Home Depot Kitchen Wrap Up

Our home depot kitchen, aye ca rumba, our kitchen. In my head, I always think that hiring things out will make them faster and better and well – something I don’t have to worry about. I think it’s because we do almost everything ourselves that I sorta forget that it can suck to depend on someone else to finish things/start things/do things. I mean – totally – don’t get me wrong … it can also suck when you have to do it, but at least you have control over the project. If everything looks like a big fat zero at the end, it’s sorta on you. 😀 Or your husband. 😉

And so, when we bought this house in APRIL, and started our home depot kitchen renovations, we thought the 4-6 week time frame that Home Depot gave us is what we’d be looking at. My friends, we were wrong. SO WRONG. I kid you not, the last details on the kitchen officially happened last week. As in late-November.

It may have taken half of 2014, but man, was it worth it.

Kitchen Before

Do y’all remember when our kitchen looked like the photo above?

Now. my friends, it looks like this.

White Kitchen with Quartz Counters

A little rough around the edges (ahem, keep your eyes off the ceiling) but it is a legitimately functional space now.

Martha Stewart Wellston Cabinets

Mmmmm, suggga. Love, love, love it. And I knew we would, but to be fair I also thought the kitchen in our last house rocked pretty hard.

Here’s a shot of that bad boy.

DIY Herringbone Backsplash

And here’s the kicker – it took 6-weeks instead of 6-months.

Now I know I gave a comparison in this post, but now that things are completely settled, I thought it would be nice for all of you to hear some of the main differences we had with our Lowes installed kitchen vs. our Home Depot kitchen Install. Here is a full home depot kitchen review for you:


It’s a bit hard to compare apples to apples on this one, since the kitchen layouts were different for each house, but overall, after lots of shopping around I have to say Lowes and Home Depot are nearly identical on their pricing.

Obviously your price is going to be swayed by add ons (interior organization, lazy susans, etc) and the overall size of your kitchen, but we found their pricing to be extremely similar.

They both run promotions often, so my advice would be to scope out the door style and manufacturer you like best, and then jump when the promotion is good. We found Labor Day weekend to be a great time to buy, since they often throw in an extra 10% off for those few days. At Lowes last year they gave us a gift card for 10% of the purchase price, and at Home Depot, they just took 10% off the order.


Now, this landed up being my Achilles heel on this kitchen renovation. I fell hard for the Martha Stewart Wellston style cabinet.

I love a simple shaker cabinet, but I especially loved how unique the double insert panel was on the Wellston cabinet.

Here is a close up of how the doors look on the cabinets.

Martha Stewart Spice Cabinet

And here is a shot of the drawers in action.

GE Cafe Oven


This is where our Home Depot kitchen started to suck it big time – at least our experience, with our Home Depot. Like slurpee until the end of the time. Lowes said 6-weeks, that’s what we got. Home Depot said 6-weeks, and that’s not what we got. Big fat sad face. It literally took 6-months to get this bad boy installed. Whoa nelly.

To be fair, we’ve always had really good interactions with Home Depot, so I really think it was the particular store we went through locally. That being said, its a bit of a gamble to know if your store might also fall into that category!


At the end of the day, it would have been one thing for Home Depot kitchen staff to just be really behind with their schedule, but the customer service was pretty atrocious along with it. Cue another whomp whomp. Again, I’m going to give the chain the benefit of the doubt and say it was just our local store that was having such a tricky time with it all. We did notice that they had a general manager switch mid-way through the reno, and that communication improved after, but still – it. was. bad.

Things like matching our end cabinet door took the longest, but you guys, it finally matches. Whattt!!!??!! 😀

Martha Stewart Wellston

In the end, my best advice to you would be check out all the local options available to you and go with the one that gives you the best gut reaction. Feel free to snort laugh here, but we decided to go with Home Depot this round since we thought they’d be so much quicker than going custom, or through a woodworker. Given that we’re down here in the furniture making land, we were probably totally wrong on that. What’s done is done though and it feels pretty high faluten’ fantastic to say that the KITCHEN IS DONE!

Tip Top Shape

You know how something can be mostly done around your house, and although that final 3% makes you want to rip your hair out, you kinda just grind your teeth every time you walk by it and say that you’ll take care of it next week? Yeah … story of my life around this house right here.

