Kitchen mini-reno sneak peek

New floor, new fridge, new dishwasher!
We're winding down on phase 1 of the mini-renovation in the kitchen.  The floor is no longer scary, and we have a working dishwasher and a fridge that actually fits in the space designed for it.  I'm happy with the way it looks, and it completely changes the character of the room, even though the cabinets and countertops are still the same.  Removing the cruddy wallpaper and paneling wainscot will help even more, but we won't do that until it's warmer outside and we can open the windows to ventilate.

We went with SwiftLock Sierra Slate laminate tiles from Lowes.  I had my doubts, since it got iffy reviews, but we bought 6 boxes and figured if it didn't work out for us, we'd just return it.  The semi-cruddy reviews were due to the planks being bowed.  Even after letting all the flooring sit for about 10 days, there was a noticeable curve to each plank.  But as we slid the planks together, we found if we tapped the long edge with a hammer to help engage the tongue and groove, we had no problems.  The seams are not even visible.  It's so much nicer than the el-cheapo temporary laminate we had in there before.  The planks don't slide around; they all fit snugly together.  It was more difficult to install, since we had to line up the "grout lines" in order to make it look like tile instead of a haphazard mess, but Shayne and I are both very happy with the results.

The only issue I have is that it's more modern than the rest of the house.  It's not so modern that it's jarring to walk into the room, but it's obviously newer than the 1920s.  I knew that was a hazard when we started this project, but creating a more period-appropriate kitchen by replacing the cabinets and unearthing and refinishing the wood floor just isn't in the budget now that we're going to move.  I wanted to do something that was appealing while being totally reversible by a future owner (if desired).  While it's not the kitchen this house deserves, we didn't ruin anything either.  And it does look nice, and I think it's the best we could do while working with the existing cabinets.  It's just not the kitchen I had dreamed of for this house.

In the next "phase", we're going to add baseboard to match the rest of the house, remove the wallpaper and paneling, paint the walls, and install toekicks.  It should be warm enough to open the windows during the day for a few hours within a week or two, so we'll be moving right along.  In the meantime, Shayne is going to install the molding in the upstairs bedrooms, and I'll get busy sanding and staining the few bits of woodwork that are still painted in the hallway.

Oh house, how I want you to be finished....

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