Oh boy, now I'm more conflicted than ever. Old house people do have strong opinions about their floors, and I appreciate all the insights and suggestions.
I want to address some of the issues the discussion brought to light.Issue #1: Linoleum vs. VCT:
I like the idea
of linoleum. I do prefer to use environment-friendly products, and someone said they found linoleum tiles cheap at Home Depot, so I decided to do more research. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places, but I can't seem to find any places that sell lino tiles. I can find the manufacturers but very few places to see an actual price or buy them. And I'm getting ready to tear my hair out!
The only options I found cost more than $5/square foot compared with $0.64/square foot for VCT.
Is there something I'm missing here?
I still like the way VCT looks, maybe even more than the more marbelized-looking patterns of lino or marmoleum. Just take a look at Beth and Meredith's
if you want proof VCT can be beautiful.Issue #2: The Pine Floor
The original plan was to remove the current vinyl and particleboard that is on top of the pine, sand the old paint off the pine (we saw a patch of it when we were installing the dishwasher, and it had been painted red, then brown), fill the holes already made by the nails in the particleboard, then paint a checkerboard. The folks at Enon Hall
did it and wrote an article
about it for Old House Web
. In my opinion, theirs looks great.
And I just re-read my blog entry
from the day we found the pine floors. I was so giddy with delight at our find, so happy to have the option to restore something in the kitchen.
But then we're talking about a LOT of sanding and painting in our most high-traffic 600 square feet of the house. Issue #3: Continous Flooring vs. Various Bits
Most of our house is heart pine ... three of the bedrooms, the front two-thirds of the center hall, the living room, the dining room. The rest either has '70s green carpet, '70s fake brick vinyl or '70s ceramic tile (in the bathrooms).
I don't want to try to match the back half to the front because it just won't ever work. If we tried to refinish the pine under that vinyl to look like the rest, it would never have the same dark, aged patina and it would never be as blemish-free. Besides, we have enough. No need for more.
I don't think I like the idea of doing painted checkerboard in the kitchen and then VCT checkerboard in the adjoining hall and office. I think it would look kinda freak-ay, like we were trying to match but didn't quite make it. And yet there is no other type of flooring - other than expensive reclaimed pine or mosaic tile - that I like for the hall and office.
So that leaves me with two options: paint it all - kitchen, office and hall - or cover it all with VCT (or lino) tile.
But you know what? That brings us back to where we started. *sigh* And here I thought I'd have a decision made today.
Which brings me to ...Issue #4: Why are Kitchens so Difficult?
Maybe it's because the kitchen sets the tone for the whole house. Because it's our first major project. Because when guests see your house for the first time, they pay the most attention to the kitchen. Because the changes are expensive, and you don't want to waste money on a bad choice.
Because if you have cheapo cabinets circa 1969 and an avacado-colored oven, you have to work extra hard to make this place look good.