Take Offs and a Landing

Last week I had a day off from work and decided to make use of the time by taking on a project. It ended up taking a little longer than anticipated, and I hit a few snags, but in the grand scheme of things this was one of the easier projects we’ve done.

Doorway before Landing

Since we’ve moved in we’ve always had problems with the front door that enters directly into the living room. The most obvious problem is that the carpet makes it very difficult to open. The other problem is that anytime we’ve had any kind of contractor or inspector or service guy over they come in and, if they’ve got boots on, they don’t have anywhere to wipe their feet or take off said boots. We came up with the idea to create a landing area right there.

Carpet Layout for Landing Cut

That’s what it looked like with the carpet. We’ve cut the carpet back before, and were aware that there is some hardwood underneath. While we were working on the kitchen we got a glimpse of the hardwood while installing a threshold to the dining room. It didn’t seem to be in the best shape, so we sort of gave up on the idea of ever uncovering useable hardwood floors.

Carpet Peel Back Hardwood

This section of hardwood that was hiding under the carpet seems a lot more promising. It seems to be in better shape and is a lot more pleasing to look at. Right now we don’t really have the time or the funds to tear up all of the carpet and refinish the hardwood. So that’s a project for another day/time/year unfortunately. As I was cutting the carpet and peeling the padding off the floor, it seems like they used some staples to secure it down. From what I understand this is a lot better than if they had used an adhesive or lots of nails. I ripped ’em all out one by one and it was time to say goodbye to the hardwood flooring for now.

Hardwood Floor Showing Carpet Staples

We had a few planks of leftover Pergo flooring from the kitchen. I cut those down to size and laid them down. Since this will be a location where people will be entering from outside, I glued between the planks to keep them sealed. I had some difficulty with the thresholds, as the height difference between the carpet and floor below is too great to close the gap cleanly. Also, the Pergo thresholds require a metal bracket to be installed into the floor below, which is NOT something I was about to do. Also, while cutting the right angles for the corners, the Pergo tends to chip and I couldn’t get a clean angle. To clean it up I filled in the unevenness with a color matched silicone.

Pergo Floor Weighted

Since the whole floor is “floating” and the thresholds are essentially suspended between the Pergo and the carpet with some Liquid Nails adhesive, we needed to weigh down the edges and let them set overnight.

Finished Front Door Landing

This project also afforded me the opportunity to seal in some gaps between the floor and door that were letting cold air in. A little bit of adhesive backed window insulation did the trick and stopped the draft from coming in under the door.

Pergo Landing into Living Room

I think the final product looks nice and clean and transitions to the carpet really well. Of course the best part is the door doesn’t get caught or slowed down by any protruding carpet. Overall, this was a pretty easy one day, one-off project that not only looks pretty cool, but also solves a problem we’ve been having since we moved in. Its been a week now and the floor is working out great for us.

Our Kitchen Makeover Project

Now that the wedding and our vacation are behind us and we’re getting back to work on the house, we have really been working our arses off! We’ve spent a lot of time cleaning up the yard and working to re-do the drop ceiling in our basement (post about this coming soon!), but our biggest achievement to date is definitely our brand new kitchen! And now for the big reveal (if you haven’t already seen it on Twitter and Facebook)…

The old brown and yellow linoleum floor:

Old linoleum floorOld linoleum floorProgress…

Progress on kitchen floor makeover projectThe finished product before building the island:

Kitchen floor makeover projectAnd with the island:

New kitchen islandWe’re usually not braggers, but seriously, that is one hot kitchen! Sure the counter tops are still mismatched and we are still putting the finishing touches on floor base and thresholds, but what a HUGE difference this new floor and island have made!

We used Pergo laminate flooring that we purchased from Lowe’s. With the flooring itself, some threshold and other molding, along with the accessories needed for the floor installation, the entire bill for this project was under $550.00. We’re pretty psyched about the outcome. I’d say it came out looking even better than we thought! We were going to opt for flexible wall base (because that’s what was there previously and we really didn’t feel like removing the old adhesive), but we found a nice, inexpensive white molding that was the perfect size to cover up the yucky old adhesive gunk.

White floor base moldingWhite floor base molding under base cabinetsWe started with a few 8 foot pieces of the molding and used a jigsaw to cut the sizes we needed. With a little help from our friends at Lowe’s, we opted to use Liquid Nails to affix the molding to the tiles. We also got some white tub & tile caulk to run along the top of the molding. Since the tiles create an uneven surface and make it a little tricky for the molding to adhere properly, you end up with a few, albeit, small uneven gaps between the top of the molding and the wall. Thus, the white tub & tile fills these gaps and gives the finished product a nice, clean look.

As for the new addition to the kitchen furniture, you can see, our island layout plan really worked!
New kitchen islandWe got this Home Styles kitchen island from “EZBuyFurniture.com.” Yea – we were really hesitant about this one, but they really offered the best price and they had phenomenal reviews! It arrived very quickly and it was really easy to assemble. This island is really the heart of the kitchen. It’s what’s going to keep things functioning properly, because I think we almost doubled our storage space and counter space with this one (or at least it feels like it). Once we fully complete the floor base molding, we will be moving the refrigerator and pantry back into place. Then we will be able to put everything away, utilizing our new storage space. The counter space has already proven to be very helpful!

Needless to say, we’re clearly pretty proud of our latest achievement and our feelings toward the kitchen have taken a big turn for the better. It makes being in the kitchen so much more pleasant and this really rounds out the upstairs projects. Of course, we still have the bathroom remodel to worry about, but we’re handing that job over to the professionals. We will have a new bathroom before Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas to us!

We really cannot wait for everything to be complete. Of course, we will never be done working on the house, but finishing off the kitchen and bathroom projects will make the house feel brand new to us!