Sometimes It Doesn’t Work Out, And That’s OK

When we got the keys to the flip house, one of our partners and I immediately started planning the kitchen. Both of our visions lined up perfectly, it was like she could read my mind.  We’d take the builder grade cabinets to white, rip up the sticky tile floor and put down ACTUAL tile, have the walls a nice light gray, back-splash and most importantly, switch out the ugly countertops for something new.

We both loved the look of white cabinets and a lighter countertop and were STOPPED IN OUR TRACKS when we found this one at Lowe’s.

Lowe's Countertop

Amazing, right?!  Sigh… [Read more…]

Dirty Little Secrets – Cutting Off Cabinets

Ok, so it’s probably not that bad.  Remember when we had our new kitchen floors installed?  Something you may run into if you ever have this done, is issues with the new floor height… specifically appliances fitting back into their (already snug) places.

We have a monster refrigerator, which was literally pushed in with all of our might.  When the new floors added an additional 1/2 inch, there was no way it was going back in.  What to do?  After carefully inspecting the cabinets, I realized that there was a pretty large overhang from the bottom of the refrigerator cabinets… Wasted space!  Nothing a few power tools won’t fix!

I pulled out my Dremel Multi-Max and went to town!  As soon as it hit the wood, it took on a mind of its own.  As I tried to cut, the wood started to smoke!  Totally not the right tool for a big area like that, so I got my mini-circular saw and it made the job so much easier.

But my next mistake was “eyeballing it.”  You can see in the picture below, everything is very uneven… and this was after I fixed some of the painfully obvious uneven marks.

I finally got my head on straight and pulled out a level.  I have a really long one that I just held up to the opening and traced a line all the way across with a Sharpie.
Then using the laser guide, I followed the line and actually cut it straight this time.  🙂
I was able to cut almost the whole area across with my Versacut, but had to go back and get the inside corners with the Dremel Multi-Max.
The only thing left to do was clean up the sawdust and push the refrigerator back in!
Like a GLOVE, people!  And no one would ever be able to tell that the cabinet lip had been cut down.
Moral of the story:  Don’t be afraid to come up with your own solutions.  The important thing to remember is that almost EVERYTHING can be fixed.  Just give it some thought… and don’t eyeball it.  🙂
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Removing Grout Haze

My floors are down and grouted…holla!  After weeks of floor issues in the kitchen, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The problem I’m facing now is dreaded grout haze on my tile.  I asked my tile guy how to remove it and he said I just needed to sponge it down with warm water a few times…seriously?? A few??
So I decided to try out some Pinterest ideas and it turns out, I only needed one!
Distilled White Vinegar and Water!
Here is my before…
Ok, so you really can’t see it here… but I promise, it had a ton of grout haze.
I mixed 1 part vinegar with 4 parts water (I used one cup of vinegar and 4 cups of warm water) and wiped down the tile.  You can see below where I missed a section.  The side with no haze was completely dry, that’s how big the difference is.  
It was almost like the vinegar and water solution ate it right off!  The best part?  It’s completely chemical free and there was no “vinegar-ey” smell when it dried!
There are so many awesome uses for vinegar!  What have you used it for?
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Kitchen Floor Update

It’s been a busy couple of weeks!  Remember when I told you about the water coming up from our kitchen floor that resulted in my freak out and tearing out part of our kitchen floor?

Well thanks to my wonderful aunt, I was reminded “Hey you have homeowner’s insurance, call them.”  Why did I forget that???
So my insurance company sent out an adjuster and YES it is covered!  So now instead of me patching the flooring, I’m opting to have a professional install tile.  I’ve tiled before and I really liked doing it, but with the water damage, I want to make sure that the subfloor isn’t damaged or doesn’t need to be replaced in parts.  A professional will be able to do this much easier and quicker than I could.  
Now the fun part begins!  I have picked a contractor and he does FABULOUS work!  I have also picked out my tile which I am super excited about.  
I found it at Lowe’s and immediately fell in love with it.  Here is a link to the tile I am going to use.  It’s the wood look tile, 48″ long tiles… perfect!!  It really looks like wood!  I’ve gone back and forth with the grout, spent HOURS searching Pinterest and other blogs and photos and I have finally chosen to do small 1/16″ grout lines filled with black grout.  
I’m out of town this week for work, but will purchase the tile when I get back (I also got a 10% off coupon from Lowe’s emailed to me, nice timing!) and hopefully have this project knocked out the first or 2nd week of March.  I’m so excited!

So…This Happened

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That’s right folks…you are looking at a picture of me ripping up the ceramic tile in my kitchen.
About a month ago, we came home to a flooded kitchen.  That little water hose from the back of the refrigerator had busted while we were out of town.  I cleaned it up, thinking “whew, thank goodness we have tile and not wood floors.”  Until last week when I noticed moisture on my floor.

Honestly thought it was my little dogs.  I even told the hubby that we had Houdini dogs because I had put training pads down and thought they were going on top, then kicking them up and peeing underneath. ..I owe them an apology.

One of the tiles ended up cracking and when I saw the moisture last week, I popped that tile off  and found a mess.

Did I  mention that the previous owners of our house didn’t use cement backer board. .. they used plywood.  Do you know what water does to plywood?   It soaks it up like a sponge!!!  It’s not pretty.

I had to keep pulling up tile until there was no more damaged areas.   Hubby was out of town and not happy with me, until he got home and saw what I was working with.

Good news is that since pulling up those spots, there is no more water.  It’s dry as a bone, whew!
I’ve contacted my insurance company and they are coming out this week, hopefully this will be covered.

We had planned to redo the floor in the kitchen in a couple of years, so it may end up being sooner rather than later.

Have you had to patch tile before?  Ever had water damage?  It stinks!