Sunday, April 24, 2011

dining room: a new-old floor!

Man o' man, those stick tiles... I can't even begin to tell you how elated I am that they are gone!  I love a good demo/uncover job- there's something almost addictive in the "ok, just one more tile" mindset that I had.  

a window to Narnia

Backing up, when I bought this house, these green peel-and-stick tiles were in the dining room and kitchen, (I believe previous owners renovated the kitchen with stock cabinets, and wanted to make more of an eat-in kitchen than a separate kitchen and dining room.)  Early on, I had removed the tiles in the kitchen to reveal basic white ceramitiles.  I knew the tiles in the dining room were installed over the hardwood that runs through the rest of the house, but wasn't sure 1) what the quality of the wood was, or 2) if removing the tiles would damage/strip the wood. 

stupid puckering

These tiles quickly became the bane of my existence.  With a house that is all hardwood, but for a few area rugs, Swifer-ing has become our floor-cleaning method of choice.   This is a problem, when EVERY. LIP. OF. THE. TILES. PUCKER. UP.  I may have exaggerated.  Probably more like half.  But it is the half that gets the most traction, and therefore the dirtiest, and even more therefore needs the most Swifer-ing!  

So, as I stated in this post, while cleaning a few hours before my cousin arrived, I decided to pull back a little corner, and see how it cleaned up. 

Then I pulled back a little more...

And a little more...

Until I pulled the whole tile up!  

And then the beau came upstairs and caught me red-handed.  Sheepish me.

BUT IT WAS OK!  Because it looked awesome.  

this was ~30min of tile-removing after work

All in all, it took us 2 nights after work (and after walking the dogs, and with one of us fixing dinner for part of it,) plus the first 5 that I pulled up out of impatience.  Not too bad, right?  Definitely an easy and fairly quick task (as far as DIY is concerned.)  

And, here is how we did it:

To remove adhesive tiles from the hardwood, all we needed was GOO GONE, plastic putty knives, and a whole boat-load of paper towels (sorry, environment!)  The tiles would pull up fairly easily by hand, with the putty knives as a back-up if we needed help and extra prying power.  After that, a solid soaking of GOO GONE sat on the exposed adhesive for 7-15 minutes.  We found that waiting made it easier to scrape up the gunk, instead of rubbing it off* with a paper towel right away.  After the time was up, we used a putty knife to scrape up the GOO GONE and the adhesive from the wood.  This created what can only be described as boogers.


floor boogers

After all this was mopped up, we went over it with some warm and lightly soapy water, to get rid of the slipperiness left by the GOO GONE.  

After the first full night of tile removal:

I will tell you that I shoved that giant trash bag full of tiles with my foot... and ended up with a cut on the inside joint of my pinky toe!  I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW YOU COULD HURT THAT!!!!  Those tiles were sharp!

After all the tiles were pulled up, we went over the floor with a one-two punch of Pine Sol then Old English.  The rationale being Pine Sol would clean up any remaining residue from the adhesive remover and the Old English would condition, protect and make it shiny.  What we didn't anticipate was in glossing up the dining room, we ended up feeling sorry for the rest of the house!  Poor house, with its dull, dog-printy floors...

Anyways, we did find one area with a bit of damage:

It isn't too bad, but definitely not what you would call good.  I don't know where this damage came from- in the two years I have been here, I have never seen any water come in or pool there.  Gotta think it was a result of something the previous owners did, right?*  

As luck would have it, we keep a door mat by the sliding door AND I had a second one stashed away.  Laying both of these down helps to cover and protect the damaged area until we can properly fix it.

*... Right????!?!  Please don't say my house is going to fall apart.

damage hiders

Plus, they look good and keep the feet (human and canine) from tracking all the dirt in the world in.  Double score!

So, to sum it up: having continuous hardwood floors throughout the house makes the house flow, feel bigger and looks amazing (duh, double duh and triple duh.)

Final glamor shot (which was spoiled by this post, but oh well):



  1. ohmygosh i LOVE it! it looks so amazing from the kitchen with the sliding-door-light shining on it!!
    ps. thanks for the shout-out-link hehe!!! i need to update more...

  2. Amazing work! You seems to be quite creative, I love the work and it looks very professional.

  3. Wow that looks SO much better! Thanks for linking up to Weekend Warrior. :)