Sunday, June 28, 2009

Floor and Tile

Well, the contractor is basically finished here - woo hoo! There are a couple of details he will come back to work on later but a lot of the little details left are things we said we'd do. So we are in the process of moving back into our space, giving everything a good cleaning, and doing some finish work. But here's what's been accomplished in the last week -

1- The Backsplash. This was the one thing I was most excited about. We chose a 1x1" tile mosaic mix by Oceanside Glasstile (the Enchantment Blend in the Tessera collection). I felt like the product was very contemporary, and yet the 1x1"tile was a pretty 1950s thing.

The tiles are all hand made and irregular and come in different finishes - clear glass, matte glass, and iridescent glass. The blends are a mixture of these types. This really gives some zing to the space and yet I don't think it's overwhelming at all. It's everything I wanted it to be which is a relief seeing as this is pricey tile!

2- The floor!! Our Kahrs engineered Cherry Savannah floor arrived and was installed in 3 days this week. It comes in 8' lengths and is 3 planks wide. It's an engineered plywood type of product that snaps together. There is a thin layer of real cherry on top. There are no nails or glue in our floor, it all floats on a layer of a felt-like product.

We love our floor!

And the Marmoleum (a real linoleum product, made out of linseed oil) came in for the laundry area as well. We went for a wild orange color (Asian Tiger was the name of it I think). Well, it is LOVELY and not as wild as you think an orange floor might be! It really reminds me of my marbled papers.

As you can see, where it meets the cherry floor in the doorway, the color really transitions nicely.

3- Appliances! Husband John installed the new refrig and dishwasher (from Ikea) as well as the new stackable washer and dryer (LG from Sears). As suspected, I think the washer and dryer look obscenely huge. For a family of 2, they are overkill. I had a fairly new front loading washer at the old house and it was not as big but American front loading washers just keep getting bigger and bigger. You can go out and pay a lot more for an Ansko or Bosch or something European that is smaller but we ended up with the LG. The stove gets installed tomorrow when Jack, the electrician, comes to finish up (he'll be adding the under counter lighting and a few other things).

4- The Bar. The contractor was waiting on the floor to be installed before finishing the front of the bar. Ed used some of the birch panels from Ikea (you can buy them to match your cabinetry) and there is a 1/4" reveal between the panels. Ed used a strip of some kind of black automotive tape that husband John came up with at the back of the gap so it would look nice.

So - we have spent the weekend moving back into our space - unpacking boxes, washing lots of dishes, etc., arranging, and rearranging. And there is finish work - I've been on baseboard duty - filling the little nail holes with wood putty, sanding, caulking the upper edge against the wall, and today I will paint the areas that need it (the baseboards were pre-painted before they were nailed down). John has been working on the appliances but today he is going to work on the post by the stove, that supports the floating shelves. Installing the shelves meant notching into the post 3/4" for support and that notch needed to be cleaned up and finished. Ed suggested that husband John use caulk or even Bondo on the bigger gaps. In addition, as the post cured and dried out, it needed some more sanding, so the whole post, notches and sanded areas and all, will get touch-up painted and finished today. Then we can finally take the plastic off of the top of the bar!

And I need to put some more sealer on the hearth before we start putting furniture in the living room. So we're getting close.

And finally, here's a picture of our happy crew taking a lunch break - contractor John, Jack the electrician, and Ed the Detail Man. I'll miss their smiling faces. But not the mess! We are very very thankful for all their hard work and for the beautiful job they did on our (now) wonderful house!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Getting There

Well, the countertops were installed 2 weeks ago today. They look nice, I like the look of dark countertops with the light colored cabinets.

Another thing that got done 2 weeks ago was the installation of our floating shelves. Ed made us 2 beautiful shelves out of maple - it turns out maple looks the most like the European birch of our kitchen cabinets. They are lovely. The 2 Johns installed them - it was trickier than it looks. It's all done with threaded rods and aluminum tubes and washers and couplers. Getting the holes drilled in the right places in the ceiling was the nail-biter part. I think the wide-angled camera view makes the rods look a bit wonky here - but it all came out with everything parallel.

At first, we were not even planning on having those supports in the middle. Contractor John warned us about the wood sagging and we assured him we would not be loading up the shelves with anything heavy, like books. But, upon installing the shelves, they sagged merely under their own weight. So center supports had to be added.

You may notice in some of the other pictures that there is a bucket on the top shelf of the floating shelves. That's because the roof has a bit of a leak there - that is where the old vent hood and exhaust pipe were and we are waiting on the roofer to come work on spots such as these which tend to leak. Happy to report that there is no longer a leak from our chimney - yipee! It has rained and rained here the last week and this area is finally fixed.

The front of the bar here isn't finished yet, they will do that after the flooring gets installed.

Ed also made the mantle for the fireplace out of the maple, and he edged the melamine shelves in the pantry with it as well. Here's a shot of part of the pantry-

A week ago, Jack the electrician came over and hooked up a bunch of our outlets and light fixtures. It made a huge difference to have light. We haven't had more than a single floor lamp in there for light for 3 months. Having light again makes the place feel much more homey.

As you can see in the pic above, there is a big patch of concrete on the floor. That is something that got done last week as well. It turns out that there was a dip in the floor there, where the old wall used to be. So contractor John filled in the low spot there with a floor leveling product.

We were expecting our flooring (a Kahrs engineered cherry) to be here a week or two ago but it got held up. The tile for the backsplash was not in either so John and Ed packed up their stuff and left and went on to another job site. They'll be back as soon as the floor shows up. After the flooring is done, we can get the refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and washer and dryer installed. So the main things left for them to do are the floor and the backsplash tile. Until then, John and I decided to help out with a lot of the little details that need to be done. So on Saturday, we took down all 5 old doors in our hallway and patched and sanded and repainted the doors and the trim. The hallway itself had been painted (and the 2 doors to the furnace area had been replaced and painted) and so repainting the old doors needed to be done before the floor went in. The doors were a real mess, original to the house I'm sure, and all had hooks or towel racks or some hardware on the back that had to be removed and the holes had to be patched. In addition, all of the hinges had paint on them so all the hinges got cleaned. They are all rehung now and today I will try and put the new handles/ locksets on them so they will all match.

Husband John has been installing and adjusting the cabinet doors, drawers, handles, and other hardware and he just finished that up this weekend. After that was done, I started moving stuff back into the kitchen! Everything over here has a good coating of dust on it so everything has had to be washed. I spent quite a bit if time this weekend washing and arranging and organizing. When they install the floor, there will be more sawing and dust-making but as long as they cover the cabinets with plastic, I think it'll be ok. Anyway, we moved our dining table, microwave, and electric tea kettle back into place yesterday - they will just have to be moved out again when the floor and tile are being done, but it's nice to have everything in one room again, at least for a little while.

Sorry I seem to have taken most of these pics with the lights off. It'd look a lot better if I had the lights on! I'll have better pics next time....