First thing yesterday morning, Bill the Tile Guy and Bop (yeah. that stuck) showed up to finish the sheet rock/taping/spackling and start laying the base for the floor. A fine wire mesh is nailed to the floor boards and a skim coat (I looked this up: it smoothes and levels things out preparatory to the application of flooring. no small task in our tilty kitchen). Bill the Tile Guy left a path in the mesh so we could continue to use our sliding door (ie: our main entrance to the house. more on that later. probably), but warned it would take several hours for the skim coat to harden.
Ideally, we would have shut off any access to the kitchen. Since that is our main entry, and since it has the entry to the basement (where kitties hide while any work is under way), and since it also has a huge, open entrance to the living room, that wasn’t going to fly. Fortunately, if the kitties did walk on the soft skim coat, it wouldn’t affect the application of the tile. It would, however, be a bit vexing to the kitties who had skim coat stuck to their paws. Just ask Esme. Of course it was my curious kitty who just had to go for a stroll on the unfamiliar surface. And naturally she was a goodly distance from the clean mesh path when her paws broke through the skin of the coat and the goop started sticking.
Have you ever seen a cat walk whilst trying to keep from putting it’s feet down? Hi. Larious. Of course, once my one-eyed kitty flailed her way out of the kitchen, she ran through the living room, across the (new!) dining room table, into my bedroom and onto my comforter. I’ve got a lot of super-adhesive footprints to clean up. Heck with waiting for a kitchen warming. Between this and the boxes and the clutter and the dust, I may have a ‘Help me clean my house!’ shindig in the next week or so. I promise all comers will be very well fed.
Bill the Tile Guy came just after I left for work; by the time I got home, he was nearly done. “So who went dancing across the floor?” he asked, and when I told him it was my little one, he wasn’t surprised. “She’s been in here all morning. When I sat down to have lunch, she kept me company.” He’ll be back to grout in the morning. After six or so hours, we can walk on the floor. And believe me, I will. Barefoot.
Way back, lo those several weeks ago, when we were shopping for our cabinets at Lowe’s, we were also considering just what style of counter top we wanted. Corian? Granite? Recycled glass? (okay, that wasn’t at Lowe’s, but it’s so completely gorgeous. I long, I covet, I pine). As we were staring at the overwhelming array of samples, our Cabinet Consultant leaned in and murmured, “House of Stone in Monroe. I’m doing my kitchen right now, and that’s where I’m going.” Which TOTALLY sealed our cabinet purchase with this guy, since he was willing to do a ‘...34th Street,’* and also sent me on a preparatory expedition to the House of Stone to see what they were all about, what they had to offer and what I needed to do to get counter tops.
The woman on duty was busy when I arrived, but she invited me to take a look at the samples in the small but lovely showroom. After about ten minutes, she was back. I explained my situation. She led me to the outside lot that I might peruse the slabs of granite and other stone they had on hand, all the while offering excellent advice and detailing the service they offer. In short, while the price is comparable to Lowe’s, the service is superior.
And the stones... oh, they’re just gorgeous. We’d really thought of going with a synthetic. It’s not horrible, and it would save us a bit of money. But once again, the blessings of a tiny kitchen: there’s not all that much countertop. We can afford to spend a bit more since we’re not buying a massive amount of square footage. It was Don who assured me of this, and I’m so glad. I need to take pictures when I go back (on the HoS woman’s suggestion, I’m going to take a cabinet door to hold up to the different slabs so I can see what works best) which, of course, I’ll share with you. There may be a poll. Ticky boxes and all. Just giving you fair warning.
Oh, hey - I totally forgot the ‘plumbing gone awry’ part of yesterday’s post. Bill the Tile Guy needed water to mix the material for the skim coat. Of course he headed outside to use the spigot near the kitchen window. When he turned it on, water started pouring out from underneath the siding. Turns out we hadn’t turned the water off for the winter. Pipes froze and cracked. Excellent.
The plumber will be back next week to hook up the sink and the propane line (now with indoor emergency shut-off valve!), so we’ll just have him fix the outdoor spigot and set it up with it’s own shut-off. Bop has promised me he’ll show me where it is and that it is now my job to turn it off every fall. In the meanwhile, Bill the Tile Guy got his water from the bathtub.
Wire mesh on the floor boards. I find it fitting that my kitchen is armored in what is, essentially, chain mail.
Nice, clean path to the door. You'd think kitties could keep to that swathe...
...but no. Apparently not.
if you're wondering why that last shot is so wonky, I took it with a flashlight in one hand and my camera in the other while standing on the newly hardened skim coat in my pitch dark kitchen. I'd ask you to cut me some slack, but you already do, for which I am grateful.
New tile! That I chose all by myself! This is the Tile of Decisiveness! Soon to come: the Grout of Steely Resolution. I may need to roll for stats. Where's my D20?
Because Esme can not fathom why I would be looking at tile when I could be looking at her...
She's standing on her hind legs so she can rub her head against my hands. Adorable, in real time, but in this moment she looks as if she's a furry Godzilla ready to level Tokyo.
I leave you with granite gorgeousness. I'm not sure I'm utterly sold on this particular color (a deep, midnight blue), but the shimmer within the stone is astonishingly lovely.
I was thinking of black, or a deep green, but this is making me wonder if I could live, happily, with blue.
*When I first started at Barnes and Noble and was unable to procure a book (neither within the store nor within our order system) for someone, I directed them to the local independent bookstore as well as Borders. A senior bookseller regarded me with disdain and disbelief. “Really now,” I said. “Have we learned nothing from Miracle on 34th Street?” He continued unamused. I continued to believe that if it worked for Macy’s and Gimbel’s, it would work for B&N and Borders. I also believe to this day that Kris Kringle will bring me a Gypsy Vanner. I’ll know it’s from him because his cane will be balanced across the horse’s back.