Thursday, May 3, 2012

More First House Renovations

The Renovated Kitchen
After tackling our master bedroom and bathroom, we decided to move on to the main level flooring and kitchen upgrade.  Our condominium was wall to wall carpeting with boring beige sheet vinyl in the kitchen and bathrooms.  We were planning to get a puppy soon and thought one day we would rent our condo so we opted for durable wood-look laminate flooring instead of hardwood.  The laminate is scratch resistant and doesn't scar like hardwood.  We selected a dark walnut laminate from "Quick-Step".  My husband, John, took up all of the old carpet. is amazing all the dirt that gets trapped in carpet.  I recommend wearing a mask when tearing out carpet.  The dirt and debri that gets airborne is yucky. 

Putting Down the New Laminate Floors


Kitchen Before_check out the lovely striped wall paper
Before the kitchen and adjacent dining/living space had different flooring (carpet/sheet vinyl).  In order to help unify the spaces and make the area feel larger, we carried the laminate throughout.  In order to prevent "hollow clacking sounds" and give additional sound buffering with the basement garage below, we used the "Unisound" underlayment with the "Quickstep" laminate. 

Our budget didn't allow for new cabinets, so we painted the existing ones.  We first gave all of the cabinets a light sanding with a superfine sandpaper.  Then we primed everything with "Kilz low-odor" latex based primer.  Lastly we painted with Sherwin Williams' zero-VOC "Harmony" paint in a semi-gloss finish.  We selected semi-gloss paint because we knew we would need good washability in a kitchen with off-white painted cabinets.  We upgraded the shallow bowl sink with a new super deep sink and goose neck faucet.  The cabinets did not have any hardware on them before (just finger pull recesses).  We added bronze rod-shaped hardware that we found at "Home Depot".  In a last minute decision, John opted to change the countertops.  We found some pre-fab countertops at the "Home Depot"in a nice black color with a very subtle texture pattern.  All in all this space was completely transformed.

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