One benefit of being overworked is that I’ve had to live with my kitchen floor in its current state of less-than-grace. I simply haven’t had time to do much of anything in my kitchen over the last few weeks other than make coffee.
I was, of course, wearing proper(ish) footwear when I tore out the tile and underlayment, and taped butcher paper atop the pine underneath. But walking around in my soft-soled slippers has revealed to me a surprising number of staples that my eyes missed – sometimes by stepping on them (good thing they’re not too pointy), sometimes by stepping alongside them close enough to poke them through the paper.
So, I keep the fencing pliers handy, and have found myself pulling a staple or two at least every couple of days. You’d think I’d have found them all by now…but I doubt it. I don’t make a habit of sidling around the walls; I should do that to reveal the outliers. (At night, with the lights off, so my neighbor doesn’t think I’ve gone all “Yellow Wallpaper” on him.)
My soft soles have also, I’m sad to report, revealed what my eyes tried to deny: The gaps between some of the boards are just too large to live with, and there are a couple of soft spots in the wood. It would, I’ve concluded, be a fool’s errand to attempt to sand and refinish the floor, and expect potential buyers (or me) to be pleased with the results.
I’ve decided on cork. It’s hip and eco-friendly, and should appeal to the late 20-somethings and early 30-somethings who are the typical Northside homebuyer. Oh – and I like it, too (though I’m a bit overwhelmed with the choices).
I’ve been reading (a lot) about the product and talking with experts. After much deliberation, I’ve decided on the glue-down rather than the floating variety. There are – of course – competing theories as to which is appropriate in a kitchen. But what everyone seems to agree on is that the cork should not run under the cabinets. Bonus! Less of it to buy. And no grouting.
So the next step (after pulling the base cabinets and removing the remaining underlayment) is to nail down new 1/4″ ply, then install the new base cabinets. I guess I’d best finish those, post haste.