Confession: We’ve lived in this house for 7 months and I’ve never mopped the kitchen floors.
I know, I know. It’s disgusting, and I can’t believe I just shared that little tid-bit of shame with the masses, but it’s the only way I can communicate to you just how much I hate our kitchen floors. I don’t want to even look at them, let alone stare at them long enough to scrub them. That’s not to say we live in squalor. After all, we do have a 22 month old that routinely gives Hansel and Gretel a run for their money with his survivor skills so, as a compromise, I spot clean and sweep several times a week. The area beneath the high chair is probably the cleanest place in the kitchen. So. Many. Crumbs.
Tell me you wouldn’t hate them too.
You might remember that I took a butter knife to them back in August and scrapped most of this crud out. That was enough for me. I’ve pretty much ignored them since then.
But then we started making some progress in the kitchen and the floors started grating on my nerves again. With the wallpaper down, the walls primed white and the pretty new table and chairs in place, the orangey flooring (paired with the orangey cabinets and the orange chairs) are making me want to scream.
That’s a lot of orange, y’all. And yes, that’s why this is the first picture of these awesome new chairs that I’ve shared on the blog. As great as they are, they are looking pretty crappy in our kitchen right now. I feel like I’m standing on the surface of the sun every time I go in there.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love our original cabinets and our new orange and grey chairs. The chairs are the perfect size for this table — it’s so much easier to get in and out of our seats now that we have a dining set that’s not bumping against all the walls! And I really think that once we get some paint on the wall (it’s been purchased!!!) the contrast will be really great.
But the floors have GOT to GO. And when I saw this photo at Retro Renovation, well, it was love at first sight.
The powder coated blue cabinets are nothing like ours, but those floors? Hell to the yes!
My love for them is three-fold: 1) They are vinyl composition tile (VCT) which is an ideal mid-century era material — you may remember it from your old elementary school cafeteria; 2) The Armstrong Striations line has a couple light gray colors that could be perfect alongside our wood toned cabinets — and I find the variations in the tiles really appealing; and 3) The unique 12″ x 24″ size opens up some fancy layout options like this snazzy herringbone pattern. It really elevates the look of standard ol’ VCT don’t you think?
And they’re low maintenance. We can’t forget that.
Also, VCT is relatively inexpensive and we need nearly 400Sf to cover the kitchen, the eat-in area, the hall to the garage, the laundry room and the half bath (everything that’s currently decked out in that horrible faux wood vinyl shown above). I’ve mentioned before that we’re hesitant to put a lot of money into the floors because we’ve talked about completely changing up the kitchen/laundry room layout down the line. So spending a little less dinero on a product that seems so spot on for our application seems like a no-brainer. I’ve already ordered samples.
As I mentioned above, there are a few ways to lay 12″ x 24″ tile so we’re currently debating our options. We can set them square…
Or in a brick pattern.
This is also a brick pattern although I know it’s hard to see. I mainly included it because the layout and colors are so similar to our own kitchen.
We can lay them on a diagonal…
Or in a herringbone pattern like my inspiration photo…
Or in a dozen other ways. Which is kind of a shame — you guys know how I am when given too many choices. It’s no bueno.
One thing we’re having to consider is waste materials. The more cuts we need to make to complete our pattern, the more excess we’ll need to account for when we make our purchase. Some patterns require you purchase up to 20% excess materials and that kind of negates the perk of having fallen for such an inexpensive material.
Here’s a little rendering I whipped up when deciding on colors for the floors, walls and chairs. This photo was obviously taken before the chairs arrived, and the inset photo was whipped up before we talked about painting the front wall navy too.
I can’t wait to see it all come together!