Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lusting for Travertine

Let it never be said that konagod doesn't have expensive taste. I never have to look at a price first. Whatever I'm shopping for, I just need to decide on a favorite and then look at the price and you can bet that item will be in the top 10% in terms of cost.

Anyone who has read this blog for a year or more knows I despise that ugly outdated sheet of vinyl in our kitchen. And the bare concrete floor in the den which has now been exposed for 14 months is starting to grate on my last nerve.

Off we went to Home Depot and Lowe's today in search of the ideal floor covering for each. And since the kitchen and den are adjoining rooms I would really like to have the same flooring material in both to sort of tie the rooms together in a Lebowski kind of way.

My heart had been set on a hardwood at Home Depot called "Santa Fe." As the name implies, it's very rustic and southwestern. Then one day txrad was browsing hardwood flooring on the internet and discovered mesquite hardwood. I was immediately hooked on it. It's beautiful stuff. I suspect it's also very expensive.

The more I read about hardwood, the more I'm having a change of heart. Between the amount of time we spend in the kitchen (a greater risk of spills and stains) coupled with eight cat feet and frequent vomiting (the cats, not us), hardwood might not be the best choice. So I began to reconsider tile or stone.

This travertine tile makes me salivate. I love the color variety and the fact that each piece would be unique. A couple hundred square feet of it might be busy, but certainly an improvement of that filthy yellow and brown 80s vinyl we have now.

The price is unfortunately a tad high for my budget. Damn!

So we kept looking. This porcelain tile is similar but didn't quite have the same lust factor. I think I feel the same way about flooring as I do the presidential campaign. This would certainly be a huge improvement but part of me will always feel like I was settling for something less than I really want.

And while it's considerably cheaper than the travertine 18x18" tiles, it's not THAT much lower than the travertine in a 12x12" size.

I've never thought about having a blue tile floor, but this is nice and interesting. At $2.38 per square foot, it's getting into the price range of decency.

But honestly, does it look that much better than this? And these are under a buck per square foot.

Both stores charge about $3.00 per square foot to install tile. So I have to wonder if I'd want to spend that much on installing some cheap tile.

I've got lots of analyzing and calculating to do. And I don't mind a little splurge to get something I'm going to love as opposed to liking. Some people spend a few thousand every year on a vacation. I hardly ever leave the city limits of Austin. So the way I look at it, my house ought to make me feel the same way I'd feel if I were spending a week or two in Italy.

The difference being that after 2 weeks, I still have my beautiful floors to enjoy 365 days a year vs. having a fading memory of a wonderful time.

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