Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why Baking Soda Is A Construction Material

It's Spring Break! So this week I've decided to dig up some of my favorite tutorials, horror-stories, and remodels from the archives to share again with you. Enjoy!

I don't think there's a problem in the world that baking soda can't fix.


You've all heard the many uses of baking soda before, I'm sure. You can do anything and everything with it - from putting out fires to absorbing odors, with this simple and inexpensive product. Heck, there's even sites out there like 60 Uses for Baking Soda, etc.

But what about using it in your FLOORING? Crazy? Oh yes.

Oh. Yes.

About a year ago my parents drove up to help us out with our brand new fixer-upper of a house, and they were staying for a week. After examining many projects that needed to be done around the new house, we decided a good one to tackle while they were here was to DIY new laminate flooring throughout most of the main level - the living room, dining area, hallway and kitchen, to be exact (psst, you can read more on why we chose laminate over wood right here).

The old flooring was nasty, smelly carpet. And guess what? Some of it was nasty smelly outdoor carpet - NEWLY INSTALLED, by the way *coughcough* courtesy of the proud previous owner of the house *coughCharliecough* the same one who ALSO thought it was a GREAT idea to one day just go out in the backyard and COMPLETELY BURY a cement patio, probably right after he first DISGUISED a SHOWER as a LINEN CLOSET.


Back to the kitchen.

See all this BEAUTIFUL new carpet that the previous owner proudly told us he'd installed himself - RUINING the somewhat repairable hardwood floors underneath with a ZILLION staples before housetraining unleashing his dogs on them, who apparently thought all the lovely carpet was an indoor grassy loo installed just for them?

Yeah, it makes me cringe (and gag) just looking at these.

So we grabbed some hammers, carpet cutters and gloves (like I said, that carpet was NAS-to-the-T!) and began ripping it out fast and furiously.

It took awhile thanks to the 120894729837092023984 staples that had been put into it.

And then we reached the DINING AREA (cue deep, dark depressing music).

Once we began ripping out the carpet in the dining area/kitchen, we realized it was GLUED DOWN onto the subflooring, with layers and layers of sticky goo. Seriously?! At this point I would've preferred the 1241903572308 staples method, thank-you-very-much-previous-special-homeowner-person.

We tried placing the floating laminate wood flooring over the glue (it "floats" because it isn't stapled/GLUED/etc down, but stays in place because all the planks interlock), but when we stepped on it there was a horrible-and-utterly-loud "sticky" noise.

ARGHH! We were not happy. And we were stumped. We tried placing paper over it, thought of adhesive removers, scoured the internet and talked to EVERY flooring employee at EVERY home improvement store that we could find. The guys at Lowe's and Home Depot had never let us down before. But not this time. We had NOTHING.




Not one solution would work in the short time frame we were working in (my parents were only staying a week), and would solve our problem.

At that point we had already spent days installing the laminate in the hallway and living room, much of which was spent meticulously custom-cutting each plank to fit around the rocks in the fireplace. YEAH.
So, we were sitting around, discouraged and losing hope as our latest possibly "solution" had failed, when suddenly - OUT OF NOWHERE - Tom exclaimed, "baking soda."

"What?" I asked (looking at him very strangely).

He repeated, "baking soda."

My parents and I stared at him in confusion and then each other. We thought the stress must've been too much and he'd fallen off his rocker. Like, we might-have-to-call-the-special-people-with-the-white-coats-to-come-because-what-the-heck-is-he-talking-about?!

He then jumped up and sprinted to the laundry room to grab a box of baking soda we had stored down there, while my mom, dad and I just sat there dumbfounded and most likely trying to figure out ways to reach a phone and speak to a specialist before he returned.


He came bounding back with a box of the stuff and promptly poured a thin layer of it over the stick, and placed a piece of wood laminate overtop of it.

Then he stepped on the piece of flooring.



And then we were jumping around and whooping and screaming and laughing and hugging as we started celebrating.

And so we finished laying the new flooring down in the kitchen, with a layer of baking soda underneath it.

Believe it, people.

And the next people who own this house with wonder why in the HELL there's WHITE POWDER of all things under the KITCHEN FLOORING.

Lord, I hope they don't think it's cocaine.

So there's our wacky-and-odd use for baking soda. Yes, it's totally true. But now we're wondering - what do YOU use baking soda for? Is it as wild and crazy as our impromptu flooring solution? Can you top our totally weird baking soda use? Spill the beans!

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  1. That is the craziest thing I've ever heard. I can't believe that worked! The bonus is that your floors must smell nice and fresh! haha

  2. I hope they think it's cocaine! Hahahahahahahahahaha this is absolutely hilarious



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