And So It Begins

Demolition Derby



(Speakers on for that link to join in my misery and also Ike's amazing napping prowess, particularly for a child who was #NOTTIRED.)

So. Day one resulted in some terrifically smashy progress.



(Small dog gazing woefully at pantry wondering where her foodz went included for scale.)

(Also someone tell me what to do about that center light, besides banish it to the depths of Bad Lighting Hell, obviously. Basic recessed lighting? A couple cool flush mount fixtures that I suppose exist but have been unable to find myself, at least for not an insane amount of money?)

So as it turns out, the tile was not original to the house after all, but was installed at some point later, over a layer of plywood, which was then liquid nailed over some SUPER ATTRACTIVE peel-and-stick linoleum. Getting through all these layers of flooring is taking considerable effort and jackhammering and pulverizing and again, SO MUCH GODDAMN NOISE. Shit is starting to fall off walls in the basement, or migrate towards shelf edges, so yeah. Really glad we went all decorating crazy to get the house looking cute and cozy right before essentially repacking it all up a few weeks later.

Sneak peek at the new tile.


We'd already decided we wanted a faux wood-grain tile when we stumbled upon this one, which had JUST been discontinued and marked down almost 60 goddamn percent. And there was still enough inventory for us to buy enough to cover the entire kitchen and front hallway/foyer (plus a few boxes to spare for future projects). Even if you are fundamentally opposed to tile that pretends to be things that are not actually tile, I still think some sassy Z-snaps are in order. 

Of course, the tile is still just sitting out in the garage like a tease, because first the crew needs to Hulksmash over 400 square feet of all those other flooring layers, then install a proper subflooring, so again, let's aim for New Kitchen Coming Sometime In Mid-to-Late 2016. 

Ike's all, whatevs. Wake me up when you have something different to talk about.




Congratulate my restraint. I had a Spongebob squee wanting to escape me because yay! demo! And I tamped it down because I don't want anyone in my office to ask me to share what's making me happy (because my first answer would be headphones to not hear you ask me questions).


My boyfriend does kitchens, bathrooms, windows and floors so I feel your pain. You NEVER know what you are going to find under there. There are cheap and quick ways to do it or there is the right way to do it. And your new wood grain tile is beautiful! And score on the deal on it too!


if you are planning to have an island, hang pendants over that and maybe a few recessed over the actual kitchen. Wayfair has fairly good prices.


We just went through this ourselves (though we went 4 months without a kitchen). If you can't do recessed lights, there are lots of not too expensive options for flush mount LED lights. We went with the Philips Lighotlier (they come in different shapes, sizes, brightness, and temperatures so check out the full line, but this is the one we got for a basement hall and for the top of the basement stairs on the wall


We just finished a "kitchen reno" gut job that also involved taking down a wall, removing a lathe and plaster ceiling on the whole first floor then replacing with drywall, and some electrical upgrades to boot. And that only took a month so there is hope they can get your kitchen done on schedule!


My husband is dying to reno our kitchen, but the DIY part of it makes me want to poke myself in the eye. I wish our money tree would start producing so we could afford a contractor to do it for us. But, I don't think hubby would agree to that anyway. This post made me maybe start to change my mind... can't wait to see your end result. =)


I love ceiba in there!

You know, our house has the original 1950s kitchen, with some lovely linoleum. I guess that means one less layer to deal with when we eventually renovate it!


Our house used to have that exact original light in the kitchen (built in 1965). We replaced it with a LED ceiling panel that covered the same ceiling footprint but was super thin, used less power, gave the same amount of light and looked tons better too.


I really like your tile, because I think actual wood flooring in a kitchen is foolish but does look nice. And what a deal!

As Shannon said, if there is an island, we also have pendants there and then can lights elsewhere, on separate switches, so you can have either or both on. We also have dimmers on both. Very nice.

We had sheet linoleum over peel n stick tiles which required a blowtorch to remove and probably gave both of us asbestos poisoning. Or some kind of poisoning.


