In April we started this pantry and we finally found time in June to get back to it. This shows the inside walls which used to be a small shower stall in the downstairs bathroom. We closed it up from the bathroom side and opened it up to the hallway side.
Here is a photo of our first efforts at laying ceramic tile. We wanted to experiment in a low visibility area so the pantry floor was perfect. Here you can see the spacers between the tiles.
It turned out great! Now on to the mudroom floor...
I have always hated the ceramic tile on my kitchen floor. We were waiting to clean the grout until all the dusty dirty renovating jobs were completed. The day finally arrived when I no longer could find an excuse to put it off. So down on my hands and knees I went, windows wide open on a breezy day with John Denver and Celine Dion cranked all the way up on continual play. I scrubbed the grout and tile with a small brush. This is the before photo.
This is the after photo. The change was astounding. I felt like, and was actually asked by a neighbor if I had, I had a new floor. It was beautiful! And I fell in love with it for the first time in 7 years. It was 3 days of scrubbing but it was worth it!
Warmer weather brings renovating...
First this year on our list of projects is the much needed and coveted pantry:)
We decided to do away with an old tile shower that was near the kitchen and convert it into a pantry. Easter weekend was a long weekend and so we ripped into things on Friday morning. I really thought that the tile would come off quickly but it took a day and a half to chip them all off:( So, true to all projects...we were officially behind schedule on the first day.
New drywall was delivered Saturday at noon and we were thankful that the rain we were supposed to get was nowhere in sight as the garage is still pretty full with last years projects.
Finally we succeeded in getting all the tile off and decided to remove the old plaster behind the tile.
Next, we cut a door way from the hall to the new pantry area.
Here is the door we will be using. It was rescued from a demolition of an apartment building many years ago by my dad. 24 inches wide and solid wood, beautiful when stripped. Door jams and hardware came with the doors. I think a clear coat over the wood will work the best. I briefly considered painting it white (booo hissss). I think that was about 2:30am on Saturday, I mean Sunday morning and my brain was going to mush.
Next we had to get rid of the water pipes and shower head from the old shower. This turned out to be the tricky part as there wasn't a water shut off specifically for the shower or even that bathroom so we had to shut off the water to the whole house. Unfortunately, we had company for Easter weekend...bad hosts! Our company fled to the town library and hung out there doing homework (ok, so our company was our college daughter working hard on her senior paper and a good friend in a master's program working equally hard on her final projects for the year.) We did manage to have some social time and saw a couple of good movies I would recommend to anyone. The Book Thief and 12 Years a Slave.... both great movies.
With the water shut off, we cut the pipes and capped them by soldering. I loved this as it had all the elements of excitement for me. DANGER: as were working close to the old wood lathe (we hung a dripping wet towel on the wood lathe so the flame didn't burn the house down. This trick was suggested by my father-in-law who is a retired fire fighter. NEW GROUND: I have never soldered before.
House is still standing and the water is back on:)
Here is the proof of our labors.
Next, we put up support frame for the new wall that will close the bathroom off from the pantry.
Finally, the drywall that had been delivered at noon on Saturday was installed. This was about 10pm on Sunday night. A couple of hours of clean up and everything was back to normal except for the gapping door hole in the hallway right outside the kitchen door.
More to come on this project....
Here is the finished product. Three coats of poly yesterday, ending at 11:30pm. I was probably high from the fumes...slept great.
Now on to baseboards and crown moulding.
In the 6 years we have lived in this house we have made the following improvements: electrical updates, plumbing updated except what is visible in the basement, 3 new ceilings, bathroom redo and painting in 6 rooms. And now, hardwood floors on the main level.
Projects left to complete: baseboards and crown moulding, construct pantry and main level bathroom redo. Then we will head upstairs to the bedrooms and see what there is to do.
Yesterday we got the rest of the floors laid and started sanding. This is a picture of my arm covered in sawdust. You can see the haze of dust above my arm. Everything was orange.
Beautiful! Tired after being up all Sunday night and working Monday ( I meant to post this Monday eve but I fell asleep at 6pm:)
What a mess! I was up all night cleaning up. But it's done except for the poly.
My best friend today! I love this manual floor nailer. It usually takes about three hits to release the nail and that helps drive these old boards over.
Love and hate...too close to the wall to use the nailer means that we are almost done with the project...but it also means we have to nail by hand.
We'll live with it! We tried using a plane, a chisel, and a floor sander to even out the hump created by the floor settling around the foundation cement wall. Hours spent on this project alone...close but not perfect...but we'll live with it!
Our problems for the next couple days. Reworking the cold air return. We found the original floor grates in the attic and decided to use them over the cold air returns.
This is a cut out in the floor where a bathroom was located at some earlier time when the house was a duplex.
Nice weather for the 4th of July so I decided to finish laying the floor in the living room. I had about 200 ft left to get the room done. So I spent today stripping and cleaning the rest of the wood left in the garage from when I quit work on this project last winter,
While I worked on the wood my husband tried to chisel the floor to erase the hump near the outside wall from the house settling on the cement outer wall. Neither job was fun or considered vacation worthy:) Tomorrow I'm going to Ace Hardware and see if they have a planer. It might be easier to plane instead of chiseling. Either is easier than chipping away the cement wall beneath the floor.
About had a heart attack when I realized I was going to be about 10 feet shy of what we need. That translates to one of our floor boards. One board...one board! Faced with the prospect of having to return to the restoration warehouse where we found our last floor boards, to buy a bundle when I only need one board, we scrounged and found some salvable pieces in the throw away pile. We now have about 30 inches to spare. Plenty! So now the flooring is inside the house acclimating so it can be installed later this weekend. In the meantime we will continue to chisel and plane...plane and chisel to get the floor level and to frame in the cold air return.
Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!
Last summer we started fixing our wood floors. We reclaimed vintage wood floor boards from houses that were being torn down, found some at a restoration warehouse, and used what my father years ago tore out of the house I grew up in. Then we stripped them and installed. No professionals needed...just good friends to help with the gunky work of cleaning the boards and a father-in-law willing to crawl around on his knees. Thanks Dad! Here is what they looked like right after being torn out of a house. Really icky in the tongue and groove area. But as you strip them it's incredible how the natural beauty just seems to leap right out of the faded boards. Now that the rain has stopped and we've got some warm weather consistently, it's time to strip this load that's left in my garage from last winter.
Here is what our floors looked like when we bought the house about 6 years ago. The living room was covered in a really gross carpet that had to go. When we pulled it up we found the original wood floors in pretty bad shape with water damage and plywood cut outs. We also found that our house had no subfloor under the dining and living rooms. Just one layer of the original wood floors. Our house was built in 1918 so it's worked but we noticed some sagging and soft spots. We strengthened from the underside and decided to use the original floor as the new subfloor. We didn't feel too bad as we are putting in wood floors just as old and even older in some cases.
Last summer and fall we completed the dining room and most of the living room. We were just a few rows shy of being done when the cold weather hit. So, we called it quits for the season. You can see the new old wood we are laying over the original floor. Again, we did it ourselves with no professional help. This will take a weekend finish up.
Before we called a halt last winter we completed the dining room floor. We decided we liked the natural beauty of the wood. This is quarter sawn southern heart pine. It's beautiful. What a shame for this kind of lumber to end up in landfills! We sanded and then put 4 clear coats over it. It's super tough and has stood up to lots of wear already. We are going to do the same in the living room as the two rooms connect via a double pocket door and then the floor will look seamless.
I grew up and currently live in Iowa. I have three beautiful daughters and a Miniature Schnauzer. I'm interested in anything that supports healthy families and healthy lifestyles.