Installing Vinyl Flooring

It’s been almost a year since we moved into our fixer-upper home. The day after we were handed our keys, we had painters turn what was all peachy-pink walls into shades of blue, sea-foam green, and grey to support our ocean themed decor. After fresh paint, a small team came through to install ceramic tile flooring in our entry, vinyl wood in the office, and grey shag carpet in our living room, stairs and bedrooms.

We left the original flooring in the kitchen, dining and third bedroom with plans to update at a later date. Our intention was to get the house to a move-in-ready state and then do the rest of the work ourselves. Unfortunately, the painters didn’t remember that fact and used our carpets for testing their spray-guns. (We still have a giant grey paint patch in our dining area.) In the third bedroom, they cut out the carpet around the edges to paint the baseboards, exposing the nail strips.

We had wanted to turn that bedroom into a gym. What we originally intended for our office is a large open space at the top of the stairs. Between Tucker’s barking and appointments on evenings and weekends when my husband may also be home, I needed a quiet, private space to conduct my coaching calls. I began wheeling in my office chair into the future gym…and when that became habit, I started to look at this space as the office.

I proposed the idea of swapping spaces with my husband by making the office landing area the gym, and the third bedroom would be the office. He agreed that was a better use of the space, and once that decision was made, it only made sense to continue the flooring into that office space.

Original Carpet
Original carpet prior to ripping it out.

We ordered flooring on Tuesday, it arrived on Thursday, and I cleared out the room on Friday. At 7 a.m. on Saturday morning, we started ripping the carpet, padding, nail strips and baseboards out.

Old Carpet & Padding
Carpet strips removed.

Then we prepped the floor by pulling out all the staples and hammering down any protruding nails that would inhibit a flat floor. After a quick vacuum of the space, we were ready to install our floor.

Prepped Floor
Prepped floor ready for install.

The directions online were fairly simple. Thankfully the vinyl pieces are now made with the underlayment glued to the bottom of each rather than needing to roll it out. Each piece fits into the next like a puzzle piece. Fitting the short side first, and then the long side is banged in at an angle with a 2×4 piece of wood until the gap is filled and it falls flat and even. As long as we had a 1/4 inch gap along the wall, we were leaving enough space for expansion in heat.

Installing Vinyl Flooring
Fitting the angle in the groove to start the second row.

We managed to get most of the room done on Saturday before we were totally exhausted. Our legs felt like noodles with all the squats down and up for measuring, running back and forth to the saw, and to get each piece in. Plus our backs were fatigued from bending over and banging each piece in place.

We had plans for dinner with friends in Dana Point, so called it a day by 4 p.m. and were back at it by 10 a.m. on Sunday with the more challenging part of the room remaining. We knew we’d be measuring and cutting a lot more to fit around the closet walls and door. Thankfully, by 2 p.m. we had finished the room!

Next weekend we’ll install the baseboards and I’ll begin to decorate my home office. Excited to make the environment as peaceful and calming as I intend my calls with clients to be.

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