Leveling a 30-year old Floor

We love our house! We love doing fixer-upper projects with our own hands and never hire out (friends don’t count…they’re paid in liquid refreshments and I’m certain not professionally trained). Now in this house ten years, I’ve had the itch to remove its circa 1980s style with the builder’s grade oak trim and lovely gold linoleum that grace the floors of the main level of our house.

Here’s what I was up against:

Hubby has slight OCD and noticed this raised line in the kitchen that ultimately paralyzed him from wanting to help me with this project. I got an extreme zoom of the raised spot – without the blue circle could you notice it?

He had it stuck in his head that we had water under the floor, our floor joists underneath were covered in mold and therefore we should not do anything. Logical.

A few friends noticed it, too. We all ignored it a while. Except the fact that those little divots and cuts (see that circular thing just above?) were becoming more and more noticeable and not getting clean.

Then we had friends with a toddler over. All of us were crawling on the floor playing with Toddler. I was embarrassed by what the floor showed, especially when our heads were so close to it. Ew. That’s all I needed to convince hubby we needed to start.

But then he walked around with a 4-foot level and all hell broke loose. We were uneven in the hallway from the front door to the kitchen. We were uneven in front of the door to garage. We were almost half an inch off leading into the counter where our stools sat. 

Upon further inspection, floor joists were fine. No water damage, no glaring warped wood. We figured it was just age and a good rental floor sander would do the trick. Hubster did all the sanding while I was gone, but a $50 rental at Home Depot and our floor was just about ready. He cut out sections of the linoleum:

Isn’t the gold linoleum lovely? I can’t wait to cover it up forever!

Then came the more challenging part – under our counter where everyone hangs out on stools, the floor goes down at least half an inch and there was no way new flooring would handle that much of a drop.

We picked up a bucket of Henry pre-mixed Patch n Level.

We were expecting something more liquid that a friend told us would flow on its own and be a self-leveler. This went down like wet cement. It worked fine for us and we even tolerated the smell. What didn’t go as planned was darling daughter walking through the wet compound while barefoot.

She’s not a toddler, people. She’s 12. She’s a solid kid made of muscle and sass. I had to carry her upstairs to the tub in fear she’d keep walking and spread the compound everywhere. She got cleaned up while I caught my breath and we set up barricades so she wouldn’t do it again. I only swore a little.

We decided to go with a floating laminate looks-like-wood flooring. You should love it as much as we do.

Oh, and her footprints are forever imprinted in this house. It was wet enough for her to sink in and dry enough to not level out.

*not compensated for where I shop or what brands I use.

#linoleum #byebyebadfloor #flooringcompound #30yearoldhouse #updatingourhome