The Kitchen has a New Floor!


One of the more perpetually hilarious/depressing things about looking at apartments in New York is seeing the ways that landlords try to get creative when renovating and preparing a unit for the next tenant. I recently got an email from a reader who was looking for a recommendation on where to hire a french polishing expert after she uncovered a beautiful original hardwood door in her Harlem apartment, which at some point had been covered with a piece of 70s wood paneling. When my friend moved into her apartment near me, the trim had all been painted alternating shades of fleshy pink-beige and baby-poop-brown. Of course, there was my last apartment with the pink laminate cabinets and the pink-ish laminate countertops and the pink-ish faux-marble ceramic floor, but that wasn’t so bad. At least it was all pink?

It’s cute, when you think about it. Why not just go the easy route and pick stuff that’s totally neutral? Because landlords are people, too, with creative impulses that cannot be tamed by worrying about what any other sane person might possibly want to live with. They like to experiment. They like having some room to play. It’s very adorable and very frustrating to live with the consequences.



Pretty much my single biggest gripe with my apartment has always been the kitchen floor. What a terrible piece of shit.

Let me count the ways:

1. Stupid design with the black edge and big black square in the middle. Why? Just because.

2. White ceramic in a kitchen. You guys, I’m a clean dude. But a white ceramic floor in a small kitchen is just not a great idea if you don’t want to be mopping every 4 seconds. No matter how often I cleaned this floor, it ALWAYS looked filthy.

3. Cracked and chipped tiles. Everywhere. ‘nuf said.

4. So, so uneven. Yes, the floors all over our apartment are uneven, and that’s OK. But this kitchen floor was so bad because this tiling job is so terrible that none of the tiles themselves are at all level. This means that cleaning the floor essentially amounted to all the gunk getting stuck on protruding edges of errant tiles. Pretty traumatic stuff.

5. Grout. I actually always assumed these huge grout lines were dark grey, but once I started really scrubbing some of the lines, I realized it was actually originally white. I think. EW. But there’s only SO MUCH bleach and baking soda and a toothbrush and my willpower can accomplish, so it never really cleaned up beyond a piss yellow. Which was worse than the “dark grey” (dirt), in my opinion.

I thought maybe I would just live with this tile because I otherwise love my apartment and could maybe just concede on this one thing. It could probably be worse, right?  And besides, what do you do about a tile floor? There is just no way that I’m going to demo and replace a ceramic floor in a rental apartment. As this blog has proven many times over, I’m a lunatic, but I’m not, like, completely unhinged. Give me some credit.


Then, I had an epiphany. I didn’t actually have to alter the floor in any major way to get rid of it. What Dean at My Little Apartment did in her bathroom years ago popped up in my mind (holy cow, that was back in 2007. am I the Rain Man of home blogs?), so I thought maybe I could do something similar. Rubber was the answer to my prayers (/incessant whining).

I ended up buying my rubber from a company with the catchy name of Rubber Flooring Inc. Most of the companies I found only sold this style of rubber in 4-foot wide sheets, but I was nervous about how a big seam running up the middle of my floor would look/function over time. I really just wanted one BIG sheet, like a beautiful black sea of gorgeous hospital-y rubber. Luckily, the Rubber Flooring Inc. roll is 7.5 feet by 17 feet, which is almost the exact dimensions of my kitchen.

I love you, Rubber Flooring Inc. I love you and your straightforward, no-nonsense, branding and your sale that allowed me to get free shipping and a brand new kitchen floor for $250. It’s not chump change, but after living with this floor for a year and a half and figuring I might well live with it for another 5 or 10, this seemed like my best option.


I accidentally deleted the process photos off of my camera, but here are a couple I snapped with my iPhone. The whole thing was very straightforward, I just drew up a diagram of my floor plan and where I needed to make the cuts, unrolled the whole thing in my living room, and hacked it up accordingly.

I should probably take a moment to note that this roll of rubber, which looked fairly modest in size, was very literally the heaviest thing I have ever attempted to carry in my life. I still have no idea how Max and I manhandled it up to the 5th floor, but I do recall almost breaking an arm in the process.


