Friday, April 17, 2009

Remodeling the Kitchen - Part 3

In Part 1 of our kitchen remodeling adventure we saw what we had to work with.
In Part 2, we came up with a plan and started demolition.
In this Part we will explore the floor, or at least the subfloor!

After the old sub floor had been removed and before the new sub floor could be installed the floor had to be leveled. Our house has settled towards the center leaving the outer edges higher than the middle. In most rooms the incline is not very noticeable, however the slope of the kitchen and breakfast nook were rather pronounced.
We briefly entertained the thought of having the center of the house jacked up and installing new support beams, but the myriad of problems that could have caused quickly extinguished the thought. Instead, we leveled the kitchen and breakfast nook floors by laying wooden boards perpendicular to the floor joists. These boards were ripped and cut at the proper angle to level the floor.

After the leveling boards were in place, a new subfloor of 5/8" thick OSB tongue and groove plywood was installed. This created a very strong and solid subfloor suitable for our ceramic tile installation that would take place shortly.

With the new OSB subfloor in place, it was time to tear down part of the wall that separated the kitchen from the beakfast nook. Before beginning, I had to remove an outlet, so I turned off the circuit at the breaker box and then removed the outlet. Next, I removed the molding and casement from the kitchen-breakfast nook transition. On the breakfast nook side of the wall section was a small pantry built into the wall studs. I removed the door and then only had to remove a couple of 2x4 studs and the 3/4" thick wood paneling on the kitchen side. To finish the job I used a reciprocating saw (sometimes called a 'sawzall') to cut through the wood and nails left in my way.

The breakfast nook along with the other rooms at the back of the house are part of an addition. When the house was first built, it looks like the kitchen had double doors that opened to the outside. The amount of wall I had removed brought that wall back to its original opening, except instead of double doors opening to possibly a grassy yard, it enters the breakfast nook room. I was not yet finished with the wall though, I had to get a metal electrical junction box and reroute some wires that had been in the old section of the wall. I put that in a cavity that would be enclosed when I put the new casing and molding up. I also had to cut a section of OSB plywood to complete the new subfloor (the section highlighted in blue in the photo to the right).


Here you can see the kitchen and breakfast nook with the new OSB subfloor. I've also highlighted where the old wall came to. I think you'll agree that the space is much more open now!

Here is another view from the breakfast nook looking into the kitchen:


We now had the floor level and a new subfloor installed. The next step? Starting the tiling project.

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