Category Archives: Floor

The shell of a pantry

I’m BACK!!!!!!!!!  Squirrels, rodents, LIFE, second grade, first communion, softball, and a sprained foot caused by the world’s smallest pebble have all inserted themselves into our kitchen timeline.  But we are getting back on track.

The pantry closet is framed, the floor tile in said closet is mortared in place and waiting for grout, and today we begin cutting lumber to rebuild the soffets.  In the meantime, Himself has torn down half of the back fence to reveal – oh my! – at least 5 feet of creek bank erosion – so this blog will slowly transition from Kitchen Only to All the Rest of the Crap to Fix in Our House.

I’ll be posting more regularly again (with pics), so stay tuned!


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Filed under Backyard, Closets, Floor, Kitchen, Priorities

Don’t cook in the closet

So, how long have I been talking about having a broom/pantry closet(s) where I can tuck the microwave INTO the pantry closet on a shelf?  Hence having Lola move the electrical outlet to facilitate doing so?  A while.

In separate but VERY related news, I’ve been thinking about the fridge.  I don’t like this fridge.  It is a lemon.  The compressor has gone on it 3 times already.  We ended up having to continue to renew the extended warranty – something we NEVER do – because one day it will finally just give up and die.  And this is a fairly new fridge circa 2005 (I think?).  If we were to get a NEW fridge – only because this one dies – would we get a top freezer again?  No.  I’m tired of bending down to look into the fridge and our little girl is plenty tall enough to reach things in a bottom mounted freezer model.

We originally got the top mounted freezer because of the environment reports saying they are the most energy-efficient of all the styles of fridge – side by sides, the least.  The bottom mounted freezers are somewhere in the middle.  But.  They are all slightly wider than the top mounts – generally 32 inches wide compared to 30 inches wide.

Back to the closet.  I’d miscalculated how much space the fridge required when we laid the floor – I measured a generous 32 inches from the left side of the bottom cabinet.  Which was the one that I accidentally cut 1 1/2 inches from widthwise, forgetting that I couldn’t cut the same amount off its partner top cabinet.  So those two “generous extra inches” were sucked up by the top cabinet to the right of the fridge. Now I’ll need to set the right side of the closet in by another two inches to give me the flexibility of getting the fridge I want down the line.

Which makes the closet at least two inches more narrow.

Remember the IKEA Gorm closet system?  Of course I’m buying it.  If I were to build my own closet interior – it may or may not cost less but will certainly take 15 times as long.  GORM has two widths – 19 and 30.  I’m going to go with the 19 so I can still have a decent amount of broom closet space next to it.

I can’t fit my microwave onto the 19 inch shelf.  The door won’t open.

Yeah, so, it turns out the microwave is staying on the counter as far as the man of the house is concerned.  We go in waves where we use the microwave MANY times a day and then for months never touch the damn thing.  We are in a high microwave usage phase right now.  It sits on the counter above the dishwasher.  It is fine there.  It works there.

This isn’t a problem to solve.  Just keeping you in the loop on the circuitous thought process of this weekend’s project – the closet!


Filed under Cabinets, Carpentry, Closets, Electrician, Floor, Kitchen

Gratitude and rows to hoe

The floor tile is done.  Without my sister-in-law, we’d still be working on this floor sometime into 2010.  I know she’s exhausted as well, especially since she spent the days prior to her arrival fixing her irrigation system and being a huge support to friends and neighbors.

The woman does not quit.  And I totally do.  I once had a boss – who I regretably didn’t show much respect to at the time – who told a story about two farmers (which I’ll paraphrase badly since I’m not one).  Both farmers were working hard in the fields.  One farmer stopped wherever he was at the end of the day and began working hard again the next morning.  The other farmer always made a point to hoe to the end of the row, sometimes taking until dark.  At the end of the week, the first farmer was only halfway done, but the second farmer had his fields all ready to plant.  The little bit of extra effort resulted in a more plentiful crop, riches untold, many children – you get the picture.  The first farmer?  Left his wife and spend the rest of his life in jail because he couldn’t hack it as a bank robber either.

Ok, so I totally made up the last part.  But for certain, he never had a kitchen floor that looked like this:

Tee hee!  So pretty!

