Sunday, March 8, 2015

Vinyl Floors: Less Sexy than Catsuits or LPs

"Oh shit, I pulled an Audrey!" Brett yelled from the mudroom.

"Hey! What does that mean?"

"I was trying to take off the trim, and I broke it!"

Okay, so I love demolition, but a surgeon I'm not.  I guess I'm getting a reputation here. And I was excited to get started with the first step in the murdoom - ripping out the icky, icky old vinyl floor. So I rather unwisely jumped in before Brett was ready to help.

Step one: remove all the baseboard and door trim.

Apparently you're supposed to score the paint and caulk before wailing on the trim with a crowbar. Whoops.   

And it also seems that "wailing" is not the appropriate action. Careful prying? Not my style.

Hermie sides with Brett. She likes to help with clean-up.

I will admit up front that most of the giant holes in the wall that resulted from this process are entirely my fault. Sorry, honey! We're going to have to patch lots of drywall anyway as part of the reno, so I'm really just getting in the spirit.

Okay, so now on to the grosser-but-more-satisfying bit. Step two: rip up the old floor.

Say yer prayers, nasty old vinyl.

We weren't totally sure what we were going to find under the vinyl. This part of the house is an addition, so we knew there wasn't hardwood. Plywood? Concrete? Nothing? Another concern was water damage to the subfloor. When we moved in, the washing machine was leaking. We didn't know how long that had been going on, or if the subfloor could have started rotting.

Replacing vinyl flooring is a horrible job, because it's glued down. The vinyl should come up easily, but it leaves behind lumpy, rock-hard adhesive that you have to remove or sand flat before laying the new floor. In a perfect world, we would avoid the whole mess and just slap the new floor right on top of the existing vinyl.

However, that wouldn't work in this case. First, we needed to make sure there was no water damage. Secondly, the vinyl isn't flat anymore. It undulates like waves on the ocean. Third, ew.

So we held our breath (in more ways than one ...) and tore open a seam.

I've never been so happy to see dry plywood in my life.

The subfloor was totally fine! It's de-laminating a bit in a couple spots, probably from some old moisture or temperature changes. But it's definitely useable.

The first piece comes up!

A lot of the rest of the weekend was spent just prying up the rest of the vinyl. It's hard work but it's not complicated - just shove a scraper or putty knife underneath to loosen, cutting it into manageable chunks with a utility knife as you go.

I am beyond excited to see this room transform! It's been dirty and badly laid out. But it's a beautiful space, with a cute peaked ceiling, a wall full of windows, and several pretty glass doors. She's going to be stunning!

More room for kisses!
It was so nice outside that we also had to do some outdoor work too - and now we're almost ready for chickens! But more on that next time.


  1. Tearing up vinyl floor is never fun. I tore up 4 layers of it in my old house just to get to the subfloor. It was terrible to say the least. Glad yours came up relatively easy and no replacing the subfloor!! Thank you for sharing with us at Merry Monday!

  2. Nice post with great tips. Hope that we will found more helpful post like above from you soon. Thanks.
    Hardwood Flooring