My house is a never ending series of projects, which is both good and bad for my “I hate downtime” type A personality. It means I always want to start a new project, but finishing… well, sometimes the project lingers when I find a new project. But laying linoleum is an easy project, which is satisfying on the “Done” checklist of house projects.
I wasn’t terribly keen on linoleum as a flooring material in my house, but when one of your rooms has no floor and it’s been driving your Type A-self nuts for months… well, linoleum starts looking a heck of a lot more attractive. It’s cheap, it’s easy… okay, I’ll give it a try. If it gets wrecked pretty quickly, it’s not like you’re out a whole heck of a lot.
Then you begin moving the baseboards, which is probably the most difficult and time consuming task of the entire project. Above are the tools I used. A crowbar, a hammer, a metal scraper, and a small wedge of wood. I wedged the scraper in between the baseboard and the wall to wiggle a bit and loosen things up. Then when it loosened up a bit, put the wood on the wall, wedge in the crowbar, and push the crowbar against the baseboard and the wedge of wood. The wood helps protect the walls from the pressure of the crowbar. Luckily my baseboards were only nailed in and not glued & nailed.
Once the baseboards are removed, vacuum the place up again to get rid of all the old dust behind the walls. This should also go without saying, but make sure you wear junky clothes. Home repairs has taught me to have a separate wardrobe for wrecking with house repairs (which are mainly my freebie shirts and some old long pants).
I didn’t bother pre-cutting the linoleum to the approximate measurement of the room, which is what I hear would have been “easier” but it was still also easy to just unfurl the whole roll of linoleum and cut it to size against the room, too. Either way, pick your preference. Give a 1/4″ or so of wiggle room for expansion and contraction (i.e. don’t get it completely up against the walls).
I bought a big roll of faux-wood linoleum from Grossman’s Bargain Outlet here in Latham. You tell them how many feet you need, and they’ll cut you off a length, roll it up, and there you go. The linoleum selection is more geared for bathrooms or kitchens (with fake stone/tile patterns), so the fake wood print is kind of the best option for a bedroom. I bought something like 17 x 12 feet and it was about $157. I still have a lot of excess of the roll since you have to buy the width of the linoleum, which was a few feet longer than I needed for the room, but I may just use that to redo the hallway outside of this bedroom, which has plastic tile on it. Actually, it has pieces of plastic tile on it and one of those “slip safe” carpets over it. Whenever we’d remove the slip safe carpeting the cat would run on the hallway like it was a runway, so the tiles chipped pretty easily, and… yeah. Any way, I think I have a use for the excess width.
I just floated the linoleum floor, which means I just rolled it out, smoothed it over a few times to get rid of any air bubbles or warping from laying it down in the first place, and then nailed the baseboards back over the top (and it looks like I forgot to take pictures of the baseboards actually back on the walls, but worry not – they are up). It doesn’t seem like it’ll keep the floor from moving around, but it does. The whole project took just under 4 hours to compete, about $150 in materials, requires not of fancy tools, and is pretty hard to screw up.