door from the Music Room into the Guest Bedroom hallway. This would create a Guest Suite of sorts. Much nicer for the guest to be able to have some privacy to the bathroom from the bedroom in their jammies 🙂

  41. Definitely use sound attenuation for the laundry room, drywall, insulation, stud design etc. Also are you in tornado alley? A new addition would be a great time to install a storm shelter. Good luck!