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.
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.
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.
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.