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It was July 2023, and Colfax Elementary School needed to update the floors in 13 of its classrooms before students returned on August 16. The new flooring would need to be durable enough to stand up to heavy foot traffic, while blending with the existing color scheme. It would also need to meet the school’s budget constraints and it’s very tight deadline.

The school chose Floortex Design Abbey Floors in Auburn because of its wide selection of affordable products and its reputation for high quality craftsmanship and expert project management.

BACKGROUND: More about the Colfax Elementary School project

Surrounded by pine trees and sloping hillsides, Colfax Elementary sits 50 miles east of Sacramento, where the Sierra Mountains begin their steady rise. The school opened in 1987, and children have been learning their fundamentals and traipsing the hallways and classrooms ever since.

In the 36 years since opening, tennis-shoed feet, spilled juice and more had taken their toll on the school’s laminate-tile floors. Many of the tiles were torn or had worn away. Bubbles were appearing under the floor, and gaps between the flooring and the baseboards were trapping grit that was nearly impossible to clean away. With 10,000 square feet of flooring to remove and replace,  and dozens of corners and cabinets to cut around, Floortex Design’s installers had their work cut out for them.

CHALLENGES: Colfax Elementary School project

Colfax Elementary School Flooring Project

Colfax Elementary School Flooring Project Challenges

Uneven subfloor: After removing the old flooring, the installation team discovered that the concrete subfloor had not been prepped correctly when the original floors were installed. As a result, bumps and bubbles had appeared soon after installation, and then holes and tears had followed.

Very Short Timeline: The project was not approved by the school board until the last day of June. With children due to return to the classroom on Aug 16, everything would need to happen very quickly. Rooms had to be measured, materials selected, ordered and delivered. That would leave less than two weeks for the actual work to be completed. Demolition and installation teams had to start work as soon as the materials arrived. There was no room for error.

Tight Budget: Like all school budgets, Colfax elementary’s was tight. Budgeting for new floors was one thing, but repainting or replacing walls, cabinets, window frames, etc. to match the new floors was out of the question. So the new flooring would need to be affordable, and it would need coordinate with the existing interior colors. 



SOLUTION: Colfax Elementary School project

Hardy Products: We selected a commercial grade luxury vinyl plank from Matrexx Floor with an oak woodgrain look – just right for walkways where foot traffic is heaviest. Luxury vinyl plank is an especially good choice for elementary school classrooms, since it is the only hard surface that is considered truly waterproof.

An Up-Close Look at Quality

A snug fit, with no gaps between floor,
wall and baseboard – even around corners


To compliment the LVP, we selected a durable, tight-loop carpet to add comfort and warmth to areas where kids would sit and play. This water-resistant carpet features:

  • Color and texture variation that blends well with the existing color scheme
  • Tight loop, synthetic pile makes it durable and easy to clean
  • Varied color and texture hides dirt and spills well

The carpet was finished off with a coordinating transition strip that is both sturdy and stylish.

Preventing Early Wear: To prevent the bubbling and early wear caused by the previous faulty subfloor preparation, Floortex installers removed both the old flooring AND all the old underlayment. They then filled uneven areas to ensure a smooth-as-glass base to lay the new floors on. Installers also took special care to cut in the flooring so it nested perfectly against the wall, and snugged tightly under baseboards.

On Time and On Budget: Thanks to the skill and experience of our project manager, the installation went flawlessly. It was completed in just four weeks — a full week before students arrived — and exactly to budget:

  • Products were selected, ordered and delivered within two weeks
  • 10,000 square feet of old, damaged flooring removed and disposed of
  • Subfloors in all 13 classrooms were levelled and prepped for installation
  • 10,000 square feet of LVP and rug tile was installed
  • Installation was completed in just 10 days – from tear out to finish

On August 16, students were welcomed back to their classrooms with beautiful new floors.  

Colfax Elementary School Flooring Finished

Colfax Elementary School’s new floors ready for 2023 school year.