I’m just now finally getting around to posting about the kitchen floor. For the most part, this renovation has gone remarkably smoothly, with very few hiccups, and petty swiftly considering we’re not just throwing a ton of money and contractors at it. We’re only nine months in and already we’ve taken the downstairs down to the studs and built it back up to the point of living in it again. We also have a whole new kitchen. So, while I’m going to be complaining a bit, I realize that we’ve still been pretty lucky.
That said, these tiles were a pain in the a**. It all started just fine. Daniel started with me on the job on a Wednesday(? maybe Thursday, I’m forgetting already). Our first day we spent entirely on planning and measuring and such. This was especially tricky with the floor because the room itself is not square. We fudged it a bit with the cabinetry so that the cabinets are square with the opposite wall, but the kitchen, because it was added on five years later, is not square to the great room. That might not have mattered or been noticeable when there was a wall between the two, but now there’s not. So, we needed to not only get the lines right in relation to the cabinets and walls, but also make sure that the sight lines were right, because it doesn’t matter if it is objectively square if it looks off because of the lines around it.
Then we decided to tile the wall first, since it would be easier and we could ease me into tiling. (A funny little note — almost exactly one year before this, I decided to tile the tub/shower of one of the units in Oakland. After demo and installing HardiBacker, I realized I was in over my head and contacted Dave to help. He was busy, but referred his friend Dan, who was available. And that’s how I met Daniel and we spent two great weekends tiling a tiny bathroom in Oakland where he graciously fixed my mistakes without ever making fun of me. And he taught me how to tile.) So, back to the wall. We got all of that up before going into the weekend, and it was totally uneventful. There was a little shimming of the countertops because the uppers and the lowers weren’t parallel, but that got sorted and we were able to grout and it looks great
In case you’re interested in this type of thing (I know I always am) we used
– Daltile 3×6 matte white field tiles. I’m not even sure exactly which one if you look on the website. It was the one they had in stock at the Daltile showroom in South San Francisco (where everyone is very nice, btw). It’s really basic and totally does the trick.
– Mapei Pearl Gray Unsanded grout on 1/8″ grout lines
– Omnigrip. You apply it the same way you do mortar, but it’s so much neater. I also used it to do some repairs at Addy’s preschool teacher’s house with the leftovers and it worked great sticking an old tile towel bar back to the wall.