So our kitchen has been mostly done for a while. We’ve actually been waiting MONTHS for Home Depot to come by and finish a few small details – they’re actually scheduled to come by today – so fingers crossed, they will actually be done after oh, 6-months of waiting. 😉 That saga warrants another post, y’all, it’s been crazy town with those silly kids. I think because we knew they still had to come through and finish their portion, we kept on holding off on simple things we needed to do. Things like the crown and caulking and backsplash touching up. But you know what, This weekend, we grabbed that kitchen by the horns and just did it.

This is what our kitchen looked like sans crown. Almost there, but not quite.

Subway Tile Backsplash

After last weekend, we now have this!

Adding Crown in Kitchen

Boom chicka lacka lacka – BOOM. No kidding folks, this lady likes, eer loves her crown.

So after some heartfelt pleas from Jay bird, we decided to go with smaller, more manageable crown than the last joint. Added bonus, it was actually sitting in our garage from our last crown install in the house, so it was kinda a no brainer to use it up.

Before we could add the crown, we had to put in a header piece (just like the last house) so it had something to affix to.

Header for Cabinet Crown

Since we wanted to give this a second to cure, we actually cut and glued these pieces on with liquid nails the evening before.

Normally, a section of this header would be showing, but when we got started in on this little project, we realized that our ceilings are so dang not straight that we had to sorta nix the original plan.

How to Install Crown on Kitchen Cabinets The second crown install option above is what we thought we’d be doing, and in reality, we landed up having to do the first. Totally fine, not a big deal. I personally think the second one looks a bit more regal (extra height, more dimensional) but in the end, I’m just super happy to have to crown up and installed. Gotta work with what you got in old houses. 😉

We also realized during our installation process that we had forgotten to add the top row of subway tiles back in the day. Not sure what happened there, but past self was definitely not looking out for future self.

Side note – notice the spot on the ceiling where there’s a curve – that’s where our old cabinets use to end! B-b-b-onus for way more cabinet space.

Subway Tile Above Range

All and all, it was a pretty quick project. After deciding to nix the visible base piece, we just had 10 cuts or so and this baby was done.

Adding Crown to Top of Cabinets

Here’s a close up shot of the crown up above the fridge cabinet. It still needs some paint touch up on the nail holes but man, does it look better. Oh my, why or why did we wait so long to bust this sucker out?

Adding Crown to Cabinets

Have you ever added crown to the top of your cabinets? How did it go?

House Stalker

Here I was, sitting on my pregnant tuckus Sunday afternoon eating (another) slice of pizza and do you know what my weary eyes stumbled upon? An email from our neighborhood listserve saying there was an open house in the hood. Since it was 2pm, and I was still in my PJ’s, I figured an open house was just the motivation I needed to get my rear in gear and enjoy some fresh, October air.

This house you guys, oh my goodness. For starters, it’s on one of the loveliest streets in Durham (IMO) but this beauty was a winner from top to bottom.

Front Entry Living Room

I’m totally – completely – obsessed, with this kitchen.

Just look at this beauty!

White Cabinets Chefs Kitchen

The details on this space are to the nines.

Vintage Kitchen Sink

Ok, one more. I just can’t get enough 😀 Open concept gorgeousness.

Large Kitchen White Cabinets

Right off the kitchen there is a beautiful dining space and a cozy little living space/den. Being an old house dweller, I can tell you that I long for and extra living space that we could use for TV watch chillin. Maybe someday.

Something like this fits the bill, huh?

Cozy Den Family Room

Even better, there’s a little sunroom off the side of the TV/Dining/Kitchen area. So much space, I wouldn’t even know what to do with it all. I’ve got a feeling I’d be up to the task though, if I really put my mind to it 😉

Sunroom Off Kitchen

All the bathroom’s in the house had the most beautiful tile work. I liked how it offered some consistency throughout the home and really helped to tie the entire property together.

Vintage Style Master Bath

Another detail in this house – all the cabinetry – from the built-ins in the front Living Room to the Kitchen to the Baths were matching, inset, vintage inspired and gorgeous.

There were a total of (4) bedrooms upstairs on this house, and all of them had gorgeous hardware and solid wood construction. The door on the far left of this room actually goes up to a 3rd unfinished floor which would be a sweet spot to add a TV lounge area for kiddos.

Large Side Bedroom

Since they’re my favorite rooms in this house, other than the kitchen (obvi), I thought I’d finish off the tour with one more view into these beautiful matching bathrooms.


