The kitchen suffered from some truly awful pink-beige-ish vinyl tile. The surface was a good 1/2 inch higher than the wood floors elsewhere, so we suspected there was … maybe old broken tile? under the vinyl. I was not eager to find out. My MO with this project was to just clean up what was there and make it work until we could afford to do a bigger renovation. I was planning on painting the floors to sort of maybe look like nice cement tile… hopefully?
But then a funny thing happened.
We had to take off the baseboard molding to install the new IKEA cabinets we were putting on the far wall of the kitchen. In doing so, we exposed a tiny bit of flooring under the vinyl/plywood. And …. it kind of maybe looked like it was hardwood.
We played a couple of rounds of what-if: what if there are hardwoods under the vinyl tile? what would it cost to finish them? what if they are in bad shape? would we just tile over it? how much would that cost? what about those vinyl wood plank thingies?
Eventually we said, well whatever. And just ripped it up. Which, like most of this project felt easy at first, but days and nights and more days and nights later, and after much exhaustion and expended good spirits…. we conceded that this was one of the more difficult things we took on.
There was actually two layers of plywood and vinyl and linoleum to get through. And there were some missing boards that had been patched with plywood – likely footprints of an original kitchen cabinet layout. The wood was different than the rest of the house – likely a cheaper material as it was not designed to be seen by polite company. But it was still wood – and that was better than the awful pink tiles we had before.
We contacted our friends father who helped us finish the rest of the floors in the house. He sent out his guy to look at the project to let us know if they were salvageable. When he came out, he took the opportunity to repair the missing boards. Unfortunately, he used new stock oak planks. I would have preferred he take up boards from under the fridge so they would match exactly :/
We cleared out all the appliances and lived like this for the next two weeks ish:
Then, said friend’s dad came back with his crew and they sanded the floors!
A couple coats of Special Walnut stain:
Then several coats of poly with sanding between coats:
And then they were done! Yay!!
But then. The GREAT BIG BAD THING happened.
Our radiator leaked hot, steaming water all over the floors we had yet to pay for. It buckled the wood and melted the finish.
I cannot express how bad this was. Its hard to type anything about this as it is making me cry again.
But, Bryan fixed it. <3
He bought a belt sander and took down the curled edges of the wood:
Mira didn’t help at all. Typical.
He then spot stained the newly sanded parts:
There was obvious water damage and dark spots, but it looked pretty damn good.
We lived with it like that for a long while as we completed other more pressing projects, but eventually, he polyed the whole floor:
This project was so trying and it really almost broke us. Once again, Bryan amazed me with his newly acquired talents. The floors look amazing. I cannot imagine living with those awful pink tiles now.