We’ve got a good news/bad news scenario in the kitchen. The bad news is that the magic I proclaimed with the purchase of Marmoleum Click for our floors a few weeks ago turned out to be a mere illusion. The good news is that I get to use this gif:
One thing that really sold me on the Click product was that it promised to be relatively straightforward for me to install myself. Alas I did not find that to be the case — after 8 hours of work and frustration, I had installed 8 pieces:
What proved to be particularly challenging is that the tiles need to be angled significantly to click into one another, which is hard when a) you are clicking the tile in both from the side and the back, and b) the baseboard radiators around several of our walls prevent much angling. There were a lot of reviews from other customers on Green Building Supply reporting that the technique definitely takes some practice, but after 8 hours of “practice” I was not optimistic that I could do another 330 square feet including significant maneuvering around counters, appliances, and radiators.
As much as I hated the idea of paying someone to do this for me (and as much as my pride was hurt that I just couldn’t figure this out), I didn’t feel up for dedicating infinite time and energy to this. I just didn’t have it in me. Finding an installer proved to be challenging too, as most flooring stores will only install if they’ve sold you the product. I had several exchanges with independent installers that I found on various websites like Thumbtack and Craigslist, but ultimately didn’t find anyone I felt confident in. Most importantly, no one had proof that they’d worked with this type of flooring before, and most talked about it in ways that made it clear they didn’t really know what it was (repeatedly calling it vinyl, etc).
I did get two flooring retailers agree to do the installation — both could clearly tell how desperate I was. They each quoted me about $1,400, which could escalate if the conditions weren’t optimal (which given our thinset saga, I knew they probably wouldn’t be…).
That’s when I got super lucky — I texted one of the guys who worked on our wall demo to see if he had any recommendations, and he said he’s installed this flooring and would be happy to take the job. He’s estimated it will take two days and $800, potentially more if there are speedbumps — but even so, it’s so reasonable comparatively and I feel great about hiring someone who has done awesome work for us before. Thank you Nick!!! Here’s the guy who is saving the day:
We’re targeting the weekend of June 12, which means most of the work on the kitchen is on pause until then. That’s really fine, though — just having that planned has been a tremendous relief, and I’m okay waiting on more progress until then. Once the flooring is in (fingers crossed…) I’ll do a final wrap up post on how much everything cost from demo to new materials and install — of of that was not part of our original very lean budget, unfortunately.
Of course I couldn’t sit completely still over this three day weekend, so I did take the opportunity to work on a small cabinetry project. As you may remember, when we took down the wall and put in the post we decided we would extend the counters to enable us to use the outlets in the post:
So as planned, we had the new counters measured to the the end of the wall, leaving an empty space underneath:
We thought about what to put here, and ultimately decided on built-in shelves for cookbooks. We’ll have a similar gap to fill on the pantry wall where we’ll do storage for cutting boards or maybe wine bottles, but an end-of-cabinet shelf seemed like a good use for this space.
First I measured all my dimensions. The goal was to build two simple boxes: one that sits horizontally and serves as the base for the shelves, inset to match the inset of the existing cabinet base; and one to sit vertically with a top, bottom, and shelf across the middle.
I made it entirely out of scrap wood, primarily the nice thick plywood we used for the pantry cabinet and fridge surround. I did mess up some measurements on the base unit and have to start over again, which left me short on wood so I actually used a shelf from one of the corner cabinets we removed.
One my cuts were made, I started by assembling the base. I used the kreg jig to attach the front and sides on one side:
And then regular screws to attach the back piece because it won’t show and the kreg jig couldn’t get into the tight space once the front was attached.
Next I used the kreg jig to attach the top, bottom, and middle shelf to the sides of the second unit. One small nuance was that the cabinets I’m attaching this to have framing that sticks out about 3/8″ in the front, so I cut the front piece to be slightly narrower than the back piece and the shelves so that when pressed against the cabinets all the pieces sit flush.
To attach the base unit to the shelves I used pocket holes again.
To attach the shelves I used a few more strategically placed pocket holes:
And I used caulk to fill the crack between the shelves and adjacent cabinet — which I’ll sand so that once it’s all painted it will look totally flush — and caulked where the shelves meet the cabinet.
The front of the base isn’t totally flush with the existing cabinet’s base, but I’m not concerned about that I plan to put a toe kick on that spans the base and the base of the adjacent cabinet so it looks like a single unit. I also plan to trim out the shelves so they aren’t just raw plywood ends, but I didn’t have time this weekend.
The last step for now was to add some books (which I’ll need to move whenever we eventually paint the cabinets, but I’m not holding my breath on that being right around the corner…).
Here’s how it’s looking now: