Vinyl kitchen flooring: completing unfinished projects

Joan Fieldstone

August 27, 2015

By: Joan Fieldstone, Home Improv Advocate

In: Interior Home ImprovementFlooring

Two and half years ago with the help of my BFF I replaced the main level carpeting with cinnamon-brown, wood-look, resilient vinyl floor planks in the open plan living and dining room area of my then nearly brand new home. Instead of carrying the wood look into the kitchen, I opted to use the same vinyl product but with the appearance of stone to contrast with the dark cinnamon maple cabinets. I bought the planks, enough to do the hall closet and powder room, too, but my BFF and I never got around to completing the project at that time. Instead, we started and left a number of other projects partially or almost done when money and time got tight. It felt like progress, but unfinished work is…well, unfinished.

Being a perfectionist, I live with low-level stress running in the background whenever I see all of these incomplete home improvements. And that's every day I'm in the house. Since I work from home, that's a lot of stress.

Things are still busy and money is still never enough, but I finally got tired of looking at the boxes of tiles and the very cheap vinyl sheet flooring that the builder installed. I also got frustrated trying to get in and out of the garage with sheets of plywood leaning against the wall that BFF wanted to install on the subfloor to beef it up before installing the vinyl. So while I was away visiting my dad, and while she had some free time, she promised to finish up the kitchen before I got home.

I arrived home to find my appliances in the living room and the plywood just started.

How to install vinyl floors

She'd had to deal with a pet emergency right after she ripped out the old flooring and adhesive-laden particle board and moved the kitchen island temporarily, so everything was left in limbo for a couple of days.

As with most kitchen renovations, it's pretty hard to function when you don't have access to appliances and there are tools and dust all over the countertops -- just what I didn't want to deal with after crossing three time zones, adding three hours to my day, running with luggage through airports to make connections and traveling for many hours after rising at 5 a.m. BFF promised she'd have everything back in place the next day. I had my doubts, but bought some microwave food and yogurt to last a few days and hoped for the best.

By the next afternoon, she was finished installing the plywood and ready to actually lay the floating planks. They are joined with overlapping adhesive edges that, although the instructions for the Allure GripStrip Tile product say can be separated if you make a mistake, really can't be. Taking them apart pulls the adhesive off in places, even within the 10 minute window allowed. We knew we'd have to get it right the first time or run the risk of running out of product that we need for the closet and powder room. After two and half years, this pattern has been discontinued.

vinyl kitchen floors

Cutting around cabinets and the kitchen island proved challenging in such a small space. Very few pieces were used in their entirety, and it was like assembling a giant jigsaw puzzle that got glued in place as we worked. We finished most of it that night by 2 a.m. and replaced all the appliances except for the refrigerator. The rest was done in a couple of hours the following day, and the flooring is every bit the excellent match for the cabinetry and adjoining wood-look planks that I expected.

vinyl flooring

Now all that remains to do for this project is putting the moldings back on the cabinets and finding transitional strips between the kitchen and living room that match or complement the living room flooring. And who knows when that will happen?

See what I mean about completing unfinished projects?

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