This weekend, I decided my kitchen floor needed to be replaced. My German Shepherd, Minnie, had left a few puddles as a puppy, yet two years later, I could still smell a trace of her urine. Replacing the ” Peel and Stick” flooring, surely was not rocket science, right?
I spent the morning, pulling, pushing, heaving and scraping. Have you ever seen the commercial on TV for a brand name glue that can hold a Ford 550 truck as it dangles over the Grand Canyon? Well, I believe the same glue was used on this flooring! I trudged faithfully with my flat head screwdriver, stabbing each little hateful piece of flooring that hung on the subflooring for dear life, until the floor was completely done.
That wasn’t that difficult, I thought to myself. As I went to get up from the spot I had been sitting, I realized I was stuck to the floor, sweatpants and all………..glued in placed. After a short struggle, I managed to get up, leaving my sneakers stuck behind in the mighty glue………….
Now for a new floor. I had not completely thought the whole thing through. Besides, I had just woken up on Saturday morning and decided that this project looked like a good idea. Ohhhh I am a smart, smart woman……..
I found the perfect floor after two hours of staring at planks, vinyl, laminate and hardwoods. Peel and stick, tongue and groove,floating and non-floating flooring…..oh the choices. Finally, I made a choice. I chose the roll-out vinyl flooring. I asked the nice salesman if I needed to have a professional flooring man to put it in, or if this was a “do-it-yourself” project.
” Well, it say’s right here on the packaging, Easy to install, no tools needed.Just scissors. So seems to me, this could be a do- it -yourself project. Question is, are you strong enough to carry this into your house?”
Seriously mister? I work in healthcare.Ever caught a 180 pound man as he starts to fall backwards? Ever lifted a 150 pound dead weight person off the floor? Ask me again about carrying your little roll of vinyl.
Arriving home, I began the process of unloading my proud purchase. I fumbled and struggled, only to be rescued by my best friend.
” Do you need help?” She asked.
” No Sherlock. Being crushed underneath this mammoth roll of flooring was my hopeful outcome. YES I need help.” Suddenly, I didn’t remember the story of the 180 pound woman on the floor who was dead weight….or the one about the falling man……
Once we got the over-sized tootsie roll of flooring into my living room, my friend, Jen, turned to me and said, ” Who is putting this down for you??.”
Without hesitation, I proudly announced that I, yes me, would be doing the work myself.
” You don’t even own a hammer, How are you putting it down. Don’t you need tools?”
“Nope, no tools required. Just scissors.” I was an expert on flooring.
She stared at me for the longest time. Then she decided to offer her assistance for the rest of the afternoon. Thank God for best friends.
” What’s the plan?” She asked.
I explained in great detail, lumped into one sentence. ” No clue.”
Finally, we figured it out. We thought it would be brilliant to turn the flooring over, face down, which would allow us to draw out knicks, cut outs and shave corners easily. We measured, re-measured and began clipping away. It was a proud moment.
Five or six cuts into the job, Jen stood up and stared at the flooring. ” This is easier than I thought. We rock!” I couldn’t have agreed with her any more than I did. We both stood there, planning how we would roll it back up, drag it into the kitchen, roll it out and begin glueing it down.
Without warning, Jen screamed “NO WE DIDN’T”.
“No we didn’t what?”
” The floor. It’s face down.”
” Um yes……I would never but a white floor in the kitchen. It has a wood floor design on the front……I …..
Before I could finish…..she cut me off.
” Jessi, we have cut it, UPSIDE DOWN. Get it? Upside down? We have cut it wrong. Upside down is a MIRROR image, not the right way. The cuts go on the other side!!!!!!!”
I didn’t speak. I stared. She stared. We both stared at the cuts.…the cuts that were on the WRONG side.
Well Houston, we have a problem. Some things in life, can not be fixed, and this floor was one of them. The best we could hope for was an overage. Hoping we have more than enough flooring to begin again.
Isn’t that how it is in life? We think we know what we are doing, all until the rubber meets the road….then it’s not smooth sailing after all. The packaging made the installation seem so simple. My brain recognized how simple the project was……but it was not processing the whole thing . This entire event could be compared to the thoughts processes of those living with dementia. They believe in what they are set out to do, knowing how it should be done, but somewhere along the way, the whole process is not thought through completely. Disconnected thoughts lead to disarray.Hence we as caregivers redirect them; pointing them in the right direction.
After many hours, and I do mean many, Jen and I successfully laid the floor. It looked great, minus the knicks here and there ……oh and the slices here and there….but still, it looked great. You know the glue? Glue also works wonders to seal cuts, knicks and patches…………..
The lesson learned? Think things through, all the way through…..and even if tools aren’t required, you will need glue. Lot’s of it. You know the kind….it holds a truck dangling over the Grand Canyon……..