I’m guessing most of you DIYers out there are familiar with the idea of installing self-stick floor tiles on the floors of kitchen cabinets—usually inside the cabinet under the kitchen sink. That’s a space that can get pretty gruesome over time.
I had been wanting to tackle this in my current home, but my cabinet floor was warped. I’m guessing the kitchen sink had a leak when the previous owners lived here. When I laid a level across it, I could see a dip of almost a full inch at its lowest point, and I knew the tiles wouldn’t adhere to a surface that dipped like a cereal bowl.
I decided since I couldn’t install the tiles, I would cover the cabinet floor with non-stick shelf paper. Not one of my better ideas. It quickly became just as ugly as it was before I tried to spruce it up. Plus the shelf paper wasn’t a solution for the warped floor. You can’t really see the dip in this picture, but here’s a before picture anyway just for kicks. You’ll just have to trust me that it was nasty under there.
So one day, a light bulb actually appeared over my head in one of those little white clouds. (Not kidding.) I had an idea. I decided to search through my stash of scrap wood for some skinny pieces to fill in the divot. Then I could cover the scraps with a thin sheet of plywood, and then I could cover the plywood with those fabulous self-stick linoleum tiles.
Since there was a divider in the center of the front of the cabinet where the doors close (you can see this in the above photo), there was no way to install a single sheet of plywood big enough to cover the whole floor. But I just happened to have two pieces of plywood that I could cut down to fit through the two cabinet door openings, and could piece them together to cover the cabinet floor.
Here’s a picture of the darker small scraps on the floor of the cabinet that are placed in the dip. I just kept layering pieces in the low part until it was level with the rest of the floor. Then I laid a piece of plywood that I cut to fit, over the top of the scraps (on the left side in the photo). The other piece I used to finish the floor is the darker piece that is leaned up against the side of the cabinet on the right in the photo. I used 3/8″ plywood that I had leftover from another project for both the scraps that are filling the dip, and for the actual “sub-floor” placed on top of the scraps.
Next I laid down the second piece of plywood to complete the cabinet floor. The colors of the two pieces didn’t match because one of them was stained and one of them wasn’t, but they were going to be covered with tiles, so no biggie.
I had to tack down the plywood in a few places since the pieces were a little wonky from being stored in my garage.
Here’s my new mini “sub-floor”, so nice and flat now! I was pretty happy at this point because I could see this was actually going to work.
Here are the amazing, kick-butt self-stick linoleum tiles that I bought for $2.00 at a garage sale this past summer. In case you’re not familiar with this type of flooring, think of each square as a sticker on steroids. You just peel a sheet off the back to reveal the sticky back side of the tile, and simply press it into place.
I had no prior experience with these tiles, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to cut using a utility knife against a straight edge. I laid the tiles on a scrap piece of wood while cutting so as not to cut directly against my floor. I started in the front/center of the “floor” and worked my way back.
Here’s my finished project. My hope is that if there’s ever a leak in the sink again, that these tiles will protect the floor somewhat. The tiles, with their slick finish will also be easy to clean.
It’s so nice to have a clean area under the kitchen sink. The bathroom vanities are next on the list!
This post was written by Tracy Evans who is a Certified Home Stager, Certified Redesigner and Journeyman Painter servicing the Central Illinois area. Feel free to visit her website at www.HelpAtHomeStaging.com to view her portfolio for more before and after pictures of her projects. And if you enjoy gardening, you may want to visit her gardening blog at MyUrbanGardenOasis.