Monday, May 24, 2010

Wedgewoodium Leviosa!

my familar, Rosie

Installing the cabinets and moving back into the kitchen before putting down the flooring had one big advantage: we had a working kitchen sooner rather than later. It had a number of disadvantages, not the least of which was dealing with our antique Wedgewood stove. It weighs a frakking ton (or in honor of the proposed term for 10^27, it's hella heavy.) Back when I bought the house and moved from an apartment in Berkeley, the movers complained about the weight. But one of them complained about everything, so I didn't think much of it. When it came time for K and I to move it out and then back into the kitchen, I thought a lot more about it.

So when I installed the linoleum, I cheated. Rather than move the stove out and back in a second time (moving it out made more difficult by the space being made to exactly fit it), I rented a couple of small house jacks and lifted it out the way. The minimum time for them was a day, but it was still very much worth it. Hella easier than moving the hella heavy stove twice.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


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.)