Saturday, September 28, 2013

The New Floor Episode

After much indecision and procrastination, I finally made up my mind about that new kitchen floor.

I ordered the materials in early August and it was all delivered later that month.  The delay in getting it installed was in scheduling the installer.  They were booked up for a solid month!  But we did agree on a date - September 26 - and I tried not to worry about it or think about it too much for the ensuing month. 

I was a little nervous.  Okay I was a lot nervous.  I've never had a floor like this installed and I didn't know what to expect, how disruptive it might be or how inconvenienced I might be during the process. 

My trip to WV and upstate NY helped the time go by as did my trip last week to Omaha NE.  But once home from that Omaha trip, I had just a couple of days to prepare for the installation.  I got all of my laundry caught up and cleared out the contents from the floor of the pantry, and then moved the table and chairs out of the room.
I had to get the fridge ice-maker disconnected; and once the laundry was done, the washer hoses disconnected and washer unplugged; the dryer gas line disconnected and then unplugged.  I decided to go ahead and replace those 15-year old hoses on the washer to new, steel-braided hoses.

This didn't go very smoothly.  I couldn't get the nut loose on the gas line.  And I couldn't get the cold water hose loose from the water connection.   That meant a call to stepson Bruce to come over and get those items loose for me and to go ahead and get the new hoses installed onto the water faucets.  I could connect the washer to those hoses after the flooring is done. 

Bruce came over after work on Wednesday and with a bit of effort, managed to get the gas line disconnected.  But when he knocked the cold water line loose, even with the valve in the off position, water started spurting everywhere!  Oddly, when he screwed the hose back on, the water flow stopped.   Magic.  Or good juju.  Whatever the case, a call to a plumber will be in order, once the floor install is complete.

Dreading the installation the next morning - and wondering what else is going to go wrong - I slept fitfully Wednesday night.  I had received a phone call that afternoon from US Installation, the Home Depot contract installation company, to confirm the schedule for Thursday morning.  I also received an email late that afternoon, letting me know that the installer would be there between 8 and 8:30 AM and with a picture of his photo ID.  Very professional!!

And he showed up at exactly 8 AM on Thursday morning, neatly dressed in jeans and a polo shirt, ready to get to work.  He took a walk through, no doubt doing the installation in his mind and looking for any possible hang-ups or work-arounds.

Then he got to work.  First, he removed all of the quarter-round molding throughout the breakfast room, kitchen, pantry, and laundry room.  He was efficient, careful and extremely neat, sweeping the floor as he completed each room. 

Then the flooring installation began!  He worked alone but was extremely quick and proficient.  I marveled at how he handled the various cut-outs and angles in the rooms. 

How he undercut the door jams so that the flooring would slide underneath the casings.

By the end of the first day he had the flooring laid in the breakfast room and the kitchen.

  Left to do was the laundry room and pantry and the quarter-round molding throughout.  As he was leaving for the day, he asked if he could show up at 7 AM on Friday.  Fine with me!  I'm always up early anyway.


The installer arrived at 7 AM as promised, but our gate guard wouldn't let him in until 7:30 AM.  I knew about the "no Sunday" rule but had forgotten about the "no earlier than 7:30 AM" rule.  The installer called me to let me know about this and that he'd come back at 7:30.  I felt bad for not remembering this.  Hopefully he could use this time productively. 

Everything went so smoothly and he was done by 12:30 PM on Friday. 

It looks fantastic!  So much more stylish than the drab, dreary - and cheap-looking - vinyl flooring.

I hated that vinyl.  The dimple texture on the vinyl collected a dirty gray grunge and unless I got down on my knees and scrubbed it with a brush, there was no getting that grunge out of those dimples.   The floor always looked dingy. 

I am thrilled with my new floor!  My kitchen looks like a totally different room!