Second Full Bath

Want it? Need it? Have to have it? Well the good news is, it’s for sale! The bad news is, it’s just shy of $1 million. I know, right. That’s what we call bad luck in the Sell household 😀

Finishing Touches

Our kitchen had a pretty big day last Friday. Now, I’m practically weeping as I type this, because it’s actually still not done, but we did finally get a trip out here from the guys at Home Depot, to keep things moving along. Das es good.

As I’ve said before, once we’ve got the whole shebang done and over with, we’ll do a full review of our experiences. For now though, I thought I’d offer a glimpse into the kitchen, as it looks today.

We recently unearthed all our artwork, so I’ve been busy adding a few finishing touches to our little white and bright kitchen.

Gold Accents in Kitchen

Everything was feeling a bit too white and sterile in our kitchen, so when I spotted these two little gold frames in the bottom of our art box, I snatched em up and brought them right downstairs for their moment in the sun.

Just look at the little orange boy’s baby picture. If that doesn’t warm your heart while you’re cooking up some dinner, I don’t know what will.

Benjamin Moore Sandy Hook Gray

To remind us a bit of our last home, we also added a big Ann Arbor poster, which we now proudly display in our eating nook. That little city holds so much of our heart, it makes me smile each time I see that guy hanging up there now.

I even got super industrious and crazy and put some outlet covers up on the wall. Ha! 4-months coming on that one, y’all.

Adding Outlet Covers

We also had a big, empty wall above our toaster, so I decided to mix things up with a twofer on this wall. Jay’s parents got us that nutcracker for Christmas one year, and although I know you’re actually supposed to use it to, crack nuts, I vastly prefer it as a piece of artwork on our wall. The wood is just so darn beautiful, I think it looks great up on the wall, and that it adds some more warmth into the space.

Kitchen Artwork

On the cabinet front, we also made some progress. Alas, getting the right cabinet door installed on our end cap was not them. Whomp, whomp. I kid you not, this is the 3rd time the store has ordered the wrong cabinet door.

Wrong Door On Cabinet

One thing that does have a whole new look is our spice cabinet. When the cabinet installers left 4-months ago, they also left this guy, not able to shut.

Martha Stewart Cabinets

We were actually super nervous about the fix for this, since the new cabinet guy that came out warned us that the only way to fix this issue would be to cut the cabinet. Cutting into our brand new cabinets had us a bit weak in the knees, but in the end, it came out looking fantastic.

Martha Stewart Spice Cabinet

An extra bonus, the door now completely closes.


That makes me one happy camper.

Spice Cabinet Drawer

Can’t say it’s always been easy, but man it feels good to have the kitchen well on it’s way.


The votes came in and y’all pretty resoundingly said brick pattern on the subway tile. Call me a lemming, I listened. 😉

White Subway Backsplash

Now, as much as I love (love!) the herringbone pattern, we had a few reasons for choosing the traditional subway tile pattern. First, it’s way easier. Like a Sunday afternoon and up, vs. a few days of cursing under your breath and redoing things 😉 Also, we just did herringbone in our last abode – time to mix it up!

DIY Herringbone Backsplash

Truth be told, the kitchen is currently a barf zone for me. I literally cannot walk into the room without feeling like I’m on a vomit comet. I think it’s the fridge, like proximity to the fridge, I don’t even know any more. Forget food aversions, I have room aversions. It’s bad.

So my wonderful, amazing, can do husband just did this all himself. I said brick laid backsplash, and he said – ok!

And he did a swimmingly grand job.

Subway Tile

One of my new favorite areas in the kitchen is our ginormous stretch of counter top space under the window. Since we decided to relocate our sink to the peninsula, we’ve got a human sized stretch of uninterrupted counter space. I’m thinking it’s going to be the perfect built-in buffet for when we have partays down the road.

No Sink Under Window

Another thing that makes me smile, finally being able to accessorize the space a bit! I found these cute little turkish towels at HomeGoods. Adorbs.

GE Cafe Oven

Things that make me frown however, include our little spice cabinet. Best invention ever, turned into biggest headache ever. Home Depot, you guys, we’ve been having an epically hard time getting those sons of guns to react to the fact that our kitchen is still not done, 4 months after we’ve paid for it in full. Fun. Lots of fun. 😉

You can see in the photos that things like toe kick, etc are not finished, but then we have other sad realities, like the fact that our spice drawer doesn’t close. At all (and hasn’t since day one)

Martha Stewart Cabinets

Whomp, whomp. Home Depot is working with us on all this, but needless to say, when the cabinets were paid for on May 13rd, and it’s September 5th, it kinda leads to some head scratching 😀 Fear not, once everything is resolved, I’ll definitely put an entire review together of our experience but right now, we’re not bowled over – that’s fo shizzle.

