the tightness.

When I walked through Evelyn for the first time the most glaring problem was absolutely the kitchen floor.  It looked as though someone had used a pale blue/gray garage floor type paint to cover some old and peeling linoleum. I can overlook and deal with lots of shit, but this could not stand.

I had some glasses of wine, did some head scratching, asked my brothers to come over and scratch their heads too, and finally ended up not removing the linoleum.  I could have spent a weekend peeling and chipping away at it, but I didn’t even want to know what was underneath it.  So I asked my brother, Alex, to come “help” me install backer board directly over the existing floor.. and then let him do the entire job by himself.  I will say that sometimes my lack of upper body strength can impede a project and this was one of those instances.  Even with a great driver and putting my full body into the screws, they weren’t sinking as deep as I needed them to.  Yada, yada Alex is a man among men.

I did end up getting a new angle grinder to cut up the backer board and I don’t feel too terrible about spending an extra $80 on this job because there are a few more projects that I’ll need it for on this house alone and most likely the next ones.

alex backerboard

This was absolutely the most dreaded project I have done in years and I was dragging my feet so hard on it, I ended up living with a floor of backer board for almost a month while I putzed around on other little projects (like painting the bathroom, planting flowers, installing open shelves in my bedroom, etc.) and procrastinated like a boss.  But Good Friday rolled around blessing metro school teachers and students with a sweet three day weekend and I knew it was time to get this done.

My long suffering brothers showed up and moved my fridge and stove into the office off of the kitchen on Holy Thursday night and then Alex showed up again Friday morning to start mixing thinset and laying tile with me.  I ordered a Spanish Merola tile from Home Depot (pro tip: they ship for free) called Twenties Vintage (measuring 7.5″x7.5″) within a couple of days of closing on the house.  I measured out the space, used one of those awesome online tile counting apps, and ended up getting 256 tiles at $1.98 a piece ($556 total).  Couple things: (1) laying tile that small on such a big space is a HUGE pain in the balls and (2) it may save you some money, but NEVER any time.

Al could only give me a couple of hours, but we managed to decide our starting line, find our pattern, and then he took one for the team and cut the tile for the air vent.  It then took me two days to finish laying the tile and then another full day of grouting on my own.  I went back and forth about what color grout to use and ended up going with a pewter, which is much easier to keep clean and blended in with the pattern nicely.

I don’t think I can explain just how much of an idiot I was to not spend the $10 on some knee pads and thanks to that decision my knees are purple and pretty destroyed right now, just like my neck, back, hands, and everything else.


I waited a couple of days to seal the grout and ending up splurging on the aerosol can, which is just SO MUCH easier than any other sealer I’ve ever used.  Kitchen floor: done!


Tile $556
Backerboard $80
Thinset x2 and Joint Tape $41
Grout $14
Pointed and Square-Notched Trowel, Grout Float, Sponge & 1/8″ Spacers $19
Sealer $12



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