Replacing the Floor

Bringing the flooring through into the kitchen from the living room overwhelmed me. There was the large cabinet to empty in order to move it and cabinets to be removed but I finally got to work

I’m loving the dark floor and the smooth transition from one room to the next.

I ran into more problems than I anticipated.  The room always felt colder than the rest of the house but I thought it was simply a problem with holes for the plumbing having been cut too large and not filled in with insulation. I wish that was the case.

Removing trim to lay the floor we encountered no walls!  That’s right behind the cabinets in the kitchen there is zero insulation and no walls.  Whoever added this addition to the house cut corners. The cabinets were added to the bare framing then walls added around it.


It’s a bit hard to see from this picture but this is the gap between the cabinet seen above and the wainscot. All that rough ugly stuff is where we can stick a finger in to feel the framing of the house.

I almost wanted to give up.  My first thought was that I would need to rip the entire kitchen out, add insulation to the walls then add a vapor barrier and drywall over that and put the kitchen completely back together.  I just didn’t have the energy for that and it cut into the budget I’d set for this month’s work.

I decided to sleep on it, and I came up with an idea.  First I always knew I’d need to have the entire house insulated but planned to do so three years into the renovations as I’d budgeted most of my funds to work outside first getting the gardens up and running before any big ticket expenses, insulation was a big ticket item as I’ll need professionals to do the job since I didn’t want to remove all the plaster walls to do it myself.

My solution, for now, is to cut my expenses as much as possible on this stage of the kitchen remodel and simply remove the wainscot and insulate behind those areas after which in the spring I’ll see if I have enough money to insulate the entire house or just enough to do the kitchen.

This wall where the stove is was going to be torn out and a new shelving unit was going to be built with a lower top for work space so I don’t have to work from a make-shift table making it easier to cook from a seated position. It was going to look something like this.


ana white blog
Ana White

I planned to have the refrigerator on the bottom shelf along with a small oven and add an extension that would hold a cook top, all at a height comfortable to work from.

Instead I will be removing the top of the existing cabinet from the drawers up, removing the doors and the divider below and adding a counter top to that. The stove will have to remain for now until I’ve paid for the insulation.

cutting cabinet

I’ll still be able to put the fridge in the bottom and have a nice wood work space above.  The only cost will be a 2 by 12 piece of wood I’ll have cut into two pieces which I’ll join together to cover exactly the depth of the existing cabinet. It will work, trust me I can see it coming together.

Which brings me to the area between the cabinet and the doorway to the living room.  I always knew anything I did in this space would have to be custom made to fit as the depth of that space, not including the door framing is only six and three-quarter inches

measuring wall depth

You can probably see that I’m not all that disappointed to see this wainscot and trim go as it was poorly cut and even more poorly installed. Anyway, After measuring the space and realizing I had 50 inches wide of nothing I knew this would be a nice storage space for canning jars.

I’ll be building what amounts to basically a bookcase roughly five feet high to store the half gallon canning jars I use to hold my staples. I’ll be adding a “lip” to prevent jars from being knocked off the shelves as well.  Doing the math I realized I will be able to store 45 half gallon jars in this small nook which makes me very happy.

This post was supposed to be about laying the floor in the kitchen made necessary because the laminate flooring the previous owners installed was put in improperly, (how many different words can I come up with to describe a jobs not done correctly around this house?) and basically coming apart.  I got this far before realizing I was going to need more flooring and help removing a cabinet next to the sink where the clothes washer will go.

half way

I have enough left to do a couple more rows but this was a good stopping point. In case your eyes still trick you into believing the house is larger than it is I should tell you that at this point I’ve only used 300 sq ft of flooring to cover the living room and the kitchen.

adding a rug

One thing I couldn’t do before removing the laminate flooring was put a rug by the door to catch the wet shoes and boots during winter. It was a pain because laminate flooring and wet shoes mean slipping and falling plus I had to have the mop ready every time I invited a guest in to dry up any dampness or it would further damage the laminate.

The previous owners rather than restore the hardwood flooring, if they could have, added plywood on top then the laminate flooring which raised the floor height so high there was just enough room to open the door.

Now that I can add a rug, I don’t have one.  I pulled out this rug (a trash find) I will use upstairs in the girls room and put it down for now.

So this is where the floor sits today.  My son has already been informed I need him with his saw to cut down the cabinet by the stove and remove the cabinet next to the sink. Work will resume and I expect to have it finished by week’s end.

Do you like the dark or light flooring color? I’m really loving the dark color which seems to have made the room feel larger.


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