Tee hee! So pretty!

So thank you to “Lola” and to her hubby for giving her to us for 6 days while we banged this out.  There is still tons to do, but the fridge and stove are back in the kitchen.  The dishwasher has the world’s most inventive tile mosaic under it.  The paint color has been chosen.  One outlet has been moved and I’m confident I can add another one now.  And the closet design has been finalized.

I completely would have thrown in the towel a number of times, but she kept me going with just enough of a push to get to a good stopping point each day (which frequently ended past midnight).  So thank you to my design guru for hoeing to the end of the row.

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Filed under Floor, Kitchen


The backerboard for the floor  is cut and laid – with about half the pieces mortared and screwed in.  This took ALL DAY and was hard work.  We’ll have to finish up securing the balance of it tomorrow morning and then can start laying the floor tile.

I wish that finishing the floor would mean that we were closing in on the finish line, but it will simply be a major milestone.

My back hurts.  I have a blood blister on my thumb.  And an owie on my left forearm.  And I saw some rustling in the tall grasses by the crabapple tree.  I think I know who it was and I’m not happy.

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Filed under Floor, Kitchen

Electricity, Cooking, & Physics

Cross another few off the list – we bought the stove today! (Thanks, Mom!)


Frigidaire Gallery

It is a Frigidaire Gallery – not fancy in any way – but we expect that it will shut off when you turn the knob.  Unlike our current oven.  We went with the floor model to save a couple of extra bucks and they’ll drop it at the curb sometime on Wednesday.

Along with that, we’ve scheduled the electrician to come on Thursday.  He agreed to drill the holes through the joists for us and he thinks all the stuff I want done can be done in a day pretty easily.  We are happy both on the disruption front and cost front for that.

And THEN, I got the email that the tiles will be at the distribution center on Wednesday.  There will be some interesting juggling to borrow a truck to pick them up yet be here to receive the stove.

Just another day of breaking the laws of physics.

I’ve been trying to sit down and calmly finish off the calculations for the cabinet door order, but I’m feeling really overwhelmed because this whole week just got REALLY busy inside of 3 hours.  I’m eating the elephant bite by bite, but frankly, I could use a box of chocolate chip cookies right about now.

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Filed under Electrician, Floor, Kitchen, Stove

Two major steps accomplished. 38 or so to go.

It is done.  I purchased the Marazzi Jade Sage from Mark.  They are going to ship directly to the local Marazzi distributor in San Leandro – 20 minutes from my house.  And no shipping costs to me – hooray!  Seemingly, completing the order over the phone and with PayPal worked better for them.  Which is fine.

Additionally, I placed the order for the veneering part of the cabinet refacing.  We are using a company in Colorado that walks you through the whole refacing process.  Check out the refacing video they have (it has a slight cheez factor, but makes the process completely clear.)  These supplies should be here in the next two-ish weeks.  I can hold out for the doors until later, as I’m confident those will be the last things to go back up.

I’m taking the measure twice/cut once rule VERY seriously.  I’ll be quadruple checking my numbers on the doors and drawer fronts this weekend and placing that order on Monday.

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Filed under Cabinets, Floor, Kitchen

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?

La-la-la… I called the local floor guy this morning, prepared to pleasantly haggle him down a bit in the per sq ft price – while still being perfectly happy with the price he quoted on Monday. Things were going well.  Then he came back on the line and apologized profusely but told me the “system” had incorrectly displayed his cost price and he couldn’t give it to me at cost.  Rather, he’d do me a favor and only add $.50/sqft.  Well, dearies, that was significantly over $100 bucks in cost difference.

Dude.  Seriously?

Continued my online search – including a pleasant call to the distributor.  Adina was very nice and gave me some local sources to try since she can’t sell directly to a homeowner.  And determined that the tile is in Sacramento – a day, maybe two days to delivery.  Whew! The tile – it LIVES!

Made all the calls, searched the internet – yes, including eBay.  Found what may be the best price I can find and attempted to place the order.  Credit card in hand, ready to go.  The “terminal” database is down?



I filled out a contact form.  I’ve got the tiles in my little shopping cart waiting there patiently.  We’ll see how tomorrow goes.

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Filed under Floor, Kitchen