Ok, back to backsplash. 😉

Right now, above our oven, we’ve got a tall wall full of subway goodness.

Subway Tile Backsplash

When we feel like spending moolah again (read, a while) we’re thinking about putting in a custom range hood above the oven to help with air circulation in the kitchen when cooking.

Word – actually buying a range hood cover to match your cabinets is like a cool $1k. What? No, notta gonna happen. We figured we could recreate the shaker look of the cabinets pretty easily and try to match things up as good as possible, for a whole heckofalot less than a thousand dollars.

In the end, we hope it looks something sorta like this.

Custom Range Hood

Although I’m totally in love with our backsplash (and the concept of having a done-ish kitchen), things are feeling a bit white in here these days. 😉 I’m looking forward to accessorizing though and adding some spice! Other than adding accessories, our general to-do list looks like this:

Customizing Kitchen Cabinets

Subway tile backsplash is one of my favorite super cheap ways to make a space shine. Our total cost, including grout and mortar, was $61 for this space. BAM.

Almost there, y’all! Almost there!


Being that we’re going on two totally renovated, gutted to the studs kitchens in two years, I think it’s safe to say we had a pretty good idea of how we wanted the room to look and feel after we were done with it. Been there, done that type of thing. In the name of keeping our sanity intact, we’ve made a few decisions on the space that are the exact same as our last kitchen (like the faucet, and the hardware) and we’ve made a few decisions that are different as well.

One of those happens to be the counter tops – in all honesty, you’d be hard pressed to tell though, since they landed up looking so similar!

It’s always nerve racking to spend a wad on something and not be sure if you’re going to like it when everything is said and done. Y’all, I thought the counter tops in our last house were as good as it gets, but man am I glad we shopped around this time, because I’m thrilled with how these turned out.

Sans backsplash, the entire kitchen now looks like this:

Cortina Counter Top

And this is how the room looks, peering out from the Dining Room. (oh, how I long for some finished backsplash!)

Cortina Counter Tops

Now, as much as I love (LOVE) the look and feel of marble in a kitchen, Jay is the cook and he gave me a firm n.o. on that one. Not happening.

Although I know many people have found ways to work around the whole etching, staining, scratching ordeals associated with marble counters, I just didn’t want to be in a situation where we were freaking out when our friends spill some red wine or something, ya know?

So again, we opted to go with Quartz counters, but this time we purchased Cortina vs. Lagoon.

Cortina Quartz Counters

Added bonus. Lagoon was over $70 per square foot, and Cortina comes in at $59. Along with the free color promotion they were running, we were able to score this bad boy for around $50 a square foot. Bam.

Oh, and they threw in a free sink, too. 🙂

Sink Not Under Window in Kitchen

Just like the lagoon counter, this is a gray based counter top with subtle veining throughout – similar to the look of real marble.

Cortina Quartz Counter

Here’s another shot of it up against the edge, so you can see the detail there as well.

Very subtle veining.

LG Cortina Quartz Counter

For comparison, this is what Lagoon looked like in our last house. A bit more gray, and the veining is just a tad more pronounced as well.

Silestone Lagoon

And another shot of Lagoon, from a bit further out.

Silestone Lagoon Counters

In all honesty, one of the most exciting things about putting the counters down was removing all of the brown paper we had down to protect the floors.

Man, it feels good to be reunited with my little vintage Persian.

Persian Rug in Kitchen

Confession. The corner of our kitchen (where our future eat-in will be) currently looks like this. Rome wasn’t built in a day. 😉

Organizing Kitchen

Any one else out there in kitchen renovation mode? It feels good to be coming around the final bend over here!

Calling All Faucet Fans

Truth be told my friends, I’ve been holding out on you. We’ve had countertops in our kitchen for about a week now. Which has meant a week with a dishwasher and a sink (!), and blessed counters to put my bagels on as I butter them. Life, is good.

Now, I’m going to hold out on y’all a little bit longer to show some close up shots of our counters (coming Monday!). Today, I’ve got almost as exciting of a reveal though. May I present, our kitchen sink. Drum roll, pa-leassse.

Traditional Kitchen Faucet

It’s awfully purty, isn’t it? Here’s another shot of it, from the back, looking out toward the kitchen.

