So, over this 3-day weekend, my mom and I decided to cover up our ugly, stained, gouged and cut kitchen floor with some lovely peel-n-stick tiles. Sorry I didn't take step-by-step photos, just the before and afters.
My God I cannot believe how hideous the floor was before! I mean, I knew it was bad, but I guess I didn't notice exactly how badly stained it was. I have no idea how it got all yellow like that, but it's disgusting and it had to go!
The hardest part of prepping was removing the quarter round from around the base of the cabinets. I thought it would be easy to just pull them off, but it was hard to get even the small pry tool we bought between the moulding and the cabinets because the cabinets stuck out so far. Gah. Then instead of the nails coming out with the moulding, some of them stuck in the wood, and then broke off when I tried to pull them out with pliers, which meant that I would have to drill new holes in the quarter round to put it back up. Double gah.
Laying the ties was pretty easy until we got to the part where we had to cut around the edge of the wall (behind the fridge) and the base of the cabinets. Considering our kitchen looks square, you'd think it would be a cinch, but you'd be wrong. Nothing in this house is square - not the cabinets, the walls, the carpeting - nothing. Each and every piece had to be individually measured to include its particular quirky measurement. By the time I was finished, I became quite good at wielding a straight edge and utility knife!!
One aspect of laying the tiles that I hadn't anticipated was the pain! I purchased knee pads because I knew I would be on my knees for a long time, but even that didn't help keep my poor knees from getting horribly bruised and sore. My arms are a bit achy, too, especially the shoulders. It's probably from using the marble rolling pin to flatten the tiles after laying them down, which, by the way, is a great ab workout, too! Basically my entire body aches today. I think I might take tomorrow off from the gym!
After laying all the tiles, we sprayed some protective coating on the quarter round and proceeded to reinstall it. A couple pieces came off with the nails intact, and were easy to pound back in, but as I mentioned before, most of them lost their nails, and new holes had to be drilled in the quarter round. That wasn't so hard, but pounding the nails in turned out to be a horror. I should've taken a picture, but it would have been way too embarassing to show the nearly 20 nails I bent trying to pound them in. Even when I tapped gently, I bent the damn, wimpy, useless things! Grr!
Still, through all the difficulties and headache and bodyaches, it was all worth it because here is our new kitchen floor:
Beautiful, isn't it? It's Armstrong Flooring Granite Mills A4185, in case you're wondering (or interested). It's got some white, grey, and golden brown, and goes really well with out white appliances, grey countertops and golden brown cabinets (whiche need to be refinished, but that's a project for another weekend), as well as our brownish/greyish carpet:
I even included my own special signature - one tile installed in the opposite direction as the others. Can you find it??
It's glaringly obvious to me. It bugged me at first, but now I think it's kinda cool, and makes the whole floor more personal and unique.
Mom and I love it, and are so happy with the results!