Friday, October 14, 2011

Kitchen destruction pt 2

We've been busy in the kitchen.  After my last post, the burning question was, do we have hardwood floors under the gross vinyl??
We decided to rip out this little baby cabinet next to the stove to find out for sure. 
It was kind of a challenge to figure out how to remove it, there were no screws or nails visible from the inside.  Once we got the stove pulled out, a swift kick by my mountain man proved the most effective way to get it outta there. 
Seeing all the cat hair balls under the stove was AWESOME.  Seriously, this is a real problem.
Gross cat hair aside, we got to work with a pry bar and hammer, loosening up that floor.  We borrowed a shingle-remover from our neighbor, which was kinda fun to use.  Why would he have that, anyway?  I'm positive he would never re-roof his two story house.  Anyway....
The verdict was that we have awesome, original white oak floors in this kitchen.  The planks are 3.25 inches, one inch thicker than the rest of the house.  And some ass clown poured black adhesive over every square inch of the wood to put down underlayment for cheap vinyl. 
Curses!!  Sadly, I don't think I can pin this on Boozie Susie.  I'm thinking this was done before she lived here, but you never know.  We knew that even if the wood couldn't be saved, we'd have to remove the top layer of vinyl, the yellow speckled vinyl/linoleum underneath, and the masonite underlayment before going over the top with new hardwood.  We scraped, yanked, and wrestled with 3 inch nails that were pounded into the underlayment every few inches.   
Tell me, is this really necessary?  These also do not feel good on your bare feet.  Yeah, I'm stupid like that.  Here is where we're at today:
We had a general contractor stop over to give us a quote on the whole shebang, he first told us we couldn't save the floor, but then when I brought my claws out and told him THIS FLOOR WILL BE SAVED politely asked him to check for sure, he scraped a little mastic up with his key and said he could do it. 
We actually plan to get as much of the black off as we can before any work is done to save $.  Luckily, the materials used don't contain any asbestos, so we should be fine working on this ourselves.  He recommended sharp scrapers, no solvents, and lots of elbow grease.  YAY!  Looks like I won't be doing anything fun for the next month. 
If anyone has gone through something similar, please help me out!  We already bought this tool which actually works pretty well for getting the top layers off:
Now we just need some advice on getting the black goo off the wood with minimal damage.  I've heard steam, hot water and vinegar, but I'm looking for real life solutions, so send them my way! 

37 comments:

E @ Oh! Apostrophe said...

Oh my God, these pics gave me such flashbacks...we had that same black crap all over the hardwoods in our kitchen! Ahhh! I wish I had some advice for you...we spent DAYS trying to scrape it up, only to decide that it wasn't going to work in the end. We ended up gouging the floor in too many spots, and not being able to get the black stuff totally up in others. I hope you have better luck!!

Erica P. said...

It AMAZES me that someone would cover solid wood flooring with vinyl. WTF are people thinking?! I don't have any advice, but wish you luck...keeping my fingers crossed that it's salvageable!

Lynett said...

Ok, I just don't understand what's with peeps ceovering would floors!??? I would die for them!!! I really hope you guys can salvage it, it's going to look great!

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

who would do such a thing?? I hope you can get all that crap up. Good luck.

Erin from Skoots and Cuddles said...

you're right... that person was a ass clown! who does that to hardwood floors? good luck with all the hard work!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

oh that kills me, sara! who did that???? find him and kill!!!!!
at least they are there so you will have beautiful floors soon!

andee said...

Someone had painted our floors dark almost black brown. We spent an entire week trying to get the paint and sealer up. It sounds scary but in the end we planed the whole thing. It took the top layer of crap off, smoothed out the floor and still left the wood patterns in the floor. I'm pretty sure a profesional would not reccomend this approach, but we went for it after spending literally hundreds of dollars on sand paper and stripper.
We have those giant nails all over our house too! They didn't joke about nails back in the day.

The Evil Greebo said...

