As much as we hate it when our tenants move out, it gives us the opportunity to make some much needed changes and upgrades to our units.
We recently had a tenant move out of one of our duplexes in Everett. As I walked through the unit, I couldn’t help but stare at the ugly vinyl flooring in the kitchen. The property was built in 1954 so these weren’t the original floors – but they were ugly floors nonetheless. There were a few stubborn stains that (despite my best scrubbing) couldn’t be removed. A large scratch was staring me straight in the face, and overall, the floors just looked dingy and tired.
My first thought as I looked at the flooring was how silly it was for me not to replace the vinyl flooring when we redid the kitchen not too long ago. It would have made sense to do it all at once.
But once I got done kicking myself, I had an idea: Some investor clients of mine recently showed us one of their remodeled units, and mentioned how happy they were with the vinyl flooring that was installed. It had a sticky backing that made installation a breeze, and (as an added bonus) the end product was water resistant – making it great for kitchen floors. I was starting to wonder if I should do something similar.
Unlike my clients, I didn’t want to spring for a contractor to float new vinyl flooring down. These days, contractors are in such high demand that their labor costs can end up being more than the cost of the flooring itself! That’s if you can even get a contractor to show up. Everyone is so busy and it seems like finding a reliable contractor for a small, one-off job is nearly impossible. So, if I was going to take on this project, I was determined I’d have to do it myself. (Well, alongside my husband side-kick, of course!)
I decided to take a trip down to Lowes to check out my options.
Interestingly, it was in the tile aisle that I found what I was looking for: a 6” x 36” peel-and-stick rustic residential vinyl plank. I loved the colors and by the looks of it, it seemed easy enough to install. My husband and I are both pretty handy—I figured we could install it together to save some time and money.
So I purchased two boxes of the vinyl planks (which totaled $117.60) and a box cutter and was on my way. Time to give it a whirl!
Of course, things didn’t go as smoothly as I had expected. When I showed up at the duplex with my supplies and opened the directions, I realized I had missed a rather important step: prepping the floors with primer. I have enough experience that I should have thought of this in advance, but in my defense – the box didn’t mention anything about priming the floors. A little heads up would have been nice because this meant that I had to send my husband back down to Lowes. (I also had forgotten to buy a weighted roller, but fortunately my husband had one handy from when he installed the formica countertops last year.)
We were in good shape once we had all of the proper tools and supplies. My husband used a sponge roller to prime the existing vinyl floors, which only took him about 20 minutes! That’s all we could do today because the primer needs to dry for at least 24 hours, and you’re supposed to give the floors 48 hours to acclimate.
But…I’m not known for my patience…. So we went back the next day to install the floors!
Installation was so much easier than I had expected! You just peel off the paper backing and set the tile up against the trim (we decided not to remove the trim). Installing the first row was a piece of cake. My daughter even joined in and had fun sitting on the floor as we were installing it!
We wanted the floor to have a staggered look, so we cut the next row in half and started with smaller piece. It turned out great!
It took us about 4 hours in total (and that builds in a little extra time that we spent making sure our toddler wasn’t getting into things!). Don’t rush the process. Take the time to make the correct cuts and align the boards properly.
When all was said and done, we were thrilled with how the floors turned out! The peel-and-stick vinyl plank flooring was so easy to install and we’ll absolutely use this product again on future projects.
This finished product! Easy to clean and easy to maintain, we’re hoping this will last for a long time!