SHAZAM, new floor.

I love this floor. It’s so, so easy to keep clean, it feels nice underfoot, and it magically evens out the whole wonky tile business underneath. I can forget about the bad tile situation and move on with my new life. I’m very happy with it.

As per the manufacturer’s instructions, I stuck down the edges with double-sided carpet tape. For a few days, this worked great, but it soon became unstuck from the tile underneath. The rubber is heavy enough that it’s till OK, but I really want to find a solution to keep it stuck down better. I tried hot glue, which was a massive fail, and now I’m thinking maybe rubber cement? I don’t know. I don’t want to damage the tile floor, but I want this thing to sit as flat as humanly possible. This would have been a non-issue if I had had the foresight to do this BEFORE installing new cabinets and baseboards, but I didn’t, and now I must suffer the consequences.

ANYWAY. Enough about that.

Hey, look! I installed new white toe-kicks on the old wood cabinets. Doors and drawer fronts to follow, finally, if it kills me. I will have matching cabinets it it’s the last thing I do on this earth.


The DAY after I put down the new floor, I was hanging out and thrifting with my friend on the Upper West Side and we went in this little tiny very fancy looking antiques store, filled with gorgeous expensive furniture. Now, I usually don’t even go in places like this, and when I do, I immediately look at the ceiling and the floor. That’s where the bargains are. Sometimes. Maybe.

“Is this for sale?” I asked, pointing at a very dirty, perfectly beat-up oriental rug under a bunch of stuff.
“I don’t know, I guess it could be? You really don’t want that rug though, it’s filthy. We’ve just been using it in the store forever.”
“OK, so how much could it be for sale for?”
“Say $125?”
“Could you do $100?”

We took the rug outside and laid it on the sidewalk, where the owner proceeded to tell me how much I did not want to buy this ratty piece of crap rug. Assuring him I did, he assured me it wasn’t worth that much, and decided without further urging to sell it to me for $45. Then he put it in a garbage bag and I was on my way.

Like magic! I love this rug. It’s the perfect size for the space, and I love having a rug like this in the kitchen. Antique orientals aren’t too precious because they’ve already taken a lot of wear and abuse, so it’s perfect. Upper West Side. Who would have thought?


A sale’s a sale, folks. It never hurts to ask.


Mekko also seems to appreciate the transformation, which is really all that counts anyway.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 4.17.13
    ian said:

    I’ve been thinking of redoing my kitchen floor in black linoleum, currently it’s white (major pain) but this seems so much better. genius.

  2. 4.17.13
    Cristina said:

    I snagged two Italian-made mid-century wire-frame chairs for $12 on the UWS once. Well worth the bruises on my pelvis area from carrying them back to the subway and back to my house.

  3. 4.17.13
    Ruthie said:

    Looks awesome!!! I never would of thought of rubber flooring.

  4. 4.17.13
    Jordana @WhiteCabana said:

    An impressive floor…and love the ratty carpet touch. A lovely improvement to your kitchen!

  5. 4.17.13
    Emma said:

    It looks great!! I did the same thing on my bathroom floor after I saw Dean’s post from so long ago. It has held up really nicely and looks 100% better than what’s underneath, as does yours.

    • 4.19.13

      Emma, I love hearing that you tried a rubber floor and it’s still working for you! I wanna see photos… x Dean

  6. 4.17.13
    Dusa said:

    So much love! If I may ask, how do you clean it?

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      You may ask, haha! I usually just vacuum it and then use the Swiffer, and every so often I clean the higher-traffic areas (like around the sink and stove) manually with some all-purpose cleaner and towels. Sometimes I just sweep it.

  7. 4.17.13

    Love this transformation. You’re so clever. Re the rubber not staying put, could you affix some sort of 1/4 round and attach it to the baseboards so that it’s also semi-temporary, but would hold down the edges some? Possibly use a wood threshold that you affix to the door jamb to hold down the entry area? Maybe?

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      I’ve thought about doing quarter-round…I think it would work well, it just isn’t my favorite thing aesthetically with moldings like this, and I don’t really want to have to buy, cut, install, and paint it all. Just seems exhausting! I think I can find an adhesive solution that works, though. I have faith.

