Summary: I'd like advice/opinions on flooring a kitchen, in vinyl sheet or
I'll try and start at the beginning... we moved into our flat about 15
months ago now, and at that time the kitchen was floored with a (fairly
cheap) non-water tight laminate floor. Since we had a 4 year old at the
time (and now a 10 month old too!) you can imagine that it didn't stay clean
and new looking for long. Problems began to arise when our aging washing
machine leaked (just the once - it was overloaded) and water was spread all
over the kitchen.
The room is about 2 metres wide and 3 metres long, with the worktops at the
far end and down the left hand side. The laminate flooring was laid on the
area where the worktops weren't - i.e. not to the far walls. The water got
under the boards, and before we realised what was going on, split all the
boards apart and caused chaos.
On lifting the boards and investigating, I found the concrete floor
underneath (first floor flat if that helps any builder identify the type of
concrete! :S) was damp.
I cleared all the laminate flooring and removed as much stuff as possible to
allow it to dry - which took about a week. We had no money at the time
(baby being born...) so I got an offcut of vinyl sheet and laid it down. I
managed to get a bit 2m x 2.98 ish (a mm or two short!) which I thought
would be OK, since no-one's going to looking underneath the cupboards at the
far end for a while. It's "standard" stuff with a cushioned back - so I was
sold, erm.. I mean told. I also managed to lay the whole thing flat by
adjusting the cabinet feet one at a time and easing the vinyl underneath the
cabinets. Here's the first question - is that a usual thing to do?!? How
often do you pro's put in a new floor without removing kitchen cabinets??!
The new problem (as of only a few weeks ago) is that the vinyl sheet is
slowly becoming more uneven, since I followed TWO friends AND my father's
advice - which was "don't bother gluing it down"!! I'm going to be asking
about all future jobs on here, rather then ask them again!! Is there an
easy way to smooth out the vinyl, "stretch" it back down, and glue the edges
without lifting it all up again??
Does anyone think that this might be related to water seeping underneath the
flooring again, or the concrete still being damp, and should be properly
I'm also thinking of replacing the vinyl sheet with ceramic tiles anyway.
So a few questions on that. I've read that you're supposed to start laying
tiles from the centre of the room - is this strictly necessary?? Can I not
start with a whole tile in the "good" corner and work my way to the cabinets
at the other sides??
Can I use the same trick as I did with the vinyl, and lay the tiles
carefully under the cabinets by raising an adjustable leg, carefully (and
awkwardly I imagine) sliding the tile underneath, levelling, waiting for it
to set (how long is that??!) and lowering the leg before moving on to the
Or am I just full of daft ideas this weekend?!!?
Thanks for any input :D
The Grim Reaper
The reason you start in the middle is that walls are rarely true and you
could end up with some odd angles and wotnots if you started at an edge or
corner. There are some neat tricks to laying tiles and cutting them to size
which it's probably best to read up on in a book.
I have laid sheet vinyl loose and not had any problems but it should be
stuck down. You might be able to stretch it outwards and stick it down.
Softening it with a fan heater or hair dryer will help. Ceramic tiles should
be laid from the centre outwards and the floor must be level.
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