Remember this glorious example of kitchen flooring?
Yep, it’s awful. Dirty, stained, peeling up around the edges, this terrible rip right in the entry from the living room that I unfortunately didn’t get a great photo of…could only have gotten worse if it smelled like cat urine. But now I’m talking about the laundry room, so back to the subject.
It had to go.
Kyle’s dad and my mom teamed up one day to get that process started, and they actually got pretty far in that one day. Underneath the vinyl you see in the top photo, we predictably found subfloor. Under the subfloor we found more vinyl.
That cut you see in the subfloor is a groove that Kyle’s dad made with the circular saw. The subfloor was nailed down directly on top of the bottom layer of vinyl, so the only way for us to pull it up was to get a crow bar or some such thing under the subfloor and yank.
Since that bottom layer of vinyl looked pretty old, and it occurred to one of us that the adhesive used to attach it to the floor might contain asbestos. What we should have done was take it to be tested. What we did instead was suit up properly with masks and gloves and such, keep it wet while we pulled it up in an effort to keep the dust down, and lay backer board straight over it.
Here’s our (probably faulty) thought process: there’s nothing we could have done about it, the adhesive was thoroughly stuck to the floor. We would have had to sand it off. Probably not the best idea when you’re talking about an airborne carcinogen. So we decided to seal it in. We plan on keeping this property for quite a long time, and (as evidenced by laying the backer board), we plan on tiling the floor, which will be a huge pain for anybody to pull up, ever. It’d be hard to get to that stuff ever again. So we’re choosing to not worry about it.
If that’s the wrong decision, I guess we’ll find out in fifty years when we get lung cancer.
We really did get down to the nitty gritty bottom after just a day and a half of pulling stuff up, then moved on to ripping up the bathroom floor because both surfaces are signed up for the same treatment: get ripped up, have backer board laid over them, and be tiled.
My daddy worked really hard over a couple of weekends to get most of the backer board down. He and mom tiled the floors and countertops of the last house we lived in before moving up to Seattle, so he had some experience in this area. In our book, one tiling job is good enough to make them experts!
In the bathroom, Daddy and Kyle decided to take out the toilet in order to backer/tile around that hole. Definitely the best idea…but the toilet is currently living in the backyard, so we’ve got to get that tile down fairly quickly!
Hopefully the rest of the backer board will be laid down really soon so we can get the tile down. It’s coming along!