    • 4.30.13
      Sarah J said:

      I’m loving this idea and might steal for my bathroom floor. Have you tried those Flor-tile sticky dots? You can buy just the sticky dots and then see if you could use those as an adhesive.

  8. 4.17.13

    Terrific idea! Bet it will be warmer underfoot in the winter too.

  9. 4.17.13
    Sandy P. said:

    Looks sharp! That without a doubt is better for your feet and back. Softer.

  10. 4.17.13
    lindsay said:

    Would those heavy duty velcro strips keep the rubber in place? I Hung a really heavy mirror with those in my dorm days.

  11. 4.17.13
    Kirk said:

    Be careful what you wish for with the black floor. You say that white tile looks filthy, but wait until Linus has his way with it. All that white fur is really going to show! This is very timely though, as I just redid my rental kitchen floor last weekend. I opted for a vinyl floor, but my kitchen is much smaller than yours and ANYTHING would look better than it was. I would kill for you old floor (well, perhaps minus the black square in the middle)

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      Trust, you would not kill for my old floor! Somehow those pictures are annoyingly flattering. It was horrible.

      Linus doesn’t shed! Really, we’ve had the floor down for a while now (I’m a slow blogger sometimes) and it’s been amazing. It really never looks dirty to me, but I still clean it anyway. :)

  12. 4.17.13
    frances said:

    this blog has taken over the number one spot for your funniest one yet! love the floor, the rug on the floor, mekko on the floor and your socks…..on the floor!!!!!!!!!

  13. 4.17.13
    Holly K said:

    Could not POSSIBLY be more PERFECT–perfect solution, perfect look.

  14. 4.17.13
    Louis W said:

    Wow what a great transformation.

    Try to user rubber cement – put it on both surfaces separately and let dry, then stick them together. Surprising how well it stays down and so easy to remove.

  15. 4.17.13
    ryan said:


    I have been scouring the internet looking for temporary flooring like this for my kitchen for about 6 months, to no avail. Finally I decided I would just beg my landlord to redo the floors with black VCT, and he said ‘fine’. Then I realized how much work it was going to take to install VCT. This has saved me probably tens of hours.

    This whole post really ought to be sent out as a memo to each and every landlord. Mine in particular justified putting down impossible-to-clean, beige-and-puke-green vinyl sheet tile by claiming it looked ‘vintage’. I wanted to throttle him.

    (Just to emphasize what a game-changer this is: because most rentals have terrible kitchen floors, and because I don’t want terrible kitchen floors, apartment-hunting has always been a nightmare — this means I’ll have way more options when I apartment-hunt in the future, because I know I can always fix the inevitable flooring disaster.)

    Thanks so much Daniel!

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      No prob! Ha!

      Kitchen floors ARE always a nightmare. It’s true! I once thought about putting black VCT in a friend’s kitchen, and I know what you mean…it seems kind of completely insane if you’re going to do it right. Much easier to just cover it all up with something temporary and move on!

  16. 4.17.13
    jana said:

    Like magic is right! Absolutely genius and gorgeous.

  17. 4.17.13
    Stacy said:

    That’s amazing. As always, well done.

    The almighty Martha recommends putting silicone caulk underneath rugs on slippery floors to make them nonskid. Maybe this could help with the rubber?

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      They don’t move around or anything at all, it’s really just the two inches or so around the edge that aren’t *completely* flat. I really should have laid the rubber and THEN installed my baseboard moldings over the edges! It really just needs a better adhesive. Thank you, though!!

  18. 4.17.13
    Jean said:

    It looks great, and I am so impressed that you cut it on the living room floor. I would end up with a cut living room floor.

    I’m not so sure, though, that black kitchen walls would work with the black flooring.

    But I’m just someone on the Internet, so there you go.

  19. 4.17.13
    KCXF said:

    Quick question: How did you clean the ratty rug? I’d love some tips since I steer away from them at thrift shops because I’m intimidated by the cleaning process.

