Or better yet; what's beneath my feet? The original flooring was contractor installed sheet linoleum, installed 1994. White with burgundy, it' not a horrible choice but let's face it, after 20+ years, it has some wear and tear that belies its age- the seams are showing and peeling in some areas and other areas are stained.
I bought some VCT (vinyl composite tile) in three colors from my local Restore and have a vision for how to install it- I want to bring a retro-vibe into my kitchen and have seen many examples on some of my favorite blogs (looking at you Retrorenovations and Apartment Therapy! https://retrorenovation.com/ , https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ )
With the aforesaid wear and damage to the linoleum, I won't be able to install the VCT on top of it so first, it has to be removed (oh, goodie! more time, more work). This too is more work than it seems it should be- just score the linoleum and peel it off, right? Not really- the backing more often than not remained and had to be scrapped off and THAT is where I ended up expending the most time and effort on. I even rented a machine from Home Depot to try to remove the stuck-on backing but found that manual removal of the stuff did a better job and didn't damage the subfloor (an important point here, as I didn't want to have to replace THAT before installing the VCT).
Removal took several days and, as you can see, created a lot of trash- again , keep your shop vac handy to suck-up the stray backing pieces that always seem to escape as I try to "clean as I go" and cover kitchen surfaces to keep them as clean as possible if, like me, you are living through a renovation.
Everything had to be moved so that the old linoleum could be removed, including under the stove and fridge making dinner time interesting, to say the least. Here's a picture of the floor without linoleum but you can see the stuck-on backing still remains in a large portion of the kitchen. You'll notice a heat gun in the lower part of the frame- I can't say enough about THAT particular tool, it made removing the sticky residue and paper a whole lot easier!
Many days later, the subfloor was revealed- there were some areas that had to be repaired and the area where the old island needed to be patched with new subfloor. After doing some research online, I used Henry Feather Finish to repair any gouges or pits and to patch-in the newly placed subfloor- I used birch underlayment, again, after doing research online. Sorry, no photos of that!
Now, I can focus on the VCT- time to do research for adhesive!