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Vinyl Flooring

October 18, 2015

From the time I moved into this house, I intended to replace the flooring in the kitchen and bathroom.  I wanted to put the same material in both, although I wanted to do the kitchen first, and the bathroom later, after I had done some other upgrades there.  I picked out a light-coloured vinyl flooring with a pattern that looked like ceramic tile.  It was nicely embossed, with depressed areas between the squares that resembled the grout between ceramic tiles.  I ordered enough to do both the kitchen and the bathroom.

Two guys came out to work on the kitchen.  The first thing they did was to examine the old vinyl flooring.  I heard them say several times: “edge glued”’.  Before I knew it, they had that layer pulled up, exposing vinyl tile below.  Then I heard them say “peel and stick” several times.  Then they started pulling up the vinyl tiles.  I heard “battleship” many times as they did it.  This was the old linoleum, the bottom layer, the one they were looking for.  They stopped at that point.

The next day, I had a visit from their supervisor.  He explained that these guys had many years installing flooring.  They knew best, but weren’t supposed to remove the top two layers.  It put the cost over the estimate.  He asked if I was willing to pay a bit more.  That would buy them a case of beer each, he explained.  Sure, I was willing to do that.  I liked the idea that they removed those two extra layers of vinyl anyway.

After that, it was straightforward.  They put down composition board, with plenty of staples, levelling compound, and then the new vinyl flooring.  I was quite pleased with the new kitchen floor.  It looked wonderful, and the light colour lit up the room quite nicely.

It was a few years before I was ready to do the bathroom.  It had green indoor-outdoor carpet over the old linoleum.  I found it easy to remove the old carpet.  I was glad to see it go.  I contacted the same company again.  This time they sent one fellow to do the bathroom floor all by himself.

He was a nice guy, but the most negative person I’ve ever seen.  He took one look at the bathroom and started to complain.  “I’m going to lose money on this job”, he said, and “Why do I always get jobs like this?”.  Then he looked over the floor a little more closely, and said:  “I can’t do this.  There’s no straight sides”.  Almost immediately, he said: “I know.  I’ll put a line down the middle and work from there”.  With that, he put down the composition board and levelling compound.

The next day, he laid the vinyl flooring.  He told me that he would have to join two pieces of vinyl behind the toilet.  That was fine with me.  Nobody would see the seam there.  He explained that he had to turn the small piece the other way, and that the squares would not line up.  It was still okay with me.  Nobody would notice back there.  When he laid the small piece on top of the main one, he said:  “Look at that.  They’re lining up perfectly”.  I was fine with that too.

In fact, I was quite pleased with the entire flooring in the bathroom.  I told him how pleased I was.  I don’t suppose my praise would have any effect on his attitude, though.  I was happy.  He went away happy too.

 

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