January 23, 2012

Waiting On The Kitchen Floor

The next step in our kitchen remodel is the floor. This is a big purchase, one we had to save up for. We discussed all the flooring possibilities, and ended up choosing 9 inch wide pine plank flooring. Dan thinks this is the best option, considering how uneven and dippy our kitchen floor is. He definitely did not want ceramic tiles, and if we chose a vinyl floor, we would have to rebuild the floor to correct the problem, like we did for the wood cookstove only more extensively. (He said leaving it as is was not an option.) With the planks, we hope to shim where it's dipped, and come out with a fairly even and level floor in the end. This will also give us a thicker, snugger, more sturdy floor. Our house was built without subflooring. I don't know if this was typical of 1920s construction, but the only floor is one layer of 3/4 inch oak. The boards are no longer air tight, so I'll be glad to put down a vapor barrier and another 3/4 inch on top of that. As a bonus, a plank floor will go with our country kitchen motif.

The floor isn't scheduled to come in until the end of January, so while we wait, we're doing a lot of little kitchen projects. The first was a jack for a kitchen wall phone (currently I have to run to another part of the house to answer the phone, on the rare occasions that it rings.)

Also completed the wiring (switch above) for the dining nook light....

This is one of the mini pendants I purchased awhile back.

Dan's also working on what will become some of our wall cabinets. These, we purchased awhile back as well. Since they were built to be floor cabinets, he needed the legs cut off,

and to stain and poly....

We got the pot rack installed....

Because my kitchen is small, I will have limited cupboard space. Consequently I have been looking at every alternative for storage that I can. This had been sitting around in a box for awhile, just waiting for the right moment to hang.

I've have painted the back door...

Dan also woodburned a new door inset for our key rack! The key rack was here when we bought the house.

Original key rack

It was attached to the wall, full of old keys, and turned out to be a handy place to keep them. I liked the old inset, but I really like the one Dan woodburned for me better....

New door inset for key rack

Most recently, we installed the ceiling fan I bought last summer.

What a difference this makes in pushing the warm, wood cookstove heated air out of the kitchen and into the back bathroom and dining room. I have to say that with the two woodstoves, our house is finally warm this winter. It's not that we have a lot of square footage to heat (about 1400 sq. ft), it's the placement of the stoves. The soapstone stove should be adequate to heat all that, but being in the front of the house with a maze of doors for the heat to pass through, and the back of the house was always cold. The wood cookstove takes care of that and the ceiling fans on low reverse do wonders to circulate the heat. On top of that, the kitchen retains heat for quite awhile, thanks to the new insulation.

As you can see, we haven't been idle. Buying smaller items along the way was a good idea. Not only because it spreads out the cost, but because Dan is a project person and when the weather doesn't cooperate for outdoor projects, he has something to do in the house.

Hopefully once we get the floor down we'll have mild weather for the staining and finishing. After that will come the cabinetry. We have some of it, but some of it will need to be purchased (another save-up-for item). Then comes plumbing (I have the fixture but not the sink), countertops (we bought these about a month ago), and the seemingly endless (right, Mama Pea?) list of finishing up jobs, mostly moulding and trimwork. With a little good providence, my new kitchen should be ready for business this spring!


  1. Very exciting! I'm sure you can't wait to have your kitchen completed! Nicely done so far!

    Thanks for sharing the progress!


  2. I love the 'accessory' in the recess, in the breakfast-nook! Looks like the kitchen is coming along nicely. Having that extra 3/4 of an inch on the floor will be a big help.

  3. How exciting!!!!! I can't imagine how happy you must be to see it all coming together!! Beautiful:)

  4. So much planning finally coming to fruition. I'm so happy for you :) It is looking wonderful!

  5. oh this is coming together so lovely! You will just never want to leave your kitchen :)

  6. The nook looks gorgeous and Dan's new key cabinet door is lovely! It's gonna be grand when it's all done.
    Warm, welcoming and efficient too. What color will the floor be? Light or dark? Remember pine mellows and darkens with age no matter what finish they put on it.
    Glad it;s nice and warm for you too. I love ceiling fans
    and have them in just about every room.

  7. RaShell, I am sooo ready to have that kitchen done. We started on it last February, but it wasn't until we took the sink out in early December that the whole thing really started to drive me nuts, LOL

    Judy, the remodeler's DIY touch! LOL I think both the extra floor and vapor barrier will made a huge difference.

    Mystic Mud, thanks! It's both exciting and encouraging to get to this point. Almost like a dream come true. :)

    Dani, thanks. :) I never thought I'd have so pretty a kitchen.

    Denise, so far so good! I worry over each idea, hoping the results will turn out like the idea in my head. Actually, we put our old kitchen table and stools in the dining nook, and already spend a lot of time there!

    Theresa, thanks! I have to admit there've been times when I couldn't imagine it would ever get done! The floor will be the same dark color as the beams. I'm cautious with dark colors, but Dan and I agree this is the right color. My thoughts are also turning toward weaving some rag rugs to scatter about it. If only I could get to my loom......

  8. You are getting what I want. A wood floor in the kitchen!

    We have carpet and vinyl floors for the most part. A bit of wood in the entry way and dining room which the dogs scratch up, BTW. We did put down cermaic tiles in the guest bath but WOW are they cold in Winter. Our floors are also uneven. No cracking yet but SM says "no more tiles." Fine with me!

    Everything is looking so nice, Leigh. I bet you can't wait to get this behind you.

