01 March 2015

Kitchen Floor Replacement

This picture is too flattering to our old kitchen floor.  It was a stick-down wood parquet tiles which looked fine when we bought the house but as we got into our first summer the heat and humidity had the floor buckling up and away from the subfloor.  The adhesive obviously no longer was working and as the square enlarged with the heat, there wasn't any space for them to expand so they would float up.  We endured it with mats and carpets but after our second summer the floor was chipped up and a sorry sight. So we looked at some tile samples, got a couple bids ($1000 difference between the two!) and I decided to tear out the floor one weekend just to see what our subfloor looked like.  It came up very easily to no surprise.  What was a surprise (and I had to be told by a contractor) was that the surface under the wood was not the subfloor but a layer of linoleum which I would also need to remove. That one was a bit more work, but still nothing too intense. And that got us down to subfloor. [This is the layer I failed to capture in a photo.]  
And we
lived with exposed subfloor for a couple months as we got contractors lined up and scheduled.
We purchased our tile from Lowe's.  A pretty medium gray with just a little texture to them and theyare a 12"x 24" size that we wanted in a brick pattern.  The kitchen (and small garage step-in area) would require ~100 sq ft of tile.  
The day before our contractor was scheduled to start, I had caboose over to help take my appliances out of the kitchen.  First, I'd tried the washer and got it about half out before realizing it was installed on a plywood board and wouldn't need to be removed.  They could
tile right up to it without blocking it in.  So that was wasted effort.  On to the frig.  I remembered when we purchased it that they had to remove the doors to get it
in so I was ready with my tools to do that.  Doors came off easily and I got the water line turned off and detached before we moved the frig out to the dining area and put the doors back on and plugged it back in.  Lastly we tackled the stove.  Slid it away from the wall and began the hunt to figure out how to turn the gas line off.  No valve behind the stove...or anywhere in the basement really.  I thought I found a main gas shutoff so (after consulting another friend) I zipped out to Home Depot 15 minutes before it closed and got what I would need to shut the main line and then cap off
the stove line.  Back at home, I shut the main valve and ran the stove burners to run out the gas...for ten minutes and no sign of slowing down so obviously the gas was still on.  Completely out of ideas at this point (and completely tired of messing with it) I contacted my tile guy and asked for guidance.  He lined up a heating contractor to come by at 8:30 the next morning (we were texting at 10pm) and install a gas valve.  I was thrilled.  So the next morning the gas guy came by, shut off the gas at the meter,
installed a pipe extenstion and a valve in about 40 minutes.  And then the tile guy was ready to get started and I was off to work.  Day 1 also included laying down the Dura-rock (a thin concrete-like base for setting the tile).  Day 2 all of the tile was installed.  Day 3 we picked out our grout color and Day 4 all the grout went in.  And so, after nearly a week with no kitchen, I put everything back together and cleaned everything up.  It felt so great to cook a simple dinner last night in the comforts of my own kitchen. And we LOVE how it looks. We still need to paint a floor register and get it put back and also figure out how to replace the quarter-crown molding and get a couple transitions but we are going to enjoy it for sure.


  1. repost since I continually forget to sign in >:/

    1) [pro] Fantastic final product!! well done you
    2) [con] no link to "Irate Tile Guy" ??
    3) [con] No update on broiler situation?
    4) [pro] re-examined slick finished product -- how did you butt it against the hardwood w/o needing one of those strips at the border? or is that tile/carpet interactions?

  2. All fantastic points, stoppable.

    1: thank you. it IS really great.
    2: when we were picking out the tile at Lowe's a couple of the tiles were broken and you can be sure I busted out the line, "Now, about half of these things are busted. I'm very angry." http://youtu.be/s13OAHDzaco
    3: We did attempt to tip, tilt and shake the broiler open while the oven was pulled out. No luck, and even more disappointing, there wasn't any sign of movement or shifting in there. So it stands as it was...an eternal time capsule.
    4: we do have a small 'quarter-crown' transition from the tile to the hardwood. its just hard to see in my pic. tile sits up a half-inch over the hardwood. may need to replace with slightly larger transition.

  3. 1. Stoppable- I forgot to sign in on previous post so lost that comment. Learned from that
    2. Middleson- If you ever mess with gas again, I might have to beat you.
    3. Both- I did wonder as well about the broiler- why does that continue to bother us..oh, yeah.. we hate to be foiled ( ha ..foiled.. kitchen... funny? )
    4. Both. Tom Shull could have done all those jobs in a day. Just sayin---:)