I wouldn't normally shamelessly self promote but since you did ask for input from those who have been there, I have - and here's my blog link to our own adventures in floor restoration: http://diy.blogoverflow.com/2011/10/romancing-the-floor-saving-and-restoring-old-hardwood/

Now that you're down to the goop - I'm sorry but you're in serious elbow grease land. We used 3" heavy duty scrapers, hot water and very gentle solvent (dish soap as I recall). Saturate a SMALL area, scrape heavily, and then remove the excess water to avoid damage to the floor. Repeat until the entire floor is done.

Good luck!

Paula said...

I'm going back probably 20 years, but I think we used a paint stripper along with scraping. When we were done we used a floor sander and it ended up perfect!

Heather said...

I don't comment very often, but I love your blog. We scraped off a small area on our wood floors that was covered with and thick mastic. We used a large razor blade with minimal success. Out of desperation, we tried a brass grill brush. Sure enough, it worked really well, and went faster. If you need to sand your floors anyway, maybe it would be worth a try?

Mara said...

I don't usually comment either, but scraping our kitchen floor took months of work. We had two layers of vinyl tiles and black mastic on top of our subfloor. It took forever! My hubby bought a three-pound hammer and a chisel to get the most stubborn tiles up. We had little tiny shards of linoleum everywhere. We also ended up throwing our work clothes out after they were ruined with mastic. It was so much work that I will never ever diy it again. If it is at all possible, I would plane the floor like andee suggested.

Kelly said...

We went through almost the exact same situation in our current home. We pulled up the carpet to find that a carpet pad put down in the 1950's had solidified to the hardwood floor underneath. I think the refinisher's exact words were, "Uh-oh, I've only seen this once before." He recommended this tool:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_157347-995-3410020_0__?productId=3086619&Ntt=scraper&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dscraper&facetInfo=

We didn't use any soap/water, just that tool and a lot of elbow grease. For the most part it left the hardwood floors underneath intact, and after they were sanded down they looked perfect. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Boiling water was the solution I came to when searching the interwebs for solutions to mastic. Throw down a thick bath towel (one that you will definitely throw in the trash after this) and pour a teapot of boiled water over it. let it sit for a few minutes and then scrape it up! And please please please get it tested for asbestos, I know you said it wasn't in there but you can't know till it is tested.

I was all set to do this with the towel and boiling water... till I found asbestos...

Krista said...

Holy balls that is a lot of adhesive!

Morgan said...

Ahhh!! Why would anyone do that to beautiful hardwood floors!! Craziness... Good luck saving your floors!

Heather said...

Oh god, Sara, that sucks! I spent a month scraping tiles from my basement floor with a floor scraper like the one you have pictured.

I don't have any good ideas for getting the mastic up but I can totally empathize with you!

Sharon@Sharon at Home said...

but it will be soooo worth the effort!

Kathie said...

Try SoyGel. I used it to scrape paint off our back porch ceiling and I swear that stuff got through EVERYTHING. AND the best part is that it was water soluble. Just pour it on, let it do its work and then scrape it away. Wipe down the floors with a damp mop and you should be good to go.

simmone said...

I feel your pain,Yuk!We tried using turpentine to get the tile adhesive off the floor in the reno cottage.Just keep thinking how fab it will look finished.

m @ random musings said...

Since that stuff is basically glue, try heating it up with a hot air gun to soften it up, then scrape it off. Paint strippers should also work (because paint is also glue). The paint stripper will allow you to work with a larger section at a time. Just remember that if the stuff dries out, you can "refresh" it by spraying with a dilute solution of more stripper. Both these methods worked for me when refinishing the subfloor in my powder room as an interim before we buy hardwoods.

Vinyl tile stinks! Good luck!

modern jane said...

You can totally get that refinished! Check out mine and you'll be a believer!
http://modernjanedesign.blogspot.com/2010/08/kichen-transformation-part-1.html
Good luck!

Julianne said...

We had the same thing on our kitchen and bathroom floors when we pulled up the linoleum and the guy who we had refinish them didn't even blink when we showed it to him. My advice - find a floor guy, not a general contractor, and see if he can just sand it off with the drum sander. Our job in Seattle for this plus refinishing was $3 per square foot. Good luck!

