Have you ever wondered what wrestling a dead gator whose body wants nothing more than to return to the bayou for its final rest is like? No? I hadn’t either. Until the fateful day I decided I could totally install floating sheet vinyl, this one to be specific.
How hard can it really be? All the tutorials and online videos made it seem so simple. Since I’m basically Bob Villa, I knew had this down. Then my husband asked if I was sure the floor didn’t need to be glued at all? Yes. Absolutely positive. It floats. “Why don’t you ask someone who has actually done this?” He countered. Fine. So I drilled the associate at Menards who sold me the vinyl. “Technically, since it’s floating, no. You don’t need any glue. But, if your husband wants, it wouldn’t hurt to at least glue around the perimeter. This is what you will need.”
Ugh, fine. I’ll glue around the flipping perimeter. After getting the flooring home, I laid the sheet out on my bedroom floor and grabbed the roll of construction paper from my best friend (they just did a major floor and paint remodel and had a bunch left over) to make a pattern of the room.
After cutting was complete, a quick fit check in the laundry room was essential. The fit was perfect and, honestly, I was ridiculously proud of myself. Still in denial despite my husband and the floor guys advice that I needed to glue the floor, I phoned a friend, Mike Wallace, to fact check.
Mikes initial response after I told him what I was doing was laughter, followed by the admission that, unless his life is on the line, he avoids installing sheet vinyl at all costs. But, yes, Steve was right, I needed to glue. Adding, “If I’m laying vinyl, regardless of the type, I glue the whole thing so it doesn’t slip at all.” My response was less graceful as I conceded that my husband was right.
By this point, it was time to just do the damn thing. Glue was on the essential spots—perimeter, in front of cabinets and washer/dryer (still in denial all the glue was necessary). While it set for 15 minutes, I got the vinyl rolled up and ready for transfer. Then it was time (in the Rafiki from Lion King voice in my head).
Floor went down easily enough and I thought, this wasn’t so bad. Then, I noticed the giant air bubble in the middle. In a furious dash, I tried to stomp and smooth the bubble out in vain. The bubble wasn’t going anywhere and did nothing but mock. At that point, I made the rash decision to pull up the floor from the corner while there was still time and try to re-lay it. No luck. So I ripped it up again and put down more glue in the middle section. Before I could lay it down again, my grip failed (it was really heavy + sweaty palms) and I dropped the corner (which already had glue on it). Falling down my leggings the profanity began as the sheet landed wrong side down on top of the new floor…
A guttural and feral response escaped my lips as I wrenched up the folded vinyl. My favorite leggings were beyond salvage. But, I had to get the glue off the top of the floor and still had to contend with that wretched air bubble that had gotten smaller with the extra glue but was still there. Continuing my string of profanity that would make the saltiest of sailors blush, my son (who was home sick) timidly approached and asked if I needed help. I growled at him and continued to furiously scrub the glue off top and roll it out with a marble rolling pin (because it’s what MacGyver would use if he didn’t have the actual vinyl roller). Realizing my leggings and socks were just transferring more glue to the top of the floor, I quickly discarded them as I worked in a frenzy. If I was a cartoon character, my hair would have been sticking straight up with steam shooting out of my ears.
Two hours of intermittent rolling and scrubbing later, it was time to throw in the towel and accept reality. The floor was in. The bubbles were out and although there were glue traces on top of it, they weren’t sticky and were barely perceptible. Plus, I’d gotten a pretty good core workout (silver lining!) As my son was recounting the event to my husband, he said, “I was praying that mommy would stop saying bad words.” Insert mom-of-the-year status and palm-to-face. But, I did it and fully understand Mike’s laughter. The rest of the room came together pretty quickly after that and while I love making things prettier, I’m content to leave gator-wrestling to the pros. On that note, enjoy the pics and…