Removing Vinyl Flooring and Laying a New Floor – Part 1

This is a three parter… I thought it would be one night of intense work, but it ended up being almost 4 nights of up-till-midnight-back-breaking-labor.

The one thing in this house that we HAD to change was the flooring in the kitchen.  It was this horrible green sheet of vinyl flooring that was so poorly laid that dog chews, chapstick, vitamins, pencils, dead bugs, almonds, etc were hiding under the flaps that weren’t tucked down.  After we decided to replace it, we came to a crossroads.  We could either lay the new flooring directly on top of the old after triming and properly finishing the old flooring or we could remove the old flooring and lay the new flooring.  The BF and I had a convo and decided that we should remove the old flooring so that we can patch and care for the floor underneath.

For the second week in a row, he left on business.  With our anniversary coming up on Monday, I decided to make the new floor my anniversary gift to him.  Granted, we bought it together, but I knew it would be hard work and doing it for him would be that much less he had to worry about.  Okay… he doesn’t worry.  I worry.  But it would be one last thing for us to try to plan to do.

After much research, these are the events that transpired.

First, remove all thresholds or baseboards that you intend to put the new flooring under.  Score the flooring for easy removal.  I took a straight razor blade and ran it up the length of the room every 12 inches or so.  Using a plastic putty knife, I picked up the edge of the top layer and pulled.  Glorious.  Let me just tell you, it was sooo nice to see that ugly green go away.  I sat back and thought, “Gee!  That was easy!”

Boy was I wrong.

After the top layer comes up, you’re left with the backing.  Every site I looked at told me to use a hair dryer and it would come right up.  Lies.  I tried that on an edge and it did nothing.  About that time, one of my girlfriends came over.  She was going to help me this week so that I could get it done for sure.  Seeing my plight, she said “Well, why don’t you iron it?”  That made sense enough.  So, I got out my iron and a rag and steamed a small section of the floor.  It came right up!  (WARNING:  This will cause your iron to get a nasty funk all over it.  If you have a crafting iron, use that.  If not, you might want to go with a cheap model.  I happened to have a decently cheap model, but it also came off after a little work.  I ended up heating the iron to its highest setting and running it back and forth over a wet towel.)  The room is just under 100 square feet.  About 10 square feet took us almost 2 hours.  By 11 PM, I was EXHAUSTED!  We decided to wrap it up the next night….

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