Renovation Starts… the Kitchen

Saturday afternoon we started with actual work on the house. We (hubby, LO and myself) met with a great friend of ours to start. This will also be LO’s last day on the site except to drop off some items because the big work is now starting and will be messy. For his safety and health he won’t be coming over unless mommy needs to do something when its safe. But mostly he will be at home or shopping for supplies.

But I want to give you a quick run down – here is our kitchen prior to the renovation:


Now that beautiful backsplash – yes that is floor tile and its a beeach to take down because of the extra glue used. Lets just say my finger tips hurt like crazy. But I got it down to the original plain white tiles (which match the basement bathroom shower tiles) so that we can start taking those off without too much damage to the dry wall. Of course, hubby has now decided that may not be the best plan  and that maybe we should see if we can get the drywall above the counters replaced instead of just taking off the tiles. OR just put our new back splash over top the old white tiles – which got a quick no from me on that. I want to do it right the first time and not just take short cuts. This is what the last owner did and we got that ugly ass floor tile back splash. Do it right the first time and there won’t be a reason to go back and do it again to fix it.

In the end – I have no idea. I called the drywall guys to see how much it would be to marry a new section to the older drywall. Waiting for a quote on that, so we will see. Personally, I would like to try to take some off to see what happens first but no seems to believe me that it can be done. Even though its done constantly on the DIY and Kitchen shows and there are about 1,000 hits when you do a search for “taking tile off of drywall without damage”. We ended the day with all the cabinet doors off of the cabinets, floor tiles off of the back splash, facings off of the plugs & switches, curtain rods down and hardware off walls, fridge moved to the dining area, carpet taken up off of the bedroom floors (more on that later). The only thing we didn’t do for prep is make sure we had a place to dump things… right now the old carpet and padding is sitting in the backyard. I will be heading to the store tomorrow to grab a “dumpster in a bag” before the drywall work begins on Tuesday morning.

Backsplash FUN!

Now our new back splash is a sticky tile BUT the difference is these tiles are made to be a back splash not made to be put on the floors. There is a BIG difference to me in that. We had many long conversations on what we wanted for a back splash from me saying why do we even need one – heck, I never had one before in any of the houses I lived in – to multiply choices. At first DH wanted to go with those small glass tiles that seems to be the number one choice of all home renovators lately and I wanted a metal back splash. I was completely resistant on the small glass tiles mainly for the reason that everyone seems to be doing it and in truth, they aren’t that easy to take care of. Imagine having to clean all that small grout but to each their own, gives me chills just thinking about it :D. I am big on trying to find something different and unique for your home. Something that makes it yours and yours alone… if you can.

In the end we ended up finding something different and kind of new out there. They are 3 x 6 inch metal backsplash tiles by Aspect. They come in different shades of silver and bronze appearance. For about $19.96 you get a pack of 8. At first I thought that wasn’t much but that is about 2 square feet and some of those other tiles made for a backsplash are about 12-15 bucks a square foot. They are simple to install and we don’t need to worry about grouting anything. They will also come off pretty easily if we ever want to upgrade or change the kitchen again (hopefully not for a very long time). Here is the website: But for me probably one of the coolest features of the tiles are that they are made from 60% recycled material and they are 100% end-of-life recyclable. The tile we chose is the long-grain stainless steel tile:

When we install we will probably go with the subway tile look on the walls… or if we want to be fancy a vertical version of a subway tile look. I am pretty happy with our choice. I ordered them on Friday thru Lowe’s and we were able to get free shipping because we spent over $49 and got an additional 5% off because I used my Lowe’s credit card. In the end we ended up saving about $1.70 per box after taxes.

Floors… oh the floors

Once again – major decision. We knew we wanted to pull up the floors that existed. They were an orangey red fake terra cotta looking sticky tile and not really what we wanted. So what do we want to do? Do we want to install hardwood to match the rest of the house? Slate? Another type of tile? Once again, as with all our decisions it came down to time and money. We don’t have a ton of time nor a boatload of money to spend on our kitchen but we wanted to get something that would last. Interestingly we found the product we wanted to use by watching a DIY Channel show called – Renovate My House. Its a floating tile… meaning what? Meaning that they click together and leave enough spacing inbetween for grout BUT and here was the biggest selling point… you don’t need to do all the additional work. There is not additional subfloor work, no cementing to the floor. They float and use a flexible grout so that when the house settles or expands/contracts with the weather the tile itsn’t stuck in one place. It move’s with the floor.

Now, the tiles are more expensive then regular tile BUT in the end it costs the same and you get the added bonus of time on your side. To install, grout, waiting it is in a few hours not days. When you have only a few weekends to do as much as you can – time is very important.  And as with our backsplash tiles there is an environment aspect to it – there is so much less waste with the tiles… and if you want you can just install it over your existing floors. We aren’t because we want to put the tile in places there is nothing but subfloor at the moment but we won’t have a huge difference between the floor and tile flooring in the kitchen like you would with traditional tile.Oh yeah, the product is called Avaire Floors…

We went with the Avaire Floors: and this is our tile. Its a 12 x 12 Choice called Sonoma Desert…

Okay, this post is getting pretty long… I will talk more later about everything else going on with the kitchen such as the countertops, which is a really long fun story but ends happily for us. Today, DH is over at the house finalizing some prep work on the floors and it looks like we are going to have to get the floors restored because there are so many surprise cat pee stains on them but that is a story for another day. I am at home letting the LO catch up on some Z’s and have a day off. We have been out and about almost everyday for the past week.

Here is where we are now:


Another post soon! With more pictures!

2 thoughts on “Renovation Starts… the Kitchen

  1. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing
    the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so
    people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot
    of text for only having one or 2 pictures. Maybe you could
    space it out better?

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