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      See my response to Ellen, below! :)

  20. 4.17.13
    KCXF said:

    PS: I LOVE the ratty rug!

  21. 4.17.13
    Martha said:

    It looks like from the link that it is vinyl, not rubber? It looks AWESOME! The first picture I thought, hmm, that might be weird, but seeing it in the kitchen it looks absolutely perfect.

  22. 4.17.13
    Ellen said:

    But how did you clean the rug? Help!

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      I shook it out vigorously on my fire escape and then I vacuumed both sides of it a couple times. I have a Dyson, and so it really picked up the remaining dirt and dust remarkably well. I still might get it professionally cleaned at some point (it’s not very expensive, I think last time I paid something like 75 cents per square foot?), but for now it’s fine!

    • 5.1.13
      Sarah said:

      I’m curious about what model Dyson you have. Like your apt, I’m with mostly hardwood floors, plus a few rugs and a very hairy kitty. Never seemed worth it to get a vacuum just for the rugs I could beat clean(-ish) – do you find it useful on the other floors at all?

    • 5.4.13
      Daniel said:

      I have a Dyson DC24 vacuum. It’s really powerful and amazing, I don’t know what I’d do without a vacuum! I use it for the rugs (though beating is better for the rugs, we have limited access to outdoor space and it’s much easier to just vacuum them…), the floors, the baseboards, the couch, the headboard…I vacuum everything! I usually like to vacuum before I do any wet-mopping on any of the floor surfaces, since it seems more efficient to pick up what dirt and hair and dust I can before getting them all wet.

  23. 4.17.13
    Kate said:

    Maybe industrial Velcro would work? It’s super duper strong!

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      I think it probably would, but I think you would probably see the bump where the velcro is because the rubber isn’t super thick. I really think it needs to be more like a glue or tape thing to look OK from above!

  24. 4.17.13
    Karolina said:

    It absolutely KILLS me that I can’t give Mekko a big cuddle. Those eyes!
    Love the floor, it reminds me of your friend Anna’s black bathroom tiles…

  25. 4.17.13
    Lyda said:

    Hey! I was thinking that maybe you should just call the manufacturers, rubber floors. They know their product best and might have some good alternative ideas/options for what you could use to keep it flat. :/ :)

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      That’s true, it might be worth it! This product really isn’t intended to go over ceramic tile, though, so I still might need to come up with my own solution.

  26. 4.17.13
    Heather said:

    You are just KILLING me lately with this kitchen reno. So amazing! The floor is genius, and the whole room is looking so much better. I wish my own kitchen looked so good (and we’re homeowners, not renters). :)

  27. 4.17.13

    I would not have expected to like this, but it looks great. Kudos to you for going with something different.

  28. 4.17.13
    CindyE said:

    Wow – great idea! This really works for your kitchen and looks so much better than the white tile with the big black square. And, I always love a rug like that in the kitchen – I have been on a hunt for an old large runner of the same type for my kitchen – had one a long time ago and (now regret) sold it dirt cheap. I have seen a huge return of the natural woods in design. The wood cabinets rather warm the space I think. Maybe you could just tweak them a bit.

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      Oh, these are the last of the “original” (aka, circa 1997) cabinet doors/drawer fronts in the kitchen—everything else is white. They’re really, really not nice in person and not worth saving, I promise. It’ll look wayyyyy better when everything matches. :)

      There’s also wood in the butcherblock counters, which is much, much nicer!

  29. 4.17.13
    Lila said:

    You want something like this
    it sprays on and bonds the vinyl to existing flooring (you might want to check it will work with tiles seeing they don’t give the adhesive a lot to grip to).

    I’m not positive you can get dunlop in the US but surely there’s something similar about you usually have a much wider range of product than we do in Aus.

    • 4.17.13
      Daniel said:

      ooooOOOOooOOooooohhhh. Thank you, Lila!!

    • 4.19.13
      Lila said:

      If you can’t get it there and get stuck let me know and I’ll see if I can post you some.

