1967 Asbestos Tile Gone. Vinyl installed. What January 2024 Taught Me About Black Mastic And More.

As promised, here are some before, during, and after shots of my month of January, 2024. 

This was a painstaking project, I am not going to lie. 

For many years we needed to remove the den carpet. But due to major expenditures in 2023* and the fact that the furniture in that room is massive and would have to be moved out at additional expense above the flooring costs, we just kept putting it off. These pictures don't reveal how badly worn and stained the carpet was. Many puppies, a few plumbing floods, and even an exterior foundation crack allowing rain to seep in had rendered the carpet just plain nasty. No amount of steam cleaning could help it. Believe me, we tried it all. 

November of 2023 I found some Flor @flor carpet squares at an estate sale. I bought all that the family had. The 3 different groups of patterns did not have enough squares to fully complete the den floor. But since I only paid $150 for all of them, I thought I would just combine them and live with it. I planned on doing the work myself to save the cash. As usual, what began as a "pain-in-the-ass" endeavor ended as a, "are-you-fucking-kidding-me-my-God-Marla-you-did-it-again" "kick-in-the-cashews" full blown "PAIN-IN-THE-EVERYFUCKINGTHING" project. In my mind I think I can do anything. The older I get, the more I think I can do it myself. My brain has issues. I do these things and wonder why I can't move well. My pain.... It's a mystery. 

I spent the remainder of November and December trying to research and figure out how to solve one really big problem. Under that nasty carpet installed in 2015 was even nastier broken asbestos tile and black mastic installed in 1967. That's the reason we had carpet and pad installed over to encapsulate the mess. Problem is, until that shit is removed, flooring options are severely limited. To get it professionally removed, let's just say..... No thank you. The mess, furniture removal, environmental issues, and the cost would eat up a chunk of our retirement funds. Again, no thank you. 

After visiting Google University, I decided on 6 mil plastic sheeting under the mismatched carpet tiles. Seemed like it would be a good solution to get us down the road. 

I had no room to store the tiles, so they needed to be used. I had one month before we left for a quick trip to visit family in Florida. We had the best house/pet sitter in all the land ___-_ staying here, so I needed a solid floor finished before he arrived. 
I had my timing goals. 
I had a plan. 
I went to work removing carpet and pad. Just me, several box cutters, and much Advil. I worked my way around the room meeting each massive furniture obstacles head on. First up, the big liquor cabinet. Why do we have so much fucking liquor? Our pre-pandemic entertaining days seem so long ago. Good. Gawd. Gerdy. So..... Much.... Liquor! Anyway, I then emptied the liquor cabinet so it could be moved. I followed this protocol around the room. 

After installing the plastic and the striped carpet tiles on top, there came a time when I had to start using the pattern squares that did not match, we just did not like the result. I had to change the plan. So, 2 weeks of work on that plan was chalked up to... I won't do that again. But what do I do now? 

When doing the first research, I knew the best way to do the floors was to select peel and stick vinyl tile. I also knew to do that I would have to remove the old tiles. But would they stick to the old black mastic? As usual, if you visit 30 sites, you get 49 different answers. The only way to know was to try it. The cost of the vinyl would be reasonable, but more than I wanted to spend. But I had 2 weeks before we traveled to Florida, and I cannot leave the den with the results of the first plan. Suck it up buttercup and just remove the fucking nasty-ass tiles. And so I did. Asbestos Schmasbestos.... I've had a good run. Just do it. 

Up came the carpet tiles. Up came the plastic. 
Up came the tiles (some of which were nothing but goo due to floods). 
Up came the remaining carpet and pad. 
Down went peel and stick vinyl. 

I had to remove the liquor from the cabinet again. We had to jack up the pool table and I installed the tile under one side at a time. We had to move the pinball machine back and forth. The couches, tables, general collected books and crap were easy to move. But the space was tight. This house has earned my affectionate name, "awkward-ass-booby-trapped-Rubik's-cube". One thing moves, where does it go? How many things can be stacked in another crowded room? God help us. We need to downsize this shit.... Again! I'm tired of 9 years of downsizing. "They" say it is freeing.... "they" lie. 

Anyway, I moved big furniture, removed old tiles, cleaned up the space, vacuumed, installed vinyl tile, repeat over 400 Sq Ft. I had to make some fancy cuts in doorways and I found some matching vinyl putty to help hide my errors. All is complete with the exception of the space under Dorothy's China cabinet. Emptying that piece will require me to be tested and in a good mood. I'm not there yet. 

So, in conclusion, this explains my slow and sporadic posting. I kept drawing for sanity. I made a bunch of new greeting cards, I just need to spray and iron them. But posting the drawing.... I'll get there. 

That is all. 
Carry on. 

*The majority of 2023 was spent updating our duplex (rental property). Those updates started April, 2023 due to me accidentally flooding one side of the property. There's a story about this surprise update (found it! See June 2023 entry on this blog) I thought I posted somewhere but the passage of time, the aches in my body, the severely ill-timed draining of our bank accounts, and the pleasing final results have helped my brain forget at least some of the trauma. The tenant on the other side moved so we updated that side September - November 2023. Maybe I'll post pictures of the other side soon. I'm slow so don't hold your breath.

Here are some photos -
After jacking up the pool table we discovered that one of the cast aluminum (think that is the material) "feet" was broken. So I "fixed" it. I then cut up one of the Flor carpet squares and used two pieces stacked as a furniture coaster. I then put the foot on the carpet then lowered the jack so that the ball on the end of the leg rested on the pvc and wood sandwich. 

The small rugs above (at the head of the pool table and under the dog houses (above right)) were created using one of the other patterns of Flor carpet squares I bought. I used the other patterns around the house. 
I moved the living room rug down to the den and created striped rugs in the living room and our bedroom.

Extra white fluff on the rug thanks to Rory and Rielly. 

I used the gray herringbone squares at the front door, the carport door, and the back door.

Oh yeah, in the middle of all the vinyl tile installation, I stopped to install self stick stair treads and a rug (tacked down with double sided rug tape) to help Bailey. Our old girl (13) was having a difficult time getting up and down the stairs. She slipped numerous times up and down the stairs, and almost fell several times. Plus, her hind legs slipped on the slate in the foyer with the momentum if her descending the stairs. So... Voila! Another problem solved. 
I said it before, but I mean it now....
That is all. 
Carry on. 


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