Once the electrical was working in both the Boler and the 4Runner, we moved on to the flooring. While, the original yellow/green 1970s vinyl flooring was unique, we weren’t loving it. While I don’t have a great pre-reno photo of the floor, you can see it in this photo (and if you look closely you can also see that it wasn’t in great shape as the vinyl was curling up in some of the corner).
First, we went into destruction mode. This is normally my favourite part of any home renovation project (I’m really good at it), but G beat me to it. And, it just wasn’t a job for two people given the size of the space. First, G tried to just pull up on the curled parts of the flooring, thinking maybe it would just come right up. He of course was not that lucky. It was glued down about 3 inches in, and the glue used seem to be some sort of magic extra strength glue. So, before he went any further, he donned his beautiful asbestos filter mask as to not breathe in any harmful chemicals, should there be any. Then, he cut the existing vinyl into smaller pieces and soaked it with water to reduce airborne particles and try to help loosen the glue. Then, he tried to remove it using a bit of elbow grease and a hand scraper, as per all the how-to-remove vinyl flooring instructions online. This was also dreadfully unsuccessful. Next, he tried our reciprocating sawl with a scraper-blade head attachment. 20 minutes later, he was done! And surprisingly he offered to let me help when it came to the final cleaning of the surface so that we could move onto installing new flooring.
Once the old flooring was out, we had to develop a plan for the new flooring. As it was a tiny space, we went to the Habitat for Humanity Restore to see what they had available. (I highly recommend this place for small projects – all their products have been donated and they are sold at very reasonable prices. All the money they make goes directly to Habitat for Humanity. We found it particularly awesome for small projects because often the construction materials are often those donated from larger house renovations, so while it’s hard to come by large quantities of stuff, it was perfect for our boler reno!)
We bought a laminate flooring. The installation of the floor was unbelievably simple – so simple in fact that I could do it! I have a proven tendency to cut myself with sharp objects, so G wouldn’t let me near the table saw for fear that it will result in a trip the hospital. This meant that G was responsible for measuring and cutting the pieces and I was responsible to snapping them in place and informing him when a cut wasn’t perfect and he needed to re-do something.
This type of flooring is substantially heavier than the old original vinyl, but it looks awesome in the space and we decided that given the space is so small that the weight is inconsequential in the scheme of things.
We love the flooring. Absolutely love it!
As for the baseboards, we chose vinyl trim for the baseboards for everywhere but the base of the step up to the table because we needed something thicker to hide a gap. We chose the vinyl because it will not rot or mold with water. It’s white because it is the only colour available. And for whatever reason it didn’t cross our minds to paint it. Another key feature of this material is that it was flexible – the Boler is not square so at the back, behind the table, we needed something flexible to go around the curve. In The end, it turns out we are not sold on our choice of the vinyl baseboards. The white is really vivid and so it draws your eye to it (and this is not a good thing), and we’ve since learned the white doesn’t stay clean with the dirt of camping and our giant black dog also doesn’t help. I suspect we will pull all of the white out, except the strip that matches the curve at the back of the Boler, in the near future. We will probably replace it with the brown edging we used at the base of the stair (see picture above).
Installing the baseboards was a pain in the butt. Only because we used finishing nails, which are not very strong and G seemed to hit steel on the underside of the frame from time to time and the nails could not penetrate. With some frustration, he managed to make it work.
While we may choose to change out the baseboards at some point, we decided this was good enough for this season, as we wanted to get to enjoying the Boler not just renovating it!
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