The New House... #8: Getting Floored... in the Kitchen!

Blog entry by ryno101 posted 01-07-2009 05:45 PM 2827 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Kitchen? Check. Part 8 of The New House... series no next part

Now that I’m done with the major stuff, and recapping the entirety of the project, I have to say that the chronology of this blog is way off, for good reason. The kitchen cabinet install from my previous blog entry happened on the Wednesday before we moved in (Friday, Nov 14th… “A Day That Will Live in Infamy”). I’ve skipped ahead quite a bit to get to the “juicy bits”, and to avoid countless blogs like this:

The New House #9 – Today I scraped more wallpaper

The New House #10 – Today I did a first coat of joint compound

The New House #11 – Today I sanded and did a second coat of joint compound

I will dedicate a later blog to some pics of what that was all about… but for the sake of keeping this interesting, I’ll skip to the fun stuff.

So, with that said… Here’s the Kitchen Floor!

This was my first foray into flooring. Lots of firsts for me on this, huh?

About 4 years ago, my wife and I bought our first property, an 1800 sq. foot “condex” and hired out the flooring. I ripped up about 1000 sq. feet of NASTY carpeting, and hired a flooring contractor to install laminate flooring. We didn’t have a lot of money, so we found the least expensive Pergo-knockoff we could. I think we paid less than a dollar per sq ft for it. Well, 4 years, 2 kids and 2 cats later, and it’s showing much more wear than I thought it would.

This is really a long way of me saying “you get what you pay for”. We decided to do laminate flooring in the kitchen to save money and labor vs. installing tile, which was what we really wanted, but we did go with a premium floor.

If you’ve never done laminate flooring, I’ll say this: It is physically impossible to install it under anything. Due to the way the joints work, each board is angled in at about 30 degrees until the surfaces are flush, and then rotated flat. You need at least four inches of height to wedge them in.

I started by cleaning the leveled subfloor, and stapled the underlayment down. My first course was along the wall opposite the cabinets, which looked something like this:

There’s about 1 1/2 inches of clearance under the baseboard heater, so I was able to do the first course out to the end of the heater, and the first board of the adjoining courses and slide the triangle-shaped mass of flooring in under the heater. Typically, one would use spacers, but that wasn’t possible with the heater. Another problem is that once the first course is laid down, you angle the adjoining courses on the long edge, and use a hammer and a shaped block to whack the end joints in. Without the spacers, it’s tough… the whole floor has to float to allow for seasonal movement, and when you start whacking the ends… well, you get the idea.

This was the point in the project where I really stopped taking so many pictures… I just wanted to get it done, and only had a few days until move day. The first course of Pergo took the longest, of course, due to all the cuts and whatnot, but after that it went pretty smoothly. Here’s one shot:

And another, with the fridge in place:

As you can see, I had appliances at that point, and since I was working alone, I needed to have them delivered right into the kitchen. Let me tell you from experience that installing flooring by yourself iin a 10×11 kitchen, with cabinets installed, and a fridge, stove and dishwasher in the room (that couldn’t be installed until the flooring was done!) is challenging!

I was very happy with the end results, and since I had done all the demo prior, was able to remove the majority of the baseboards and undercut the door casings, thus avoiding the need to finish with quarter-round.

This is getting long, so I’ll hold off on the joys of the upstairs bathroom for another post.

Thanks to all who have read and commented… I appreciate all your kind words of encouragement!

-- Ryno

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5 comments so far

View mbulla's profile


64 posts in 5361 days

posted 01-08-2009 12:23 AM

Omg. I hate scraping wallpapers. My sister bought old apartment with 4 layers of walpapers on the walls, we were scraping it one week, uff. The flooring looks really good. I’ve done laminate flooring in the living room by myself 2 years ago and now you can see small spaces between some parts.

View PaBull's profile


694 posts in 5487 days

posted 01-08-2009 02:30 AM

Wow, you are realy going to town. You got a lot of work done. Nice post!

View dustygirl's profile


321 posts in 5328 days

posted 01-08-2009 05:37 AM

Nice job on the floor Ryno.Love laminate flooring.I have to start with the wall paper thing here pretty soon too.We have paint over paper over paint over paper for years I think.I just know it will be a nightmare that’s why I haven’t started yet.(LOL)

-- Dustygirl Hastings,Ont. Life is too short to sit around doing nothing

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743 posts in 5541 days

posted 01-08-2009 05:39 AM

great job ryno , i can relate as i did my tile with having to keep moving the appliances back and forth . nice looking work .

View mjorgenson's profile


9 posts in 4642 days

posted 09-18-2010 03:07 AM

Nice choice on the laminate flooring color. Often we find that people look to match their cabinet colors a bit too closely….in a moderate size kitchen, the little bit of contrast that you chose really adds some interest to the room.

The single person install is a challenge…the job will generally go 3 times as fast with 2 people (one to cut and one to lay the flooring.)

Hardwood Flooring Atlanta

-- Michael, http://myrtlebeach.floorcoveringsinternational.com

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