Traditional Faucet with Sprayer

For those of you that have been along on our renovating journeys since day one, it probably looks a wee bit familiar, no?

Oh, ya know – like this faucet. 😉 Yep – it’s totally the same faucet from the last house! No, I didn’t steal it from our Michigan house … I went out and bought a new one. 😀 See we landed up with the same guy due to almost having a faucet emergency. We were told by the counter top company that we needed to have a faucet on the day of installation or they wouldn’t cut the holes for us in the counter top. Problem was, we found this out about 48-hours pre-install. Screeeeech.

CRAP. No faucet was chilling at our house. Enter in Mary running around like a crazy woman to try and secure faucet. ASAP.

So although I had my mind set on a different faucet this time around, truth be told, the fact that this one was in stock at our local Home Depot helped to sway me toward this guy.

We got right to installing it, since we’ve been itching to have a dishwasher and sink!

Installing Faucet

Jay insisted on wearing his mining light. Hi ho, hi ho it’s off to work we go.

After he had all the drain lines connected for the dishwasher, sink and garbage disposal, our area under the sink looked a bit cluttered, but definitely better than our last house, where the sink and garbage disposal came down much further and took up most of the storage space. Over time, I think I’ll ask Jay to secure the drain line for the dishwasher up to the top of the cabinet as well, so it’s not cutting through the middle like it does now.

Storage Under Sink

Thanks to our wall removal efforts, you’ve got a nice view of the dining room and living room from the sink. This room is so much more open concept than when we bought the place and it just feels much more updated now.

Open Concept Kitchen

Here’s a shot of the sink further out, with a full view of our peninsula.

Sink Not Under Window in Kitchen

And another final view, of the handles on the sink. Can you tell I’m smitten?

Vintage Style Faucet Now, if I had a few more weeks to pick out a faucet, there were definitely some other contenders in the running. Here’s a round up of some of my favorite options.

Best Traditional Kitchen Faucets

Danze Cross Handle Faucet // Hampton 2-Handle Faucet // Danze 2-Handle Faucet // Moen Faucet


Sometimes, you’re without something for so long, you forget what it’s like to actually have said item. Take kitchen cabinets, for instance. Who needs em’ when you can just keep all your stuff in boxes. All your stuff. After countless delays and countless headaches, y’all, we’ve finally got our kitchen back. I don’t know if I should cry, or grab a hula hoop or chest bump my neighbor, but I must confess, it feels good to be reunited with our cabinets.

Now, our kitchen transformation is not complete. Far from it – see we’re still missing an important detail known as our countertops. Without those, we are unfortunately still sans dishwasher and sink, but I’m celebrating the victory at hand for what it is.

Although this room is still light year’s away from being done (notice how I keep mentioning that) 😉 , I’m happy to report it no longer looks like this.

Martha Stewart Kitchen

Most importantly, however, it no longer looks like this:

Kitchen Before

Old cabinets, be gone. Welcome to the 21st century kitchen.

Martha Stewart Kitchen Cabinets

Now, if you erase that lovely pink paper on the ground, and the missing backsplash and the lack of counters, I’d say we’ve got a pretty swanky looking space on our hands, no? This room is leaps and bounds better (in many ways) than any other kitchen we’ve had to date. Things like our built-in microwave stand make my heart sing a nice little tune.

Built-in Microwave Cabinet

We decided to go with the Martha Stewart Wellston cabinet front, which is an embellished shaker style door. Very classic looking and I’m absolutely dying to see what it looks like with our new counters installed and our backsplash up.

Martha Stewart Wellston Cabinet

We nearly had disaster strike when our kitchen designer at Home Depot put in the completely wrong fridge size, but when we worked to reconfigure the space, we actually landed up with a happy little accident. See this guy, nestled between our cabinets?

Built-in Spice Drawer

It’s a built-in spice drawer, also known as the best use of 3″ in a kitchen ever. When you live in a small little vintage house, every little nook and cranny needs to get utilized to maximize your storage space, so I’m absolutely loving this new addition. Here it is in action.

Installing Spice Rack

Some things on this kitchen are the same, or very similar to the last one. Since we knew we already liked the look (and price!) on things like our hardware, we decided, why reinvent the wheel. Here is how the hardware looks up and installed, with a breakdown of the sources for each item.

