Wanna Meet My 1894 Kitchen Floor?

When I purchased the Cross House there was a 1970s vinyl floor in the kitchen. I pulled that up only to discover a 1950s linoleum floor. I pulled that up to discover…an astonishing 1930s floor. It looked like something Fred Flintstone would have in his kitchen.

This 1930s linoleum was totally fabulous, and while in good-ish condition it could not really be used. My plan was to remove it in strips, and then use these for counters in the basement. Last summer I managed to get one strip removed. I laid it in the hot sun on the driveway, where it became quite soft. Then, I was able to roll it up and store it in the basement.



Yesterday, I removed another strip. But it is too cold to roll it up; it will just crack and fall apart. So, I carefully laid it down in the dining room. I am guessing it will remain there until summer. Sigh. The things I do for old linoleum!



In removing the linoleum, its black felt backing mostly stuck to the 1894 yellow pine floor. Today I thought: what if I wet the black stuff? Would it come off easily? The answer? YES!



It is amazing to me that this wood has not been tread on since the 1930s. It looks it great shape although I know some areas will not be. Against the south wall it was eaten by termites and we removed a thin strip in 2014. The kitchen sink cabinet will cover this though.


The flooring was originally contiguous into the servant’s hall, which I will use as a breakfast room. Sadly, the previous owner removed all this due to termite damage, and I am crossing my fingers that the 1894 yellow pine can be matched.

I am hopeful that my kitchen floor can be restored. And I think it is going to be stunning.

It will just take some patience. Not one of my virtues.





  1. Frank M on November 22, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Good grief Ross! You’re living my dream! The only difference between you and me is you had the gumption to buy the house, and do what was necessary. Oh yes, and you’re 20 years younger than I am. After pulling up the first strip of linoleum, I would have had to rest for a while…..like 6 months. 🙂 Love the on-going story of the Cross house. You may be in a different country but we share states of mind.

  2. Jason J on November 22, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Careful, some of that old Linoleum and the adhesive used asbestos…as pretty much everything else did in those days…I have been really lucky and haven’t encountered but a few pieces. Under the carpet in my tiny bathroom there was 12×12 tiles and the kitchen had a counter covered in 1970’s linoleum with asbestos. It was to little for me to care about hiring a professional..

  3. Brendan on November 23, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I don’t think there is any better choice for a kitchen floor than wood. There is something just so homey about it. And like everything else at the Cross house, your end results will be superb! You now have me intrigued, I will have to look back and see if you have any previous postings (with pictures!) on the kitchen.

  4. Barb Sanford on November 23, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Love that linoleum. It looks like the kitchen floor that my grandparents put in every house they owned. But I agree with Brendan — there’s nothing more beautiful in a kitchen than a wood floor. Yours will be lovely when you’re done restoring it.

  5. christina wagner on November 24, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Dear Ross and House
    Wishing you a healthy and wealthy Thanksgiving.

    • Ross on November 24, 2016 at 8:08 am

      I am not too sure about the healthy (pumpkin pie! With whipped cream!) but would dearly love it to be wealthy!

  6. Pam L on June 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    There is a company called Black Dog Salvage Address: 902 13th St SW, Roanoke, VA 24016
    Hours: Open today · 9AM–5PM
    Phone: (540) 343-6200 they go and salvage alot of old home interiors and exteriors maybe they could help you match the floor.

  7. Amy Z. on November 2, 2020 at 8:57 am
  8. Laurie L Weber on January 30, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    Hi – I can’t believe you just wrote you have not patience. Are you kidding me??? You must have the patience of a saint to do what you are doing all these years. 🙂

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