March 29, 2011

Oh cracked floor no more...

Almost three years ago, we negotiated ourselves out of a fixed kitchen floor to save some money on our new home... The previous (then current) homeowners had offered to fix the one broken ceramic tile in front of the sink in the kitchen if we accepted a certain price. Well, we do not accept that price and convinced ourselves that the broken tile could be covered with an area rug. Well, it turns out that more tiles were just waiting to break on us...

You see, the homeowners had this idea to cut-out a rectangular section in the center of the beautiful hardwood floor that covered their kitchen, and in it's place, lay some peachy and quite ugly ceramic tile. Seeing as the hardwood floor was about 3/4" thick, but the new tile was only about 1/4" thick, they built-up the sub floor with a sheet of plywood. What we have now figured out is that, that sheet of plywood was not properly secured to the sub floor, therefore allowing too much movement and give, and causing almost every single tile to eventually crack. To make matters worse, the tiling job was not well done either. The tiles were actually removed quite easily... (Mike Holmes would have been so furious!)

My F-in-L (father-in-law) Tim came to stay for a week with the most important goal of changing our broken and quite dangerous kitchen floor for a new laminate floating floor.

The Befores and Afters

BEFORE
Here are some before shots, taken Sunday afternoon:
DURING
Here are some post-demolition and pre-instillation shots taken Sunday evening:
(That's my husband workin' hard!)


AFTER
And here is what I came home to after work on Monday:

What a difference! And oh! does it feel good to walk on! No bumps, no broken tiles, no chunks of grout coming out here and there, no impossible-sweeping-cause-everything-gets-stuck-in-all-the-cracks... Joy oh joy! This makes me happy!

What is next on my kitchen to-do list (cause you know THE list never ends)?

We are currently hunting down some second-hand white appliances (stove and refrigerator) to replace the old almond colored ones that came with the house.

I have also found quite a bargain through Overstock.com on new cabinet hardware for a steal of a deal (the entire kitchen, 32 doors, for $60).

And of course I wish the backsplash tile would just go away...
Isn't it awful? But we are holding-off on that for now. I may decide to whip-out a sledge hammer and demolish the backsplash and paint it a nice, light café-au-lait color in the meantime (I think anything would be better than that peach-and-terra cotta combo!) but we'll see. I may sweet talk my F-in-L into helping me while he's here...Ideally when we re-tile the backsplash, we would change the counter tops to something lighter and more modern.

Most urgently, I need to replace the curtains cause look what happened during demolition:


Oops right? Well, Jon hated them from the moment I brought them home and installed them. He was just waiting for the day where he could accidentally rip them! I am not at all sad to have to replace them. And since Jon wants me to avoid a blue color scheme, it will allow me to find a new scheme for the kitchen. I'm thinking light lime green... I have seen some gorgeous curtains lately...
I'll keep you "posted" on the developments.

And for all you DIY-ers looking to do something like this yourself (mind you, I did not install the floor but my husband and F-in-L did), here are a few tips:
  • The demolition and the prep work takes the longest. Grab lots of garbage bags or boxes or bins to collect the old stuff.
  • Keep a vacuum cleaner close by to quickly pick up any dust before it spreads to the ends of the earth... well, of your house.
  • Avoid sweeping as it will only raise the dust in the air and allow it to settle on everything else.
  • Once the demolition is done, start with the cleanest slate possible.
  • Take your time figuring out the lay-out and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Enlist a friend or two to help, and hopefully one of them will have previous experience.
  • Ask for helpful tips and advice when purchasing the product.
On to the next project...

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