An Ethical Dilemma

This is actually a really awesome deal that I’m reading way too much into, I’m sure.  So here it is:


My mom, who is retired and has WAY too much time on her hands, is coming out for an extended visit sometime in the next month.  Her two favorite hobbies are home renovations and bargain shopping, so she’s offered to find a really good deal on the ceramic tile I want for my kitchen and help me install it while she’s here.  Awesome, right? 


Well, here’s the catch: I have perfectly useful, 6-year old vinyl flooring in there already that would probably last until the kids are on their way to college.  The whole reason I wanted new flooring is because the vinyl is UGLY.  It’s white, which means every little crumb shows up on it (and subsequently, it looks dirty all the time), and frankly, I didn’t buy a house so I could have flooring that is uglier than what I had in my old California apartment.  It’s part of the American dream, right?


All of a sudden, however, my conscience is nagging me to reconsider.  Ripping out the nasty vinyl means it has to languish in a landfill for the next few millenia, because what use is there for used vinyl flooring?  I’m wondering if there is some way to recycle it that I’m not aware of, because that would assuage some of the guilt I’m having.  Is there some creative use for it that I haven’t thought of?  If anyone has some good ideas, PLEASE pass them along, because I really want my new tile!


4 responses to “An Ethical Dilemma

  1. Make prints out of them! 🙂 You can carve out designs from the backs (make sure to do it in reverse), to create stamps. Inking them with a roller works best.

    Or, you can put it out on freecycle to see if anyone already involved printing wants it for that purpose.

    Also, some flooring companies have a process to send out old vinyl flooring recycling. You can check with companies in your area.

    Ceramic tile sounds wonderful! Hope you find a good solution. It’s a great thought.

    Michele 🙂

  2. Wow, those are some great ideas! I think I will try to recycle it first, since we live in an area that’s a hub for many flooring companies, and if that doesn’t work I may try Freecycle. I’m not very crafty, but if the other options don’t work, I think I will try that option, because I really want that tile! 🙂

  3. Hmm.. You won’t like my answer, but if I were you, I wouldn’t even bother. My mom didn’t make any home improvements until she got her monthly house payment to a reasonable level. Don’t do it until you comfortable can. Its a nice to have, not a must have. Save your money for when you really need it.

  4. My mom has offered to pay for EVERYTHING — she’s buying the materials and we’re going to put it down together. But you’re totally right — if the money were coming out of my pocket, I wouldn’t even be considering this! We’ve made no improvements to our house in our 3 1/2 years here, except for what other people have done for us (my mom did D’s room, a friend did S’s room). I’m way too much of a cheapskate!

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