I’m really not a vinyl floor kind of girl. Hardwoods have my heart. Ceramic, great; porcelain, marble, or slate, amazing (and heated tile, especially in the bathroom, even better). But vinyl? Sometimes it’s neutral enough to be permissible – and I’m even more accepting for it if it’s in a nice clean sheet and not square stickers (because the damn corners are always poking up). But in my entryway? I suppose I understand why previous owners laid it in the entryway – the area gets a lot of traffic, and it was pretty easy to clean, but the pattern they chose? It was faux-rock, very obviously not seamlessly matched together – see that picture to the left? That’s what I saw the day that I found the house – and yes, I photographed it because I was taken aback and immediately thinking of what I could do to make it better. What gives? And what’s a girl to do?
My frame of thought? Be logical and have a plan. I wouldn’t recommend pulling up a floor until you have a defined plan of attack to fix the floor (this is why I haven’t done more than preliminary peeking under the bathroom and kitchen vinyl). The entryway though? It’s a mere 20 sq. ft, so I was less worried about finding rot, an enormous hole, or, you know, something horrific. While I didn’t really have a plan of attack, I figured it couldn’t be too bad (the floor felt very solid, not squishy or bowed at all, thankfully). In the midst of a Project Runway marathon one evening, I gathered my tools and had at it. Those tiles were glued down really well – SO well that I broke a sweat and two scrapers trying to pry it up – but what’d I find? (Besides another really worn out layer of heinous vinyl) I uncovered a painted, stamped, (potentially lovely) cement floor.
Hmm. Cement floor? Cold… and hard… but not uninteresting. It was in really good shape, solid and not crumbling (fortunately), so I proceeded with removing the paint that was on there (it was peachy in color) with some of my favorite non-toxic (orange-scented!) paint remover. In the end, after a little bit of time and elbow-grease, I ended up with a nice, clean surface that was ready for me to do whatever I dreamed up.
I contemplated covering it up with some floor tiles, and we also had this great plan to use some super-tiny stones salvaged from the lake shore (think: DIY Pinkberry pebble flooring! Still a DIY project we’re dying to try, umm I segue, sorry…), but the stamped squares that were hidden under there were appealing to me (who knew that stamped concrete would have a place in my heart?). I decided to preserve them for the time being instead of doing something rash, figuring that I had plenty of time to dream up (and save up for) a longer term flooring solution. In the end, I borrowed some of the leftover exterior floor paint that I had used on the sunroom floor – a matte gray.
I originally thought that painting the cement gray would make it seem colder and more cement-like, so I’ve planned all along to do a cute detail along the edge, but I haven’t gotten there yet because I’m not quite bothered by the solid gray yet.
Oh, and side note: It’s really not easy to clean stamped cement. Also thinking about a thick coat of poly to smooth it out. Thoughts?