We installed gorgeous flooring in our living room — one of the big steps to really making our current place cohesive and ours. And we also installed some lovely flooring at my sister’s (full reveal coming soon!) and shared our tips for installing new wood flooring. Wood flooring just adds such character to a space! But whether you lay down a new floor like we did, or uncover a wood floor in your remodeled kitchen like our guests today,
or rip out the carpet to reveal the beautiful heart pine floor,
No matter how you do it, wood floors are beautiful and add so much life and warmth to a space. Here’s Becky to tell you all about their kitchen renovation and how they refinished their hardwood floors.
Remodeled Kitchen and Refinished Hardwood Floors
by Becky from Ramblings from the Burbs
Hi there Remodelaholics! I’m Becky, blogger at Ramblings from the Burbs. I blog as a hobby to chronicle our home improvement projects, share crafting and design inspiration, and the occasional sprinkling of photography and cooking posts. I’m a small town Wisconsin girl but after getting a post graduate degree in engineering from the U of M, my husband and I have put down our roots outside of St. Paul in a mid-century rambler where we are raising two extraordinary kiddos. I’m thrilled to be back at Remodelaholic (after my first feature) to share our most recent home improvement undertaking, our remodeled kitchen. Being weekend warriors with two little ones underfoot made for an 8 month ordeal but we are thrilled with the results.
We’d lived in our home nearly five years and the kitchen had been the only room that remained unscathed from my penchant for DIY. I was finally able to convince my husband that for my that 30th birthday gift that it was finally time to knock out the wall separating our living room and kitchen and embark upon remodeling our kitchen.Being a pragmatic engineer, figuring out how to improve our kitchen’s functionality was equally as important to me as the aesthetics so I reconfigured our kitchen work triangle slightly and incorporated as many lower drawers as I could into our plans.
I needed a semi-functional interim kitchen, so we kept most of our original cabinetry instead of gutting it and built new doors and drawers to give our kitchen a whole new look. While we added a few base cabinets to create a peninsula, the rest of the kitchen you see is our original dark oak cabinetry. DIYing and re-purposing/building our cabinets left me room in our budget for other splurges like our quartz coutertops, apron front sink, and marble tile backsplash.
Before we could even begin on cabinets we had some daunting task to tackle … a new lighting plan and new flooring. Knocking out the wall between our kitchen and living room meant we would loose the only lighting in our living room – two wall scones. It also entailed relocating an HVAC vent and some electrical into our planned peninsula. We took the opportunity to install new recessed overhead lighting in both our living room and kitchen as well as some pendants over the new peninsula. Next on the agenda was creating a seamless flooring transition where we removed the wall.
Our kitchen had some cracked and sad white tile while the rest of our first floor had oak hardwoods which we had recently uncovered beneath some old carpeting. While the original hardwood flooring was in okay condition, it was a honey oak color which I didn’t care for. Our solution sounded fairly simple – removing tile, installing hardwood in the kitchen, and refinishing it all in a dark stain, but it was a TON of work.
After removing the old kitchen tile and installing oak hardwood in the kitchen, we DIYed all of our hardwood refinishing with some great expert advice and trusty rental equipment from a local hardwood flooring shop. We began with a really low (coarse) grit on the floor sanders to remove the existing finish from the original hardwoods. Once we had the existing finish removed we progressed our way down to higher (finer) grit sandpapers and hit both the original and newly installed kitchen hardwoods to smooth and level things. A good and thorough shop-vacuuming to get rid of the dust revealed some beautiful hardwood floors ready to be finished with our product of choice, Rubio Monocoat.The Rubio Monocoat is a zero-VOC finish and stain in one coat that we buffed on with a rented floor buffer. It gave our hardwoods a unique matte finish that can easily be touched up by hand when the finished is scratched in our busy household which includes a 130 lb dog.After we had our flooring taken care of we got to work on our cabinets. My husband thankfully knows his way around a woodshop pretty well so I had a custom carpenter at my disposal. He build the new peninsula cabinets, new drawers, drawer fronts, and door fronts. As I mentioned, we reused a lot of our existing cabinetry but the old cabinet doors and flimsy drawers couldn’t be salvaged. I decided to go with an inset style of door/drawer that is common in a lot of higher end cabinets because of the classic look it gives cabinets but it takes a little more skill and precision to do than an overlay or partial overlay style of cabinet door and hence a higher cost if it’s hired out. We also took the cabinetry the extra mile by using box joints, high quality three-way adjustable door hinges and soft-close drawer slides.Once all of the carpentry work was finished, our kitchen was still looking a a bit crazy because it was a hodge-podge of new and old cabinets so it was time to get my painting on to bring everything together. The essential paint-prep steps were the most time consuming but I was able to cover some serious productivity ground with the aid of a pneumatic paint sprayer to prime and paint all of the cabinet door and drawer fronts in our garage. Unfortunately, the cabinet frames inside the house still needed to be painted by hand but I was thankful the majority of my visible surfaces had that smooth factory-like sprayed finish.Another challenge we ran into was installing the cast-iron apron front sink I had my heart set on. The beast was a splurge, weights nearly 120 lbs, and requires special support from inside the cabinet below since all that weight can’t be supported by the countertops.
And speaking of our countertops, that was the one major thing we had done professionally since my chosen counter material (quartz) requires professionals to fabricate. To save a little bit of coin on the counters we went with a contrasting butcher block countertop for the raised peninsula bar from IKEA. Our last major task was to a completely remodeled kitchen was installing our marble tile backsplash which I still find myself spontaneously petting.So now that’s enough rambling from me, let’s get to what your really hear for, the dramatic before and after photos of all of our handy work. And since I know how curious my fellow remodelaholic readers are, here’s a handy list of sources:
- Hardwood floor finish – Rubio Monocoat Natural Oil Finish in Chocolate
- Cabinet paint color – Benjamin Moore Sandy Hook Gray (HC-108)
- Cabinet hardware – Cosmas Polished Chrome Knob (4391CH) and Pulls (4392CH)
- Pendant lights – Kenroy Home Chrome Finish Boda 1 Light Pendant
- Sink – Kohler Whitehaven Under-Mount Apron-Front Sink
- Faucet – Kohler Bellera Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet
- Backsplash tile – Silver Emperador Polished Amalfi 12 x 12 in from The Tile Shop
- Wire storage baskets – Medium Marche Basket from The Container Store
- Hanging plant pots-FINTORP cutlery caddy and rail from IKEA