Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kitchen Remodel - Part I

It was a given that one of the first rooms in our newly-purchased home to be remodeled would be the kitchen. It just screamed 60's flower-power. Literally. When we pulled the cabinet knobs off of the doors, they were actually dated from 1968. Oh, and the beautiful gray carpet - where do we even begin?

So, shortly after the basement remodel was (mostly) finished, we set our sights on the, well, unsightly, kitchen. See here:

The kitchen had good bones - it was small, but had a good work triangle, a beautiful big window overlooking the neighborhood (I could wash dishes while spying on the neighbors! haha), a good-sized pantry (not shown), and a decent amount of cabinet space.

Our qualms with it, however: there was carpet on the floor (what were they thinking?), dated and dying appliances, dirty and faded cabinets, dated cabinet hardware, soffits above the cabinets that enclosed the space and made it feel much smaller, and of course - the beautiful flower power brown and orange tile backsplash (yes, it was TILE).

The first to go was the digusting cabinet hardware, as that was an easy fix. We were grossed out to realize how much grime had built up over the years, onto the cabinets and hardware - so much, in fact, that they were actually sticky. Ew.

Then I spent a whole weekend where I used wood cleaner to get all the stick off of the wood cabinets, which brightened them up immensely, but also left them tired-looking and dull. But at least they were clean and weren't sticky anymore!

Then, my wonderful parents drove halfway across the country so they could help us some with the house. They are as much, if not more, DIYers than we are! Hence also where I get my resourcefulness, haha. We decided to tackle a big project while they were here - replacing the smelly, old carpet throughout most of the main level of the house (including the kitchen, dining area and living room) with laminate wood flooring.

After several days of research and looking all over town for a good price, we finally found our laminate, and you'll never guess where: Costco. That's right, Costco. We found wonderful high-quality laminate wood there for an amazing price.

Next up, installation. It took quite awhile to install the new laminate flooring (it lays down right over the old flooring). The hardest part was the fireplace - Tom ended up cutting each piece specially to fit exactly the rocks in the fireplace. And that was the toughest part - until we reached the dining area/kitchen.

Once we ripped the carpet up out of the dining area/kitchen, we realized it was glued down onto the subflooring, with layers and layers of sticky goo. We tried placing the laminate wood over the glue, but when you stepped on it there was a horrible "sticky" noise. We were stumped. We tried placing paper over it, thought of adhesive removers, talked to every flooring employee at every home improvement store we could find. Nothing seemed to work in the short timeframe we were working in (my parents were only staying a week).

We were sitting around, discouraged and losing hope as our latest "solution" had failed, when suddenly Tom exclaimed, "baking soda." "What?" I asked. He repeated, "baking soda." My parents and I stared at him in confusion and then each other. We thought the stress must've been too much and he'd fallen off his rocker. He jumped up and ran down to the laundry room to grab a box of baking soda we had stored down there. He returned with a box of the stuff and promptly poured a thin layer of it over the stick, and placed a piece of wood laminate overtop of it. Then he stepped on the piece of flooring. It was dead quiet for a moment before we started celebrating.

So we finished laying the new flooring down in the kitchen, with a layer of baking soda underneath it.

I wonder what the next homeowners will think of us if they decide to replace the kitchen flooring?


  1. May I say, first of all, that your parents would have gladly driven ALL the way across the country to help you two out. =)
    That said, the fun in helping you install the flooring was well worth the trip. And the baking soda episode! We still regale any and all of that Eureka! moment. We are so proud of our genius son-in-law! Maybe Arm and Hammer need to hear of this innovative use of their product.....
    Desperate times call for desperate measures!

  2. Hi, there!

    I'm just stopping by to say "thank you" for commenting on my blog today, Tell'er All About It. I had to stop by and can I just say....why would ANYbody put carpet in a kitchen?? I mean...seriously?!?!

    This looks FANTASTIC!!!! Lovin' your blog!

    Tell'er all About It

  3. Hi Lindsay,

    Thanks for stopping by! I believe I can sort of answer your question, actually: The people who put carpet in the kitchen were probably also the same ones who literally buried a cement patio. I agree - "Why?!" is definitely the question of the year with our house! :)

    Thanks for stopping by!


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