DIY Kitchen Floor Removal
It was another busy week/weekend here, but we finally finished the DIY kitchen floor removal! We ended up removing four layers of flooring altogether and I’m not sure which was worse lol! Demo days are fun and challenging and the flooring removal was no exception!
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Removing Flooring Layer 1: Linoleum
The first layer of flooring, which you’ve seen in all my kitchen photos was linoleum. Somehow I imagined it being the least of our worries, but thanks to a ton of glue it was actually quite difficult to remove! We ended up cutting it into strips, which helped. I only fell on my booty once pulling with all my might! Lol! Under the linoleum we found lots and lots of floor leveler that covered the next layer…yay! Lol!
Removing Flooring Layers 2 & 3: Tile and Wood
The second layer was actually made up of two types of flooring. The wood flooring that’s in our living room also went around most of the perimeter of the kitchen. Then in the center of the room was ceramic tile. I want to mention that NONE of this flooring is old. All of it was installed by the previous owners within the last 15 years so there was no concern of asbestos in this room. We had samples sent off of the different flooring types last year so we could make informed decisions about how we would renovate.
Anyway, I’m sure this bizarre kitchen flooring design made sense at one point, but it definitely had us scratching our heads! 😉
Staples and Nails
It’s always the thing you don’t see coming. Ha! I removed the wood floors that ran about 2 foot wide around the outer edge of the room. It was too terrible until I realized they had been secured with 2 1/2 inch long staples! The staples were so long they were visible in the basement! And they were a nightmare to remove! Ahhhh! It took me all last week to remove them and I have the blisters to prove it!
I tried using different type of pliers even those specific for flooring removal. Then I tried the shovel method to no avail. Ed came up with the solution that worked the best and then by the time I was about halfway done I had perfected the method.
I found the best way to remove them was to slip a screw driver between the staple. Then using a 3 ft long crow bar to lift the screw driver out. The trick was to pull the crow bar back in quick fast motions that essentially hammed them out of the floor. This was the quickest, most effective in terms of the staples not breaking, and easiest on my back lol! 27 million staples later I was done!
Removing the Tile
We borrowed a tile removing tool from a friend for this. And with it Ed had all the tile up in less than an hour. The cleanup took just as long especially with all the floor leveler on top of it!
Flooring Layer Number 4: Sub-flooring
At this point we could really start to see a lot of the original flooring, which was so exciting! The luan subfloor that was under the tile took Ed’s strength to remove. After pulling up a couple smaller sections he cut the big ones into smaller squares. Then he used a crowbar to pry them up. Good thing he works out! Lol!
Patched in Plywood
The original floors must have been damaged, we suspect by water, at some point because along where the cabinets sat it was cut out and patched in with plywood. The plywood was two layers thick so that it was flush with the rest of the flooring we removed. It was the last part of the flooring to go. Shew!
Covering the Original Floors
This is something I want to address because I know there will be many who question it. We’d discussed the possibility of salvaging the original flooring for several months now. Let me explain what led us to the decision to cover it. This flooring is what we would refer to as sub-flooring nowadays as it’s the only layer between us and the basement. So from the basement we knew there were parts that would be missing. Could we steal some from other places or track a close match down, absolutely. However, I had long ago decided that I wanted all the wood flooring in the house to be the same, but I especially wanted all the flooring on the main level to be the same and to be flush.
After deciding to sand and refinish the upstairs original floors I really wanted to do the same downstairs. So we peeked under all the existing flooring. The main level was originally divided into 4 rooms. Two of the other rooms have old ceramic tile that’s been glued down with black mastic tar glue. For one thing it’s safe to assume it’s asbestos tile because of it’s size, color, and age. I also have a handful of friends who actually chose to remove this kind of tile and said that even if we could safely remove it the glue underneath is a whole other animal. It would mean tedious scraping with unpredictable results.
To be honest I bowed out after the chance of asbestos. It’s just not worth the risk and it costs thousands to have a team come in and remove it. Asbestos isn’t harmful if left undisturbed (unbroken), it’s when you go to remove it that the dangerous particles become airborne and can get into your lungs.
Then come to find out the fourth room, the sunroom, doesn’t have any of the original flooring. It’s all plywood. It’s the only room that isn’t visible from the basement as it was originally a screened in porch with a cistern under it.
So the answer actually seemed pretty clear, cover it all! But don’t worry! We’ll be covering it with wood that is the same width and laid in the same planked style! So seeing those original floors gives a good idea what they will look like when we’re done! 😉
DIY Kitchen Floor Removal
It may look like a hot mess right now, but I’m giving this part of the demo two (bandaged) thumbs up! Lol! If feels good to be done with this part and move on to the walls! Progress on that coming soon! It’s starting to look like a blank canvas and I’m ready to paint guys! Whoop!
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!