I , too, vote for recessed lighting (cans/high hats) all around and then beautiful fixtures of your choice over any island and/or eating area. A good electrician will know the proper spacing for the cans vs footage of your kitchen.I think its about 3-4 feet between each one. I've got 3 cans on either side of my kitchen, plus 2 smaller ones over my sink and a pair over a desk area , with a chandelier over my center island/table. What a difference a well little kitchen makes! No more prepping on a poorly lit counter top and cooking or washing dishes in my shadow that is cast from the overhead light in the center of the kitchen. It is well worth the investment if you plan on staying there for years.


Congrats! I feel your pain, but you're going to love your new tile. We put it in our kitchen/laundry room and its gorgeous and very practical at the same time. Enjoy!

Sue W.

Poor Ceiba! Wherez mah foodz moooom??? I LOVE your faux wood tile. So glad Baby Ike #isnottired. Kidz can sleep anywhere!


That extra layer of plywood is probably responsible for the creak of death you had been hearing.

Carla Hinkle

I like recessed lighting for a kitchen (also pendants over the island/counter, which others have suggested). For relatively inexpensive, nice looking flush mount lighting, I like Lowe's, which is somehow way better then HD. We have this one in multiple rooms in our house:

If that link is wonky -- search "Portfolio 13-in W Satin Nickel Wall Flush Mount"

Both the Portfolio & Allen +Roth at Lowe's are pretty nice looking and don't cost a million dollars.

Good luck!!

Costco Cook

Love wood grain tile! We're doing that on our fireplace right now. My opinion is go for the recessed lighting in a kitchen. Speaking from experience of 4 remodels (the last one so major we literally knocked down the house!)


A friend of mine recently installed that wood grain tile in her kitchen and when I first heard about it I was like "eh?", but then I saw it and WOWZA. It looks super fantastic. All this demolition pain and suffering will be SO WORTH IT. Your kitchen is going to look amazing!


I am a professional woodworker and I still went with faux wood for the kitchen because I can mop it far better than anything actually made of wood.


When I was scrolling down and saw the ears, my brain processed it as a deer. Then I kept scrolling and was all whaaaaat, AMY HAS MINIATURE DEERZ IN HER NEIGHBORHOOD. Then I figured out what was actually happening. NGL, kinda disappointing. ;)

Leigh Ann

We have the same ridiculous light in our kitchen. I have no suggestions except recessed lighting.


We have that tile and it is fabulous!!! We also have a nine year old, a terrier and a giant lab puppy and the tile remains fabulous!! Wood floors again one day? Never!!!!



We just replaced the carpet in our bedrooms with the wood tile. I love it!


We just did a major gut-job on our kitchen earlier this year; knocking down/rearranging walls, the whole shebang. We went with recessed lighting and love it. plenty of light, but not visually distracting. we also hung a pendant over the sink for extra style points and because it meant I only had to pick out one fixture.


Young House Love (a big diy blog) has an affordable lighting line through Shades Of Light. We replaced our similar light with one of theirs and love it. We did it ourselves and we are not diy'ers. If you take that light down there is probably only one hole underneath. We replaced ours with the metal strap drum in white and love it!!


Oh also, we have the wood look tile and love the look of it a lot. But we've had some trouble with the grout cracking, I think, because we chose to do very thin grout spacing so it looked more like hardwood. So if I had to do it again I'd probably go for wider grout spacing. And also, tile is killer on the feet and back if you're standing on it for long periods of time. If I'm cooking s big meal or baking I sometimes wear my sneakers do I don't end up in pain, lol!


Glad you have pros doing the demo for you! Before we moved into our 100-year-old house, we got all the wood floors refinished on the main level. That involved taking up lots of layers of flooring our cheap selves. I got the job of removing thousands of carpet nails and staples from the living room and dining room, and my poor husband spent many hours stripping/scraping paint and linoleum from the rest. A couple years later when we re-did the family room, he bought a print of this gorgeously depressing painting called "The Floor Scrapers" to hang in there and remind him of all the work he'd done. It was rather endearing, if slightly weird and masochistic.

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