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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The New Kitchen Floor Saga

Still fighting the Cold from Hell, but I think it is on the wane... (PLEASE goddess, let it be on the wane. 11 days is really enough, thank you very much.)

In the meanwhile, I promised to post about The New Kitchen Floor Saga, part of which started as long ago as the end of December, and the last of which finished up as the cold was really hitting me last week.

You  may recall, she said in a storytelling kind of voice, the Great Appliance Meltdown of 2012. That was when the week after Christmas, the washer started spewing water all over the mudroom floor, followed the next day by the dryer making a *clunking grinding* kind of noise (never good) and dying on the spot. Followed, a week and a half later, by the dishwasher causing a major flood during the dinner party I held for my step-daughter Jenn's last night in town.

Was there cursing? you ask. Oh yes, I reply, there was cursing. But not a lot. These are the joys of home-ownership. You get used to them.

Anyway. Due to some major incompetence on the part of the Electrolux people (not the repair folks, who were great, but they didn't have the right part for the washer in stock, and when they ordered it from Frigidaire/Electrolux, the company didn't send it....and didn't send it...and didn't send it, until I finally went on Twitter and complained about them, and magically, the part appeared. Yay Twitter.) it took us three weeks to get the washer and dryer fixed and the dishwasher looked at. To discover that we needed a couple of hoses the repairman didn't have... So he had to order them and come back a week later.

All of which is important to our story because water kept coming up through the floorboards (which were laminate flooring that looked like wood--what they call a "floating floor"--a term which was becoming more ironic by the minute, I might add) and I kept thinking, "Man, that was one heck of a flood, that there is still water under there."

Until the lovely repairman pulled the dishwasher out, and before he replaced the bad hoses, went to wash his hands at the kitchen sink...and water came out of one of the broken hoses behind the dishwasher.

*headdesk* Yes, that's right. Even though I turned off the water to the dishwasher itself, I'd been adding more water under the floor every time I'd used the kitchen sink. FOR OVER A MONTH. The upshot of which was...the floor was now an ex-floor, and needed to be replaced. [The top of laminate flooring is like granite. The underneath is made of pressed stuff, and not meant to be soaking wet for a damned month. Some of the flooring might have been reusable, and I did give it away to someone for free, but frankly, I thought the chances of the thing developing serious mold issues was way too good, and I would have had to replace a bunch of pieces anyway. So--dead floor.]

This is what the floor looked like before, and what the piece right in front of the dishwasher looked like when I pulled up a bit. The greenish stuff is a plastic underlayment, which was holding the water in and also smelling like er...BAD.

This is the kitchen with the old flooring pulled up, and half the underlayment ripped out. You can see the Really Ugly Linoleum that was in the house when I bought it (I redid the entire kitchen when I moved in, because it was a nightmare of 4 white metal cabinets, no countertop at all, and an ancient stove with 4 electric burners and 2 wood ones). Luckily, the RUL was put in really well, so it seemed to have contained the water. And there is cement underneath, anyway.
This is my heroic friend John Carter (not the one from Mars) who I paid to help me put in the original flooring, and this time to pull it out and put down the new flooring. I was already really ill from this stupid cold, so he did the nasty job of  cleaning the smelly icky wet Linoleum. On his hands and knees with rags and a bucket full of bleach water. Like I said, heroic.
This is poor Minerva, who is terrified of loud noises and commotion. She spent most of the three day project either hiding behind the couch or under the bed. But she's better now. She just wanted me to tell you how traumatic the whole thing was. Poor baby.
 This is kind of cool. I'd forgotten I'd written this blessing on the old Linoleum before laying down the laminate floor. It's right by the door everyone comes into the house through. Covered up again, so you can't see it. But still cool. We also found a piece of the laminate that John had signed and dated on the underneath from the earlier job. History. Every house has it.

This is John putting down the new vinyl flooring squares. It took me multiple trips to the Home Depot to decide on the color (which almost exactly matches my countertop, and I thought might be Too Much) and a conversation with my sister Sarah the Kitchen Designer, during which she started laughing and said, "Go check your email" and when I did, saw a picture of her new kitchen floor...featuring these exact same tiles. So there you have it.
And here it is, the new kitchen floor. TA DA!

It's not perfect. The reason I originally used the floating laminate flooring (which costs a lot more than the vinyl tiles) is because the kitchen floor is quite uneven, and the floating flooring compensates for that, so you can't tell. With the tile, you can tell. Which is kind of a drag. But it sure looks pretty, and if there is ever another flood, there is no place for the water to go, and I'll just mop it up. So for the moment, I'm happy.

What do you think? 

Perty, isn't it?


  1. Very perty! Long saga; I'm glad it has a happy ending. And that Minerva is feeling better with all the sturm und drang being over. And glad you have a non-flooded floor now.

    1. A mostly happy ending, anyway, if you don't look at my checkbook :-)

      And Minerva has been a bit spoiled, which she doesn't mind a bit.

  2. It's raining, it's pouring!! All the appliances going almost at once!! I like the new kitchen floor very much!!
    You may have been sick, but you were able to overcome!! And lucky to have such a good helper/worker/friend!!

    1. Very lucky indeed. John and I have been friends for about 30 years (we used to hang out in the same bar, believe it or not) and I don't know what I'd do without him.

  3. Soooo.....assuming you've asked yourself why all the Water is in your life right now, what blessings & lessons it has for you? Yeah, okay....that said--great new floor! Looks wonderful! Wishing you dryer days to come...

  4. I like it a lot! Retroactive congrats!

  5. Wow! Great blog! I was happy to see the progress your kitchen had made. I'm working on some vinyl flooring in vancouver for some kitchens. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Yes. Don't try to hijack someone's blog for your work.

      Also, try to work on floors that are level.