Friday, December 18, 2009

The kitchen floor: gettin’ rid of ugly

When we bought our farm, the only “livable” space was an old mobile home. It’s UL listed according to the 1972 standards. It was dirty, dark, and smelled of mothballs when we first saw it. It has evidence of roof leaks and leaks around windows. It’s an old mobile home.

We’ve done things to make it more livable over time. We removed the brown shag carpet from the living room. And, the original green carpet that was under that. Then, we patched places where the floor was rotted out near the walls and put down laminate flooring. That made the living room much better.

The next room we tackled was a bedroom. It had the original green carpet. In the corner of the room, the carpet was about the only thing keeping things from falling through to the nether regions under the house. We removed the old, nasty, dirty, disgusting (add your own adjectives here) green carpet, patched holes and rotted places in the subfloor, and then put down laminate. We also added some big windows to the room.

Later, we installed laminate in the hallway and remodeled the bathroom, 006creating a small half bath off of the bedroom. These too received new flooring.

The one room that still had the original flooring was the kitchen. It needed replaced, but I was reluctant to do so because it meant moving everything out, including the heavy wood cookstove. The old linoleum was a “lovely” gold and green color with a fascinating pattern designed to excite the senses and provide cover for dirt hiding thereon. It was also rapidly deteriorating as pieces of it were wearing off.

The thing that motivated me to replace the floor was a leak under the kitchen sink. One of the housings on our reverse osmosis water filter developed a crack. Before we noticed it, much water had leaked and had saturated the subfloor under the sink. It should be noted that the subfloor in this lovely manufactured house is nothing more than particle board, a material that dissolves into nothingness when it becomes wet.

Rather than have the horror of someday soon watching someone washing dishes disappear through the floor along with the sink, I decided to fix the problem. While I was at it, it seemed appropriate to replace the ugly linoleum with something better – laminate in an oak pattern.

My dad helped me complete the job. It took us two days and involved taking everything out of the kitchen and then tearing out the gold & green linoleum. Once it was removed, we cut out the bad sections of the floor and replaced them with something solid (new boards). Once the floor was repaired, we laid the laminate flooring. What an improvement!

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