We did it!

We are 90% done with our January kitchen makeover!  We worked our asses off this weekend, and it paid off, but this is kind of how I feel right now:

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The flooring project didn’t go quite as smoothly as we had hoped.  Mom and I got started and then got panicked and made a desperate plea to Brad to come and help us idjits who dun know nuthin bout floors, and he did, which was an absolute Godsend.

We also caved and ended up renting a wet saw to cut the tile.  I’d purchased a very simple tile scorer, but some of the tiles needed notches cut in them (rather than just a whole cut across it) and it also wasn’t long enough to cut the tiles along their long end, which some of them required.  My dad picked it up from Home Depot and brought it up, which was incredibly helpful.  Brad had to teach us how to use it and snapped a couple of very attractive pictures of me attempting to cut a tile:

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#homerenovations #DIY #renovationfashion #fashionista #alwayscute #glamour #nofilter

…Yep.  I do home projects in an old pair of soccer pants (never played a day in my life, but I worked at Adidas for a hot minute in college), one of Anthony’s gigantic undershirts (that’s now covered in a million different colors of paint, mortar, and who the hell knows what else) and apparently also his slippers.  Also, I make really attractive faces when I’m freaked out. Yes, neighbors, I am an attractive woman.  You’re welcome for the view.

We learned a lot this weekend, mostly from some things we weren’t prepared for. It’s January in the PNW.  It’s COLD.  Really damn cold.  This makes using a wet saw (which, of course, needs to be done outside) very uncomfortable and unpleasant. Also, mortar needs to be mixed in a bucket. Cool, got the bucket, got it mixed (although too thin initially, which is why we needed to call Brad for help), and got all the tile down only to realize that we had no way of disposing of the leftover mortar.  Normally you’d take the bucket outside and rinse it really well and let it run down the driveway or whatever.  Except, wait, since it’s January, our hoses have been disconnected for months to prevent freezing.  And it’s not like mortar can go down the drain in the sink, so…yep.  We have to throw that bucket away, because we basically had to just leave the mortar in the bottom of it to dry.  Not the biggest deal (those buckets are $3) but still an inconvenience to have to buy stuff that ideally can be used a million times for a million different things, and then throw it away after using it one time for one thing.  We needed another bucket for rinsing dirty sponges (again, can’t use the sink) but didn’t have the time or desire to drive 20 minutes each way to Lowes (I love Ace but they charge way too much for buckets) to get more, so we ended up using a giant plastic mixing bowl from our kitchen, which also had to be thrown away at the end of the project.  Bummer, but also not really because we have a million mixing bowls.  We will survive.

I basically took no pictures of the progress of the floor, because we were busy laying a floor.  There are some tiles that aren’t perfectly laid out (specifically under the fridge and stove because I don’t give a rip about how the tiles underneath my stove look) We got it all done on Saturday afternoon, but had to wait to grout it until last night.  We still haven’t put the trim back on the wall and the appliances can’t go back in the kitchen until I get home from work tonight and can give the floor one more really good mopping to get any weird grout residue off, but BEHOLD!

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SO. MUCH. BETTER!

I won’t lie, I am obsessed.  I absolutely love the white marble-look, I think it brightens up the kitchen so much and it looks so much cleaner than the matte/chronically-dirty-looking brown squares.  I think the rectangular shape makes the room look bigger, and I think the grey grout ties it all together with a really classic look.  It was worth every penny and all the time and labor for these gorgeous floors.

That being said, I also never want to tile a floor again.  But I will, though, because we’ve still got an entryway and a bathroom to tackle at some point!

With the floors mostly-done as of Saturday, dad and Anthony were able to install the new countertops on Sunday.

The old ones were fine, they were just…meh.

Neither my dad or Anthony had ever done this before, so they kinda winged it, but it’s awesome and I love it and they did a fantastic job.

It starts with taking out the sink and putting it in the middle of my living room floor:

And then sanding the old countertops:

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Then there’s some measuring, and some cutting, and some more measuring and cutting…

Then a lot of layers of contact cement (to both the countertop and the back of the laminate sheet), with time for each layer to get semi-dry before applying the next one:

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Then a balancing act involving dowels to make sure that the piece is perfectly lined up before making contact:

A bit like a giant Foosball table.

Then slooooooooowly remove the dowels one by one so the sheet doesn’t shift at all, and roll out any and all bubbles with a roller:

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(not pictured: they also put laminate around the edges of the counters to give it a more finished look, and used a router to trim the edges perfectly flush with the existing countertops)

Eventually we were able to reinstall the sink, caulk around it (clear silicone caulk so it won’t show at all!), and our countertop project was DONE!

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(We did the same thing on the little pieces of counter on the other side of the kitchen, but I didn’t take pictures of that because I don’t always want to get off the couch to take pictures.  So sue me.)

It looks about a million times better in our kitchen now.  Our project for this week (yes, there’s more) is to patch the damaged drywall with putty, let it dry, sand it down and then install the backsplash, and then exhale deeply and enjoy being done with projects for a couple weeks.

Tonight when I get home I’ll mop the new beautiful floor, putty the wall, move the appliances back into the kitchen, move all my kitchen stuff back into my kitchen (it’s currently all stuffed in the guest room), give everything a super thorough cleaning (my poor living room floors are a hot disgusting mess right now), and then COOK DINNER, on my stove!  We’ve eaten nothing but fast food and pizza since Friday since we were without cookability, and oh my god I just want to eat some homemade tacos so damn bad right now!

Other than puttying the wall, letting it dry and (probably) sanding it when it’s dry, we’re done with projects until Sunday.  I turn 25 on Friday, so we’re taking Friday and Saturday off from projects to do some fun Kelsey-Is-25-Now stuff, like planning my quarter-life crisis.  What should I do?!  I can’t decide between cutting off all my hair and dying it purple, a face tattoo, buying a Corvette or adopting 50 cats.

Meh, well, something to think about.

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3 thoughts on “We did it!”

  1. Very impressive Kelsey. I know what you mean about saying: “I will never do X again.” I always learn lots on any new project, but usually, what I learn is that I NEVER want to do THAT again. Kitchen renovations are the worst. They’re such a disruption to everyday life, and once started, there’s no turning back. The only good news is that they create an excuse for eating quick, easy, and usually tasty, unhealthy food (Pizza/Chinese on speed-dial). ~James

    Liked by 1 person

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