Thursday, April 29, 2021

There once was a hole in the kitchen

And to cover it, Len was just itchin'.

Some background: A family owned this old house for decades, and then a real estate agent bought it to flip it, and now we own it. The flipper "renovated" fast and easy. I've said before, she did a great job revealing the house's charm, but the updates don't appear to have been undertaken with thoughtful, methodical, and detailed approach.

One of the major updates to the house was a complete kitchen renovation. They tore out the wall that had separated the kitchen and dining room, and we love how open it is. The head-scratching part of it, though, is illustrated in the photo above. When the kitchen and dining room were two separate rooms, it made sense to have an vent in each room, but now that they are essentially one big room, you can see we were left with a nice, large antique floor vent (which Len also spruced up, but that is a story for another time) and a small, ill-fitting, cheapo, modern floor vent just two feet away. They don't even come from the same duct run. 

Why is this so perplexing? Well, they laid brand new tile in the kitchen. They had to custom cut two tiles to accommodate the small, now-pointless vent. Would it not have been easier (both on the worker and, later, on the eyes) to close off that one short duct to that one small vent and just lay whole tile over it?

That's exactly what Len did, retroactively. Guided by a This Old House segment, Len carefully chipped out the two affected kitchen tiles, covered the hole, and cut a new rectangular section of subfloor. Luckily, in the basement, there were spare kitchen tiles, mortar, and grout leftover from the renovation. 

That's right, that's Tom Silva on the laptop screen, guiding the way.

The kitchen floor, when it was first laid and grouted during the big flip, sat around for a year collecting dirt before we moved in and ascertained it had never been sealed. We cleaned and sealed it last spring, but the once-white grout was mostly a light tan by that time. When Len grouted these two new tiles, the contrast was stark. We ended up re-grouting the entire kitchen floor so it would match. 

And of course, a couple of days later, we sealed it. Like you're supposed to.

There once was a hole in the kitchen,
and to cover it, Len was just itchin'.
Len erased that dumb hole
with a little help from Nicole.
Now that tile floor is totally [90s slang for awesome]!


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