The Report from Days 303 – 315: Let the Bodies Hit the Floor…

I may have mentioned before the need for finished flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms before the plumber can hook us up. As running water is one of my requirements for move in, this really needed to be finished as soon as possible to allow the plumber time to schedule us in.

Since real stone, though beautiful, is costly, cold and hard we picked out a decent stick-down vinyl floor tile for the kitchen/mudroom/downstairs bath. Basically these are 18 inch tile stickers. Super easy to install. We just had to collect the amount we needed. It took several trips to multiple stores to gather enough.

It only took about three hours on day 303 to install almost the whole floor, saving some of the more fiddly trim pieces for a day when the crew wasn’t so flu-ridden.

The installation was indeed so easy that even The Belle and I could lend a hand.

In fact, we didn’t even expect the floor to last all that long; 7 years maybe. All it needed to do was stick. But the next morning we found this:

We tried walking, jumping and leaving heavy objects in strategic places. We even rented a weighted roller and tried that.

No luck. About 50 tiles just didn’t stick all that well, a problem that would only get worse as dirt collects under the edges. These tiles are not perfectly square so there wasn’t a good chance that we could replace just the no-stick-um ones. We would have to rip up the whole floor and try again. When Ev called the store to discuss a refund both the store and tile company were more than willing to give us our money back. According to the lady Ev talked to all we had to do was bring in the receipts. Well, as of yet we still haven’t figured out who Ev talked to on the phone that day, and despite two trips to the store so far no one has been able to get us our refund. Grrr.

Regardless of refund we needed a new floor, and quick. We thought it a poor idea to buy the same brand but nothing else much appealed to us. After three whole days of trips to all the home improvement stores in three states we finally settled on a similar looking and priced tile from a bigger, more well known company. This new tile is made in the USA, which is a nice bonus.

On the third day we even managed to find a store with enough boxes for our project. So Saturday evening, the day of our freak pre-Halloween snow storm, we pile box after box of tile into the car and make our way home in the cold, dark, slippery night. On route 15, just north of Lucketts, we hit a pothole and blow out a tire. Ev was not going to unload hundreds of pounds of cargo into the rainy night on the side of a crazy road so we kept driving and some how made it home.

On Sunday we spend most of the day trying to buy a new set of tires, but no one has what we need in stock. That evening we heat up the house and gather our courage to begin pulling up the original flooring.

We open the first box of the new tiles. There are two tile patterns, which we dub A and B. We open the second box; A and B. Ok, we’ll have to twist and mix these tiles so they don’t look quite so obvious. We begin the tedious task of heating each old tile with a heat-gun and using an increasingly sticky chisel and fingers to pry it up, then replace it with a new tile. One. At. A. Time.

After many hours work and most of the kitchen floor except a one-tile-wide-band around the outside we are ready to open a third box of tiles. Expecting A and B we are shocked to find brand new patterns; C, D and even C/D tiles. These ones have different colors! And shapes! And even though it isn’t glaringly obvious, when laid side by side it will be if there is no blue in the kitchen except for a stripe around the outside.

Ev and I are exhausted by four days of the whole flooring saga and a bit high from the fumes of slightly melted vinyl floor tiles. We have a small cry and then begin the painful task of ripping up the half of the floor we have just spent hours laying down to incorporate the C and D tiles.

At 10:30 that night, with the kitchen almost finished (again) we call it quits and go to bed. The next morning the crew arrives and helps Ev lay the rest of the tiles in the mudroom and bath.

Today I can’t even say that we are finished with the whole thing as there are two damaged tiles in the kitchen that need to be replaced, but at least they aren’t anywhere the plumber needs to work so it isn’t a big deal. Good enough.

All ranting aside I would like to note that The Belle was a perfect angel the whole time. She spent a whole weekend of bedtimes in various home improvement stores with nary a peep.

Good girl!

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