I have a little update on the hallway flooring project.
Being on a budget, we chose what we felt was the best looking flooring option that was also the least expensive. And that turned out to be these wood-"like" self-adhesive vinyl strips.
The first thing we had to do was scrape anything loose off the cement floor. The paint you see on the cement floor was not coming up, but I vacuumed and swept like crazy. In the laundry I had to pull up the old vinyl flooring, which left dry and flaky debris that I successfully cleaned with a scraper.
Then, we had to patch the holes made from pulling up the carpet strips. Once the cement patch dried we had to sand it down as level as possible.
Then, we had to prime the cement with latex floor primer. I can't remember the name of that product (really helpful, aren't I?) but if you go to Lowe's or any such home improvement store it's located by the vinyl tiles. If you can't find it on your own, definitely ask for it. It's a very important step if you want your tiles to stay put. It's a clear liquid that you mix with water, probably in a 1:1 ratio (but don't quote me on that) and you roll it on with a paint roller and let it dry as directed on the container.
Of course, we had to leave our mark.
I realized kind of late that we didn't stagger the planks as we were supposed to, so on every other row, the seams line up with each other. You might be able to see what I'm talking about in the above photo. It kind of looks like we did it on purpose, so I'm fine with it. We'll just keep that between us, though. =)
UPDATE: My sister left a comment with a tip from her builder husband that others might find helpful. "What you do is start at one side and go the whole way down then the piece you cut out at the end is what you start with back at the beginning."
The floor actually looks really good for vinyl tiles. It has a nice texture, and you can't even tell it's faux unless you get down on your hands and knees. Of course, it doesn't feel like a wood floor, but that's okay. That's what runners are for. =)
This is what it currently looks like. We placed stacks of books (and concrete cats) to make sure the seams stay down at the edge of each plank, as they have a tendency to pop up ever so slightly. Meaning, someone could shuffle along the floor and get their sock caught in it if they are not careful. It is recommended to use a 100 lb roller after the floor is placed, but we did not have one of those, and didn't want to rent one.
Now we just need to install some thresholds to the kitchen and in all the doorways. Some of the doorways go to carpeting, and some go to another tile floor, so we will need two different types of thresholds. Once we get the quarter round in it will look even better than it already does. The tiles already make the hallway look much bigger.
I am very happy with it. I love it, in fact, and I wish I had done it a long time ago. Which reminds me...every time we finish a project in this condo and I say that I wish I had done that a long time ago, Jason looks at me and deadpans, "I wish you had, too." Meaning, he wishes I'd done it before we met. ha! I've been working him hard fixing this place up.