For seven years, we had the most awful, ugly floor in our kitchen. It was the same linoleum tile that was in the lobby of the government building my dad worked in, in the 70’s. I can’t even describe it without my eyes getting all squinty and my eyebrows frowning. Take a look….
Since the day we moved in, I wanted to rip out the floor and expose those beautiful 9 inch wood planks that are beneath. But, you know where I’m going with this – other projects took precedence, and it’s not like ripping up the floor is a one day job. And too, although I knew that the linoleum wasn’t asbestic tile, I wasn’t sure what I would uncover before reaching those beloved 9 inch planks.
The day came where I couldn’t take that ugliness anymore. I waited for Sean to go to work (so I wouldn’t get any grief for starting yet another project) and I gathered the tools I would need to remove the eyesore. Starting in a corner, I removed one tile and had to stop. My fear was confirmed; asbestic flooring was underneath. I didn’t dare move on as I didn’t want to disturb the asbestos. I grabbed a random square of peel and stick linoleum that I use for inside my cabinets, and put it down.
I was disheartened to say the least. No way could we afford at this point to have the flooring abated; we’re talking thousands of dollars. And then the cost to refinish the hardwoods, not knowing what kind of shape they’re in – well, it’s too much. We needed a plan B. Flooring had to be installed on top of the ugly.
We went to Home Depot and found this vinyl laminate flooring. A dark walnut color, it would fit right in with the rest of our hard woods in our house. And, to make things even sweeter, with the flooring featured in a Memorial Day sale, it was 52 cents a square foot! Needless to say, we bought the 11 boxes we needed and ran home.
Fit together and snap in place is the name of the game here. Grab a tapping block, pull bar, a hammer and the like. Set up the table saw, drill and jigsaw as a work station outside. Keep a pencil and tape measure near by.
Now, for normal floors, this would be a snap. Literally. But again, with our old farmhouse, simple projects take a bit longer because nothing is square, nothing is level. Shims and patience were in order.
Move the dishwasher, cut and install. Shimmy the stove out of the way, and do the same, making our way toward the fireplace. I even made paper patterns of the floor in some spots, to make cutting the moulding details into the flooring more precise. A little extra effort always pays off.
With every piece of plank we put down, it was looking amazing. Covering up that ugly 70’s linoleum, this vinyl laminate flooring looked like a million bucks rather than 52 cents a square foot. Now, this is my kind of project. Huge impact that worked so well with our limited budget. Even if the flooring wasn’t on sale, it’s still very reasonably priced.
Hands down, this may be my favorite cost effective project to date. Our kitchen is our most trafficked room, and a room we have worked so hard to update, even if in several stages. This vinyl laminate flooring brought class to our kitchen, and now everything else we’ve enhanced has its chance to shine, too. A few more projects slated for this room, but the new flooring just may take the cake.