March 31, 2015
So I’m glad to say that we followed through on what we started in ripping out the kitchen floor. I am sad (but unsurprised) to report, however, that of course things didn’t go according to plan (or at least the result wasn’t to plan).
We decided to cram this whole event into a weekend – it’s definitely a “once you start you can’t stop” type of thing. It just won’t work to live in a half-demoed kitchen with a toddler and two dogs around. I’d say it took about 40 man-hours of work (we did have a very awesome friend come help us on day 1), so we got a good upper body workout in for the weekend.
First we cleared out the dog crates / table / wine fridge that were on the floor along the back wall…
It took about 45 seconds to pop off the rest of the cork tiles.
Then came the fun part:
It started off tough – we were working from a back corner, and there wasn’t enough space for both of us to work on the floor at the same time. Plus, there weren’t enough tools; even though I KNOW we have multiple pry bars, we could only find the large one and one small one for this job (reason number 18324971234 to keep an organized garage / shop).
We moved the refrigerator out, and of course it wouldn’t fit through either of the doorways (presumably it would have if we took the door off – it got in there somehow!). Above shows the kitchen solidly in the “it gets worse before it gets better” zone. Also note: we didn’t take all of our stuff off of the counters before getting to work, which is stupid. Because there is a ton of dust, and it took over an hour just to wipe everything off after we were finished.
It took a solid 8 hours and 3 people switching off prying duty to clear off the two layers of linoleum and plywood in between. There was a lot of nail removal and cleanup (I’m always surprised by the amount of trash demo makes).
Then came the sanding…
Above is where we left off on Saturday night – maybe 20% of the floor sanded? This is the adhesive layer between the subfloor and the original linoleum, and we swapped out a belt sander and a random orbital sander, both using 40 grit paper. It wasn’t hard, just slooooooow going.
The dogs were not very amused by all of the commotion.
On day 2 we wised up and put an old torn sheet in the doorway between the kitchen & the dining room, to control the sanding dust.
Also – we’ve really got to do something about that wire-rack-o-junk in the dining room. Another day…
The second day was sanding, sanding, and more sanding. Alex and I traded off, so one of us to wrangle Jack (who was finally feeling better after a bout of norovirus…. ah yes, a fun complication to this whole adventure). It still took all day to sand down to the raw wood.
The section near the doorway to the dining room was LOADED with nails…. literally a nail every inch or so (with some practically on top of one another). No idea why, but it was a pain in the ass to get out.
And let’s skip ahead to the end:
Wow! Raw wood! No cork! Only one layer! Amazing!
Buuuuut…. sad news for me. It’s somewhat obvious in the picture, but definitely obvious in real life – there’s a goodly amount of water damage to the wood, especially around the sink and dishwasher (off to the right in the picture). Womp womp. I had my heart set on some light, Scandinavian-style wood floors, and that’s just not an option. Or, I guess it is an option, but it will look like shit. I shouldn’t be very surprised – this is a subfloor after all, not real hardwood. But the back half of the kitchen (which we originally exposed) looks so much better that it gave me a false sense of hope.
It changes the color palette … now we’re trying to figure out if we should stain / oil the floors dark, or paint (Alex is very opposed, since the only painted wood floor he knows is the one from our last house, which wasn’t great). I think we’re leaning towards a dark tinted color oil, since we had already purchased a can of Osmo Polyx Professional Color Oil in white (back when I thought we could keep the floors light … cue a single tear rolling down my cheek). So I expect that just swapping the can for a different color will make the return / exchange easier (which I’m not sure we can even do, even though we haven’t opened it).
Hopefully we’ll decide & tackle it this week – we can’t live on raw wood in a kitchen and expect it to hold up.