    • 4.19.13
      Daniel said:

      Thank you! That’s very kind. :)

  30. 4.17.13
    Colin said:


  31. 4.17.13
    Val said:

    FYI: Steam does an amazing number on dirty grout. Before punishing yourself with endless scrubbing, please borrow a small steamer (if you don’t have one already), and give it a 5-10 minute try.

  32. 4.17.13
    joyo said:

    ahhhhhh. you must have felt like you could finally breathe when the rubber flooring went down. i freaking love it. well done. brilliant.

    also, i love your blog. your posts are a highlight of the day for me.

  33. 4.18.13
    Gigi said:

    I’m SO impressed! I saw the initial roll of black plastic, and was like, OH NO this will be the first time ever that something hideous happens on this blog…but it’s gorgeous! Really lovely.

  34. 4.18.13
    Andrea said:

    Hooray, how exciting! mazel tov on the new floor! great idea — very practical.

    Have you slowed your blog pace of late? I know you’re a student and live in an exciting city and have a life and all that, but I admit to a bit of impatience, waiting to see the next thing you’ll share. Please take it as a compliment; I’ll keep reading, slower or not. Very much enjoy your thoughts, and seeing how your apartment/s take shape. (longtime reader, first-time commenter)

    • 4.18.13
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Andrea!

      I haven’t intentionally slowed my pace, no. I want to be blogging more, but things have just been VERY busy lately and I just haven’t had as much time to dedicate to doing projects/taking photos/editing photos/writing. All of it takes a LOT of time, even if it doesn’t seem like it should. I wanted to post about this floor last week, but things were just too hectic! I’m trying to be more stable in my posting, though, I really am. The last month or so has just been kind of rough and intense. :/

    • 4.19.13
      Carls said:

      Roughness and intensity and time dedicated to blogging appreciated… xo. I’m loving all your posts so consider your audience supportive and pleased.

  35. 4.18.13
    Monica said:

    The new floor is gorgeous, whatever. But that picture of Mekko! OMG! OMG! OMG!

  36. 4.18.13
    Elsie said:

    Really impressive! Love the (real)rubber floor and rug/combo.
    The rubber should even out over time, except the edges, of course, but some anchoring will fix that. Less broken dishes, easy on feet and doggies. These floors look better with age, less shiny, more industrial (think European 1970’s metros and lofts!)
    Your ratty rug looks like a real antique Persian, even the blues are still bright! I have several, some rattier, some in better condition. You can wash it in a cool bathtub with brush,no detergent,air dry flat in shade. (I leave mine out in rainstorms and snow, just like they were meant to be in the “wild” and they seem to love it. (If you want,iron on a patch on the bottom of the holes or hemstitch around them to keep them from getting bigger, and around edges to prevent further fraying, and you’ve got another twenty years of use,easy. Congratulations!

  37. 4.18.13
    Jack said:

    How about giant thumbtacks to hold the new floor down? Like dinner plate size?

  38. 4.18.13
    Diana said:

    The floor looks great! But more importantly, where did you get such cheerful dish towels?

    • 4.18.13
      Daniel said:

      The one in the “after” picture is from the Marimekko outlet in Finland and the one you can just see in the before picture is from somewhere in Sweden, I don’t remember! I know…not helpful. :)

  39. 4.18.13
    Ann said:

    The floor looks GREAT!!
    I have been thinking about their tiles for our kitchen (I’m worried about the seam and getting it to stay in place if we use a roll) and they have been awesome about sending samples- great customer service. Please let us know if you find a way to get it to stay down, the roll looks easier to install and cut then the tiles-cheaper too.

  40. 4.18.13
    Alexis said:

    That looks fantastic! Love the contrast of the carpet and the black!

    What about silicone adhesive that you apply with a caulk gun? Roll up the flooring to the edge of the room, run a line of silicone on the tile and roll the flooring over to cover and smooth out, run another line of adhesive and then roll a little more over. When it’s time to take up the floor, you can break the seal with a putty knife and the silicone should come right off the tile. You can always test some on a piece of tile before you do the whole floor but I’ve used silicone adhesive on painted walls and it comes off completely.

    • 4.18.13
      Daniel said:

      That’s a good idea, too! Thanks!

