Hey guys! I’m back the week 4 of the One Room Challenge hosted by Calling It Home! It’s hard to believe there are only 2 weeks left! If you need to catch up, you can check out my posts from the first three weeks here, here, and here.
In last week’s post, you may have noticed a sneak peek of the new kitchen flooring…
I’m so excited to share the details on the new flooring we installed. It has made SUCH a big difference in turningthis small kitchen into a much lighter, brighter, and even bigger!
Here’s a reminder of what the flooring looked like when we started:
These were boards of approximately 1/2″ thick linoleum flooring stamped with a tile pattern. Not so pretty. Even though I always planned on switching out the flooring, it became an absolute necessity when we opened the space to the new dining room and created the pantry. As we were ripping out the flooring, we found several, let’s say interesting, layers of old flooring. I always find these types of demo projects so funny, being reminded of the different decades and the interior styles that came with them. This layer had to have been my favorite! I bet someone was pretty excited about their new flooring when they laid this back in the day!
Once all layers of flooring were completely removed and the subflooring was completely exposed, we were able to figure out how best to move forward in terms of the subflooring. Luckily, we were left with subflooring that was in good shape and were able to lay the new flooring without replacing the subfloor. It’s really important that before you start laying any new flooring, regardless of what type, that you’re subflooring is in good shape. If not, it’s a good idea to rip it out and start fresh.
Speaking of types of flooring, I put a good bit of thought into what I wanted to use not just simply for aesthetic reasons, but for functional and comfort reasons as well. For instance, our kitchen is located directly above the unheated garage below. For this reason, I knew that laying a material like ceramic would lead to extremely cold floors during the cold winter months. Putting in an underfloor heating system wasn’t something that we were prepared to do, so I immediately crossed that material off the list. I also considered hardwood flooring for the kitchen and really liked the element of warmth the wood tone would bring to the space (I love hardwood in a kitchen!) but I was concerned with how well I’d be able to match the new flooring to the original wood flooring in the connecting spaces. Also, based on the height of the existing subfloor and the height the hardwood planks would add, this would call for a transition strip between the kitchen and dining room as well as between the kitchen and study. I wasn’t crazy about the idea going through the trouble of matching the flooring to then still have a height difference that interrupted the flow of the flooring.
I’ve heard great things about some new LVT (luxury vinyl tile) flooring producst on the market and started to think this might be the perfect option. Not only would the the material not get nearly as cold as a stone or tile option in the winter, but the thinner profile product might actually mean we could go without a transition strip at all if we planned it out right. So, I ordered a few different samples online and finally ended up choosing this one:
The laying of the LVT was fairly straight forward and pretty simple. As suggested by the flooring manufacturer, I used this adhesive product. As outlined on the adhesive product (follow the instructions on whichever adhesive you use!) it’s really important that your subflooring is smooth and completely clean with no grease or debris, and since ours was, I applied the adhesive to the subflooring using a short tooth trowel. Simply spread the adhesive as you would mortar for tile while being sure to keep it uniform throughout (the short tool trowel does a lot of that work for you!)
The most important part of the process was allowing the glue time to properly cure. Exact curing times from product to product may vary, but this particular adhesive calls for approximately 45-90 minutes of drying time, starting from when the adhesive is first applied. This really isn’t a part of the process that you can rush. The curing time lets the adhesive really adhere to the subfloor and create a tacky surface for the tile to bond to. If you rush through the process, it’s a whole lot harder for the tile to properly stick without wiggling around and may cause that sticking sound down the line when you walk on it. So, as much as you may want to get the flooring down, it’s extremely important that you let it cure.
With this adhesive, you know it’s ready to go when it turns from white to yellow color. Since the footprint of our kitchen is pretty small, we were able to apply adhesive to the entire floor and know we would be able to get the tile down before the adhesive was dry.
Once the tile was laid, we waited about 48 hours (it’s important that you wait at least 24 hours!) until we applied this sanded grout from Lowe’s in Delorean Gray:
In choosing the LVT flooring, it was important for me to use a product that could be grouted in order to give it the look of a stone or ceramic flooring. While you could certainly lay the tile seamlessly and without grout, adding the grout lines gives it a higher end look, making it almost impossible to visually see that it’s a vinyl product at all. I chose the medium gray tone grout so that you could see some contrast in the grout lines and also hide any messes that are inevitable in a kitchen, making clean-up less daunting.
The grout is applied just as it would be to any other grouted surface.
I’m so pleased with how the flooring turned out! It has made a world of difference in the space. The finish makes the kitchen look so much brighter, the orientation of the 12×24 tile makes it feel so much larger, and the space feels like an entirely different kitchen. I’m so happy with the quality and the appearance of this Luxury Vinyl Tile product and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an alternative flooring option.
Due to the magnitude of so many natural disasters that have occurred over the last few months, many of the featured designers have experienced setbacks in their spaces due to shipping delays. Because of this, Linda over at Calling it Home has granted all participants a one week extension. While I was pressing ahead in order to get the kitchen finished in time for the big reveal 2 weeks from now, I’m excited to have an extra week to get everything in order. As I mentioned in my post last week, I was considering another big change in terms of the painted kitchen cabinets, so this extra time will give me the opportunity to really pull it all together. I’ll have more on that and a few other exciting updates for you next week!