A flooring upgrade can significantly improve the look of a room. At a recent jobsite, an area deemed the computer room was in dire need of a flooring update. As the nucleus of four adjacent rooms, it was necessary to either choose flooring that would mildly blend in, or boldly outshine the surrounding areas – the client chose the latter.
Several years ago, the rear of the house received a full addition to introduce a new and spacious kitchen. The old kitchen location has now become a walk-through computer room that also borders the rear house entry mud room, access to the main living room and another to the main hallway adjacent the stairs to the basement.
Needless to say, it is likely the most travelled area of the house and requires a hearty flooring that can take a beating.
The exiting flooring had to go — it was an old roll-out linoleum that had never been properly glued down to the sub-floor. And over its lifespan, bulges of stretched linoleum had formed in stressed areas below the wheels of the office chair, and along some of the thresholds to the various adjacent rooms. Luckily for me, the lack of glue made tearing out the old linoleum an easy task once the screwed-down metal transitions were removed and discarded.
The sub-floor was in decent condition, other than the area above the old concrete footings of the original house footprint, prior to the rear expansion. The area of sub-floor above the notched foundation had been spongy for years — it was necessary to ensure rigidity before installing the new flooring.
During demo of this area, it became apparent that floor leveller had been poured above a thin sheet of sub-floor. Although this may have been adequate for a while, the leveller had turned to powder over time. This entire area was breached, removed and built back up using five-eighths and three-quarter-inch plywood, respectively, to match the elevations of the sub-floor on either side of the affected area. With the new and solid sub-floor in place, the new flooring could be installed.
When laying new flooring, orientation must be determined. Generally, board lengths should run parallel with the long of the room, especially when a hallway is included. In this instance however, the space happens to be nearly square, not to mention the fact that the flooring orientation of the adjacent rooms isn’t consistent either. Therefore, ease of installation became the deciding factor.
A vinyl click flooring was suggested for this space. This room is near the back-entry door and mudroom, so vinyl flooring provides the greatest protection against moisture to ensure flooring longevity.
As there are a variety of wood tones throughout the house (natural trim, hardwood floors, etc), a woodgrain design style of vinyl flooring seemed to best suit the space. The client chose a bold woodgrain with rich tones.
Starting at one end of the room, it took roughly three hours to install the new floor. Matching transitions were installed on three of the four thresholds to other rooms. At the living room entry, the vinyl was simply tucked underneath the hardwood transition, to avoid attempting to remove the transition, which was glued to the hardwood flooring behind it.
It wasn’t until the entire vinyl flooring was completed that the boldness of this flooring choice truly became apparent. Although the woodgrain contains several colors found throughout adjacent flooring and various trim, the rich tones of the new flooring definitely make a memorable esthetic statement.
After many years of bland and faltering linoleum, my client quietly admitted that although it took a few days of getting used to, this vivid new vinyl flooring almost made the existing flooring beside it seem dull, somehow.
The computer room has audaciously come to life, thanks to this bold choice of flooring. And as a result, the walk-through status of this space may have inadvertently been upgraded to hang-a-while.