Surprise Kitchen Reno! Part II

In Surprise Kitchen Reno! Part I, we replaced the tiled DIY countertop by the former owner with a new laminate countertop, owing to a leak under the kitchen sink.



While ripping out the former countertop, we discovered water damage on the sink wall, extending to the floor. Uh-oh. Upon further investigation, we found the water had penetrated through the floor all around the sink cabinet. We’ve been planning on replacing the floor in this area, so we decided to bite the bullet, and take on the project. Of course, the weather took a drastic turn from 6 degrees to 20+ temperatures! We enjoyed the gorgeous sun with all of our windows open, and the dust flying!

Current first floor plan

Area highlighted in green to be replaced

The bathroom and much of the kitchen are vinyl tile flooring, and the hall and part of the kitchen are laminate wood. We had NO IDEA what kind of floors we’d find beneath these layers! We didn’t hold much hope for original pine in this area, since the former owners had updated the kitchen and bath in recent years.

We hauled out ALL of the kitchen and bathroom appliances, housing everything in our (now very claustrophobic) living room.

At least I can reach the fridge from the couch, at long last.

Here’s the process of removing the flooring:

Kitchen floor laminate wood & vinyl tile interface

Bathroom vinyl tiles, with washer & dryer removed

Well, after removing the baseboards, the laminate wood was removed; beneath it? Another layer of different, lighter laminate wood! Even more bizarre, we discovered cracked, ceramic tiles under the kitchen vinyl tiles! It was easy to see why they cracked: they had been mortared on to the aspenite subflooring, instead of a sturdier substrate.

Lighter laminate wood

Aspenite subfloor beneath the laminate wood

Cracked ceramic tile beneath kitchen vinyl tiles

After the bathroom vinyl tile was peeled back

It was a huge job to chip away the surprise ceramic tile in the kitchen, and then scrape away the remaining mortar and grout, but he did it!

So nothing of the original floors remained, as we assumed. We decided to tile the area for the ease of cleaning, and a continuous appearance (this area had three different floorings!)

To prepare a proper subfloor for the tile, J laid 3/4′ exterior grade plywood (rough side up). Several pieces of plywood had to be used, and measuring the cuts was a real task, owing to the fact that there are no square angles in the space. As each piece was laid in, it was affixed with PL Subfloor Adhesive. We would then measure out a 6×6′ screw grid, and secure the floor at these intervals.

Terrible photo quality, but this is the first section laid in the kitchen.

Since the cabinets are so large, we left them in the space and moved them around as required. Not standard practice.

New bathroom subfloooor.

Hallway leading from first floor living room, joining the bath and kitchen.

The new subfloor is so wonderfully plane! It’s now possible to float across this space without stubbing a toe at the threshold of a door!

In the next installment of Surprise Kitchen Reno, we lay the ceramic tile!


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Filed under Bathrooms, First floor, Kitchen

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