Thursday, February 26, 2009

Something New Underfoot

Another installment in the thrill-a-minute (or, on our timetable, thrill-a-month) tale of our kitchen remodel.

Once we emptied all of the old crap cabinetry and fixtures from the room, it was time to begin on the floor. To remind you, here is a shot of our old, skanky vinyl:
And after pulling that business up and chipping away at the ever-filthier layers of crumbling linoleum beneath it, we were down to the layer of paper over the kitchen’s floorboards.
After we decided that we not only wanted to lay hardwood in the kitchen, but also to refinish the floors in the adjacent rooms, we decided to integrate the new kitchen floor with the adjoining dining room. (If you’re putting down a new floor in one room and would rather not deal with the floor in the next room, you can always install a threshold or other piece of flooring to visually separate the two spaces.)

How do you lure your friends and neighbors over to help with floor installation? Sometimes the lure of working with pneumatic tools is excitement enough. A promise to return the favor is always good, but barbecue sure helps.

Here is a shot from the (red! It looks so different!) dining room looking into the kitchen. That nasty black glue shows where the kitchen's vinyl floor and metal threshold had previously been adhered to the floor. Note the staining on the wood floor in the dining room.

We replaced the stained and well-worn boards in the dining room entrance, allowing for a seamless transition between the two rooms:

Integrating a floor like this has to start with the pieces that fit into your old floor. As you work your way into the "floor-less" room, because of the nature of tongue-and-groove flooring, you also have to have a piece of wood called a "spline." Or you can call it the much racier-sounding "slip tongue," if you want a saucier way to talk about floor installation. A spline is tongued on both sides, allowing you to work in each direction toward both ends of the room. E-how has a better explanation of this process.

It's looking better already, don't you think?
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