Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 212/365 Hot Humid Home Improvement

I may have mentioned our five dogs. And our ancient 1858 home. And our Franklin County red soil.

The combination is not pretty. About four years ago, I redid our state-of-the-art 1959 kitchen, and, because of the five dogs and their twenty claws, I put Italian quarry tile on the floor -perfect for easy cleanup, and it's impossible to scratch, even with twenty claws.

Then I tried to put it in the back hallway. Wouldn't stick. Popped up, cracked, floated away. Took up all the tile, put down underlayment. Replaced tile. Still didn't work. Tile popped up, cracked, floated away. Actually used super glue on tile. Tile still cracked and popped, but definitely didn't float away.

Finally pulled up tile, and left the underlayment while I decided what to do.

Dogs were okay with this, but then I thought about vinyl sheet flooring. Wouldn't hold up under twenty dog claws. Then thought about linoleum. Still no match for claws.

The dogs were starting to think they had the upper hand here.

Even Whiny thought he was king of the underlayment.

Then I decided to go with the cheapest, easiest solution possible: Dollar General stick and peel vinyl tile. I reasoned that if the claws ruined one or two places, all I'd have to do is pull those tile up and stick a couple new ones down.

So yesterday - on the HOTTEST, MOST HUMID, STICKY day of the year (so far), we thought we'd rip up the underlayment, sweep up the mortar, dried super glue, and loose nails, and pop those tiles down. This is after the underlayment was pulled up. All the gray mortar (mixed with super glue) is about to be chiseled up. Yes, chiseled. It wouldn't hold tile in place, but held itself alone very well.

And of course the heating grate needed to be repainted.

As well as the lower half of the walls, again because of five dogs, who swished their tails and rubbed up against whatever doorway or wall they could reach.

All the walls are loved equally, so all the walls had to be repainted.

And after a light sanding of the old original linoleum (fake slate look -the balance was eaten by the dogs many years ago, creating the reason for new flooring to begin with), the sticking of the tile begins.

Full pieces first, working from one end to the other, ending with the border pieces, cutting them carefully with an exacto knife.

Finally done, with the newly painted grate back in place (still need to get the ducts sucked out before winter).

So far so good - no claw marks or torn up tile yet. No taste-testing by the canine crowd.

If I had known it was going to look this nice, I think I would have skipped the Italian tile for the kitchen. But let's see how it looks at the end of a month. Those dogs always have the last laugh.


  1. Nice job!! Looks great!

  2. Another Janice says,
    Wow! you did good!

  3. Looks really nice. As always, you did a good job and made it appear fun by your witty remarks. Good luck on the length of time it lasts!

  4. It looks fantastic!! I love your sense of humor and your wit. And I look forward to hearing how the dogs handle it over the Summer. Good luck! :)

  5. Want to come work at my house next? It's not nearly as humid. :)

    I wonder if your Italian stuff wouldn't stick because the layer of mortar was shedding on a microparticle level. That would explain the superglue not sticking.