Friday, August 26, 2011

Kitchen day 32: And then I cried.

For those of you who have been following the kitchen renovation thus far, you may have been impressed by the overall poise with which I have handled a series of events that has included hard physical labor, lots of construction dust, washing dishes in the shower, storing our refrigerator outdoors, more sodium (from take-out and easy meals) than my body has known how to process, and making lots of expensive decisions.  I, at least, am impressed, that in 32 days I have not had any kitchen-related meltdowns.  (Full disclosure, I may have had one non-kitchen related meltdown, but every girl is biologically entitled  programmed to have at least one of those each month, right?)  But let's get back to the kitchen.  Seriously, for a control-freak, type A personality like me, rolling with the punches and going with the flow of an inconvenient and messy process is not in character for me, and I'm proud that I have both rolled and gone (with the punches and the flow, respectively).

Except for tonight.  Here's what happened.

Ever since I put the Armstrong 12 x 12 Crescendo Canyon Shadow vinyl tile floors in the upstairs bathroom, I have loved them and dreamed of having them in both bathrooms and the kitchen.

Although they look dusty in the picture above, in reality, one of the primary reasons I love them so much is that they never show dirt.  In fact, I effectively fooled my mother.  They had not recently been cleaned (let's not go into how long), yet she thought they were.  Yeah, these tiles are that good.

They're also beautiful colors (brown and gray marbled), look like real stone, are incredibly easy to install, and much much more affordable than they look.  

I'm not the only one who loves them so much.  On, they have a 5 star rating from customer reviews.

Zoomed: Armstrong 12" x 12" Crescendo Canyon Shadow Vinyl Tile

They look beautiful in my upstairs bathroom.  They look beautiful in our downstairs bathroom/laundry room.  I want them to look beautiful in my kitchen.  I have read that consistent flooring throughout your house makes it look larger & more coherent.  Once these tiles go down in the kitchen, we'll have only 3 flooring types through the entire house (the hardwood, the carpet, and then this tile), and since the tile & hardwood are very close in color, that's added consistency.  

I think I have adequately described my love for these tiles.  They're the next step in the kitchen progress.  In fact, I planned to work on them tonight.  We have some guests coming tomorrow with a just-learning-to-walk baby, and I thought that having a nice, clean kitchen floor might be nice.  You know, since we're no where close to baby-proof over here, covering up one more hazard (the dirty old kitchen floor) would be a step in the right direction.  Technically, if I were to just clean the old floor (which has to happen before the tiles, anyway) that would also suffice, but putting down the tiles was a nice stretch goal.

So, we went to the Chinese Buffet for dinner and stopped at Lowe's to pick up said tiles.  This is where the world started to fall apart.  There were two individual tiles on the shelf.  Usually they also have boxes of 24.  I figured maybe they were out of stock.  So I looked for the place where they should be stored.  There was no label on the shelf.  So I pushed the "assistance needed in flooring" button and a guy came to help.  He went to talk to the flooring department supervisor and then to the store manager.  Apparently the tiles are no more. 

I attempted to remain calm and asked about other options.  They checked other local stores, and stores near our families in Pennsylvania.  The most they could come up with was 17 or 18 tiles here or there.  I need 200.  We left Lowes.  I cried.  We came home and I googled the product.  They're not listed on the manufacturer's website.  I called my mom and cried again.  She reminded me that there are a lot of worse things in the world.  I (temporarily) disagreed, and kept searching online.  By tediously switching "my" store on the website, I could check the inventory from place to place.  The most I found was 137 in Erie.  Apparently, they could ship for $75, which would have been the cost of 75 additional tiles if they had just been in stock in the first place.

By this point in my search, I was beginning to think more clearly.  I started to realize that there might be a way for me to get my beloved tiles.  FAR, FAR more importantly, I began to remember that there are in fact many more tragic and awful things in the world than possibly having to change my kitchen flooring plans.

I ended up placing a call to the Lowe's customer service line, reminiscing about junior high thanks to the 10+ minutes of Backstreet Boys and other 1990's hits (peppered of course with reminders about the importance of my call), and finally being connected with a very helpful representative who took my name, number, and request and promised to have the sales staff call me back within one business day to place my order.  Apparently, they are going to research ways to collect enough of the tiles and have them shipped to my local store.  We didn't get into specifics about cost, but it already sounds less expensive than the $75 Lowe's truck delivery that the website was requiring to get them here from Erie.

Of course, I won't be completely relieved until the tiles are all stuck in their neat little rows on my kitchen floor.  But I do feel better about the situation.  I wish I had purchased extra boxes a while ago (when I bought the first boxes for the bathrooms), but life is always about living and learning, right?  And you know what, given that we are looking at a weekend where thousands of people are at risk of losing everything thanks to Hurricane Irene, I really can't get upset about the possibility of having to select a slightly different floor.  There are plenty of worse things out there.  Moms are always right.  Except about whether or not Armstrong floor tiles are clean.  :)

Anybody else out there ever have their hopes dashed by inventory changes?

P.S. I understand that it's the law for bloggers to disclose whether or not they received any payment in return for favorable reviews of products.  I was not reimbursed or rewarded in any way for saying how much I love these tiles.  Although I'd be happy to say more if it means I could get 200 extra ;)


  1. I just read your comment, April 19th late at night! Why, because I am searching frantically for a tile from Lowe's that has been discontinued. I had bought tile for my foyer and an entry hall, and finally after months they are in. In the mean time, we gutted the kitchen and dining room and I had the major decision to either run more laminate from the living room into those rooms "or" more tile. SO! We laid the new sub-flooring in prep tiles and ran up to LOWES to get more cartons (13) to be exact. NO MORE THERE. We were told that we could reap them in from all over yonder. So I called customer service and yes, they would give me a deep discount even. AH HA! She told me that it would be 2300 dollars-2 grand of which was shipping to get them to my local Lowe's. Alas, I am searching stores for that same tile, however I guess Lowe's has its own exclusive....can't believe that. Now I am in a bind-another tile choice and I was hoping to go with the less is more look as well. Now that the sub flooring is in, using the laminate can't be an option because of height issues between rooms. This remodeling is taking a toll on me mentally. Well, I best go back to searching.....Glad I am not the only one.

  2. Hi I hope you are still accepting comments. I think that these designs are great but you never get the full impact of the tile unless you physically touch it and see it live. Tiles truly can dynamically change a room and working with a local supplier is your best option.

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