Living Without Flooring In the Kitchen – Water Damage Under Linoleum Floor

We caught a dishwasher leak early on which led to water damage under linoleum floor. The entire kitchen needed new floors and mold remediation.

This post could also be titled: Being a Homeowner Really Sucks Sometimes

One evening towards the beginning of April while I was cooking dinner I noticed that a spot in our kitchen floor felt… squishy. It was a weird, soft, stepping on a bubble kind of feeling. I was standing right in front of our dishwasher, so I knew right away water was probably involved. My immediate thought was “Well, this can’t be good.” Actually, that’s a lie. My immediate thought was “Oh shit! This is bad!” I immediately got on my hands and knees and started pressing on the floor in the squishy area and noticed the floor was discolored right in front of the dishwasher. I got out a rag to try to clean the discolored spot, but it was coming from the underside of the floor. We took the front panel off the dishwasher to check underneath, and sure enough, there was water. We disconnected the dishwasher and turned off the water. Then, first thing Monday (this happened on a Friday night) we called our homeowner’s insurance provider. They sent a mitigation team to check for water damage under linoleum floor and a plumber to inspect the dishwasher.

The plumber found that a valve on the dishwasher had stopped working, causing it to leak. The leak flooded out the space under the dishwasher and had seeped into other parts of the kitchen. The mitigation team found that our floors were made up of 3 layers of older vinyl and the water was trapped between those layers. A flood remediation team had to come out and rip out all of the flooring in the kitchen and downstairs hall. They checked for water damage under linolum floor and dried out the subfloor. I packed up the girls and we spent the day, and that night, at grandma’s house, so I missed seeing how much water was trapped. Jesse was home and said the flood team was surprised by how much was hiding between all of the vinyl layers. No wonder the floor felt squishy! We had a de-humidifier and several fans drying out the house for about 4 days. The fans were so loud, I felt like a helicopter was taking off in my kitchen. Jesse was out of town for the fans (lucky him!) so I didn’t bother cooking at all. Mara and I were in heaven with our Mexican take-out, minus the noise! The annoyance of the noise aside, I’m so thankful that the flood remediation team worked so fast to correct the water damage under linoleum floor. We caught everything before it damaged the subfloor or the underside of the cabinets! It was a major win!

The process of getting new floors is proving to be a less speedy process. We have been without flooring in the kitchen for almost 2 months now and I am SO OVER IT. The living room is gated off so the girls can’t get into the back half of the house, which means I’m constantly climbing over the gates whenever I need to leave the room. I know that’s not a huge deal, but it’s definitely a hassle when I’m doing laundry, getting someone a snack or just going to the bathroom. It has definitely disrupted my daily flow and my mood. It feels so frustrating to have bare floors and not be able to change the situation. I feel like our house is so dirty downstairs, but aside from vacuuming the living room I can’t clean the floors.

Since we don’t have a dishwasher (we can’t install the new one until the floors go in), I’m washing all of our dishes by hand. This means that the counters always have drying dishes on them. We have been using paper plates, plastic cups and plastic utensils, but I still cook almost every night. Plus, Bellamy uses 3-4 bottles every day. I spend about 45 minutes every night washing a day’s worth of dishes and by the time I’m done I don’t feel like doing anything else. I will say that I’ve listened to so many great podcasts because I’m chained to the sink every night. So I guess that’s a little bit of a bright side!

The flooring team did come out a few weeks ago to measure and I was able to pick our new floors. I never intended to change the flooring in the kitchen as part of our kitchen updates for the One Room Challenge. It was pretty neutral and not offensive to look at. Plus, all of the drama of the situation has me feeling stressed and like I don’t give an eff as long as I have floors. We don’t have the budget to majorly upgrade the flooring since we have to do the entire downstairs, minus the dining room and living room. This means we’re getting vinyl again. We can’t do the faux hardwood vinyl since we have real hardwoods in the dining room (that would just look ridiculous), so our options were pretty limited. I decided on vinyl floors very similar to our previous floors, but slightly cooler in color tone. I think they will coordinate well with the cabinet color, counters and the new backsplash tile. They are going to be so similar that I doubt it will look any different in photos. But again, I don’t really care. I just want floors! Bellamy’s first birthday is in mid-June, so that is my goal. I’m definitely about to turn into a huge pain in the ass if I can’t get people to start calling me back about setting an installation date! After all of this, I really want to go ahead and get the backsplash tiled and just finish off the kitchen updates that we started last fall ASAP. Also, remind me to never buy a fixer-upper. I do NOT handle living in an unfinished space well haha.



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