Monday, January 23, 2012

demo ends!

The demo is complete!  Well, we still have to finish tearing up the old floor but doesn't seem like it will be much of a problem.  There are a few layers of flooring (pergo, laminate, etc.) but it all has been peeling off just as easily as our old wallpaper did.  Phew!  I’ve heard horror stories about having a horrible time trying to rip up old floors or uncovering significant damage so I am so relieved that this step has gone smoothly for us.

(in progress photos...)

We had gone back and forth on flooring options about 27 times.  At first, we wanted cork.  Unfortunately, cork flooring doesn’t offer many color choices.  We wanted something dark gray/slate in color and we weren’t able to find that in cork – at least not any local, affordable options.  Then we discussed tile.  Tile has countless color options but often has a fairly high price tag as well.  When looking at tile, the one thing I knew I didn’t want was a standard 12x12.  For some reason, that looks cheap and 80’s to me.  All of the non-12x12 tile I found that I liked was well over $4 a square foot.  That might not seem like a lot but when you are working on a tight budget, paying over $1,000 on a floor is a tough pill to swallow.  Then we explored the wood option.  The rest of our house has wood floors so it would have to flow with that.  It would be pretty difficult to match the color of the wood floors in the rest of the house so I would at least want to match the board width – that way it would all match and we could make the kitchen floors a contrasting color to look intentional as opposed to glaringly obvious that we installed those wood floors separately.  Because the flooring in the rest of our house is a narrow 2 ¼ inch board, it somewhat limited our options.  We almost pulled the trigger on dark, almost black, oak floors but thankfully second guessed ourselves and found a better option that we both love. 

We were actually headed out to run a few errands and order our wood floors when we decided to check out a tile shop that my brother had recommended.  Right when we walked in, we heard one of the sales reps talking to another couple about a 20x20 inch gray tile and it’s exceptional quality.  Then I heard him say “$2.99 a square foot”.  I gave Joe the “cha-ching!” look and darted over to see the tile that they were discussing.  It was amazingly perfect.  It is mostly gray but has some subtle beige/ivory veining.  We immediately nixed all other flooring options and decided to go with this tile.  I should also point out that I’ve visited several flooring shops over the past couple months and 99% of the people I have dealt with were total jerks.  Perhaps all of the other places that I visited were used to dealing with contractors and a chick that is DIYing a 200 sq ft kitchen isn’t worth their time but I don’t think that excuses their jerkyness.  I don’t know the laws about internet bashing so I will refrain from listing those stores here but I will say that everyone that helped us at Best Tile was beyond informative, friendly, not-pushy and didn’t make us feel stupid for asking lots of questions.  They were such a breath of fresh air after our other experiences!

(colors are coming across slightly off on my computer but here's our choice...)

Anywho, now that we decided on tile as opposed to wood, we also resurrected the idea of installing an under-floor heating system.  Long story short, we voted “yes” on that option and the heating unit should be delivered within the next week.  I obviously don’t have every installation detail yet but the fella at the tile shop promised that it is installed in three easy steps:  1.  Trowel thinset on subfloor 2. Roll heating mat onto thinset and 3. Trowel thinset over mat and install tile as usual.  We even found out that many people use these under-floor heating systems in lieu of baseboards as a heat source.  While we aren’t planning on getting rid of our baseboards in the kitchen, it’s nice to know that it’s an option and that this will heat more than just the floors.  (For more info, here is the type we purchased:

I plan on spending lots of time on my warm, cozy, kitchen floor like this lady...

And lounge around in spandex while enjoying my warm, cozy floor wayyyy too much like this chick...

In addition to deciding on flooring and ordering our under-floor heating system, we also tore out the rest of our cabinets, painted the ceiling, and installed new recessed lighting trim over the weekend.  The old trim was beige, looked dingy, and didn’t “go” with our soon-to-be white kitchen.  The ceiling had previously been painted after the cabinets were installed so the ceiling was brown in the areas where we tore down the uppers.  It took a few coats of stain-blocking ceiling primer and paint but the finished result looks so clean and crisp!  I also ordered two pendant lights – one for over the sink and the other to replace the light that is currently dangling in front of the windows on the opposite wall.  Pendants were ordered from (she’s also in Etsy:

Progress feels so good!  (On the other hand, washing dishes in our bathroom sink blows.)

Next steps:
·         Finish removing old floor
·         Lay under floor heating
·         Lay new tile
·         Install new cabinets
·         Install new appliances
·         Measure for and install new counters
·         Finishing touches – paint, backspash, etc.

We hope to be done by the end of February but that all hinges on how soon we can get all of our flooring supplies delivered and then how quickly the countertop-people can come template, order, and install the counters.

I think it’s also important to note that nobody has been physically or emotionally harmed in the renovation process – yet.  Joe and I have refrained from yelling at each other, throwing power tools, or wishing death upon each other.  In fact, it’s actually been a fun process so far – and I reallllly hope I didn’t jinx myself by writing that.  I figured I would have jinxed myself by thinking it and then purposely not writing it so by writing it, I un-jinxed myself.  Get it?


  1. Wahoo! It's starting. Just remember, it's all worth it in the end. It might seem like a pain (and it is) but a pretty kitchen is on the way. :)

  2. Definitely! It hasn't been as bad as I thought - living without a functioning kitchen - but it's such an eye sore right now! By this time next week, it should be almost complete (errr, with the exception of the countertops)!


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