Home Remodeling

The grand design emerges

The flooring crew is working Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Monday. They set the Schluter DITRA decoupling membrane and new wood flooring on Wednesday. On Thursday the tile crew is planning the layout and cutting tile as needed. On Friday, they’ll mix thin set mortar and actually lay the tile. On Monday, they’ll return to grout the tile.

Kitchen floor in orange
The shape of the new space emerges

The orange area is the DITRA membrane. The label at the utility closet corner and the label at the right door jamb fall pretty close to the cabinet lines allowing visualization of the kitchen work area.

Adrian Tile and Wood Flooring

Adrian Tile is doing the flooring work for this project. They have a good reputation in the community and are able to work in both wood and tile which made the planning of the wood to tile interface easy. The wood crew and the tile crew are young but know their craft. My project manager, Evan Kittrel, and the craftsmen reviewed the drawings and planned all of the boarders at the start of work. The crew fit the Schluter DITRA membrane, and worked the new wood in with the old in a very professional manner.

No job is simple!

Although it appears easy, this job threw a curve or two at the installers. The plan is to put T-molding at the joints between tile and wood and this required some thought. Where should the visible tile-wood joints be? The idea is to have a butt joint between the T-moding and cabinet trim. This means wood under the cabinets just a bit at the lounge end of the kitchen.

The second tricky bit was to locate the peninsula wood to tile joint under the cabinet but at a point where the down draft hood vent could be cut through the wood.This worked out to the location you see in the photol

And no old house is ever on the level. There is a bit of a low spot at the outside corner to the right. The plan is to use a bit extra thin set there to level the floor but it is something we can’t calculate so Evan scored an additional bag of thin set mix to allow for the unpredictable extra.

Tile laid without mortar
Trial Dry Lay

Extending the wood into the kitchen requires following the original staggering of planks.

Weaving the new wood into the old. This technique makes the floor strong and attractive by staggering the plank to plank end joints in a stepped fashion.

Life during the job

The crew has also been a hit with the dogs and have been good at briefing me on the things I needed to know to keep their work pristine while the job is in progress. We’ll be without the tile area Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Thursday, the tile will be dry placed on the slightly warped floor. In this condition, it is not completely supported and subject to bending loads from walking. The dogs and I have to stay off during this period of storage in place. On Friday, the tile will be set but the mortar remains squishy for 12 hours of so. The crew recommends that we stay off until Sunday morning to ensure that the mortar has cured without shifting a tile out of plane or disturbing the grout joints by catching a nail and dragging a tile. On Monday, we’ll need to stay off again to allow the grout to cure without nail marks.

Home Remodeling

Upstaged by a Houndy

Sam’s BellaBob has been putting me to shame with her regular posts. I’ve been slacking off but not for want of things to write about. In early July I took a road trip to visit the Watson Cousins Reunion and the remodel project has been gathering momentum. Since I last wrote, plaster has happened, painting has begun with the new plaster, walls, and ceiling painted, there is a stack of flooring out of the frame and tile in the garage.


Picking Materials

One of the challenges of remodeling is all of the decorating choices you must make without much in the way of a frame of reference. These choices, once made, can last the life of the structure and changing one’s mind is costly. This includes granite and tile for my project. I’ve written about visiting the stone yard and visiting the tile shops. Well, I finally made up my mind.


The winner is Saint Cecilia Light. Specifically, the stone below and the one behind it from Marva which has the best display of sensibly priced granite in Tidewater.



The winning floor tile is Roca Versailles Noce 12×24 (actually modular metric equivalent). This tile harmonizes with the cabinets and countertop. The base color is beige with brown, green, grey, and other colors in a faux travertine pattern. This is a HD printed pattern so it is likely that there won’t be two tiles alike in the floor. I’ve told the dogs that this tile is pre-tracked so they won’t be able to mess it up.


The winning backsplash tile is Crossfield White Plains 3×6 loose tile shown on the left. The granite below is an example of St Cecelia Light that is much lighter than my material. Same tones, just more white feldspar in the stone. This tile is porcelain HD printed with a light pattern that should echo the colors in the granite.