  41. 4.18.13
    jbhat said:

    It’s like giant black penny tile! It looks awesome and you are a genius. Good luck with the glue issue–you’ll figure it out.


  42. 4.18.13
    Michelle said:

    I’ve loved this rubber dot flooring forever and day and am so excited to learn there is a way non-trades people can buy it. It looks great!

  43. 4.18.13
    Jack said:

    Must feel so good walking on that thing. Just like a massage.

  44. 4.18.13
    Polly said:

    Daniel, You could take this rug with you back to Max’s family’s the next time you visit and wash it outside with a hose and woolite and a broom. Let it dry thoroughly completely flat and it should be clean, clean, clean.

    • 4.18.13
      Daniel said:

      Yep! That’s more or less the plan. :)

  45. 4.18.13
    Attygreen13 said:

    I have that exact black rubber flooring in my laundry room. It was a quick fix to cover some builder-beige ugly ceramic tile and, yep, white grout that no longer resembles any form of that color. It has become my fav floor in the house! Cleans easily, feels great on bare feet, and always looks awesome (we have a big white fluff ball of a dog who DOES shed). About to build a modern house of our own and rubber flooring is on my ‘want’ list! ;) great job!

  46. 4.18.13
    Jill said:

    Looks awesome, dude! Rubber flooring rules. How was it to cut and work with??

    I’ve been thinking about rubber flooring for the (nasty / insane / super uneven) basement floor for a couple years now, but am a little concerned about breathability since concrete can have problems. But now that you’ve introduced me to the magic of Rubber Flooring Inc, I may have to spring for it. This product looks amazing, maybe just right for my period renovation:

    • 4.19.13
      Daniel said:

      It was really easy to cut (I just used a utility knife), although I found it harder to cut perfectly straight lines. It’s easier if you can be a little forgiving a out your edges…I was able to tuck some of my edges under the baseboards but some I couldn’t, and they could look better. That said, if I can get them to stick to the floor, it’s nothing a bead of black caulk shouldn’t be able to fix.

  47. 4.18.13
    Kristy said:

    omg Daniel…”the Rain Man of home blogs,” hahaha peeing my pants, you’re the best. I also think you’ve solved my “how to floor my uneven, bag of crap, 1920s concrete basement without using carpet” dilemma of 2012-present. Thank you!

  48. 4.19.13
    caitlin said:

    Liquid nails? That shit holds anything in place.

    • 4.19.13
      Daniel said:

      I’ve thought about that, but I think that’s TOO strong and wouldn’t come off of the tiles if/when I remove the floor. I think this is one of those things that really does need to be reversible.

  49. 4.19.13
    Michelle said:

    Looks so much better. I like how you took it up the side board as well gives it a nice edge. Im renovating my kitchen at the moment and it has original jarrah timber floorboards but when we remove a wall we are going to end up with a big hole in those lovely boards … will have to think of ways to fill it. But a big black square feature tile in the centre will not be an option! Nice work :)

    • 4.19.13
      Daniel said:

      Do you think you can just patch in new or salvaged boards to match? If you stagger the planks, I’ve seen this kind of thing done and it can look great!

    • 5.7.13
      Michelle said:

      Just wanted to tell you some exciting news when we knocked out our pantry the shelves were made from the floor boards, how cool is that so yes we can definately patch the floor now which is going to look great :)

  50. 4.19.13
    Rachel said:

    What a clever idea! I love how it turned out, and I will be remembering this for the future apartments that I have.

  51. 4.19.13
    Lena said:

    Now you have to really finish the kitchen (I am looking at you, lonely wood cabinets) and do a proper before/after! I can’t believe how much you improved the kitchen, from the window (I think thats my favourite detail) to the newly added cabinets, floor ect.

    • 4.19.13
      Daniel said:

      I know! Soon! It’s coming!

  52. 4.19.13
    mariane said:

    As always good job. You are so going to change your countertop!! Cute socks!

