Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kitchen Floor Progress Report

Although it seems like we'll never finish our 1930's cottage remodeling project, this week we've had some major progress because the kitchen and dining room tile installation has been started! This is a multi-step process because of the fact that the house is on a pier-and-beam foundation, and unless you're careful about the materials you use, the tiles can crack later on when the house shifts (and it will shift).

You can see in a previous photo that we had horrible old sheet vinyl flooring in the kitchen, with a layer of 1950's linoleum under it. We were happy to find out that we didn't have to remove all that before putting in the kitchen tiles, BUT we did have to put a layer of Hardiebacker cement board on top first.

These 3x5' sheets of cement board weigh about 30-lbs. each, and have to be installed over the vinyl with thin-set mortar then screwed every few inches with heavy duty outdoor deck screws. We got the same advice from everybody we talked to...basically, "Glue it and screw it." LOL. So we did--or more accurately, Rudy did. I was busy working on my new vampire comedy play Kindle e-book. After they were screwed down, the joints in between were sealed with more thin-set mortar and adhesive wallboard tape.

FINALLY, we were ready to lay tile. After much deliberation, we choose an inexpensive neutral porcelain tile from Lowe's and are laying it in a running bond (or brick) pattern so it will be more interesting.

Two hours later:

If you've ever laid your own tile, you know what a backbreaking job it is. We've done a lot of tile over the years, so decided to do this job ourselves, too. I'm going to use the same tile in the bathroom.

Here's a photo of the dining room looking into it from the kitchen and living room area. The tile will continue into there.

Since my "office" was in a corner of the dining room, I had to move to the utility room because of the tiling. Here's a photo of my new temporary office, in a corner of the utility room. Love those windows!

Although the front/entry room was to be my office, I'm rethinking that. I've been sitting here for several days, and really enjoy the view to the back garden that I don't get from the front, where I see the porch and the street. Nice view, eh?

If I can negotiate with the cats, who will be making good use of the utility room (their litter box will be in a former coat closet), I might add a small desk or table back here permanently, and just rove around with the laptop, depending on the season. Why not?

And speaking of the garden, we did get some rain, and all things green are popping out all over. More rosebushes are blooming:

And more mysterious flowers have popped up. Are they Japanese lilies? Rain lilies?

Whatever they are, I'm seeing them bloom all over Taylor right now, so there must have been some kind of flower bulb sharing thingy going on at one time.

NOTE: A friend just identified them as Schoolhouse Lilies (because they usually bloom in August when school starts again), or Oxblood Lilies. Thanks, Debbie!

My little veggie garden is doing well...potted peppers and eggplants continue to bloom and set, new greens are growing well, and my chocolate cherry tomato bush has a bunch of tiny green 'maters on it. Nice!

Until next time....happy trails from Texas, where it's 88-degrees!

bobbi c.

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