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

Wow. Just wow. Despite all that black stuff, YOU HAVE WOOD FLOORING! And it will be beautiful in the end.

Hope you find a solution that works perfectly! No advice from moi, all we have under the stained carpet here are plywood or concrete.

Sarah said...

Sara -

God bless you and what you're about to endure. We just did it with our bathroom. Starting to do it tomorrow with our kitchen floor.

Here's how we did it:
http://ardmorecottage.blogspot.com/2011/04/evolution-of-bathroom-floor.html

Heat gun the shit out of it and scrape it up. We also did the water and it made our floors look like vomit.

Good luck!

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

Holy moly. You are rock stars for tackling this.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Sarah, thank you for reminding me about your post - I had completely forgot that you went through this same thing! I'll have to dig out our heat gun.

Amanda @ Little House on the Corner said...

Whoa. That is the first word that comes to my mind. I am also in disbelief that anyone in their right mind would do that to a hardwood floor.

I don't have any experience with this, but the good news is that it looks like some other people gave you some promising advice, and I hope one of those methods works for you!

Sara said...

looks like a tough job but it will be so worth it in the end! love hardwood floors!

LifeLemurs said...

I'm with Julianne above - if you only had a general contractor come over, find an actual company that JUST does wood floors. We didn't have the same problem as you, as ours just had some carpet pad glued to it here and there, but the floor guys really knew what they were doing and did it well! They have the experience to handle situations like this. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I used my clothes iron (with steam) and a sharp scrapper to do mine. It look a couple of 8 hrs days and I was delirious when I was done but it did work. Of course the iron bit the dust but it was a small price to pay.

Miss Chelsea said...

Gah we had that on my kitchen floor!! It's such a headache. We used this adhesive remover that comes in a metal can... I can't remember the actual name but I can check when I get home if you haven't already found a solution (I didn't feel like reading through the other 20some comments!)

AmandaG said...

Same thing with the floors in the kitchen of our old house, except it was lots and lots of layers of linoleum tiles, and then linoleum sheet. Then we got to the black tar from hell. Some of it scraped up when we used the big scraper you showed if we scraped it at the right angle. Most of it did not. We didn't think of using a solvent or anything. I'll have to go back and look at our pictures, but I think we just sanded it up with a hand sander. I remember the nails too. So. Many. Good luck!

nasagreen said...

Hi Sara - bet you dont' remember me. I am still hoping to have time to redo the chairs we emailed about probably a year ago!

Anyways, we did this to our last house. We also had nails that did not come out at all, so I had to use elbow grease and a dremel and saw them all off, then nail set, then putty. I agree with Greebo, you are in elbow grease land, and it CAN be done. Don't give up and you'll be rewarded with AWESOME original hardwood floors. I look forward to seeing it :)

Amanda- Hip House Girl said...

Whoa, woman. You are brave but those floors are soooper awesome and worth saving. I'm so excited for your kitchen! It's gonna take a lot of wine to get you through all that scraping.

Emily said...

We had a nasty thick layer of adhesive as well in our kitchen. We used that long pole as well as a little short one to get a good grip. We also got recommendations to lay a sheet of plastic over a section after applying some sort of solvent - be it natural or chemical-y. Then wait awhile. This seems to keep the moisture in as well as allowing it to really integrate into the adhesive stuff. Worked for us.

Emily said...

Oops, here's a link if you are interested:
http://michigandersinaz.blogspot.com/2009/10/one-sticky-and-mean-motor-scooter.html

Nora said...

Can't wait to see how the floors come out! We just spent a couple months removing staples and carpet gunk from our hardwood floors. They had three types of staples plus nails. It involved a lot of dust and nastiness but I can't wait to see how they look when they're refinished (next week eek!). We have kitchen vinyl but I'm not sure if we can tackle it since there are two subfloors and we plan on keeping our cabinets. I think it's so worth it though if you can because they already look 100x better!