St James African Mahogany Photos

Here are some photos of the St. James African Mahogany laminate that I bought.  The T mold is also from the same company.

This is the entrance to my room:

This is in my bedroom.  Baseboard and the quarter round is from the same place I bought the laminate.

This is in a guest bedroom against Sherwin Williams Zircon (gray)

I definitely recommend it!  It has a hint of cherry, which I love.


Flooring Tips

We finally finished putting in the St James African Mahogany flooring.  It took three days. This isn’t the first time with snap-and-click for Ben, but it is for me.  It could just be the specific flooring I purchased, but I think it should be more appropriately named “Snap, beat with a hammer and block over and over until the pieces actually, Click.”  I ended up unprepared and had to buy an installation kit midway through to make the process easier.  The kit contained 50 spacers so that I didn’t have to make my own spacers with left over pieces of tack board from the carpet removal.  Taking them out once you finish a room is difficult and you may end up breaking some of the pieces to get them out –  we did!  The best thing in the kit however, is the pull bar.  When you’re trying to push the last laminate piece that is closest to the wall, you have no room to push or pull on the edge of it to get it to click into the other piece.  So the pull bar fits into the narrow space between the laminate and the wall and also has a flat end that you can tap with your hammer or mallet.


  • Wall perimeters
  • Floor square footage including closets (if you want the flooring to be uniform through closets)

Useful tools:

  • Laminate flooring installation kit
  • Hammers/rubber mallets
  • Thick wood blocks
  • Circular saw
  • Ear plugs
  • Safety glasses
  • Knee pads or the foam pads you sit on when gardening


  • Your choice of flooring
  • Quarter Rounds to hide the 1/4 inch gaps between the laminate and the walls
  • Baseboard along the bottom of the walls
  • The baseboard combined with the quarter round looks like this:


Fresh Coat of Kilz All Over the Floor

After removing all carpet staples from the ground, we swept nails, tack strip pieces, and staples with a broom.  Then we went over the floors with the shop vac a second time.  After that was done, we rolled Killz all over the floor.  Basically, I wanted to seal off whatever floor was underneath the carpet.  I hope that it will trap the odors into the ground and provide at least a cleaner surface to work off of when putting the flooring in.

Materials used:

  • Kilz 2 gallon tub – used the whole tub to cover all closets, floors up to the kitchen and laundry.  I estimate that to be 700-800 square feet.
  • Edge brush (for 1 person)
  • Rollers (for 2 people)


  • Ventilate
  • Wear a respirator mask
  • Keep the thermostat above 50 degrees.  Paints and primers dry in warm air.  Cold air makes it difficult to cure.
  • Start from the furthest room/area of the house and work towards your exit doors so you don’t have to walk over what you painted.
  • In each room, start with edging the closet floors first and then move out into the room
  • Edge the perimeter and a helper can come in with a roller to get the rest.

Now the whole house is carpet free and the floors are white.  The next step I should probably take is to paint the walls.  That way, people can have at it without worrying about spilling over new floor laminate.  I personally hate choosing paint colors because even if I know what color I want, there are so many shades of it!  Then, if I pick 5-6 shades that look close to what I’m looking for, those colors start to look weird compared against each other!  Cleaning and then priming took from 6 pm until 9 pm with three people.

Fun Tip:

  • Form a massage chain with everyone who helped.  Get the knots out from your hard day of bending over and pulling things out of the ground.

Since tomorrow is Christmas Eve, we are going to take a break for a couple days.  We won’t be back to the house until after Christmas.  I have until December 28th to use a 10% off Home Depot coupon to buy the flooring.  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Removed the Carpet!

We removed the carpet this evening!  We decided not to have someone else come take it out because 1) I am too chicken to trust someone coming to get my dirty carpet and 2) I am paranoid which is the same as 1).  I ended up scaring away one guy who wanted to drive 1.5 hours to get the carpet because no matter how many times he asked for my number and address, I wouldn’t give it to him unless he committed to a time and day to come out. I will work on my irrational fears some other day.

Materials we bought:

  • a set of 3 Husky utility knives for $7 at Home Depot
  • 2 respirator masks for $5 at Home Depot
  • 1 toxic dust respirator for $21 on

Other materials used:

  • crowbar, hammers, screw drivers, shop vac, earplugs

We enlisted help from my boyfriend’s sister and we started peeling up the carpet.  There was orange carpet padding underneath the carpet, and then vinyl floors on top of the cement slab.  We had to shop vac all of the ancient dust that was under the carpet.  After that, we went along the walls to try to pry the tack strips off the ground with crowbars and hammers.  This was really difficult and time consuming.  We only got through doing the living room today and will have to pull off the rest later.   Ear plugs come in  handy after the carpet is gone and your whole house echos the clanging of the hammers against the crowbars. Multiply the noise by the number of people doing the same thing at the same time and you will appreciate the ear plugs!