100 Years of Flooring: There and Back Again

We’re planning a rather unusual Yule tide celebration this year. Rather than decorating our house in evergreens and lights, we are decking the halls with construction equipment and tools to be used to install a brand new kitchen. Hurray!

We sealed off the work area with plastic to keep our kitchen clean.

Our current kitchen imitates a 1950’s diner with a black and white vinyl floor and red accents. It’s bold, very bold, and the color choices remind us of hot dog condiments — ketchup red trim, salt and pepper flooring, and a mustard yellow hallway. While I relish hot dogs (pun intended), I’d rather not cook in one. Also, the black and white floor is a very poor friend — it tells every guest about the dusting of flour I split while baking and reveals the dirt clods that fell from my gardening shoes. (For these reasons, I hereby promise never to have a black and white floor in my kitchen again.)

The majority of the kitchen rehab will begin in two weeks, but my husband is doing some preliminary work now. He’s replaced the four windows in our breakfast nook and begun peeling up layers of flooring.

Photo by my handsome hubby.

The five layers provide an interesting cross-section of popular styles in the last one hundred years. The first three layers are various styles of vinyl. Under the black and white pattern are two different faux brick vinyl floors. They’re poor impersonators of true brick and very ugly to our modern eyes.

Beneath the vinyl is an old school blue linoleum, a flooring that faded from fashionable kitchens only to be hip again in the 21st century. You can see the burlap cloth coated in oxidized linseed oil mixed with cork or saw dust.

Another photo taken by my husband.

Peeling up the linoleum revealed a weathered hardwood floor — We were thrilled to find it! After one hundred years, hardwood is now one of the most popular kitchen floor covers. We hope to restore the hardwood for most of the kitchen, but lay fresh tiles where the work area of the kitchen will be.


About beewhisper

Christian, Mama, Wife, Gardener, Beekeeper
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One Response to 100 Years of Flooring: There and Back Again

  1. Rita says:

    Thanks for sharing the floor photo Becky! Old houses have so many surprises and secrets. Glad we aren’t the only one in a house with multi-layers of flooring.

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