Before the project begins:

Some days, the laundry room feels like my office. When friends-of-the-family moved, they gifted my parents with Bosch front loading washer and dryer. As they did not fit in my mom’s laundry closet, she offered them to us.

If we’re going to move out the washer and dryer we have, then I ought to paint those unpainted ugly brown spots behind them. If we’re going to paint the ugly brown spots, why not replaced the linoleum floor that is coming up already? After all, under that sheet of linoleum, there is a rock.

Avoidant of heavy investments, I felt this the time to roll up our sleeve, DIY, and try out peel-and-stick vinyl tiles in the pattern of my dreams, black and white check.

To me, laundry speaks of the history of woman.

A look at the before-state of this tiny room

Beige sleet of linoleum, a KM’d closet using what I had on hand. We removed the closet doors as we do everywhere in this house because they get in the way.

The project:

Day 1: Remove washer and dryer. Lots of water ended up on the ground. Let it sit longer than it ought to have (mistake). Pull up old laminate flooring…realize it doesn’t just peel up like the edges appear, the whole thing is glued down. Consult Google. Buy adhesive remover, apply. End day.

Day 2: Buy more adhesive remover. Scrape, scrape, scrape. Mop up debris (mistake). End day. It rains that night.

Day 3: Buy latex primer. Paint floor with primer. End day.

Day 4: Consider primer seems a little sticky. Install floor tiles anyway (mistake). Marvel at how good it looks. Wife is over the moon. End day.

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Day 5: Realize every tile is coming up. Experience heartbreak and avoidance. End day at parents’ house.

Day 6: Children start running out of underwear, baby used his last sheet, cry out at the stars, feel agitated at the growing bins of dirty laundry, begin fantasizing about doing laundry again. Pull up all the tiles, scrape minimal amounts of the uncured primer off the floor to put in a washing machine (still trying to observe the Sabbath here). Set up a ramp to move the ridiculously heavy machine. Realize the inside smells. Realize it requires HE detergent. Move it aside. Put in the old machine. Experience love feelings for the machine. Begin laundry.

Husband takes setback better than the wife. Retreats to play the organ. Wife goes shopping.

Day 7: Resume scraping paint.

Day 8: Husband goes to Lowe’s to ask questions. The primer purchased at the local hardware store was the wrong kind, hence Days 4-7. Purchases correct primer.

Day 9: Take washer out again. Pull off baseboards (why not?). Apply Citristrip to the floor with a cheap paint brush. Order lots of supplies so we can stop going to the hardware store every day. The description on the bottle is correct: it has a light citrus scent.

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Scrape, scrape, scrape. Continue the process of heating and running the vent in the laundry room.

Day 10: Apply primer. I wonder, did I apply too much? I have never painted a floor. Install vinyl tiles. Breathe a sigh of relief as husband states it was different from before.

The final project?

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Yes, that is laminate flooring.

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By the next day the corner of every piece curled up and we were out of vinyl tiles so we could either order more, pouring more money into this quick DIY, or figure something else out. Wood laminate “floats” so the base does not have to be perfectly perfect. And my parents have a stockpile of it.

What went wrong? There are several possibilities, but we were ready to throw in the towel. While I do not love laminate, I like that the quirkiness of have two tones of laminate flooring (the rest of the house has dark brown).

And one morning of work, with teaching from my parents on how to install, ended three weeks of laundry misery.