Kitchen/Laundry Renovation: Herringbone Floors and New Appliances

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343 West / Interior

I have wanted herringbone floors for years. When done with a wood-look tile I think they are both classically beautiful while their durability makes them very practical. However, every time I mentioned herringbone floors to someone I receive two different responses: “Those are so pretty!” and “Those are so much work to put down!” When I told TJ what I wanted he was skeptical and tried to talk me out of it even though he wasn’t going to be the one doing it. Aaron even started to have second thoughts but fortunately I had a secret weapon, someone who likes me enough to go along with my crazy ideas and still at least pretend to like me—Aaron’s mom 🙂

Mom Puglisi actually lays tile professionally in Washington and flew down to Utah for a week to show us how to do things/keep us on task so we would actually accomplish things. Everyone told us that laying a herringbone tile floor would take forever, but with her guidance and help we blazed right through it in less than three days. Unfortunately we were working so hard on this project that I really don’t have any pictures at all of the process, but the final result speaks for itself.

Also, I realize I talk about how beautiful all these improvements are, and then post dusty fingerprint photos of everything. My only defense is that they’re mostly taken on my phone while I’m covered in some type of dust and just remembering that I should document something for posterity. Plus, let’s just save the beautiful ones for the final reveal, (which is getting closer and closer!)

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Herringbone in the kitchen right after being grouted

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Straight tile in the laundry room after being grouted.

The first day Mom Puglisi and I cut and installed backer board around the cabinets on our newly scraped clean floor which took most of the day to do because of some of the unusual shapes we had to cut and because none of our walls are really square. The second day, while I was at work, Aaron and his mom started on the tile and made it through almost all the herringbone pattern in the kitchen. We decided to do herringbone in there and then just a straight laid pattern in the laundry room because it really was a very labor intensive pattern but this was a great decision and I think it turned out fantastically.

I can’t take any credit here at all because Aaron and his mom did pretty much all of this while I was at work. I laid about three pieces of tile, and the rest of the time that I was even present while this was going on, my job was to mix the cement stuff to be the right consistency. So really I came up with a crazy idea and then had other people do all the work 😉

After the floors and cabinets and counters and everything was in, TJ connected the gas range, the dishwasher, faucet, disposal and installed the vent hood before we moved the fridge in.

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New gas line for our GAS RANGE!

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We have a dishwasher now! (don’t worry, I wiped those fingerprints off)

The vent hood was a bit of a nightmare—both the crawling around in the attic at that spot to get the vent to the outside installed, but also the vent hood we had chosen. It was from ikea and the installation process was not very well thought out according to TJ. It took Aaron and TJ quite a while to get it put in, and we had to trim some of the metal on the top piece to make it actually fit where it was supposed to go. I’m not sure if we were just doing it wrong, but it was sort of ridiculous how hard putting that thing on the wall was.

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Spending a very long time trying to get that vent hood up.

In theory the fridge should have been by far the easiest appliance to put in, but because of a measuring error, it was about a quarter inch too tall to fit into the space we had made for it. We had given the cabinet guys the measurement we took from the front of the fridge, but at the back, there was a small piece that stuck up about and inch and a half extra (who designed this fridge!?) So we ended up having to remove the over-the-fridge cabinet and move it up just a bit. This was rather unfortunate, as that one little cabinet was the most difficult to install out of the entire kitchen. As I mentioned earlier, our walls are not square so getting it to fit took three guys an hour of pushing and pulling things into place before screwing it in, and now we had to take it back out again and move it up just a bit. Fortunately, finagling it didn’t take quite that long and in about 35 minutes TJ, Aaron and I and got it adjusted just a bit higher so the fridge could slide in. (Aaron and I held it up, TJ did the finagling and installing.)

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Random piece at the back of the top of the fridge that made it not fit correctly. Why is this even here?

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The space between cabinets for the fridge, and the dreaded over the fridge cabinet we had to move up just a bit.

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