I have partnered with Maytag to sponsor this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Sometimes a project like removing several layers of kitchen flooring can seem so challenging and overwhelming. That is until you know the right way to do it. I’ve disliked my vinyl kitchen floor for many, many years. Because I thought I was stuck with it, I updated it five years ago with paint! Yes, I painted my vinyl floor. The paint held up really well, and did the job of prolonging the life of my floor, but it was time to go.
Just a little bit of a backstory. I’ve lived in this house for over 40 years. I have had a hand in what went wrong, and because of that I was fully aware of how the layers of floors had piled up in my kitchen. The vinyl flooring I painted has been installed for more years than I can count, probably more than 20, less than 25. New cabinets were installed years after the last layer of floor was installed—on TOP of the many layers of floors. The knowledge of the layers made me think it was impossible to replace the flooring.
Do you have layers of flooring you need to remove?
This is the evidence of the old layers. I had a transition piece covering all this up making it necessary to “STEP UP” into the kitchen from the living room. Being a rookie of such a DIY task, I imagined the worst case scenario of having to manually peel up all of those layers. I knew this was more than I could do, so I. put. it. off. for years.
Are you wondering why I finally decided to tackle this seemingly impossible job? I started an exciting new partnership with Maytag, and there was no way I could ever put my new appliances in my kitchen without making much needed updates.
I LOVE my new Maytag® range, it came in great use during Thanksgiving. Doesn’t it look fabulous with the new floor? I would have been so embarrassed to share pictures with you if it were sitting on that old floor. It’s difficult to get a great picture of the floor—it’s much prettier in real life.
My neighbor Rodney is a jack of all trades and he said removing the floor was doable, but I don’t think we really discussed the HOW part. I assumed his secret weapon would be a giant crow bar, and maybe a small cutting tool around the base cabinet toe kick.
A circular saw is the tool you need!
Rodney’s secret weapon was a circular saw! He set the depth of the saw by using the layers at the doorway as a guide and proceeded to cut through all the layers in more manageable squares.
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Pry up one layer of floor at a time
Look at all of those crowbars!!! You can see that he cut the layers, then pried those sections. I never thought it would be this easy. I assumed I would be peeling up layers of flooring, ripping and scraping as I went. You can also see the Dremel Multi-Max. That little guy was worth his weight in gold during this process. It was used all around the edges of the base cabinets. If you go through a lot of blades, check them out on Amazon, they are a lot cheaper than Home Depot.
If you're lucky, it will all come up at one time
I was the apprentice, cleaning up as we went along. Rodney did all the brute work. These smaller squares of the layered flooring were so much easier to deal with.
These are the three layers of vinyl flooring—remember each of these layers also had a layer of plywood underlayment.
Continue cutting through all the layers of old flooring
We left the original tile alone. I was afraid it may contain asbestos due to its age. The flooring against this wall was the most challenging because the tongue and groove wood on the wall was installed OVER existing flooring. In the background you can see the barn doors and the mouse hole for the cats.
Using the saw and taking up the floor was a very messy job. I used plastic to block off the two doorways leading from the kitchen to keep the dust out of the rest of the house.
Use a Dremel around the edges where the floor meets the wall
The tools were a must around the built-in cabinets around the fridge. These cabinets were installed on top of the layers and layers of flooring.
Lay new underlayment
To cover up the suspicious original tile floor, we used underlayment. Rodney likes to nail it down by drawing a pattern.
I am great at using a drill, but hammer and nails? Not so much! Hammering those nails into that original oak flooring was not easy!
Install new laminate flooring
This room was the first to get the new laminate plank flooring. I blogged about putting down the floors in the living room, hall and bedrooms, giving lots of tips we learned along the way. I fell in love instantly with my new floating floors. After all these years, only my closest family and friends really understood the challenge of removing those old layers of flooring. I had been talking about how impossible it all felt for so many years.
One last thing about putting these new floors throughout the house. No one ever told me how difficult they are to keep swept! A few years ago I ordered a Roomba from Amazon and I now use it every single day. I noticed that robot vacuums were in all the advertisements on Black Friday this year... now I know why! Heheheh
Unlike the flooring, my new Maytag® Refrigerator is so easy to keep clean with it’s Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel—all I need is a damp cloth with water. I never thought I’d want stainless steel, but I love this fridge! It’s a little scary when you measure for a new fridge—but they are made to fit perfectly into your opening.
I can’t believe that so much has happened in such a short time. There are more DIY updates coming to the kitchen over the next few months, but for now I’ll be concentrating on the laundry space as we all gear up for getting more organized in the new year. I’m really excited to show you what I’m doing in the basement with my laundry—I actually look forward to doing laundry now with the new set. Truth!!
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.