Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kitchen Floor Demo

After discovering we did, in fact, have hardwood floors underneath the Five layers of bullshit (Pink and Muave Diamonds, Subfloor, Green and Yellow Vinyl, Subfloor, and Green Linoleum.) we bit the bullet and started ripping up the floors. On our first wedding anniversary. Some couples celebrate by going out to a nice dinner or exchange gifts. We pulled up kitchen floors for two days straight. Keeping it real.

We didn't anticipate ripping up the floors to take two days, but whoever installed the flooring previously was.....ambitious with the nails and screws. Top layer of Vinyl? Barely glued down. Every subsequent layer....was a living nightmare. Neil and I stopped counting the nails we were pulling out after 100 but we averaged about 5-10 nails per square foot. In a 200 square foot kitchen. Needless to say, it was a nightmare.

If you make the picture bigger - you might be able to see some of the nails still in the subfloor pile. Whee.

After removing all of the vinyl and plywood, we made it down to the Linoleum - which put up a fight coming up. Around the edges, the glue had deteriorated enough to let us remove it in big hunks. The rest, we pulled up with a Rockwell RK5101K SoniCrafter by sliding it underneath the edges to loosen it up and allowing it to come up. Since the floor may or not have asbestos in it, we made sure to remove the dogs, ventilate the area, wear masks and gloves...etc. No pics were taken because the two of us were too busy swearing at the person who invented linoleum.

After several days of profanity, tears, and increased alcohol consumption we had all of the linoleum up and were overjoyed to be faced with the task of removing the remnants of the glue and felt backing of the linoleum off the floor.

We've done this before, but on a much smaller scale. And at this point, we were questioning our sanity. But we decided to attack it and get it done. Because, really, we had no other choice. We ran some chalk lines to divide the floors into easy (from a psychological standpoint) grid that wouldn't overwhelm us. It's much easier to decide to knock out three square an evening as opposed to an entire floor.

After chalking it out....we went at it. For about two to three weeks straight. We'd attack a square or two a night and then cover the entire kitchen with rosin paper. Which smells. Worse than 50+ year old laminate.

Not even going to lie, it was brutal. By this point, I had damaged my hand to the point where I could barely use it (unbeknownst to me, during Demo I had damaged some tendons in my hand, but chalked it up to fatigue). Neil had recently fractured his ankle, so between the two of us, we could barely function. But we were determined to get it done if it was going to kill us (it almost did). So each night we worked at it. The only thing that kept us motivated were getting glimpses of this:

The floors were looking great, when we could see them - which was a huge motivator. And the fact that I was hosting Christmas Dinner and could not serve my guests with rosin paper on my floors.

On the last night, Neil and I broke out the wine and just had fun with it.

Sadly, the picture that I took to document the big reveal of the hardwood floors? Yeah, it's lost somewhere. So just imagine dirty, smelly hardwood floors. With remnants of adhesive on it. And you have an idea of what our floors looked like! Total time invested from demo to ready for sanding: about a month. We started October 16th and were ready for sanding around the last week of November. It was honestly a pain in the ass keeping the area clean, and covering the floor every night with Rosin paper (which smells....did I mention it smells?). We probably would've been able to go faster if we both weren't injured....but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger! Next up: sanding and staining!

1 comment:

Shasha Kidd said...

That was a very ambitious project. I wish we'd been so lucky when we ripped up our linoleum floors Hope your hand is all healed up now.