Thursday, May 06, 2010

Linoleum!

100 lb. roller

After much debate, some shipping delays, and yours truly moving slowly, we finally have real flooring in the kitchen and dining room!

I picked up the order last week, and rented the one tool I didn't have, a 100 lb. roller. I've been working slowly but steadily since then, and installed the last pieces under the antique stove today. A couple things slowed me down (the antique and very heavy stove not the least of them), but overall linoleum tiles are pretty easy to work with. The aforementioned antique stove was a challenge to work around (or more to the point, under), and the irregular shape of the dining room by the back door made for some interesting shapes to cut, but the real sticker was that we'd decided to do a pattern with the tiles. And not just a pattern, but a pattern involving partial tiles. Whole tiles would have been a snap, but we decided that the size of the room wasn't large enough to look right with whole tiles, so we decided to do a border with half tiles.

cornery goodness

Let me just smack you upside the head if you're thinking of doing such a pattern yourself. It's not impossible, but it does add a ton to the work. Even after I figured out to make a jig / miter board for cutting tiles in half, I still had to note which were 'left' halves and which were 'right'. The error in my jig was probably a 1/32 of an inch or less, but when all the full tiles are exactly the same size, and you don't have grout to hide the differences like with regular ceramic tile, that 1/32" adds up to a noticeable difference when you start putting halves together.

begin in the middle

If you're not doing some sort of insanity like a pattern with partial tiles, the layout for the linoleum squares is exactly the same as with regular tile. Find the middle of the room, adjust 1/2 tile width if necessary, and then snap some perpendicular lines.

After I got past the 1/2 tile border in the dining room, things went pretty quickly. Except for the angle by the back door and the space under the stove, of course. But we're pleased with the results, and I even had enough energy left today to install the toe kick under the various cabinets (I'd measured and cut it ages ago, and temporarily taped it into place until we had flooring.)

4 comments:

artemis said...
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artemis said...

Nice---congrats on the last piece! We decided to go with linoleum too--Marmoleum Click, it's looking like. Did you find it worked out well to do the flooring post-cabinets? Seems like there are different schools of thought on the best order, but I'd much rather do our flooring last if we can.

Gene said...

Thanks! We debated between having Anderson install whole sheets or doing the 13x13 tiles myself. The latter was slightly cheaper (more expensive materials, but no install costs besides renting the 100 lb. roller) and let us do the border pattern around the dining room.

There are good arguments for installing flooring pre- and post-cabinets. In our case, we wanted a functional kitchen sooner than we had figured out the flooring, so the flooring was last (well, penultimate, as the baseboard and trim is last).

The downside of doing it after cabinets is that it means your cuts where the flooring meets the underside of the cabinets have to be more precise, since there's only a toe kick's thickness to cover the edge. And it generally means the shape you need to fill is more irregular than a room w/o cabinets, so more measuring and cutting.

If you do it before cabinets, you can let the tile run wild into where the cabinets will be, and have less measuring and cutting as a result. And you don't have to shuffle appliances (like the stove and refrigerator) around as you're installing the flooring. But the downsides of pre-cabinets are that you need to protect the flooring while installing the cabinets and doing other finish work, and you have to wait longer for a functional kitchen.

meryl rose said...

Those look GREAT! I also LOVE that stove....