So I fucked up the hall. The best way I've found to deal with fucking something up is to sulk for no more than three days, then move along. I hated that floor anyway, so we've decided to replace it. With hardwood. Cheap hardwood. The good stuff starts at $5/sq ft, and sure it looks really nice, but it's a hall. I was not thrilled about the thought of spending more than $500 to have a floor in the hall.
I did a lot of looking online and in town, and I found medium brown utility grade 3" wide solid oak for under $2/sq ft. It's a shade darker than I would have chosen in a perfect lottery-winner world, but I actually really like the utility grade stuff. Utility/cabin grade means it's got knots, wormholes, and occasional damage to the structural tongue-and-groove parts. You buy a little extra to make sure you have enough. The floor doesn't look mirror-smooth and perfect when it's finished, but that's not really appealing to me anyway. It's a hall. The dog is going to track in sand, I'm only going to sweep once a day, and honestly? I'm not going to remember to take my shoes off every single time I come through there either. It's gonna get banged up. Pre-banged-up is just fine with me.
I picked up five boxes (105 sq ft) today, but I think I'm going to go back for another box tomorrow or Monday. The actual hall dimension is 90 sq ft, so 105 is perfect - but, er, there's two tiny closets I forgot about. And the previous owners forgot about - the original 30 yo extremely horrible blue carpet is still in place in them. If I buy one more box of wood, I'll have plenty to do the closets too.
Advice online says to let your wood acclimate to your house's temperature and humidity for a week. The guy at the flooring store recommended 2-3 weeks - eeek! I'm sure he's right, as much as I hate to wait now that I have exciting new flooring. There's like no humidity at all in Reno, so the wood will shrink as it loses moisture. I'd really, really hate to lay the floor, nail it down, then have it shrink up and get big cracks in it. So I'll wait.
I locked the cats in the bedroom while I pulled up the laminate and stacked the boxes of hardwood in the hall. When I let them out, it was a Brave New World, one which they'd never seen before in their whole lives.