December 13, 2004


This has been a loooonnnnngggg time coming.

A brief historical sketch:

We moved to this house three and half years ago. The kitchen was so dreadful the seller's realtor started suggesting remodel ideas.

We hired a handyman to seal off a doorway and an ironing board closet, also to tear out a horribly placed kitchen island and built-in oven from the 40's (if not before) and the most ominous, block-like overhead THING meant to surround a vent. He left huge gouges in the vinyl floor and strips of exposed plywood where the horrors had been excised, like petrified footprints embedded in rock.

That was March 2003. Nearly two years ago. (You'll find a pictorial of that job here.) We worked hard the next month or so to eradicate the dreary, caked-on paint job (institutional green, in layers) (we stripped and painted, it was a nightmare) (we should have ripped the cabinets out but we didn't have the money). We succeeded, I think.

Except for the floor. Which remained. Torn-up cheap vinyl. Ugly as sin. What to do? Tile? Expensive. Labor-intensive if we do it ourselves, probably rendering the kitchen unusable for weeks. Linoleum? Not as cheap as you'd think for the good stuff. And. Y'know. Linoleum. Oh, and by the way? The lino under the vinyl? Asbestos-laden. 30%, I think it was. That's a lot. So we'd have to hire abatement folk to tear up the stuff. Except the abatement guy? Said if they couldn't get it off the plywood they'd just take up the floor. Yeah. The whole floor. Boards too. And then when Dan called him back to ask another question (ie: what exactly is left if you do that?), the man never returned the call. As in, not ever.

Hmm. What to do?

I'm not a huge fan of laminate. I don't think Pergo looks like wood, I truly don't. But it's far better than lino and half the price of tile. And you donít have to remove the toxic stuff, just set it right on top. Simple.

And Dan found an Alloc faux tile laminate that looked pretty damned good.

So. Friday. Eight fifteen a.m. Ding-dong, workmen here.

They get right to work:


Laying down the flooring:


And the results:





It's an amazing relief to have a real floor in there. It completes the kitchen. Well, except for the dishwasher, which will go in that space to the right of the sink. We have the machine, we just need the wiring and plumbing. But overall, it's an amazing difference. I find myself thinking about transformation, about the power of ownership. You can actually change your environment, which impacts your life every single day. You can actually, tangibly change your life. After a lifetime of renting, this simple fact still takes me by surprise. Posted by Tamar at December 13, 2004 09:31 PM

Wow, that looks wonderful! I cannot believe that is the same kitchen I stood in a couple of years ago -- it's so beautiful now. And I love the tile Dan picked.

Posted by: toni at December 13, 2004 11:02 PM

It's BEEE-UUUUUU-TEEEEEE-FULLLLLLL. What a difference. A huge difference.

Mazel tov. Use it in good health, as my mother would say. (Or as I would say, apparently, having turned into my mother.)

Posted by: Tiny Coconut at December 14, 2004 12:51 AM