April 28, 2009

Countertops Etc.

The kitchen is looking more and more like a kitchen each day. Here are the latest pics.

The new light fixture is now mounted above the sink.

Here you can see the cleats I screwed to the floor to mount the last cabinet.

Here you can see the cabinets installed with the small section of countertop mounted, the range hood, and the stove back in the kitchen.

Here I am assembling the dishwasher side wall. The stain actually matched the cabinets nicely.

I cut the countertop to length and cut out the sink hole. I was a bit nervous that the laminate would chip but with a fine toothed blade on the circular saw it cut fairly cleanly.

And here I am test fitting the sink, thankfully everything fits.

April 23, 2009

Progress on the kitchen remodel slowed a bit while I was sick last week but now that I'm healthy again I've been making some more progress. Here are the latest pictures.

Here is the new light fixture. You can also see (or hopefully not) the ceiling now fully patched.

Since these cabinets are smaller I mounted them together prior to hanging them as one large piece.

Here the sink wall uppers are hung.

...and with the doors on.

Here the lower cabinet and sink base are installed. The only issue here is that the full size drawer on the end collides with the handle of the door into the garage. I'm planning to change the swing direction of the door so the handle will be on the opposite side but this isn't a priority right now...if you have any better ideas let me know.

Here you can see the whole wall.

Lon and I got the last section of uppers on the stove wall hung yesterday.

...again with the doors installed.

Here the lowers are installed and I placed a section of countertop to see how it will look. As soon as I get a chance to clean up the stove and the old exhaust hood I can get them put back and I'll be able to cook again :)

I'm currently working on building a side panel to conceal the dishwasher and support the end of the countertop. Just a simple piece of plywood with an oak 1x2 face frame that I'll stain to match the color of the cabinets. The actual side will be hidden by the fridge but I'll stain that too just to get the color close. Once this is done I can install the countertop and put the rest of the kitchen back together...Its getting close.

April 7, 2009

1808 Kitchen Remodel Part 1

I'm finally uploading pictures of the 1808 W Kamps kitchen and lower bath remodel I've been working on. This project was started in late February of 2009.

The first step was to patch the hole in the kitchen ceiling left from the upper bath remodel. There haven't been any plumbing leaks in the last year so it should be safe to finally close this up.

Echo thought it would be a good idea to nap in the dust from the drywall mud...

Here is the bathroom before. I can't believe that 29 years ago someone thought that a bright orange countertop was a good idea.

Here is the bathroom with the fixtures removed. Gotta love the random shades of paint...

This beautiful floor was a nice find underneath the top layer of vinyl. Again...who ever thought this looked good?

At least the top layer of vinyl was laid over thin plywood so it was relatively easy to pull up.

Echo is helping remove some of the old particle board cabinets.

I found a flat shovel to be very useful in removing the multiple layers of vinyl. I still can't get over how ugly that stuff is.

The original vinyl was glued right to the plywood subfloor. The plastic wearlayer actually seperated from the paper backing fairly easily. The paper backing and adhesive came up fairly easily after soaking it with water for a few hours.

My living room looks like a home depot with all the materials and appliances sitting around.

The ugly particle board cabinets are finally coming out.

Not sure why it was necessary to bust all those holes in the wall to run that one wire but I guess if there covered up by the cabinets who cares.

Removing the sink and countertop.

The last of the cabinets are finally gone! What a mess.

A fresh coat of paint and new light fixture in the bathroom.

I had used a heat gun and power sander to remove the old mastic from the tile backsplash. I then had to patch the area with drywall mud and match the sand texture. After a new coat of paint it doesn't look half bad.

With the walls finally painted I could start prepping for the tile. Here you can see how the Schluter Ditra is set in a thin layer of modified thinset. I previously used concrete backer board underlayment for the upper bath tile floor and can say that the Ditra was much easier to work with. It also saved me enough height that I won't have to raise my entry doors at all. Great stuff.

The Ditra bonds to the plywood subfloor with modified thinset. The thinset embeds itself into the fleece backing pretty easily if you mix it a bit loose.

Did I mention its much lighter and easier to cut than concrete backer board?

Here you can see the entire floor prepped and layout lines drawn.

Another view of the beautiful orange floor.

Hear I just finished setting all the full tiles in the bath.

I then continued out into the kitchen using my layout lines to ensure everything was square and straight.

Half way done with the full tiles.

Skipping all the cut tiles allowed me to work a lot faster and avoid wasting a whole bucket of thinset while screwing around measuring and cutting. The challenge is that its more likely the left out tiles won't line up perfectly so I tried to rely on the layout lines as much as possible.

At this point my back and knees hurt so I stopped to take a picture.

All the full tiles are set and I'm done for the day. Luckily Echo is scared of buckets among other things so I could setup a simple dog barrier.

After letting the full tiles set for 48 hours I started cutting the partials. I bought a Felker TM-75 wetsaw for the previous bathroom remodel and after this project it will have officially paid for itself compared to renting one.

Test fitting more of the cut tiles.

I wasn't sure how I was going to trim the edge of the tile and subfloor at the basement stairs but I found another schluter product at home depot that was the perfect solution.

The Rondec-Step is an aluminum trim piece that finishes off both the tile edge and the exposed plywood subfloor.

Here you can see how the Rondec-Step sets into the thinset under the tiles.

I forgot to undercut the door jambs before setting the tile and as I was doing that managed to chip one of the tiles. Oops.

I decided to bite the bullet and bust out the chipped tile now. I tried to crack the tile with a hammer and chisel to get it out but it wouldn't crack. The hammer and chisel barely scratched the glaze. I ended up using a prybar to pop the tile up in pieces. I'm actually glad I chipped that tile because the difficulty I had in breaking and removing it gave me a lot of confidence in the durability of the tile and in the robustness of the Ditra underlayment.

With all the prying and pulling involved in removing the tile the Ditra started to pull away from the subfloor a bit. I decided it would be best to pull it up as well rather than deal with a cracked tile or grout later.

The thinset actually scraped off relatively easily with a 5" drywall knife.

Before setting all the cut tile pieces I mixed up a small batch of modified thinset to patch the Ditra.

With the Ditra patched I mixed up a half bag of un-modified thinset and started setting the cut tiles.

Here is the bathroom with all the tile set.

Working into the kitchen...

...and the tile is now set.

After waiting another 48 hours I grouted the floor. This was by far the most physically demanding part of the project. Getting the grout into the joints is actually fairly easy. Its removing the excess from the tile that takes FOREVER. I made a point to use as little water as possible to clean the excess grout as this is what caused my grout to discolor when I did the upstairs bath. Lesson learned.

In these pictures the grout is just starting to cure so its a few shades darker than it will be.

Prepping the poop-hole for the new toilet. The existing flange was still solid so I decided to leave it as is and tile around it. Since its no longer on top of the finished floor I used two wax rings to make up the gap when setting the toilet.

The toilet is set and vanity installed. Its starting to look like a bathroom again.

Here you can see the grout color after curing for a few days. I was a bit worried that it would be too dark but after curing I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. So far being careful to not use too much water while grouting seems to have paid off, there is some color variation but nowhere near the blotchiness I had with the upstairs bath.