Martha Stewart Wellston Cabinet

Although the baskets we used for storage in the last house don’t fit quite as perfectly in these cabinets, they’ll do just fine for now. Am I the only one that gets giddy from organizing cupboard space 😀 I see a trip to HomeGoods in my future. #basketheaven #husbandhell 😀

Kitchen Cabinet Organization

Look how lonely my new lazy susan looks without baskets 🙂 Oh, by the way, not sure how I lived without a lazy susan before now. It’s pretty much amazeballs. so. much. storage.

Martha Stewart Lazy Susan

Although we’re so happy to have our cabinets in, there are still quite a few things that need attention in the room from the installers, including:

  • Toe kick installation
  • Panels on fridge
  • Fixing a gouge in one of the cabinets (replacing it, I’d guess…)
  • Adding a back panel to the peninsula
  • Ordering a new cabinet face for one

Blame it on my fried, overworked brain, but it took me a quick second to realize that final bullet. I kept looking at one of the cabinets and thinking it looked janky, until I realized, yep – totally the wrong cabinet face. Fail, Home Depot, fail.

We’re working with the installers, and hopefully the list above will be accomplished very soon!

Wrong Door On Cabinet

Has anyone else out there done a Martha Stewart kitchen? We still have a few odds and ends that need to get taken care of, but for now, we’re pretty over the moon to have a spot to store all our goods!

Floor to the Door

After having 2+ months off from home ownership while we’ve been chilling in our little apartment, I’ve gotta say there are some nights when you’re longing for a glass of wine and an episode of Mad Men. And a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Yes, all of those things. Although fixing up houses is seriously my jam, some projects are just grueling any way that you look at it. Our kitchen demo/floor install falls into that category. We’re definitely attempting to take things at a more comfortable (sane) pace this time around, but every once and a while you come up against a deadline where you’ve just got to bust it out and make it happen.

The deadline this time, our tool rental. So it was ready, set, 24 hour rental, let’s go!

Before we went to grab the nail gun (our rental), we had a few minor things to do to get the space all ready for the next round of flooring. If you’ve been keeping up with our little adventures, you’ll know that we removed all the old flooring before, so that the new wood would match up with the old flooring we already had in the dining room. But, since we’d removed a wall in the process, we had to create a clear edge as a starting point for the next row of flooring.

Removing Existing Wood Floor to Add Flooring

Luckily, this took all of 2 minutes, since we literally just came through with a circular saw, cut through the last row and then grabbed a crow bar to pry the loose pieces out, like the photo above.

We knew we’d be under a tight 24 hour timeline, so we did everything we could to prep for the flooring installation before the tool was actually in our hands. By the time we were done getting the room ready, it was looking like this – mighty empty.

Prepping for Wood Floor Install

Other than the tools we knew we’d be needing, we made sure to have everything completely cleared out of the space (along with having it swept clean to avoid any conflicts with debris and the new flooring). I also started a new tradition with this reno. Since I knew it would be a beast of a task, and that Jay, well, might be reluctant to make the magic happen – I made an executive decision to resort to bribery. From this point out, I’ve started budgeting an extra $20 bucks into the equation to buy this fella some nice beer that he can sip on to help stay motivated (ahem, wash away his sorrows and pain). For one, it makes Jay the happiest husband ever, and for two, happy husbands are just a very good place to start a project. Since y’all, it usually heads down hill rather fast with a reno 😉

How to Bribe Your Husband

But before we even got to this point, we had to purchase our 200 (or so) square feet of wood that we’d be laying down. When we moved into town, we immediately noticed that there was a lumber liquidators over by our new apartment, so we thought purchasing the unfinished wood we’d be laying down would be easy peasy. I knew the wood had to acclimate to the house for a few days, so I called about a week out from when we planned on installing the floor and was told that 1) they didn’t have the wood we needed in stock, and 2) that it was on backorder – indefinitely. Errrrkkkkkk. Brakes, people.

After a considerable amount of progressively desperate antics from me, the sales guy mentioned that they did have 204 feet in stock – but it was 200 miles away. Mmmmm, eeerrr – ok. Problem is, desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures, so my friends, you bet I got into our little Prius that could and crossed over the state line into Virginia to get me that wood.

How to Save Money on Wood Flooring

Turns out the $30 to fill our tank was totally worth the trouble, since the wood we wanted was only .88 a square foot, vs. over $3 a square foot for their premium grade oak. We did some research and found out that although the wood we were getting was lower quality stuff – if we were willing to deal with a few knots here and there, and some inconsistencies in quality, than we could save upwards of $600 on our flooring. So, we rolled the dice, and decided to save our similions.

