Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch (-Style House): Kitchen Update

You know, I was thinking that I didn’t want to be talking about all the many, *many* major things I’d done in the house on the blog for concern that professors from school might be haunting this space. It seems silly in retrospect. I haven’t done a whole lot of work since school started, but I’ve done some and whatever.

Since I last posted about the kitchen, I’ve done the following:

  1. Installed the toe-kicks on the cabinets.
  2. Installed baseboards on the walls (mostly).
  3. Put up the “field tile” on the backsplash.
  4. Installed the microwave (my dad helped with this).

Which doesn’t seem like much for a three month time period. Also: my dad installed the transition strip between the kitchen tile and the living room hardwood (thanks!).

Photo from way before:

kitchen from 1958And now it looks like this (though there’s usually a lot more stuff piling on the counters — sorry for the lack of authenticity):

If you believe in yourself, you can notice the toe-kicks.

Stove (lower) and microwave (upper).

The forbidden corner, where feng shui goes to die.

OTOH, I like that my new blender looks like it has teeth on the front of it. Sharp, sharp teeth (and wavy).

Still to go!:

  1. The edge tile and grout on the backsplash.
  2. Veneered facing on areas under the microwave.
  3. Finish baseboards (right now none of the mitered joints have been attempted).

And I’m not sure I’d really call it a ranch-style house. Otherwise, fine.

bkd

And the Kitchen Sink As Well

Cabinets, counter top, appliances, sink, faucet, garbage disposal, and dishwaser: I think that’s officially a functioning kitchen.

Water lines by Rube Goldberg, aka what happens when you tell the guy at Home Depot that you want to hook up a dishwasher without soldering anything.

kitchen from 1958

Eh — maybe I should have just left well enough alone.

Another couple run-throughs without leaking and I’ll put the cover panel back on the dishwasher. You were wondering.

bkd

This Is What the Kitchen Looks Like Now

Some calm, boring day in the future I’ll do a retrospective video slideshow that I’ll never want to watch again. In the meantime, for those living vicariously, here’s what the kitchen looks like as of an hour ago. No, it’s not done. It will never be done. Srsly.

Hoping to get the sink, dishwasher, and disposal done this weekend still. Today? Sure, I’ll hope that, whatever.

Still to go:

  • Sink
  • Faucet
  • Dishwasher
  • Disposal
  • Sink Cabinet Doors
  • Toe Kicks
  • Caulk on Countertops
  • Outlets (2x)
  • Backsplash (this might not happen soon)
  • Over-the-Range Microwave (ibid)
  • Window Blinds
  • Baseboards
  • Paint Touch-Up
  • Floor Transition Strip

So I got that going for me.

bkd

Kitchen Floor: Slated

Still needs to be washed another 30 times and then sealed (twice? we’ll see), but otherwise it’s done. Enjoy the photo retrospective. Or not, whatever works for you.

What the in-store sample tiles looked like.

It wasn’t very gauged, either.

The dry run. Also on the floor: a hammer, wire strippers, small wonder bar, four-foot level, joint tape, and a Dremel.

Thinset.

It’s like an under-utilized veterans’ cemetery where there was in-fighting about what direction the crosses should face.

Spray away, buddy.

All done but the grouting.

The float at work. I’m not sure in what sense it “floats”.

Semi-dry grout awaiting clean-up.

Light’s green, trap’s clean.

It occurs to me that life is like a box of slate tile: (1) you never know what you’re going to get; (2) even once you see what you have, you have no idea the ramifications of it or how it’s all going to work out; (3) then you cement them to your floor because, man, you gotta do *something*; and then (4) it becomes permanent and you live with it.

Was also weird to me how different the floor looked before and after grouting. Before: wild, like there were a bunch of rocks on the floor. After: like the floor in some fairy-tale castle. Kind of liked the wild floor better. Maybe I’ll see if I can get a three-inch-deep stream of water to flow over it permanently, that might help.

bkd

PS, Next time I’ll over-order by 25-percent rather than 10.

PPS, Where you see all the dark tiles grouped together, those are the areas getting covered by cabinets and appliances.

Installing the Kitchen Sub-Floor

And underlayment. The problem with this overall house renovation project is that it’s mostly finish work, which is no fun. Finally got to do something that wasn’t finish work. Now I want to go and frame something or shoot some .22 rounds into concrete maybe. Next house.

Not pictured that should’ve been:

  • Dremeling the underlayment to fit.
  • Applying the latex underlayment putty to a couple uneven spots.

It was just the area where the old cabinets used to be and the floor exposed by taking out the wall that needed new sub-floor and underlayment. Took a few tries to figure out what thickness both of those needed to be (19/32 for the subfloor, 5 mm for the underlayment). Learned that all wood screws aren’t the same and that just because two boxes of nails have the exact same description on them, that doesn’t mean they’re the same quality of nail.

