In order to appreciate this you have to see the before. I had a handmade sisal jute rug in my upstairs attic bedroom for years! It was made up of beautiful woven squares of some kind of natural material which was very much like straw or that of a basket. The squares had a lovely pattern and they were individually sewn together with rope. I installed the “rug” wall to wall in my 230 square foot room. I adored it, so did my kitty, but my husband HATED it.
Every time he walked by the stairway he said it smelled like a barn. He was after me to get rid of it for years. I don’t know why I loved it so. Perhaps it was because I knew that somewhere some ladies worked by hand to make it. I don’t know if it was made in India or Africa, but I appreciated the skill and ingenuity it took to make such a thing.
I knew he was right, it was impossible to keep clean and it did have a kind of earthy odor, but again I loved that it was natural. So the other day I finally gave in and began my search for a replacement flooring. I took home so many samples of many different types of flooring but I couldn’t find anything I liked. I knew it would be a horrible job to get it out, move all my stuff including a king size bed that we couldn’t get out of the room and on top of all that, I was heartbroken to see it go. Because of the enclosed stairway leading up there, my choices were limited.
I did wind up buying 3 different styles of vinyl tile and returning all of it. I knew nothing would please me, I just couldn’t let go of my quirky rug that I loved so. At this point I began ripping up the squares and forcing myself to get over it. I got halfway through the room moving the bed back and forth so I could get to most of it. Then all of a sudden a flood of tears came rushing down, I was bawling like a baby. I knew I’d never find anything I loved as much – it was NUTS! I felt like a total wack-o. I don’t know what came over me, but I couldn’t stop crying.
When my husband saw me, he was in shock. “I had no idea it meant that much to you, I would never ask you to do anything to upset you so, let’s put it back!” he said
Oh thank you! Ok, yes, that’s what I’ll do, I’ll sew each and every square that I ripped out back together with a needle and thread and put it all back…
But the next morning I went right back out and searched for a floor that I could love, it was just too much work to reverse what I had already done. Sad, sad, sad.
So what’s a girl to do but go on Pinterest and find the perfect solution, right? I found the most beautiful pictures of beachy wood floors, and knew that’s what I wanted. Only I wanted mine in a herringbone pattern. I had no idea how to do it, but knew I could figure it out.
So here’s what I did. First I cleared the room as best I could knowing I would have to work on half the room at a time so I could roll the bed out of the way. If you are like me, super impatient, can’t wait for help, gotta do it now kinda person, you NEED Super Sliders. You can see how old and worn mine are, I use them all the time. They are one of my favorite gadgets of all time. Have I ever mentioned that my nickname is gadget girl? Anyway, once I saw how creepy it was under that rug I was more than ready to let it go. This is gross.
I kept thinking if Joanna Gaines were here, she would be ripping off that tar paper and refinishing the hardwood floor underneath, but alas, she’s not here and I’m not doing it. But I did sweep, and sweep, and vacuum and vacuum for what seemed like hours until it was as clean and dust free as possible.
Next I went down to my local Lowes and bought 5 different shades of vinyl plank flooring samples because I am so dang indecisive, and wound up with their Style Selections “Safari” Peel and Stick Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring.
The installation instructions looked simple, no power tools needed, Yay! just a cutting knife, measuring tape, straight edge. Easy Peasy. Except I wanted that herringbone pattern and there were no directions for that. You know I went on You Tube to find out how to do it, and sure there were lots of guys doing it, but it looked so complicated and most of them were experienced pros, so I decided to just wing it 🙂
I am sure this is not the right way, but it worked for me so you’re taking your chances here! First I measured the farthest straight wall with no doorway and marked the center point. Next I measured the same distance down each side wall and marked the center. I popped a chalk line from those points and did the same on the perpendicular walls. That made a cross in the center of that section of the room. My room is L shaped which made it even more challenging. Next I measured an equal distance from the center point and drew 2 diagonal lines. If you know where your triangle tool is then use that instead – I couldn’t find mine 🙁
On to laying out the pattern test run with the paper backing still on to see if it would work as I envisioned it.
It looked good to me so I just dove in and started peeling off the backing. I had no idea what to do when I got to the sides, figured I’d cross that bridge when I came to it – that’s the way I roll I guess.
These tiles cut so easily, all you do is score the face and bend it so it pops along that line. This was going so well, I was thrilled with the look and realized this was going to be WAY better than that old straw mat, I’m so happy!!!
I figured the easiest way to do the edge was to run a plank along the wall as a border so all I had to do was cut the points off using the straight plank as a guide and scoring and popping them off.
I hate to cover it up with my bed, but on to the next leg of the L shaped room. I’ll update this post when it’s finished. I’m exhausted – it was a long hard day, it was 90 degrees and humid but so worth it.