Monday, January 21, 2019

Nasty Old Carpet or “Restored” Vinyl - Death is Not an Option

“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” Whether you attribute the quote to John Lennon or Allen Saunders, it hard to argue with the sentiment. Since our last post we have planned (long distance) and enjoyed (in person) Scott’s mom Doris’ 90th birthday celebration in both St. Louis and Chicago, spent the holidays with our families (in both Portland and Chicago) and hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the PNW family at Beth’s father’s house in Washington. Speaking of Thanksgiving (in a feeble attempt to segue into our main topic...) 

We have been living with carpet in the dining room that could only charitably be described as “worn out” for the past two years. It the kind of carpet that was installed in kitchens in the 70s which, why would you do that anyway? It was frayed, lumpy (where the backing had deteriorated) and had some clear packing tape over a large hole that had been made worse by a battle with our vacuum cleaner within days of moving in. Even Ardel, the lovely woman that cleaned our last home and now the Retro Ranch, asked Beth if there was a mouse under the tape! Heaven only knows what stains, grime and other detritus was residing within its fibers.

Replacing the dining room carpet with marmoleum has been on our to-do list for some time, but as the song goes “All you need is cash” or something like that (ok, we’re going with the Beatles references). As a part of the laundry room/half-bath/plumbing project (coming soon in a future blog), we priced the new flooring. While it wasn’t in the 2018 budget (but will be in 2019) we learned that there were two layers of sheet vinyl under the “carpet”. The day after Thanksgiving and about 2 weeks prior to our annual holiday cocktail party Scott had the wild idea that whatever was underneath the carpet had to be an improvement. So while Beth was at Village Frame and Gallery resetting the showroom for the Christmas season, Scott started his Black Friday project. While time consuming, he was able to pull the carpet, or should we say the top layer of carpet, up rather easily. He soon discovered the rubber backing had been glued to the vinyl. However, at this point there was no turning back. Ugh! 

We disposed of the old carpet at one of Portland’s eco-recycling centers for a modest fee. Scott was laughed at by fellow “recyclers” as they never seen a Mini being used to haul materials to the “dump”. After many hours of scrubbing, scrapping, soaking the backing materials and adhesive with water, chemicals and more, we have restored about 1/3 of the dining room floor to its pre-carpet glory - Harvest Gold, Ogee pattern.

As the recovery period for Scott’s knees, back and shoulders from the scraping has been lengthy (old man scraping flooring - it’s a classic), we’re not certain when we will continue with the vinyl restoration or just wait for its ultimate replacement when the dollars are there this year. Fortunately, the laundry room renovation in an adjacent area has been much more successful. Read about that project - coming soon!