Kitchen Makeover | Part 5: Going Against The Grain

Monday, November 25, 2013

After a minor setback with our kitchen ceiling, shared in Part 4, we were only left with 2 days to finish our floors...
And like most of you know, when it comes to DIY the key is flexibility!  The reality of the situation was that two days wasn't enough time, so rather than get all bent out of shape, we chose a new stopping point for the week.  If we could get all the old tiles removed, then the following weekend we'd be able to pick up where we left off.  Armed with our new plan and a crowbar, we started ripping up the old floor: 
It came up quite easy, just a bit of elbow grease ~ large pieces were placed in industrial trash bags and small bits were vacuumed up.
Once the old tile was removed, we removed the moulding.
Then on to the fun part!  When it came to the sub floor, we had a huge inkling that the original wood floors were hidden underneath, but after having that same inkling with the ceilings, we now weren't sure.  So we held our breath and hoped for the best as Brian removed a large section:
And low and behold there it was, the original wood flooring!  As we kept removing the sub floor, more and more of the original started showing through...
 ...until we were only 5 feet to go, and this happened: 
 Yup, this kitchen was full of unexpected surprises!  It's hard to see in the photo above, but the large diagonal wood boards were not only different from the rest cosmetically, but they were poorly executed.  You could see straight down to the dirt below through the huge gaps and in some cases large holes that existed.  Our initial thought was to remove the large boards and replace them with wooden slats similar to the originals.  But upon further inspection this really wasn't an option.  A) matching flooring can be difficult B) there would be no way to make the flooring even, due to the way this addition had originally been added.  Let me remind you, this entire time we had planned to simply re-do the original wood flooring, not have to install and buy new.  We were already behind schedule at this point, but we knew flooring could sometimes take weeks to order & deliver, and we really were hoping to start again the following weekend.  Ideally, we LOVED the idea of finding reclaimed wood that would match the rest of our house, but due to a limited time table we decided to forego that option.  Instead, we spent the entire next day driving around town, trying to find a budget friendly wood flooring that was available within the week.  We spoke to a lot of great sales associates about our situation and flooring options,  but none of them seemed to understand what we really wanted.  Every single one of them was pushing us towards brand new, top of the line flooring.  I don't know if it was strictly from a commission stand point, but most of them kept saying how "It's a must be use the kitchen the most & you must love it...if you're spending the money, you might as well upgrade...go with something different and you can replace the rest of the house later...etc, etc, etc".  But I didn't want to change the flooring in the rest of the house, I liked the rustic, worn look.  And if we were going to break out the big bucks on top of the line flooring, I would have rather spent the time finding meaningful reclaimed wood (like from a barn or some old estate in Europe).  I like old and I didn't want shiny & new.  But every sales associate said the same thing, "Well, there's no way to match it, so you might as well go completely different ~ here's new & shiny and oh by the way it takes weeks to arrive...."  So, I did what any DIYer would do, I took matters in my own hands.  And there in the back corner of a store was a Red Oak that seemed perfect!  
 We were advised against it, because it had a lot of knots and it was rustic (like that's a bad thing?!!), but in our minds knots add character & rustic is right up our alley!!  Plus, the price tag was one of the cheapest wood flooring options we had seen. So, when we asked how long it would take to get in, he said, "Oh, that stuff hardly sells, we have a ton in the back" ~ BINGO!!  So after a few "Are you sure?!" from the sales associate, we paid for the rustic, beat up wood and brought it home!  Here was our thought process:  From the get-go, we have never sought out to make this home top-of-the-line ~ we purchased a fixer upper, and that's what we intended to do ~!  We're not trying to make this house something that it's not.  Worst case scenario...we end up hating something, like ok, maybe we end up hating the rustic, beat up floors we just bought.  Should we end up staying in the house long term, we can always re-do them, and by not spending a ton of money in the first place, it only makes that decision a lot easier.  So we loaded up our rustic flooring and headed home:   
Over the next week we allowed our flooring to acclimate then got to work the following weekend:
While Brian started installing the flooring:
  It was my job to organize the pieces and lay out the design:
We kept going...
And surprisingly were able to get the floors completely installed in one day!
 For those of you still reading ~ I hope you're not bored to tears!  I can't wait to show you our almost Finished Kitchen!  I emphasize almost as we still have yet to install a back splash, but it's about time we reveal what our kitchen looks like now!!  Did we paint or stain the floors?  What color's on the wall?  All of that & more next Monday with our Kitchen Holiday Reveal!  In the meantime, we'll share some festive Thanksgiving posts for the remainder of the week!  So be sure to stop back by tomorrow!

Like always thanks so much for spending part of your day with me!! 


  1. I love the floor choice :)
    Untill the next post

  2. Michelle and Brian, this is so amazing I don't know what to say! Over the last months I haven't seem pictures, just heard what you were doing. Going from novices to this makes me so proud of you. You made wonderful decisions and got exactly what you wanted in a floor. I can hardly wait until next Monday to see the finished kitchen. I'm sure it will get good use for Thanksgiving when you prepare dinner for your family. Grams

  3. This is not boring! This is what I'm currently most interested in when it comes to DIY kitchen stuffs! I HATE my kitchen floor. It looks great, thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Haha, oh I know when people don't understand that I don't want the new and shiny things, but the old and rustic things. They seem to never understand… :)
    Your floor choice looks great!

    Love, Midsommarflicka


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