Is there a floor in our kitchen?

Of course there’s a floor. Come on. We’re not walking around on support beams. We do have a floor. Our floor is actually sort of cool. When we bought the house, I remember thinking that I really liked the floor. It was this black and white checkerboard pattern, and it reminded both Kerry and me of an old fifties diner. We had a lot of red dishes and glasses at the time, and everything just sort of worked together.

Over time, though, we started to see some problems. First of all, it’s vinyl. I think. Whatever it is, it’s some sort of synthetic material. It also is pealing up in almost every corner. So it’s not glued down well. The bottom line is, we just don’t like it. We’ve got original hardwood on the entire first floor, except in the kitchen, so we want to rip it up. How exciting it’ll be to find out what’s underneath.

Well lucky for us, we don’t even have to wonder! Under our back window, there is a huge square of the current vinyl cut up. After some examination it appears that there used to be a cabinet in this space that was removed for some reason. So what’s under the vinyl floor we have in our kitchen? Holy moly, it’s …. IT’S … MORE VINYL!

floor1

Okay, so the previous renovators said, “Hey, we’ve got this really crappy vinyl floor, what should we do? Oh let’s just put some more vinyl on top.” And yeah, I don’t blame them. Look at that square. It’s got that whole “changes color from off-white to almost yellow” thing going on. What decade was that cool in?

This actually worked out for us though, because now we only had to get past this one set of modern flooring to find out what the original house had. I got out my utility knife, a hammer, and a chisel to pry up the floor.

floor2

First the vinyl came off, which was glued to a very thin sheet of wood. I started chipping away at the wood. Oh this was it. The whole chunk was coming up. I couldn’t wait to see what was underneath. Check out this action shot.

floor3

And what did we discover under the second layer of vinyl? Linoleum!

floor4

Linoleum floors. Let’s recap, real quick, to make sure we’re all on the same page here. Every day Kerry and I walk on vinyl black and white checkered floor. That’s layer 1. We had easy access to what was underneath that, which was some indescribable pattern of more vinyl. That was layer 2. We chopped and chipped that up until we discovered linoleum. Layer 3. We’re now three layers on top of, we hope, original flooring.

For a brief moment I thought maybe we could just use this as our kitchen floor. In fact, when my dad and I were updating my grandma’s house five or six years ago, she had that exact same pattern of linoleum. Finding it again in our own home sure brought back a lot of memories. Most importantly, it brought back the memory of my dad and I saying, “This floor is just awful” and covering it up with a wood floor. So, sorry linoleum, you’re not here to stay.

There was no sense in stopping now, so I kept going with the utility knife and hammer to find out what was under this linoleum. And finally, yes, the FOURTH layer down, was wood. Original wood floor. Peaking out after years of suffocation.

floor5

Is this wood going to be our kitchen floor? Who knows? We sure hope so. We’ve been talking to our contractor and he is pretty confident that any wood floor and can be restored. We would really like to keep the original wood floors we have. They’re there. We’ve confirmed they exist! But that’s all we know for now. Check back in … October? … to find out what happens with them.

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