In the contest

I entered the kitchen into This Old House magazine’s 2012 Reader Remodel Contest. Click here to read the entry on TOH website. There is a scale at the bottom of the page for readers to rate the remodel. I am not sure if the rating would be helpful for my entry to be selected for the magazine (July issue). It probably won’t hurt to get some high marks. So, please give it a plug. If you want to read about all the glory details of the kitchen remodel, click here.


Kitchen renovation, part 8

Did we really finish the kitchen? I have no idea. I can say the official completion was around mid-September. Since then, I had to tinker a few things here and there that it feels like it’s still ongoing. Before getting into all those finer details, let’s back up to where I left off last on this blog.

Trim – the 3rd time is the charm

The kitchen has two entryways. One is connected to the dining room that has hardwood floor. The new kitchen has marmoleum. After two tries of putting down a trim to cover the transition, I think the third trim is going to do it. What’s wrong with the first two? The first one was too thick for such a high traffic area. I could really feel it under the shoes. I messed up the second one while I was attempting to install it with nails.

The third piece is real oak (not sure what the first two was made out of), matching the hardwood floor. It has pre-drilled holes and came with screws. The holes were not countersink enough to hide the screws with filler so I enlarged the countersink a little. Before putting it down on the floor, I put on a coat of polyurethane on the bottom of the trim and also the newly sanded transition area of the hardwood floor. In case of any major spill, those areas are a little bit protected.

Continue reading “Kitchen renovation, part 8”

Kitchen renovation, part 7

The one year mark came and gone but we at least got started cooking in the new kitchen. It took quite a bit of elbow grease to get here.

The good sink

In the last blog post, I mentioned I scratched the sink while I drilled a hole for the Instant Hot. The rescue, Scratch-B-Gone Stainless Steel Scratch Repair Kit arrived quickly from Amazon. The kit is easy to use but for deep gouges, it requires some time and hard work to sand them out. We took quite a bit material off the sink. I can feel a dip in the stainless steel with my finger but it is not visible.

Next up were Instant Hot and faucet. They went in without a hitch. Dropping the sink into the countertop was the scary part. We did a dry run first. Then, instead of pulling the whole thing out, we stacked up the sink from the cabinet underneath, applied Silicone caulk and went for it. I had blue tape around the countertop cutout that helped us center the sink. We made a small adjustment, tightened up the sink clips and that was it.

Trim #2

Most of the house has oak hardwood floor while the old kitchen had layers of vinyl. The new kitchen floor is marmoleum. There used to be a worn out piece of trim covering the transition from wood to vinyl. Underneath the old trim is an ugly patch of hardwood floor with nails and screws sticking out plus old caulking gunk. We had a carpenter came over a few months ago to install trims around the two entryways and he also installed a new trim that day. Unfortunately, the new trim was too thick. It’s 1/2″ thick and 5″ wide. When I walked on it, I could feel it pushing hard on my feet.

Continue reading “Kitchen renovation, part 7”

Kitchen renovation, part 6

We started the kitchen renovation on July 18, 2009. Today is the first day of June. Can we finish before the one year mark? It’s doable I think, not impossible, considering all the little mishaps I created.

Oops, real Silicone caulk is forever!

I’ve lived in enough rentals plus my own bathrooms to have a huge dismay against moldy caulk. I was determined to find a mold-proof solution. It’s fairly simple actually. Get 100% Silicone caulk. Not the water clean up kind of Silicone Acrylic, that stuff gets moldy for sure.

When our backsplash was installed, the edges around the countertop were covered with Silicone Acrylic caulk. Since a portion of the backsplash is behind the sink, there will be a lot of exposure of water in that area. I decided to go over all the edges with 100% Silicone caulk. I got the GE kind sold at Home Depot with a 10-year mold free guarantee. It has to be the best stuff around, right?

Continue reading “Kitchen renovation, part 6”

Kitchen renovation, part 5

It’s been almost two months since I dropped a few words here about the renovation. It’s moving along slowly but other things in life pick up speed. Before then, my body set off an alarm to tell me to rest.

When your body betrayed you

Back in February, I woke up one day with a severe case of muscle spasm in the neck and right shoulder. I had this problem before but I was usually out of bed before noticing the problem. This time around, I opened my eyes from a full night of sleep and I immediately noticed I could not move. Any slight movement was painful. I could hear hubby cooking breakfast in the temporary kitchen we set up in the bedroom next door but I couldn’t yell loud enough to get his attention right away. When the cooking noise subsided, I called out to him and finally got the help I needed. It’s still not easy to get out of bed.

Continue reading “Kitchen renovation, part 5”