Tuesday, February 7, 2012

...and in with the new!

After what felt like the longest 3 days ever, our new tile floor is finally complete!  Scratch that...the final days of my pregnancy still hold the record for the most excruciatingly slow time passage ever - but this came in a distant second. 

There were a few steps we had to take to complete the new floor stage of our kitchen remodel.  First, the old pergo floors had to come up and then we ripped out a layer of laminate and luan.

That revealed another layer of laminate but because it was solid - ugly, but solid - we didn't need to tear that out. Instead, cement board was laid directly on top.

Our under floor heating mat was installed on top of the cement board.  As the rep at the tile shop promised, it was an easy process.  The mat was laid on top of a layer of thinset.  We let that dry for a day before another layer of thinset and then tile went directly over the mat.  I should add that the heating mat also came with a sensor that we kept attached to the wiring during the entire installation and tiling process.  The sensor would emit a loud "beep" if the wiring was ever compromised.  Luckily, we never heard the dreaded "beep".  How devastating would it be to spend all that money on a heating mat and tile only to discover that a wire had been torn and impossible to fix without tearing out newly laid tile?  In short, the sensor inventor is awesome.  I didn't snap a pic of the mat after it was stuck down to the cement board as I was too busy keeping anyone and anything out of the kitchen that might damage its delicate wires but below is a pre-thinset shot.  The mats come in many different sizes but because base cabinets will cover the wall to the right and more cabinets and a bench will eventually line the wall to the left, we opted for the 10x7 mat and not a larger one.  That would just be extra money to heat the floors under our cabinetry and we chose cabinetry that prefers the feel of cold floors.  Also, the final placement of the mat was further left than the picture below depicts.  You might be able to see markings on the floor at the bottom left of the picture that indicate where the corner of the mat eventually sat. (Click to zoom...)

The tile was laid and allowed to set for two whole days before grouting.

While it’s a relief to be done with this major step in our kitchen remodel, I’m still not able to fully enjoy the new floors because I’m blinded by the nasty walls and the orangey-toned trim.  Our new appliances are scheduled for delivery this Friday (eeeek!) so we’ll get crackin’ on installing our cabinets this week.  It might be overly ambitious but I think we should be able to put in a few hours each night after work and get most of the cabinets in by Friday.  We’re ok with finishing the cabinet-install next weekend but we’d like to have the majority of it done before Friday so we aren’t working around the new appliances.

I love you and I don't even know you...
 My fingers and toes are crossed that our cabinet install goes smoothly and we don't have much to report but I'll still try to document whatever I can!


  1. Yep, the tile hasn't achieved its full glory with those yucky walls and trim around it, but it still looks gorgeous and will just look all the better once the cabinets and paint are done. Love the large format, and I envy you the heated floor mat underneath (we'll do the same too if we ever lay another tile floor!).

  2. Thanks, Petra! The tiles are 20x20 so, in my opinion, look a lot nicer than standard 12x12 tiles. We're excited to try out our heated floors but the instructions suggest waiting a week to let all of the thinset and tiling cure. We can't wait!
    As for the walls, the new cabinetry will hide a lot of the ugliness but we have to wait a few more weeks to install the backsplash and officially cover it up since that all needs to happen after the counters are installed.
    We will also be painting the trim white but might hold off on painting the windows as we plan on replacing those in the spring anyways. :)


We would love to hear from you!