It is week 5 of the One Room Challenge, and this week is all about flooring. As you may recall from my inspiration post showing the before pictures, we have very outdated brown linoleum that dates to the 1970s or 1980s. We’ve been living here for four and a half years, and we finally pulled the trigger and it had to go. This flooring was in the laundry room, throughout the kitchen, and the hall that leads to our garage. I am going to walk through the luxury vinyl plank installation.
Before demolition could begin I removed all the floor trim and door trim as we wanted to reuse these. I emptied everything out of the laundry room and kitchen that could be moved so that demolition would go smoother.
Then it was demolition time! We were fortunate to have my brother, sister, Dad and friends come help tear up the floor and my Mom provided us lunch. In order to get the linoleum and the sub-floor beneath it out easier Justin used a Skilsaw to cut large squares so that it was easier to pry up. He knew how deep to put his saw blade to so that it only went through those two layers.
Everyone used crowbars and pry bars to get up the floor and I worked on hauling the pieces outside for trash. The sub-floor that was underneath the linoleum was particleboard so it was very hard in places to get it to come out in the bigger chunks and parts just came up in pieces. Demolition took us pretty much the majority of the morning to complete and then we went through and removed any remaining nails and swept the floor for any other debris.
Once everything was as clean as we could get it the next step was patching holes. (But first look at that other lovely linoleum tile that was hiding below the brown in the kitchen!) There were several holes over near the garage entrance that needed patched. We were told there was previously a bathroom in this part of the house. After those were patched he used spray foam along the edges of some of the walls as there was a gap that lead to the crawlspace. Once the spray foam dried it just needs to be cut off so he used his Milwaukee multi-tool with a saw blade to remove what was above the floor. Justin also used caulk to apply around the holes that he patched as the next step was using floor leveler and because of it’s liquid state we didn’t want it leaking into the crawlspace through these holes.
We needed to apply self-leveler because we live in a 1905 house and there were many areas in the kitchen and laundry room door that were not level. So we knew that the sub-floor and new luxury plank vinyl installation would not go well if the floors were not level.
The floor leveler is mixed just like concrete, it comes in a powder form and water is added to the consistency of pancake batter. It is then poured over the area needed, you will need to spread it around a little and then it will find it’s own level as it dries. Once it is poured it takes about four hours to dry, Justin did this later in the evenings, so that by the next morning we knew it would be ready to walk on.
Once all the self-leveler was done it was time for the sub-floor. And just so you aren’t thinking we did this all in a weekend, I will let you know that this whole project starting with demolition and ending in flooring took us two weekends with Justin pouring the self-leveler during the week after work. We chose 3/4″ plywood for the sub-floor because with this thickness and the thickness of our new flooring it would meet the transitions we have to our other rooms.
The plywood sub-floor took an entire day to cut and screw down because there were so many things to cut around in the kitchen, laundry room, and hallway. And due to wood prices we wanted to make sure we were using our use our sheets of plywood effectively.
Once the sub-floor was complete, the next day Justin started on the luxury vinyl plank installation (or LVP as some call it). The flooring we chose is very similar to the flooring we installed in our master bedroom. There is no glue or underlayment as it is already attached. This flooring is from Home Depot and it is the Home Decorators Collection which is the same as the master bedroom except that this flooring has wider planks and a different color (Eastern White Pine).
The installation was the same as the master bedroom where you use a box knife or blade to score it and once it’s scored, the piece you don’t want just snaps off. Although Justin chose to also use his multi-tool with a saw blade to cut the trickier pieces that needed to go around trim. The multi-tool is totally optional but because he had it available it made it easier. Once the piece is cut it is hammered in place with a rubber mallet and a floor shim that assists in installation. Justin also chose a random pattern to lay down the flooring due to all the cuts that had to be made. There are many different flooring styles that could be done when laying down tile, do a search for examples before you start to see what you like best.
The part that takes the longest is the measuring to make sure the measurements are right so there is no wasted product. We were able to return 3 boxes of unused flooring which was great for the budget.
This flooring dramatically changes the look of all the rooms. And now that the flooring is finished, I can work on completing the cabinets in the laundry room and attaching new trim.