Renovation Story

Finished Floors!

Monday, August 18th, 2014

This afternoon I’m finally back at my desk in California, it feels great to be home and catch up with friends and family. I took a ton of pictures over the weekend before we left Vegas so I wanted to kick off this week’s progress report on the renovation with the beautiful floors that are finally finished at the Nevada house. It took a few days longer than expected but our installer and his assistant did an amazing job and purposefully took their time with each and every plank, we are so so thrilled with these new floors.

You never quite know how it will all look when complete when you make a choice to cover a single floor in a home with one material, but we’re really pleased with this Daltile™ Forest Park Sugar Maple porcelain tile, we love the look of this product and colorway against the smooth white painted walls.

daltile living room floors

The downstairs in this home has an open floor plan so using the same porcelain plank wood tiles throughout gives the house great flow and ties all the rooms together. (At the time these photo were taken were still working on swapping out the old yellowed electrical outlets, hence the weirdness with the switches.) But anyway, back to the floors, like I mentioned in the demo and installation post, they are 9 x 36" planks installed in a random pattern to replicate the look of real wood.

The house is situated on a small court and all the neighbors have wandered over to introduce themselves and take a peek at the transformation and all said "Wow, wood" at first glance and we replied "No, it’s tile!" and then everyone bends down to touch and feel because it’s hard to believe when you first look at it in a space.

datile floors entry hall copy

Get up close to it and yes you can tell that there is grout in between the 1/8" seams but from a few feet away it is a beautiful wood lookalike. Very cool to the touch too which is important in the desert! The new higher baseboards also modernize this 1989 home and make it feel more contemporary. 

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Tile Flooring: Demo + Installation

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Today I’m back with another progress report on the Nevada house renovation, this one focused on the flooring! Two weeks ago I shared we chose to remove the old carpet and tile and replace it all downstairs with Daltile’s Forest Park in Sugar Maple (see the "before" here).

As I mentioned in that post, if the downstairs floors had been all plain white porcelain tile we might have kept that tile but because it was mixed with three kinds of dingy carpet we decided it all had to go to achieve a seamless more contemporary look from room to room.

wood porcelain plank tile demo and installation

Matt and I considered demolishing and installing the flooring ourselves for about 45 seconds, then came to the sane conclusion that professional demo and installation was a much smarter idea. 1,100 square feet of demo and tile installation would surely send us to both marital and physical therapy.

Also, these floors have to be perfect. The kitchen is a pass through and is located in the middle of the house with the living room on the right and the family room/breakfast nook on the left. Connecting the tile through the kitchen and around walls without anything wonky happening was essential and that made us nervous to tackle the install ourselves.

Someday I’ll write a post about when we DIY and when we hire out but this flooring project is the perfect example. We gathered three bids and chose the one we felt could do the work in the most timely and professional way and for a reasonable cost. Demolition began with the carpeted spaces and baseboard removal.

remove carpet and baseboard

 

Tile removal is a lot harder, first just getting the tiles off the floor takes strong tools and muscles… 

ceramic tile removal

 

The first tool the crew used was a heavy pry bar and the tiles popped off pretty fast but broken pieces went flying everywhere (protective eyewear necessary!). We really appreciated that before starting demo they papered the freshly smooth textured walls (that burgundy paper shown), it was conscientious of the hard work from last week.

pry bar

Another tool they used was a hammer and crow bar to pop them off one by one.

old tile removal

My Dad wanted a piece of the action with that pry bar so he took out the tile under the fireplace in an oh so appropriate shoe choice for tile removal. :)

dad and pry bar

 

For thinset mortar removal, the crew used two tools, the first was a scraper, they used a sander to sharpen the edges a few times throughout the day.

scraper and sander

 

sander sharpen

 

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