  9. I love the rack over the cooker - pity, my ceiling is too low for one (green with envy:)). and the key cabinet is pretty - like all the pyro-things your husband does! I am sure you can't wait for it all to be done - after all the kitchen is a room we're working in all the time! we have the same problem with the oven and heat - in principal one should be enough, but only if you have a square house and the oven sits in the middle. in a snake-shaped cottage like ours it just doesn't work, even with radiators attached.

  10. I really like your idea of hanging some things up because you dont have a lot of space in your kitchen, your house is really coming along really nicely Leigh. Richard

  11. Love the new door inset..what a real treasure, made with your hubby's own hands (and heart). xo

  12. I love Dan's key box door! Goodness is there anything that man can't do?

    Your kitchen is going to be so pretty!

  13. You are both doing an amazing job Leigh!! I am loving it:) You might want to check out anawhite.com, she recently posted free plans for kitchen cabinets. It might be cheaper to make them yourself:)

  14. How exciting to see the progress. Your kitchen is going to be so pretty. I too like to but things for the small projects for bad weather.

  15. Tami, yes, those ceramic tiles are freezing cold in the winter! We put them down in our kitchen bath, which we like because of water, but don't like on our bare feet. We still have the hall bath to tackle, and we've been discussing some sort of radiant heating system underneath if we decide to tile that floor. Even though we don't care for ceramic in the kitchen, we do think it has a place in the bathroom.

    Bettina, I feel fortunate to have taller than average ceilings! Yes, oddly shaped houses are hard to heat. And cool!

    Richard, thanks! I confess I'm very possessive about my storage space!

    Sherri, it really makes it special. :)

    Benita, I honestly think he could do about anything he put his mind too! He doesn't always think so, but my faith in him is unbounding. :)

    Stephanie, thank you for the link! What a lot of great projects. We recently made a fabulous score on most of our base cabinets, but I see things here that would be perfect to try. What a great resource.

    Connie, I'm really happy with how well it's turning out. :)

  16. Leigh, I love everything your doing ...the house is going to be a real "Home" in every sence of the word..I can use one of those pot hangers in my kitchen it's small and has no real cabinet space for the items I use.

  17. It's so exciting watching your progress, and I love your taste and style. I'm also in love with that pot rack! Your kitchen is going to be awesome :)

  18. The key holder is my favorite. I just sent you an email with an interesting parallel to your wall cabinets.

  19. It's good you can knock out some of the little things between the big ones. It give you a break from the big projects, but you are still making progress at the same time. We have the same problem with our wood stove. Lots of walls and doors to deal with and the stove faces away from the majority of the house space so the heat has to travel backwards to penetrate the bedrooms. We still love it though! The key rack door is lovely.

  20. Ginny, I hear you about the small kitchen and small cabinet space! My husband has assigned me the project of figuring out where I will put everything. I'm wondering if I can do it!

    Donna, thanks!

    Nellie, thanks! So amazing how project pop up in parallel like that. Don't you just love having a handy husband? ")

    Candace, that's a good way to look at it. The big projects take a lot out of us! It seems that most homes today are designed for central heat and air. Not conducive to wood heat, but like you, we love it anyway!

  21. Leigh, it's going to be absolutely wonderful when it's finished! I love the wide planking, myself. My goal is to replace all of the carpeted areas in my house with laminate. MUCH easier to keep on top of the errant pet hair. I like the cabinets, too.

  22. You have gotten a jillion small (really NOT small!) things done! They are the things that show and end up making a house look so homey.

    Before our kitchen remodel, I had a hanging pot rack and was very happy with it. Even now, even with my work counter in a different spot, I still automatically reach above my head when I want a pot or pan! (Makes me feel just a little dim-witted.)

    I especially like the way you've chosen to showcase the power drill in the wall of the dining nook! ;o} It's only fitting . . .

  23. It is really coming together, isn't it? Looks great so far, can't wait to see the end result. Good job both of you!

  24. It looks great! It is such a great feeling to get all those projects done isnt it? Cant wait to see more...

  25. just found your blog.
    looking forward to learning more from you and your journey on self suff. as we begin to do the same with our family

    wanted to comment to and say hello.

  26. I love the details in your kitchen, especially the pot rack and key cabinet. This project is really starting to shape up.

  27. I love the border - that is so cute!! It is really coming along nicely. I love the darker stain on the wood - beautiful!!

  28. I love your kitchen! And I love the pot rack,and key thingy too. Sounds like you all will be busy for awhile,I bet you will love the new flooring,I know I would. Blessings Jane

  29. looks great leigh. it will all be worth it in the end, although the journey can be a PITA. mine was 3 years in the making, with no regrets.

  30. Nice to have those "smaller" projects to fit in here and there while waiting on something. After all, you wouldn't want Dan to be bored and feel he is useless!

  31. Susan, yes, pet hair is a problem with carpets. I do like area rugs however!

    Mama Pea, aw, it's too bad you couldn't reuse your pot rack. I'm still getting used to mine though at the moment, I'm not storing a lot in the kitchen. My only problem is that it can't hold my cast iron!

    Sue, thanks! It's exciting. :)

    Denise, it's a relief!

    Amanda, thank you and welcome! So glad to find like minded souls around the blogosphere. I'm on my way for a return visit.

    Norma, finally! I didn't think we'd ever get to this point. :o

    BRF, I got the border at Walmart! Thanks for the compliment on the dark stain. I was worried at first, thinking it would be too dark. But with a semi-gloss finish, it reflects the light and is turning out just fine.

    Jane thanks! I can't wait for the new floor. The old one is so ugly! LOL

    Chris, 3 years! oh my. We've been at this a year in February. Hopefully we'll finish up not too much longer after that!

    Janice, yes, hurray for those smaller projects! Of course, they have to be done anyway. :)


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