Overall, we were pretty pleased with the quality of the wood. It definitely had some serious jankiness with some of the pieces, but since nearly a 1/3 of our flooring in this room will be covered by cabinets, we decided to just be strategic about it and hope for the best.

Laying Down Tar Paper for Wood Flooring Install

The first step to laying the wood flooring down (after we had cleared the debris, and cut the final row to match up), was to lay down some tar paper under where we would be laying down the new flooring. After the first cut was down, I eventually took over this job so that we could multi-task a bit and get some more done. In theory, laying down this paper should help to insulate the floor and minimize any squeaking as well.

From there, we just tapped each piece of wood into place with our mallet, and than came back through with our trusty rented nail gun. Lucky for us, our only cut for each row was a straight cut at the end. Heeeeelllll yeah – that definitely sped things up! 😀

How to Install Wood Flooring

To start out, Jay was in charge of installing each piece of wood, and I would come through in front of him to “pre-lay” each row of flooring. Since I knew I cared about each piece a bit more (i.e. not wanting wood knots and mis-colored pieces front and center) I took over with laying down each piece preemptively, so he could just grab and go.

Prepping Floors for Wood Install

Now, given the fact that we went the cheap route and opted to use the chipper chicken wood, we did have to get creative at times. After putting all of the seriously ugly wood under where we knew cabinets would be, we still had some improvising to do. I.E. the hack-a-wood-a-thon. Take the wood that’s jank, and cut it so it ain’t.

Removing Imperfections in Wood

You can see that I definitely tried to use the worst off pieces first though, to cluster along the edges of the wall, where we will be placing our cabinetry. Anything that was deemed to dark, or had lots of knots got placed right along our new cabinet base locations.

Installing Wood Flooring

In addition to bribing Jay to bust this beast of a project out with beer, I also decided to redeem a sweeter than life coupon we got from Whole Foods for a free dinner (say whaatt??). We totally got a free coupon in the mail as a welcome to the neighborhood type of thing and I got this, for absolutely nothing!

Whole Foods Coupons

I may or may not be Whole Foods biggest fan now 😀 Seriously, as anyone that’s been through home renovations knows, things like making food tend to take a back burner, so having this plop on to our doorstep was a very welcome addition. (Added bonus, that whole meal is normally only $16 bucks (including the salad…), and we got 3 meals out of it, so that ain’t bad either)

When I came back from the grocery store, and saw Jay bird crouched in the fetal position, I knew it was a good time for a food break anyway 😀

DIY Wood Floor Install

The next day, after we’d returned our nail gun to Home Depot, we came back through and did the final round with our normal nail gun. Unlike the rental, this one had different nails in it that technically, aren’t meant for installing floors, but since we were unable to fit the rental in that small of a space (since it was too close to the wall), it worked in a pinch.

Installing Unfinished Wood Floors

Now instead of a big, vast, open space, we’ve got some matchy, matchy floors going down in our kitchen. Well, at least we will once everything is sanded and stained. Can’t. WAIT! 😀

Adding On Wood Flooring

Scrubba Dub Dub | Dishwasher Install

Oh happy day. Houston, we have a dishwasher (also GE Cafe). To provide some context, we are going on 5 weeks now where we have been sans this important domestic tool. Thank you greatest generation for making this fine piece of machinery, cause Lordy, I’ve determined that this household is pretty much unable to live without it. 5 weeks too many of washing our dishes with the hose outside. Literally.

How to wash dishes during kitchen reno

It was like camping. We would bring all our utensils and plates out to the hose and give them a good scrub and then let them dry on the screened in porch. Except with camping you leave and go home to your modern comforts after a few days, here, not so much. We even had a run in with a family of raccoon’s one night when we left the banana bread pan “soaking” aka, we just didn’t feel like washing that thing. Well, the locals got a little feast out of it. Civic duty achieved. Malcolm liked to guard the dishes from said intruders. One of these things is not like the other.

How to wash dishes during kitchen reno

After our cabinets were installed (almost a month ago – geeze!) the little corner for the dishwasher was looking mighty barren and lonely. It didn’t take long for us to find a good use for it while we were waiting to install the dishwasher, Jay started using it for all his empty beer bottles. Classy. 😉

How to Install a dishwasher

With the dishwasher installation we were actually pressing the limit with our plumbing a wee bit, since we had to wrap it behind a cabinet corner before it joined up with the sink. The dishwasher specifications suggest 10 feet or less, and we were closer to 12. Living on the edge.

