Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kitchen Remodel

For those who haven't already checked this out on our facebook page...

Over Christmas break we had the ambitious goal of tiling our kitchen floor and countertop. Sounds do-able for a week off according to HGTV, right? Well, we were pretty clueless about what we were doing, and there is no Home Depot with help around each corner. Bonus: No extra stuff to spend money on! Drawback: Little to no expertise to draw on, and little to no equipment. We had picked out tile in November, and sketched out what we wanted, but making it happen is always more time-consuming than you think it will be...

Most cooking is done by charcoal outside the back door of the house, so a big glamorous open-style kitchen is not to be found in Africa thus far. This one happens to be about 10 x 12! Should be quick to tile, right?


We've learned that apparently ants are capable of digging through concrete. I suppose if they can consume entire trees it should not surprise me that they managed a little tunnel over 30 years since this kitchen was originally built. There was actually quite a lot of that corner missing...



And here's our finished product on 'moving day' (moving the fridge, stove and stuff back into the kitchen from the dining room that is). No more ants! Lots more light! Shelves, drawers and sink to be finished soon, but a real countertop! So here's more of our process:


Acid washed floor, ready for cement, planning out the tiles.

We measured the center of each wall and used my handy black craft yarn to determine that these hand-crafted cement walls do not have a square corner to start our tile with...


Mixing cement apparently requires sand. Good thing there was lots of it where the kids played. Just needed to be washed...


One the cutest sand-washers:


Actual tile going onto the floor!!!



Woohoo!


White cement acts as grout. Here Kent cleans it up with a little 'help'. =)



The next day when all was dry and done, he laid down our huge UN tarp purchased locally and assembled the kitchen counter/cupboard (which was too big to bring in finished). So here's the first coat of paint on it...


It should also be noted that Kent went to great lengths to get rid of those pesky ants! After cementing their tunnel shut, they dug right through again within 48 hours! The next day he got them good once and for all with the help of pouring poison in their tunnel, recementing and layering with silicone! Ha! Get through that! We haven't seen more than one in the last 2 weeks! We are the champions! =) (ok. really it was all Kent!)


Now I don't have to dread the kitchen. I can enjoy it! Thank you Kent!

6 comments:

Linda said...

Ohhhhhhh.... bless your hearts! Bless you for being willing to live there! And for being patient until such things as a kitchen can be spiffed up! You are so dear!

Dinah Claire said...

Wowsa! You guys did so much! How exciting!!!!
I loved your ant story - though, I totally have a heart for ants. I think they're sweet and though they're not my favorite bug to have around necessarily they are the bug I have the most compassion for and I don't mind them crawling on me.
It's too bad they do that troupe thing - the combine and conquer. And it's too bad they're not all the tiny, cute black ones whose individual progress I love to watch.
p.s. Anna's little outfit is SO cute.

Janine the Bean said...

That's a big project. I'm sure you have to choose those things that you just can't accept. Wow...that was pretty bad.

Janine the Bean said...

And way to go KENT!

Michelle said...

Yay! It's exciting to see your home coming together!

Julie said...

Wow, what a total transformation-great work!