From Fiasco to Fabulous: A Tale of Flooring Triumph

One of the few things that was wrong with our house at the time of purchase was severely damaged laminate flooring in the kitchen. Water had caused the laminate to peel and buckle and a large swath of floor was unusable. This was, of course, inconvenient, as it was in the middle of the kitchen. Someday, we’d like to replace all the flooring upstairs. Right now, we’re leaning toward a dark, hard floor like bamboo, but as we watch Rory slipping and sliding across the dining room, that dream may have to die. Regardless of what we choose, new flooring is not in the budget right now but the kitchen was treacherous, not to mention dangerous. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the edges of many of the buckled pieces curved upward significantly and we found ourselves tripping constantly and crunching over the papery, bent boards. Luckily, we found a few extra pieces of flooring in the basement and Tyler decided to attempt to fix the affected area. He’d never attempted a project like this, but with a few tools and a weekend, he forged ahead.

Kitchen Floor Before (under the refrigerator)

Dirty and damaged.

It would be challenging, largely because our supply of materials were limited, but also because he’d have to reach the middle of the floor where the damage was. After moving the refrigerator out of the kitchen and loosening a few baseboards, Tyler got to work. He encountered constant challenges, ranging from a generous application of glue, to having to hone pieces of wood down to fit into tight areas to finally running out of new materials and having to cobble together un-warped bits from the removed boards to fill in spaces under the refrigerator.

In progress. Note the discoloration on the surface - that's mold from the water damage.

Two long, curse-filled days later, he had done it. It’s not perfect, but it is more than good enough and more than worth the agony of trying to fall asleep for my early day at work while he banged and clanged and despaired outside the bedroom door. I think it looks great! Especially considering our Plan B was “throw a rug over it”. I’m thrilled that I have such a handy husband – and one who is willing to work so hard to improve our home.

The damage extended into the hallway nook as well. Here you can see the finished, fixed, level floor. Hooray!

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