Friday, April 22, 2011

Kitchen Flooring

I was going to take a break from the kitchen makeover and show you all of the changes that we have made in the living room but today is the first time all week that it has been clean enough to take a picture of and of course it is completely overcast. So you are stuck with yet another update on the kitchen. :p
As promised, here is the new flooring that we chose!
Do you love it? Because I do! Our original plan included black countertops and flooring but since we have decided to put the house on the market in a couple of years we decided that something a little more neutral would be better. We couldn't find a decent black floor anyway and it turned out to be a good thing because I am in love with this floor! Is it weird to be this excited about flooring? Oh well. I never claim to be normal.
I have hated the original flooring ever since we moved in. I think it's because it reminded me of the flooring at my grandma's old farm house. Over the last two years, the flooring has just gotten worse. The areas with high-traffic had huge bubbles where the glue was no longer holding it down. The flooring was also really soft so there were several gouges in it from things getting dropped. Also, the room is 14.5' x 14.5' and vinyl sheets are only available in 12' wide which meant there was a large seam that was also starting to pull up.
Okay, enough about my hatred of the old floor. On to my favorite part of the kitchen remodel: tearing up the loathsome flooring!

Shelby used a box knife to cut the flooring into pieces about 2' x 3' to make the removal easier. Then he got out the snow shovel, turned it upside down and used it to scrape off some of the loose glue. Once that was done, he and Jer used the shovel as a dustpan to scoop up all of the glue pieces.
It is actually recommended that you just clean the floors and lay the tile directly over the existing flooring. Not only does it make the tile adhere better but it makes the job so much easier. However, since ours was bubbled up all over the place we had no choice but to remove the old flooring first.

Once the sub-floor was all cleaned up, Shelby laid down the tile that we had chosen:
Traffic Master premium self-stick vinyl tile in Morocco Slate (the picture on their website makes it look really orange but it is actually brown as shown in the photos above). We went with the Premium version for $1.08/sq ft. It's a little thicker and not as soft as the $.99/sq ft version. It also has a lifetime warranty for residential use.
Now, for our list of reasons for choosing this flooring:
  • No glue - just pull the paper backing off and stick them down!
  • No grout - unless you want to. Vinyl tiles are grout-able but it isn't a requirement.
  • No special tile cutter necessary. You can cut down edge pieces with just a box cutter and a metal square.
  • More durable than regular sheet vinyl
  • Cheaper than ceramic tile
  • Easy to repair - if a tile starts to come loose you can heat it up with a blow dryer to reactivate the adhesive then just stick it back down again. Also, if a tile gets damaged, you don't have worry about replacing the entire floor - just pull up that square and replace it with a new one.
  • Clean lines - since each tile is one square foot, you don't have one big, unattractive seam like we did with the vinyl sheet that was too small for the room.
  • Haven't found any yet!
  • Enough tile for your floors plus extras. This way you have tiles from the same lot # in case you need to make repairs.
  • Metal square. this will help you start the flooring in a straight line as well as help you cut the edge pieces down.
  • Utility knife/box cutter/whatchamakalit. For cutting down edge pieces.
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Cmurph said...

is this flooring still without cons? we are thinking about doing some sort of vinyl tile in our laundry room/storage space in the house. just wondering :)

soft flooring said...

We just did our flooring. It totally changed our kitchen.

ELITE0800 said...

I bought the same trafficmaster PREMIUM vinyl tiles. I have been searching the web all night to find out if I can apply grout to them. I keep finding information for trafficmaster CERAMICA but not PREMIUM. Can it be done with the premium brand? I don't want to begin my project with 1/8 inch gaps and have to start all over with new tiles. Thanks.

pblack02 said...

ELITE0800 what did you find out regarding grout on the premium? Their carrara pattern is very realistic and the matte finish is quite nice. I would to like grout it. Did you find an answer?