Kitchen Makeover: New Floors!

I knew painting the kitchen cabinets would dramatically change the look of my parents’ kitchen, but changing the floors also had a HUGE impact on the look of the space.

As you may remember from these kitchen “before” pictures, the old white and beige linoleum floors were boring and very worn out.

Looking at all the flooring options – tile, laminate, etc., wood floors seemed to be the best option. Our dog doesn’t come in the house (usually) so we don’t have to worry about the floor getting scratched, and with the cabinets painted white I thought wood floors would bring in some warmth.

dining and family room before

The old linoleum flooring ran the length of the kitchen and dining room until it reached the family room where it transitioned to carpet. The kitchen, dining, and family rooms all run together as one great room in the back of the house. In order to make this space feel less chopped up I convinced my parents that it should all have the same seamless flooring.

This turned out to be a greater undertaking than anticipated. The linoleum floors were adhered to a layer of underlayment. This underlayment was nailed into the plywood sub-flooring every six inches throughout the entire dining room and kitchen. All of that underlayment needed to be removed to bring the flooring down to the same level before installing the new wood flooring. It was fairly easy to cut through the linoleum and peel sheets of it off the underlayment. The underlayment itself had to be chipped away at to separate it from the sub-floor. This process was extremely time consuming.

The wood flooring that we chose was a Brazilian Cherry engineered hardwood. The “engineered hardwood” means that the flooring pieces are made of wood but only the top layer of the wood is the actual Brazilian Cherry. It was a pre-finished floating flooring that we chose to install ourselves. Before we installed the flooring we had to temporarily move the kitchen island and wood stove (very heavy).

new floor installation

The installation process started by laying down a layer of green foam stuff, which comes in a roll and you cut the length to fit your space. The flooring is installed row by row on top of the foam. I admit I didn’t really do this part. It was mostly my dad and brothers. Each piece has an edge that fits into the edge next to it, and you cut the lengths of pieces and stagger them to make sure the seams don’t all end in the same spot.

new floor installation family room

This new flooring was by no means an inexpensive addition to the room, but we did save some money by doing the installation ourselves. In the end it brings such a dramatic change to the room that I think it’s totally worth it.

kitchen desk pantry before

a look back at the kitchen before

kitchen desk pantry progress

cabinets painted, new flooring installed, temporary table in place of new lower cabinet

P.S. When you have new wood floors it’s important to put felt pads on the bottom of all the furniture in the room to avoid scratches! Also take great care when moving large appliances (i.e. refrigerators) as they can easily dent or scratch the wood floor. Not that I learned that from experience or anything.

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