{Rent House #1} The Kitchen Floor

One of the first things we did in this house was remove the nasty carpet in the living room. Under the carpet, were the original hardwood floors! There were some places in the floor that had been patched with plywood.

By the front door, the glue that was underneath the carpet was really thick. Rick decided to cut out the bad areas of the hardwoods. We wanted to use tile in front of the door. It would define an entryway by using the tile. He cut out the bad places and added a few angles to give it some character.DSC_1683DSC_1667

In the picture above, you can see the spot that was damaged and repaired by plywood and the thick coat of glue by the front door.

Rick took this picture with his iphone after he had removed all the planks in the kitchen.


In the kitchen area, underneath the linoleum, the original pine planks were there. We wanted to save them but they had experienced so much water damage, we couldn’t salvage them. They had a terrible odor. Much like a musty, old bar.

Due to the fact that the last resident smoked in the house, every time I walked in, it smelled like a bar does the next morning after people smoked all night. It was awful. I really didn’t know how I was going to remove that smell. Every time we would go over there, we raised the windows and let it air out as long as possible. There were even a few times we left the windows open all night.

A tip: DO NOT allow tenants to smoke in your rent houses. It takes so much time and effort to get the smell out of the walls, floors, and cabinets. Even the dishwasher smelled of musty cigarette smoke. I am going to have to disinfect the dishwasher once we get the hot water hooked back up.

By removing layers of flooring and the carpet that was in there, we were slowing removing the terrible stale odor in there.

After removing the existing floor, Rick installed the cement backer board in preparation for me to lay the ceramic tile.DSC_1694DSC_1695
Ignore the way we laid the tile. I made a fatal mistake and listened to the way Rick thought we should do it. I ignored my better judgement and we ended up nearly killing each other over this stupid floor!

It is much better to start in a corner and work your way through each row. When doing that, you can make sure that each tile is lined up next to each other. If you leave a spot that you will come back to later, chances are, the tiles will not line up properly. Lesson learned.

Do not listen to Rick when it comes to laying tile. He can cut really well, but he cannot lay the tile worth a crap.

But, here is his obligatory photo of him pretending how much work and effort he put in.DSC_1698

As it ended, we made a border around the edges of the wall. It looks like we actually planned it that way. We did not. We just go a bit lucky and it turned out pretty nicely. That seems to happen to us in most of our projects. We basically have an idea of what we want and we figure out solutions as they come up. It’s just my ideas are never what Rick will come up with! I am slowly training him. ;)

One thing we have learned: using thicker tiles such as travertine, works much better when laying on subfloors that are not completely level. They are more forgiving when laying them.

The ceramic tiles we used were thin and very hard to align the grout lines. If you decide to go with the ceramic tiles, laying in a brick pattern is much easier. Again, the grout lines will be a lot more forgiving.

The kitchen floor is complete. Of course, I haven’t taken a final picture. I will when the entire kitchen in complete.

We still need to refinish the hardwoods. That will be one of the very last things we do.

Next up is the tile backsplash. This is one of my favorite things to do to add character to an otherwise blah kitchen.

{Rent House #1} Painting Kitchen Cabinets

I knew the cabinets were pretty good quality. I just couldn’t take the dark stain and hardware that was currently there.

We removed the countertops from all the cabinets.

Then I removed all the doors and drawers. I labeled each one so I would be able to put them back in the same location as they were before. I also removed all the hardware and hinges.DSC_1677
I started by giving them a really good cleaning. The cabinets by the stove had so much grease on them, I question whether they have ever been cleaned!DSC_1649You can see a little bit of the grease buildup in this picture. It turns out, we decided to remove this cabinet, the vent, and the cabinets above the vent. We went with a new, stainless steel vent-a-hood. I am so excited about this. I will share the information on that after we get it installed. We will also be adding open shelves where the upper cabinet was installed. It will make the kitchen appear bigger.

I sanded the base cabinets and each drawer and door with my sander.DSC_1657DSC_1661DSC_1663DSC_1667DSC_1668DSC_1669
In the above pictures, you can see Rick has removed the old linoleum and has come to the old pine floor that was down. There has been plenty of water damage in here. I really wanted to try and salvage them, but they were seriously damaged and smelled so bad. They needed to be removed.

Back to the cabinets…
Since the cabinets had old hardware (that I was NOT going to be using), I needed to fill in the holes where the previous hardware was installed.

Using a wood filler, I filled the holes and waited for them to dry. Then I sanded them down and the holes really disappeared.IMG_3989After sanding and filling all the holes, I painted them with two coats of primer. I used Zinsser Bulls Eye primer. DSC_1671This stuff is really good. Even though the can says you don’t have to sand, I still wanted to make sure I got all the shiny stain/gloss off the cabinets to ensure a really nice coat. This was the base cabinets with one coat of primer applied.DSC_1676

Rick laid 2x4s on the floor so I could rest the cabinets on them as they dried. I started with the backsides and finished up with the top sides.DSC_1678DSC_1679DSC_1681I decided to use the Behr Premium Plus Ultra. I researched and found the most recommended paint was Benjamin Moore’s brand, but I wanted to try and save as much money as I can, so I decided to try the Behr line. I have always had good luck with Behr, so I just went with it.

I can say I really did like this paint. I added Floetrol to the paint to cut down on brush strokes. I also used a small roller to roll the paint on.DSC_1690It created a nice, smooth professional finish. I was very happy with the end results.DSC_1683In the above photo, Rick has begun to put the backer board down, getting ready for the kitchen tile. DSC_1710I will show better photos when I take the final pictures when the kitchen is completed.

Next up, countertops and backsplash!

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