And a few more days

A few more days have gone by on the renovation and things are happening but I while I have a bunch of photos… I really don’t have the time to upload and post right now since I am squeezing this in while the LO sleeps and I do some cleaning. And I have no idea where my camera is at the moment… I may make a post later with just photos for you to go thru.


A good friend of ours came over and babysat for us while I headed to the house to do some work and watch more work get done. Our drywall guys came as did the plumber. We now have new drywall where the old backsplash was and they repaired our ceiling crack, as well as the horrible texture walls. We have gas in our laundry room and in the kitchen thanks to Steve at Anchor Plumbing. I met with the floor renovation people from Footprints Floors to get an estimate and schedule a time to start the renovation. He did recommend waiting to paint in the areas where they will be working but I did go ahead and start the painting in the bathroom upstairs.

I went with a yellow – its a bit bright but its a VERY small bathroom and it helps make it feel bigger. The walls were originally 3 or 4 different colors – one for each wall: white, olive green, sage green and khaki green. I ripped part of the sheet rock off when I took the shower curtain rod down – luckily I had some people on hand to help me with that… I got most of it done. I need to take the light fixture down, I tried to paint around it and yeah so not gonna happen. I had to wait to the area around the wall damage to dry so that isn’t painted and I didn’t edge the top of the walls. I am hoping to get back there on Sunday to finish it. I wanted to continue but was suffering from a major migraine and just wanted to get home.


Omar had to work super late and I still had a migraine so this was a rest day


Omar’s day off so he headed over and did some work at the house. I headed to the store and spent money – woohoo! I picked up our new faucet… the Pfister Elevate:

Its pretty cool. I did a lot research on Wednesday to find the best priced one and found it Lowe’s for $198.00 – and since I used my Lowe’s card, I got an additional 5% off. Its pretty cool – it goes from 8″ to 9 1/2″ to 11″ in height. I love the taller faucets for pot filling but they always seem to overtake the view of the kitchen. Its a basic simple design that I think will match our kitchen well.

I also picked up a new light fixture for our kitchen. Right now we have a large 4 1/2′ long florescent light fixture that takes like 4 bulbs with a large wooded frame around it. It is humongous! Anyways, we decided to change it. I found a 28″ swaure florescent light fixture with a white frame around it – its bigger then I really wanted but it works for the kitchen and the design. It takes 2 lights instead of 4 at least and shorter. Wider though but because its square we think we can center it better on the ceiling and it should blend into the ceiling better.Unfortunately, after buying it I read a lot of bad reviews – not sure what to do now but alas I guess we will try it out first.

And the paint color for the walls – I had originally gone in with some samples of colours I wanted to use but neither one looked right with the countertop. Luckily since we were at Lowe’s and purchased our countertop from Lowe’s it was just a quick jaunt from the counter department to the paint department to grab some more samples. And I found a great one – it works great with the countertops, the white counters, the white beadboard and the dark wood kitchen table we already have. Its called “Brown Buzz” from the National Trust Collection thru Valspar (

(image borrowed from Its a neutral green color.

We also had the countertop people show up and take the template for the counters – we should have them in about 2 weeks. Hopefully the Wednesday before Turkey Day but most likely afterwards. Not sure how that will affect the day – we may have to move it back a few days because we won’t even have a sink to use for cooking.

Omar spent a good portion of the day getting the vinyl tiles up. He got about half and did some other things – not really sure but things he needed.

We also go our backsplash tiles in – and looks like we will need more then we anticipated originally but have come up with a few ways to cut some of the area we need to use the tiles. We have a high area at the sink with smaller high cabinets with a lot of empty space in front of it. So, we are going to build a small shelf there to put things like the dish soap, etc and keep them out of small hands. Instead of tiling behind it we will paint it the same color as the walls. That takes out 3 sq feet of tiling expense. We will still need to spend more then I want but Omar really loves their look and we are going to go ahead with it.

Today, Friday

Omar and his friends are at the house – I am watching the LO. They go the rest of the floor up and headed out to pick up the new flooring. Omar stated that one of the benefits of taking up the old floors is there is a grid on the floors from where the tiles were placed. They are also prepping the cabinets and getting them started on being refinished. Now, our cabinets are not the best made cabinets and I hope to one day be able to trade them out for nicer ones but at least the fronts are solid wood so we are able to refinish them. The ends are going to be harder then the front since the sides are laminate. May have to come up with something interesting to cover them up.

Time to run, someone is up for their nap and mommy still hasn’t eaten lunch.




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!