A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Green and Clean

Not to get personal, but is your bedroom closet filled with tools, like ours?

On second thought, I don’t want to know what you stash away in your bedroom closet. La la la la la la la (covers her ears), I’m not listening!

Over the course of the week all these tools will get put away, because we are, in a sense, done with the major aspects of the master suite remodel. Don’t get me wrong, we’re far from finished, but we’re finally far enough along to move the tools out and move the clothes and furniture in.

Whether the box spring will fit up the stairs is another story, but we’ll worry about that later, because right now, for the first time ever, I’m looking forward to doing laundry.

Last week, we moved all the junk we were storing there temporarily so that the contractor could finish up the gas line and install the dryer vent.

Over the weekend, I painted the walls and ceiling in Benjamin Moore’s Vapor, the same paint I used on the master bathroom ceiling. I wanted a clean, crisp look to the windowless room — besides, we were going to have plenty of color in the floor.

We chose to install Forbo Marmoleum Tile. As you may know, linoleum tile is made from all-natural materials, mainly rosin from pine trees, linseed oil from flax plants, limestone, and jute for the backing. According to Forbo, “these raw materials are harvested or extracted with relatively little energy consumption.” Forbo continues to seek ways to reduce its energy consumption, and they have already earned many environmental labels around the world.

No, of course it’s not cheap, but luckily we were tiling a very small room so we felt we could afford it here. Marmoleum comes in several different varieties:

  • sheet flooring, which would need to be installed by professionals
  • tile flooring, which has a more limited selection than sheet flooring, but is doable for DIY, and
  • Marmoleum Click, which is a floating tile floor easily installed by the DIYer, but is not recommended for wet areas (like a laundry room, bathroom, etc.)

To prepare for our flooring, we installed a 1/2″ birch underlayment over the plywood subfloor, filled in the seam and all the screw holes, sanded it smooth and vacuumed it clean. The Marmoleum requires a smooth underlayment because any imperfections on the underlayment can carry through to the surface. We probably could have gotten away with a cheaper underlayment, but since we only needed 2 sheets, we wanted to be sure the surface was completely smooth, and these were on sale at Home Depot.

The preparation took much longer than installing the tile. We only needed to make a few cuts (which are easily done with a utility knife or using a paper cutter on straight cuts).

Installing the tile is similar to setting ceramic tile, except you use a 1/16″ square-cut trowel using Forbo’s glue. There was very little odor to the glue and it spread easily. Pete spread the glue while I set the tiles (he’s cleaning up a little spot in the shot below).

After setting about a 4′ by 4′ section, it’s important to roll over the tiles with a 100-lb. floor roller, which we rented for about $20 at a local rental place (floor rolling in action not shown).

After just a few short hours, we have a beautiful, totally green and eco-friendly laundry room floor…

…and by Friday I’ll be able to wash and dry clothes in the comfort of our new laundry room!

1 Comment

  1. Nicole on October 13, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Wow — so jealous! really, Really like it.

    I want that closet AND the laundry room. (We have a laundry room, mind you. It’s just in the unfinished part of the basement AND has nothing to do the laundry with in it. You’d need to see our basement stairs to understand.)

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