We're remodeling our Oakland, California, kitchen and want to paint the floor. It's covered with really ugly and scuffed sheet vinyl. Painting is a cheaper alternative than laying a new surface. But there are a few sections that seem to have sunk down. Does it make more sense to take up the entire vinyl to level the floor for painting or just put in a new surface?
Mark S. ~ Oakland, California
Mark, because you have committed to remodeling your kitchen, I would spend the extra money and redo the floor correctly. This means tearing out the old floor covering and leveling the sub-floor. There are several floor leveling compounds which are available for both wood sub-floors and cement slabs, and both are relatively simple to use.
Once the subfloor is level, I would consider installing an economical sheet vinyl or tile floor. If you are willing to complete the work yourself, the new floor should not cost too much money, as you can probably find modestly priced flooring materials at a home improvement warehouse in the Oakland area. If you need some help installing the new flooring, consider hiring a contractor who works in the Oakland area to help with the project.