  53. 4.19.13
    Linda said:

    Daniel, First time poster, long time reader.
    You have done a truly amazing job with your apartment projects. Inspired me to finally do some things to my own. Your instructions and photos are perfect for DIYs.
    Look forward to every post.
    PS LOVE the painting over the living room radiator. Street shopping and thrift stores are the best.

  54. 4.19.13
    jenn said:

    you’re crazy but you’re also amazing.
    i’m so jealous of your flooring now!
    i have a billion year old hardwood floor that moves when you walk on it and billion year old dust flies out of the cracks oh and my cat likes to push all his food into the larger cracks which thankfully blocks the cold air from seeping in during the winter.
    so yeah, jealous. :(

  55. 4.19.13
    Christa said:

    I was just in Ikea today and they have these rubber floors in gray in parts of the store. I knew I had seen them somewhere! Great solution for your wonky tiles.

  56. 4.19.13
    Amanda said:

    I could totally see something like this working in our little entry way. I’m not sure why but for some reason the previous tenants in our apartment made a lovely design in electrical tape… Yeah… They might come back so I can’t pull it up and see what’s underneath (the joys of sort of kind of subletting…) but I’d love to cover it up.

  57. 4.19.13
    CPJC said:

    Genius. Amazing. What everyone else has said. I concur.

  58. 4.19.13
    Lewis said:

    Amazing! Love the new floor!

    That rug…is hideous. I would love to see it supersaturated with a really bright dye. But I’m a terrible person. I love that you love the rug, though. What a happy story.

  59. 4.19.13

    I am SO HAPPY that you did this! Seriously, that was like, my favorite DIY ever, even though it was pretty small-scale. I’ve encouraged a handful of curious readers to try it, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone do it. So glad it was you showing it off, obvs ;) Wish I could give you a solution for the corners, but the rubber I used was thicker and heavier, so it didn’t move at all. HIGH FIVE! xo

  60. 4.20.13
    Sandy said:

    Love the floor, Daniel – looks totally designer and high spec. And just think, if you move the landlord gets his dirty “white” tiles back!

    As for your musings on why landlords would decorate with ugly, mismatched pink finishes in high traffic areas like kitchens and bathrooms, your feeling that it was “creativity” is, in my view, WAY too kind. In my experience, ugly and mismatched generally means it was super, super cheap because no one who was actually going to have to live with them would buy them!

    I love your practical response to the mistakes of others that you have to live with. The end result here is very practical and stylish – an inspiration to all tenants!

  61. 4.20.13
    Elsie said:

    BARGE CEMENT! You could use this extra strong rubber cement used by cobblers to bond leather and rubber, cork and metal. Should work for tile. You can remove it just like rubber cement.
    Use a rubber mallet and weights to get a tight grip. Comes in many sizes. Experiment first. Use on clean surfaces only, no grease,dirt. Good Luck!

  62. 4.20.13
    Louise said:

    Your floor reminds me of giant black Legos – love it

  63. 4.21.13
    Heather said:

    WARNING! Just so you know in the heat of the summer that type of rubber may ripple with expansion. I tried yo read through the comments to see if anyone else mentioned it but got bored.

    I work in the restaurant industry and this type of flooring is sometimes used behind bars and such, but in the summer sometimes it ripples and sags a bit. I would wait to make it super attached until you have seen it in the hot humid summer.

    I also can’t wait for you to fix those damn cabinets, everything else looks sooooo goood!!

    Love you blog and your banter

    • 4.21.13
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Heather. That’s really smart. Considering the pace at which I seem to complete things, waiting until during/after summer shouldn’t be a problem. I’m glad I now have a good excuse! :)

  64. 4.21.13
    Stephanie said:

    If your double stick carpet tape or whatever it was didn’t work, it sounds like you may have had a residue to make it adhere properly. Any residue from cleaners, dirt, etc will make it not stick.

    But I love it, looks so much better than the ratty tile.

  65. 4.22.13
    Molly said:

    Wow! Thanks for this post, I’ve been mulling over a similar idea for a while. This solution looks great.