And if anyone in the Pgh area needs help installing a new plywood sub-floor, I’d be happy to help.

bkd

Removing Vinyl Tile: A True Story

Maybe it’s just factual, not so much true. Anyway: here’s a video of me removing a vinyl tile from the kitchen floor. I think the video captures 85 to 90 percent of the tension and raw emotion of the live event.

The sound in the background is the fan in the living room. It’s 95 degrees outside and I don’t have air conditioning is why. Some of the tiles came off more easily than this one and some were more difficult. I finished about half the floor, but wanted to leave a race track around the edges so I can paint without having to walk on glue residue. The word “residue” seems underutilized.

bkd

Kitchen Plan an IKEA Fan Made for Me

I think this is what I’m going with. Turns out my kitchen is small. I’m probably not going with the doors shown here, though. They cost extra.

I’m probably going with these instead.¬†Yep.

Yeah, so I posted a question on ikeafans.com and a couple people responded with completed designs. Pretty cool.

bkd

Meanwhile, Back in the Kitchen

The kitchen has been opened up. The new gaping hole isn’t finished off at all yet, but still: the kitchen has been opened up. Makes a much bigger difference than the photos can convey — a lot more light gets in there and the kitchen now feels like it’s sort of part of the same space as the living room. At least the one part of the kitchen does. It’ll be interesting to see what it’s like when the kitchen is in use — the work areas of the kitchen will still be behind the wall and cut off. Should probably put a big mirror up against the one wall so I can see what the servants are doing in there while I’m in here playing Fallout: New Vegas.

Also took the “bulkhead” out of the kitchen (just a drywall box coming down from the ceiling and hanging down to meet the tops of the wall cabinets). That change is less dramatic, although imho it makes the room look bigger.

Used to be just a three-foot opening; now it’s maybe seven-and-a-half.

View of coat closet. Obviously.

Missing: bulkhead.

There had been much speculation in certain circles about what would happen with the beam going across the to-be-removed wall. See!

It’s just two 2x12s screwed together. Had to get into the hallway wall a little bit. And on the side of the opening not pictured are two 2x4s holding up the new beam.

And aside from writing the check, I’ve had nothing to do with this part of the project.

bkd

Many Hands Make Plumbing Work

My parents came out to visit last week. Was good to have some company, especially company that wanted to spend their time in Pittsburgh working on my house. Here’s a list of some of their accomplishments:

  • Delivered my car to me from San Diego.
  • Got my washing machine drainage pipe to stop leaking.
  • Took out the laundry sink (that had rusted through).
  • Capped the water inlets for the laundry sink.
  • Pulled out the sink cabinet from the kitchen.
  • Took out the now-useless plumbing from the kitchen.
  • Encouraged me to buy a sawzall.
  • Bought me a hedge trimmer.
  • Cut the four-feet-tall weeds in the front yard down to the ground.
  • Discovered a dozen eggs in the side yard (?).
  • Stripped the little bedroom of its leather-like paint.
  • Got two of the four basement fluorescent light fixtures to function regularly.
  • Pulled the vanity out of the bathroom.
  • Removed the worn-out bathroom sink drainage pipes.
  • Found a nearby Mexican restaurant that’s surprisingly good.

It’s a good tally for three days. Didn’t realize my dad knew so much about plumbing. Feel kind of bad there was none of the fun stuff ready for them to do — I guess the kitchen would be the only real fun stuff (tiling, hanging cabinets, installing counter tops). Maybe next trip.

The family that strips together…

Sawzall conquers all — or at least can saw a sink cabinet in half. Wonder if it can cut through a zombie spine.

No gushing water. Any more.

Yep,

bkd

Kitchen Plan II: Revenge of the Kitchen

Kind of hit a setback in the blogging department when my laptop’s video card went south on Friday night and stayed there. Laptop is currently north of here, at a shop, getting fixed. Supposedly. It might be fixed under recall — I’m pressing my thumbs in hopeful anticipation.

Here’s another thought on the kitchen. It’s sort of like the last one, only this time I’ve moved the fridge to the “east” wall as per Krik. Although I’ve sort of lost the pantry in the process (I’m okay with that) and I didn’t move the stove as much further south as recommended (because where it’s positioned here is where the existing external vent and 220-volt outlet are), although I moved it far enough to accommodate an 18-inch base cabinet, which I think was the main concern anyway.

Each square = 6 inches!

I priced the cabinets+doors out at $1,957 at Ikea. I priced out all the hardware and kickplates also, but the total sum is on my laptop, which is north of here. Getting fixed.

Still haven’t had anyone come out to estimate taking out the southeast wall as pictured above. Tomorrow? We’ll see, son. We’ll see.

bkd