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back in the saddle

8 May 2011

If you were wondering if we were EVER going to get back to home renovation posts – the answer is yes. Big time.

Our tile finally made its way to Raleigh. It took a little longer than normal because we chose to do “consolidated shipping” which basically means we waited until the factory was shipping other stock tile to our area. Then, our tile stretched out its thumb and hitchhiked on that truck here to Raleigh for free. Score!

Joey has worked on several residential renovation projects at work, so luckily, we could rely on his expertise when planning our kitchen tiling project. The thing is, we had VCT [vinyl composite tile] in our kitchen. Oh yeah – and it was RED. barf.

As you can see in the picture, there is no grout. VCT is just glued down to the sub floor. It moves around with a moving floor well because it is flexible and can bend as necessary. Our new tile is not so easygoing. When it is installed, it is very rigid. It doesn’t bend with a moving floor like the VCT – it cracks at the joints and possibly across the tile as well. The solution? Beef up the floor structure so it doesn’t move.

How do you do that?

Glad you asked.

You take out the floor.  [hello basement!]

Why not just lay the new stuff on top of the old stuff?

For us, the old stuff was part of the problem. Also, if we added the plywood and tile on top, we would end up at least an inch higher than the rest of the floor in the house – which poses a problem at the doorways. So the decision was made and everything came out.

The next step: add structural support. We did this by “sistering” [nailing] a new board next to the old one. Kinda like me and Sarah, attached at the hip. [right, Mom?!]

It also helps the progress if you hit a water line with a saw-zaw during this step. Keeps everyone on their toes. Now, I don’t want to call anyone out, but Gracie has been known to get a little crazy with the saw-zaw before….

Thank goodness we have a sump pump. A quick trip to the hardware store, a change of clothes and we were back in business.

Joey spent most of the afternoon adding 2×10 floor joists everywhere. Once we decided there was enough structure, he started cutting plywood. Just in time for my last load of laundry.

Although, I was getting pretty good at walking across the joists with my laundry basket on my hip…

The plywood is 3/4″ tongue and groove so the whole floor acts as one solid piece [and moves as such – which has been the whole goal here.] We put down some subfloor adhesive on the tops of the joists, laid down the plywood, and went to town with the nail gun.

disclaimer: [Joey made me post this picture in exchange for the flooded basement story. you are welcome.]

disclaimer #2: [that nail gun is ginormous – and it broke my nail. bitch.]

Soon thereafter we had floors again!

Gracie likes having her access to the back door again.

Here you can see the old subfloor planks meeting up with our new plywood subfloor.

Now we are working on cleaning up the joints and making sure all the nails are hammered in far enough to prepare for the tile backer to go down on top of everything. Good news is it was on sale at HD today – love it when that happens!!

We are still trying to decide if we are going to lay the tile ourselves or have one of Joey’s tile guys come do it for us. Depending on the quote we get back from his guy on Monday, we may have tile installed as early as next week!

ok – back to work now.

Catch you on the flippity flip.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Heather VT permalink
    8 May 2011 8:41 pm

    All I can say is OH MY WORD!!! Wow…so proud of you guys! It’s going to look great. :)

  2. Mom permalink
    8 May 2011 10:08 pm

    That takes some courage to rip out floors like that! And it’s not just the floor… I noticed the dishwasher is out again, the doors to the cabinets are out again… and the list goes on and on. Glad you still have the energy to undertake this! It’s going to look gorgeous!

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