Adventures in Home Ownership: Putting in new flooring!

our kitchen in 2011

Our house has changed a lot since we bought it back in 2011. When we first moved in we had our kitchen table in the little eat in kitchen area. There was an ugly area rug under the table that served one major purpose – to hide the giant hole in the linoleum that came with the house. I don’t know why the hole was there but we weren’t in a position to replace it so we ignored it.

When we adopted Doc this Spring, we moved our kitchen table to the “formal dining room” that had formerly been a play room so that Doc’s “bedroom” could be in the non-carpeted eat in kitchen area also known as our pantry area. We got rid of the carpet and placed his crate over the hole and it mostly worked except he kept managing to pick at the hole and it got bigger and bigger and eventually we had to accept the fact that it was time to redo the floor.

The problem is that our linoleum extends throughout the kitchen, the entry hallway and the downstairs bathroom with no obvious breaks. We decided we really needed to do the WHOLE thing – all the linoleum had to go. We loved the look of hardwood but it wasn’t in our price range and we didn’t think it would be right for a kitchen and bathroom. So we opted for a linoleum lift and lock style that looks like wood. We bought a pattern by Hampton Bay called Old Mill Hickory that had a lot of rustic character that we felt vibed well with our aesthetic.

before

Then we picked a weekend, ripped out all of the old linoleum and got to work! We figured a weekend would be plenty of time, lodged our puppy at his favorite swanky hotel so that he wouldn’t have to live through the construction and I planned to be out on the town with the kids while Dan and his buddy worked so we would all be out of his hair.

I think you can probably predict where this is going. That famous line “the best laid plans of mice and men,” comes to mind…

a work in progress

By the end of day one this is pretty much what had been accomplished. Most of a hallway. Partly because our help left for several hours to attend to his wife who wasn’t feeling well. Partly because we vastly underestimated the amount of time involved and partly because Dan had never done the job before and had to learn what he was doing while he went. Oh and also because, according to Dan, we got what we paid for. He struggled a lot with the flooring which never seemed to want to behave while installing.

On day two he was by himself with a tiny bit of help from me that probably wasn’t very helpful. The kids stayed at home and watched movies while I tried to help where I could and the physical strain of the job was catching up to my poor husband. He managed to finish the hallway and the pantry area / dog’s bedroom so that we could pick up the dog early the next morning (and husband and kids could go to work and school). Meanwhile… I still had no kitchen or downstairs bathroom.

But Monday night he laid out almost all of the floor in the kitchen and easily finished it Tuesday night. The big light bulb moment for him was grabbing a tool belt to wear while working. I think half of my help was just handing him a tool that he’d left on the other side of the room. Problem solved! This helped him move much faster. All that was left to do was put in some sealant to protect from potential water damage and let it dry. Wednesday night I got my kitchen back.

after

It was a LOT of hard work and headaches and though we aren’t DONE done – we still need to do the bathroom and put down the baseboard trim nearly everywhere. But we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the house is mostly liveable again. It’s been a learning experience to be sure. In the future, I think we would try another brand and hope that the installation would be easier or possibly just bite the bullet and hire someone to do the work for us.

But I have to say – it looks fantastic! I’m so proud of my husband for all of his hard work and persistence that definitely paid off in spades!

And most of all: I love that there is no longer a giant hole in my floor!

2 thoughts on “Adventures in Home Ownership: Putting in new flooring!

  1. Aaaaaahhh… the floor re-do. Brave of you to attempt it yourself. We knew we’d never finish ours if we DIY’d it, so we hired someone. It was expensive and I still question whether it was worth it (don’t tell my husband) but I do love the results. Congrats! It looks great! Every project you conquer makes the house more YOURS. 🙂

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  2. I have to say just watching all the work involved, I would totally pay to have someone do it the next time, but it will really come down to how hubby feels about it because he’d be the one doing the work after all!

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