Back in August we went on a week long vacation to go see my sister and hubby's cousin get married. (No, not to each other, two different weddings.) When we got home, I noticed the house smelled a little musty. While we were gone, the water heater decided it needed to break. If you've never had this happen to you, it's not very fun. We ended up with holes in the walls and a torn up carpet.
We have been talking about getting new flooring in the house for a while. It wasn't that great when we moved in and wasn't in any better shape after having three boys living on it. We did some research and looking around. We found some self adhesive vinyl wood planks. They looked nice and it was something we could do on our own. We bit the bullet and ordered up enough for our whole house.
Even though these are vinyl planks, you still have to let them acclimate for a couple days before installing. You can use this time to get your floors ready.
You are going to need to move out all of your furniture. You probably already know this, but this footprint in the carpet from our Lego guy makes me laugh so I wanted to share.
The easiest way to get the carpet out is to cut it into strips. Then you can carry it out easier.
Once you move the carpet pad, you may be surprised that you now have to rip out some linoleum as well. This is a nightmare when trying to do floors. Why someone would lay some cheap carpet over linoleum in the dining room is beyond me. This carpet would have been gone a long time ago if I had known.
You need to scrape everything off of your floors that you can. The smoother the better. If you have tile anywhere, this is easier said than done.
One trick we found for getting up linoleum glue is to use boiling water and let it sit for fifteen minutes. This didn't work very well since the water cooled down too fast and the water wouldn't stay put. We tried putting it on towels which helped a little, but it was still a lot of work!
When you pull up the carpet strips, you are going to have some holes in the concrete. You will need to fill these as well. Remember, you are trying to get it as clean and level as you can. Before you lay your planks, you need to sweep the floor and give it a light mop. You can't lay your planks until the floor is dry, so a damp cloth is good enough. You are just getting the rest of the dust cleaned up.
The planks have arrows on the back of the paper. When placing your planks, you will want to make sure that the arrows always face the same direction. This keeps the grains in the wood flowing and looking nice.
They recommend that you measure out the room and start in the middle. We laid out the planks across the room to make sure they would fit from wall to wall. They did so we just started in a corner. We cut one plank in half to start the next row. You will want to off set the seams just like when using real wood planks. You can pick it back up if you didn't get it quite right the first time, but try not to move them around too much..
We did all of the full planks we could before measuring out the ends. We did use the half planks across the top of the room to keep everything lined up right.
Keep going, lining up your planks end to end. You may need to do some tricky measuring and cutting along the way, but for the most part, it's pretty easy.
With these planks, you can cut across the top and then bend it and it will snap apart.
Once the floor is installed, you have to wait forty eight hours before cleaning it. You will have some sticky spots from touching the glue on the back of the planks. I found this lemon oil works great at spot cleaning the sticky spots.
Once you clean your floor, you can move your furniture back into your house and feel good knowing you did it yourself!.
Doing your own floors is a lot of work and time consuming. I was kind of surprised how long it took to get the floor ready to just lay something over the top of it. I have to say, I absolutely love my new floors and can't help but feel proud knowing we did it ourselves. It makes it feel like a whole new house!