...and crafting a purposeful recovery


If you want to know why this project is taking so long (other than procrastination, indecisiveness and fear), there is no better illustration than Sparta’s floor.  I have gone way out of my way to save a few shekels and it has proved a false economy.   In the interest of educating you all, let me share these takeaways:

I should have replaced the entire floor from the start – yes, all 320 square feet of the original plywood subfloor.  While it would have been a royal pain in the ass, it would have resulted in a better outcome.  Listed here are the whys:

  1.  I could have avoided drilling and filling with Rotfix all of those marginal areas of the floor which are now bumpy and uneven.
  2. I had to completely remove 1/3 of Sparta’s rotten subfloor so why not just do it all?  Those areas I did remove were replaced with 3/4″ plywood patches, creating seams and variations in grade.
  3. I was the forced to remove each and every 9″ vinyl tile with a hammer and stout scraper, leaving behind lots of uneven tile glue residue. This took days.
  4. Now faced with a subfloor that is a patchwork of varying surfaces, I will be forced to pour an underlayment over it all – adding expense ($500), weight and the possibility of it cracking in transit.  If it breaks up under the new linoleum it would be a nightmare.  I had to recently abandon the idea of a conventional underlayment pour while I consider better, even more expensive, options.  Perhaps a product with polymers added (for flexibility and twice the price) poured over fiberglass mesh.

My efforts to preserve parts of the original floor were pennywise and pound foolish.  All these compromises have resulted in a floor that must be somehow smoothed before I can lay new linoleum.

The smile belies my irritation.

Had to go with the heavy duty scraper.

One brittle breakable tile after another…painstaking.


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