  66. 4.22.13
    JEN RAMOS said:

    LOVE it!!! such a great idea for a floor…love that you added the runner as well. :)

  67. 4.22.13
    Mary Lou said:

    Someone already suggested silicon caulk around the edge and that’s what I think would work. They use it to install glass panels and it will hold anything. And you can scrape it off. Another alternative is sugru, a cold curing silicon putty. It will stick to anything but can be scraped off. (

    Love your blog.

    • 4.23.13
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Mary Lou! I’ve been curious about that sugru stuff. It seems really strong!

  68. 4.23.13
    laxtoyvr said:

    Love the new floor. Genius idea! Just wondering if the rubber floor has an odour? I have a sensitivity to chemical scents so I would love to know if I can pull this off in my own kitchen.

    • 4.23.13
      Daniel said:

      I did notice a rubber-y scent (I don’t know how else to describe it) when I first unpacked and unrolled it, but that’s since dissipated completely, as far as I can tell. I have a pretty sensitive nose, too, but I actually kind of liked the smell, haha.

  69. 4.27.13
    Beth said:


    There are actually a few kinds of carpet tape. The kind that looks like tape will not stick. If you get this kind:
    it will definitely stick. But then good luck getting the adhesive off the tile. Though I bet there’s some kind of nasty solvent that will get it up, and I doubt you can ruin ceramic tile with adhesive.

  70. 4.27.13
    Jenn said:


    and I just adore Mekko’s freckles. !!!!

  71. 4.29.13
    Emily said:

    I think your landlord and mine have similar aesthetics – then white now beige tile, then white now grey-brown grout, general disgustingness after 20+ years of use. I love your solution! Probably going to order some for my place straight away! I never thought I’d be able to fix this nasty tile problem, but hurray, there is a far-less-ugly end in sight for my poor kitchen!

    I love the blog, by the way. Spent last Sunday reading through your entire archives and it was so inspirational! As a renter of a tiny tiny apartment in SF, it was awesome to see how beautiful you make your spaces with very little cash, but a lot of love. And your dogs are adorable.

  72. 5.1.13
    Krysta said:

    I can’t even! This looks so fantastic! I am a new homeowner, but we won’t be getting to reno the totally terrible kitchen for a little while now. This looks like the perfect solution for a temporary fix to our awful floors until we are ready to take on the larger project!

  73. 5.1.13
    dede said:

    hi daniel, love the floor. as an assemblage artist, i use clear silicone caulk (for bathtubs) to adhere anything to anything else and it works a treat! and you don’t need a lot. a schmear along the edge and then weight it down over night. cheers!

  74. 5.21.13
    Paige said:

    Now, I didn’t wade through all the comments above to figure out if someone had already told you this, but fading of oriental rugs is actually totally normal and happens even if they’re untouched in a dark room; and they fade unevenly because of different threads and dye lots. A woman I know just found out her rug she’d had for about a decade was actually from the 1880s and was worth between $6,000 and $8,000! So, even though your rug is a little choppy on one end, you never know! Could be worth way more than $45. Although I’m often blindly optimistic. :)

  75. 5.30.13
    Kate said:

    If the flooring adhesive situation is still not resolved, you can try Elastilon like the folks at YHL just did:

    Congrats on the engagement, you crazy kids!

  76. 6.19.13
    M.K. said:

    I have brown rubber flooring on my kitchen floor and its nice, neutral, and pretty easy to clean. It’s like having a massage on your feet when you walk across it. I have been thinking of placing a rug on it just like yours. Thanks for the inspiration.

  77. 7.3.13
    Liam said:

    Thanks for the tip! I ordered some samples, as I think this will be perfect for my bathroom! I let them know that I found about them from this post, too, so hopefully that works in your favor somehow. :)

  78. 4.4.14
    Helen Corlew said:

    Was there any odor when you first put down the rubber flooring? Most rubber flooring products emit an odor and since this was placed inside the house and kitchen what did you notice?

    • 4.4.14
      Daniel said:

      I’d say it did have a slight odor at the beginning, but it didn’t bother me! I don’t think it has any odor anymore.

  79. 2.20.21
    Gina said:

    Parts of your article were absolutely hilarious! I love you redo on the floor. Thank you for making me smile!