Not ideal, but it’s the only spot we had for the little bugger so that decided that! Plus, we had the same configuration in our last house (actually the plumbing stretched a bit further) so, I wasn’t overly worried about it. Unfortunately, since the dishwasher was not right next to the sink, we did have to shell out some extra simoleons to get all the right plumbing. $40 to be exact. See our main stars of the performance below, aka hot water line and waste line.

Plumbing for Installing Dishwasher

Since we wanted some hand holding on this one (plumbing = Jay’s nemesis), we went to our uber awesome local hardware store, Stadium Hardware. These guys are a-mazing. Jay basically walked in with his question/project, and the guy helping him just started pulling the correct parts off the shelf and handing them over to him. A plumbing trip for us usually involves 2 hours at the Depot or Lowes, where we scratch our heads on the right part to buy, and inadvertently land right back there the next day since we got the wrong part (you get my picture), so this place is like GOLD. Anything we can do to reduce the stress quota when plumbing is involved, is a good thing since this home improvement category usually not our friend. Extra bonus, Stadium Hardware is like a hop skip and a jump away from us and the big box stores are a bit of a hike. Win-Win-Winning.

So once we had a location all decided on, we got right to it. Picture me standing next to Jay, one hand holding the camera and the other covering my eyeballs while he defaces our brand spanking new cabinets. EEEEEKKK. At least it’s behind the dishwasher for all eternity if we screw up.

How to install a dishwasher

Since we had a corner unit that we were working with, our main objective was to snake around the top of the cabinet with as little plumbing showing as possible. Initially, we thought about letting the plumbing just rest on the ground floor, but the more I thought about it, I wanted this stuff out of sight and out of mind. The less clutter the better, Especially in your kitchen cabinets, ya know what I mean.

After the hole had been cut, we fed each of the plumbing lines through. The waste line, the black plumbing line, and the hot water, which is the white line.

How to install dishwasher

Then, under the sink we attached each of the lines to their respective locations. The hot water line got connected to the hot water (fairly obvious). The dishwasher came with a fitting, which we used to secure it on to the plumbing.

Since we had all the right parts at this point, this part of the installation was actually pretty painless and only took like 15 minutes. Whaaat??? For a dishwasher install?? Yes – you heard me right. I think we need to call Guinness, because in our house that is a world record fo shizzle. In fact, the part that probably took the longest was deciding on the location for the hole in the side of the cabinet. 😉

Hot Water Connection for Dishwasher

Now the waste line had to get connected to the food disposal (and sink), so this was round deux of our process.. This part took a bit more time, and we actually had to do it after the counters (and sink) were installed, since ya know, the sink connects to the faucet, and the faucet connects to the plumbing. 😉 See, I didn’t think of all these things. I figured we could bust out this baby in the first night and start scrubba dub dubbing our dishes again. Wrong.

Luckily, it didn’t take tooo much longer, but it brought the entire project closer to 45 mins, vs. the initial 15. Small upfront time investment to have a robot wash your dishes for you. Since we had to hack off the last plumbing stack to get the old cabinets off, we started by fitting some new PVC to connect the disposal, sink and dishwasher to the waste line.

Plumbing for Dishwasher

It’s like a little plumbing puzzle. Jay is the puzzle master. See that purple stuff he is putting on the inside of the PVC? That helps to give everything a good seal, and make sure it is all tight and secure on there. $6 well spent.

We connected the hot and cold plumbing and then moved on to the crowning touch. The sink plate. I loved this part. It was like playing with playdo.

Installed Garbage Disposal

Splat. Look at that. It’s plumbers putty and it gives the ring a good seal. Each twist of the wrench brought more splatterness. It was great fun. Of course we cleaned it all up so things look a bit less splaterfied these days – it was good while it lasted.

After we had everything arranged down below, this was our under sink arrangement. Kinda crowded with the disposal chilling in the middle, but that’s how the cookie crumbles.

How to install dishwasher

Once all the plumbing was attached, we started to think about making it nice and purty. Jay had some zip ties from work that we used to make the plumbing attach right up to the top of the cabinet, and prevent it from hanging down in the way of all our kitchen goodies.

How to hide dishwasher lines

After all that plumbing, we were left with this! See what’s peaking up above that. Why yes, that’s our counter tops! I’m jumping up and down as I say that. {Happiness} All the deats on those tomorrow!

GE Cafe Dishwasher