Make your move

Date:1 June 2012 Tags:, ,

Q I’m remodelling our kitchen, one bathroom and the laundry room. While moving appliances around, I damaged our vinyl floors in two different places. I hid the laundry room tear by slightly repositioning the washing machine, but the damage in the kitchen is still visible. First, how can I fix the flooring? Second, how should I move appliances next time?

A Small repairs to vinyl floors are relatively easy to fix with a kit. You can buy a pro-quality kit from a flooring supplies firm for less than R100.

For future moving jobs, keep in mind that a dirty floor is a damaged floor. Dirt and grit under the foot of an appliance can increase the friction enough to rip vinyl pretty easily. So the first step in rearranging appliances is to damp-mop the floor. When it’s dry, lay down a piece of thick hardboard (often referred to as Masonite), shiny side up.

Lift or lever the appliance and lower it on to the hardboard, then gently coax the appliance forward. For really heavy machines, slip a furniture glide under the front feet once you get the appliance on to the hardboard. Slide the appliance forward and place two glides under the back feet.

Can you move an appliance using the furniture glides alone? Maybe. I once flipped a scrap of carpet upside down and moved a stove around like nobody’s business. (That method depends on the quality of the carpet. If an appliance foot punches through, it could wreck the floor.) Given that a half-sheet of hardboard costs very little, it’s inexpensive insurance.

Here’s a final point. Vinyl floors are especially prone to damage from pivoting, which causes the appliance feet to grind into the surface. So avoid that motion as much as possible.

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