Friday, September 3, 2010

Tearing up the Kitchen Floor

When we first met with the seller, he told us that the only thing he had ever done in the house (in the 45 years he lived there) was the Kitchen floor. The Kitchen floor was a linoleum floor with a brick patten. It matched so nicely with the brick hearth. (insert sarcasm) The floor was so incredibly disgusting. I refused to walk on it without shoes on, and even then I didn't like to spend too much time standing on it. It looked like the last time it was vacuumed or swept was in 1976. Any little bit of work we did in the Kitchen only managed to make it look worse. See that gray area? That's the dirt that had accumulated underneath the rug. Gross gross gross!
The Kitchen floor is raised up from the Hall/Living Room floor, which lead me to believe that the "brick" was actually installed on plywood, on top of the wood floor. I've always wanted a wood floor in my Kitchen. I tore up the metal threshold between the Hall and Kitchen only to find out that there was indeed wood flooring beneath the plywood. And it was level with the Hall floor. Which meant that at least one piece of plywood was coming up so we could investigate. But first I had to remove the linoleum. Which did not want to come up! Scraping, pulling, more scraping... This is the best I could do, after a whole day's work.
Luckily I was able to uncover almost an entire sheet of plywood, which made removing it about 1% easier. It took 2 guys a half hour to lift that thing, which was nailed into the wood floor every 6 inches or so! Unfortunately this story does not have a happy ending.

The floor underneath is indeed wide plank wood flooring that is identical to the Hall and Living Room floors. But it's pretty badly damaged. It's very soft... like it was wet, but it isn't. I could stand on it, but I didn't feel safe enough to have it as a floor. Plus it was very wavy (think wet paper that has dried).
I don't think I can fully express my disappointment. We have 2 options. 1: Put the plywood back and install a new floor on top of it. 2: Tear up all of the plywood and wood flooring, install a new plywood subfloor and new floor on top of that. Well, in case you can't guess, I was outnumbered. So the plywood is going back down and when we install a new floor, it'll be on top of that. That'll make the Kitchen floor about 1/4" higher than the Dining Room floor, but we'll make it work. It's not like anything else in the house is level!

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