Replacing the Basement Carpet Phase 1: Decisions, Decisions

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Pardon the excitement but I haven't popped in here in oh, over 2 weeks now, and I'm so happy to *see* you!  This whole having a job that requires my undivided attention for 9 hours a day thing has really put me behind on my first love, blogging!  Hopefully I'll find a nice balance soon.

I just wish I had a fun project to share with you today, but I mostly need your advice and your sympathies.  Here we go.

So, we got a puppy back in January, remember?  She's as cute as cute can be but she has proved to be, well, a lot of trouble.  She still has accidents from time to time, although she has gotten WAY better in that regard, thank goodness, but the root of our problems with Sadie stem from the fact that she thinks the cats are here for her own personal amusement.  Maggie won't lay on our bed anymore, since Sadie got big enough to jump up there (although we definitely scold her when she does), and has taken to hiding behind the extra dining room chairs that live in the office.  Abbie is more confrontational and just hisses from a high vantage point whenever Sadie is near.  The pup just wants to play, but the cats are not too fond of her rough-housing games.  

Anyway, whenever Sadie is out, we have to keep the litter box locked up because she looooves to get cat poo out of there and bring it to the most appropriate places, like right beside me on the sofa. #eww  Well, a couple months ago, I noticed that Sadie was going behind one of the curtains in the basement and bringing out cat poo!  My initial thought was that she somehow got to the litter box and was bringing the poo out and stashing it behind the curtain for safe keeping.  Yeah, I thought our crazy pup was a genius.  It didn't dawn on me that there could be another explanation until I let Sadie out of her kennel one afternoon, after cleaning up the cat poo stash the night before, when lo and behold, more cat poo had magically appeared behind the curtain.  Sadie could not have put it there.  So I lifted up the curtain, looked behind it, and was absolutely disgusted, flabbergasted, disgusted, astonished at what I saw.  Abbie, our sweet little kitty who gets (excuse me, GOT) free reign of the house 24/7 was using my curtain and the corner of the basement carpet as her personal litter box.  

When you live somewhere, you don't notice how it smells.  That is, until someone like your father-in-law walks in the front door, as in, all the way upstairs, and says "Boy, it smells in here!"  #ashamed  So, we did what any normal, animal owning people would do and called a professional steam cleaning service out for an estimate.  They were totally nice but basically told us that there was no way on God's green earth that they could get the cat urine smell out of the carpet.  Yay.

On to Plan B!  That's where I need your help!

Although this is going to be a hefty expense that we didn't plan on this year, I can't say I'm all that upset about it.  I've hated the cheap carpet down here from Day 1 and I'm so excited for a change!

Here's the before with the sea of beige carpet:

We originally thought the cheapest option would be to just go back with carpet.  But that mean re-carpeting the entire basement, including the two rooms that have perfectly fine, un-urined carpet.  Having two different types of carpet in rooms that flow together just isn't my thang.  So, we spent last Saturday going to different carpet stores and getting rough quotes for 1,100 square feet of carpet.  The first place was over $4,000, the second place was $5,100, and the third place was $3,500.  That third place was Lowe's, so we had them come out and give an "official" estimate, which came to $3,828.  Not nearly as bad as we thought it might be, but it was still $3,800 for carpet.  I'd rather have, like, anything else, for that amount of money.  We had pretty much decided that that was what we would have to do and picked out a carpet very similar to this:

When we went to return the carpet sample to Lowe's, we thought we may as well price out different options just to see although we thought for sure that tile would be too expensive, and hardwoods in a basement just don't do too well.  Even if we went with engineered, there's the concern that we might have a water leak or something and wood & water just don't mix.

Lo and behold, tile turned out to be super affordable, as long as we were okay with forgoing heating elements (which we originally thought we would have to have if we went with tile, but it turns out we're fine with getting a rug and wearing slippers in the winter).  Tile is great for a basement because it is SO easy.  There will never be any concern if there's a water leak, or if Abbie decides to stop using her litter box again, clean up will be a breeze!  We're thinking something like this...

Yes, ceramic tile that looks like wood flooring.  I mean, does it get any better than that?  The look of wood with the ease of tile.  Perfect.

We also considered painting the concrete because I love the look:

But painting concrete is a ton of prep work, and although not too hard, would put our basement out of commission for a week or more and with 3 animals running around, I'm not sure that would bode too well.

So what would you do?

Carpet = $3,800 (including installation)
Tile = <$2,000 (if we DIY the install)
Paint = <$200 (but lots of work and days without being able to use the space)

Oh, I almost forgot.  Do you want to know why Abbie was using our carpet as her litter box?  Because her litter box was in the same room as Sadie's kennel and she didn't want to go in there and risk being barked at, so she took it upon herself to find an alternate location.  We've since put another litter box in the basement shower (that has only been used once since we've lived here) and she's been using it happily ever since.  So hopefully there's no chance of this happening again. *crossing fingers*

I hope you guys have a FANTASTIC 4th of July!  We're heading to a cook-out tonight, a ball game tomorrow (complete with fireworks!), and will probably spend Friday and the weekend working on the basement.  I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!! :)  Come on 5 o'clock!


  1. I love the tile-wood look! I was like, "That's not tile!" The paint looks great too. Happy 4th!

  2. If you are pretty sure there won't be more accidents and your basement doesn't have water problems, I'd go with carpet. I think it feels nicer to walk on and has a warmer/cozy feel. I love the look of the "wood" tile, but would hate to have to commit to slippers.

    It also depends on if the plan is to live in the house for quite awhile. If so, I would invest whatever it takes to get what you truly want. If you think you'll leave in the next few years, do the cheapest acceptable option.

  3. GIrrrrrrrrrrrrlllllllll.. go with the tile... it will look the best and be the easiest... painting concrete sounds horrifically time consuming and painful.. plus.. I watch "House Hunters" religiously.... and they never like concrete... no matter how good it looks.. the buyers always hate it...
    I completely sympathise with you on the cats... my dogs are always sneaking... especially at night!!!

  4. That's tough. I love the painted cement look, but I think the tile fits your space better. And I'm LOVING all the App in your basement :)

  5. This story is one that sticks with you... I've been thinking about it all day... I think your dog was trying to give you clues by giving you the poop....he was smelling it like 200x a human's smell...