The 48-hour kitchen makeover

Our oven died recently at a very inconvenient moment. We decided to seize the opportunity to convert to a gas range. Then we decided that we should re-do our kitchen floor before the new stove is installed. One thing led to another, and it seemed like while we’re re-doing the floors, we should replace the baseboards. And it would be nice to paint the kitchen too. This led to a frenzied 48 hour marathon of tile shopping, watching adhesive dry, being covered in glue and agreeing on the perfect shade of white paint. This is what our weekend looked like.


We loved the Armstrong VCT sample kit.


The gray grime is a leveling compound. The blue X marks the center of the room.


Low-VOC adhesive.


The borderlands.


The tile roller weighs 100 pounds!


We’re so pleased with the results.

We’ll work on before/after glamour shots once we can move all the furniture back to the proper place. Our new range arrives tomorrow. We have more painting, spackling and baseboard installation to do, and we need to seal/polish the new floor when the adhesive is cured, but I feel great about how much we accomplished in two days. These kitchen projects have been on our list since we bought our house and it’s exhilarating to cross them off.

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “The 48-hour kitchen makeover

  1. the floor looks awesome! well done.

  2. Somer

    Congrats on new kitchen flooring! You guys did an amazing job! You are gonna love that gas range too!

    • Thank you! I only hope that we haven’t forgotten to cook on gas in the few years we’ve been here… fingers crossed!

      • Somer

        When your water boils in less time then you can pour it into the pot you will suddenly, happily, remember everything! ;)

        Unfortunately I have a smooth cook-top in my current house. I wish for a gas range again someday, but it’s senseless and wasteful to replace it before it dies.

        • We had the same conundrum – a perfectly functional stove and too much guilt to replace it. So the short circuit was actually a favorable occurrence, albeit an unplanned one!

          I am exciting to can things on the continuous grate. I hate lifting a giant pot of boiling water to get it away from the heat source!

  3. Emilia

    My partner and I are moving to a new city and buying a house there. I told her the first thing to do is run a gas line into the kitchen. She’s going to do that as well as other lines onto the porch and to the future garage area so it can be heated. A gas stove is definitely a must have, especially since my partner scorched a large pot of chili when she turned on the wrong burner.

  4. Your floor looks great! Is it the kind that needs to be waxed every so often?

  5. val

    Great job! I am going to have to do a similar floor because I don’t want to scrape up the 50s era asbestos tile lurking beneath my worn vinyl tiles, so can I pick your brain? Real linoleum seems to have a host of issues, as does floating cork tile, so I am really attracted to the resilience of vinyl (and love the recycles aspect). However, I am really sensitive to smells–does the new vinyl have an odor? Any other pluses or minuses to this product? thanks for any input!

    • Boy, I wished I knew someone whose brain I could have picked when we were trying to figure this out. We’re still not experts on the matter by any stretch of the imagination, but for price, appearance and durability, the VCT (vinyl commercial tile) was the all-around winner. You can lay it over old vinyl, which we did. It’s recommended that you do some kind of overlay/leveling to make sure the new vct adheres properly and doesn’t get bumps over time.

      The new vinyl does not have any smell that I can discern, but the leveling compound and adhesive both stink. We bought low/no VOC’s in both leveling and adhesive, but they still smell. It’s been a few days since we installed it and the smell is fading now. The vct doesn’t seem to have any smell at all. It’s a pretty durable, stable material as far as I can tell. I’m sure it off-gases something, but it doesn’t smell like new sheet vinyl.

      Have you checked out marmoleum or natural (old-fashioned) linoleum? Both are made from linseed oil, flax and burlap. They are supposed to be more “eco-friendly” but they cost five or six times as much, and we didn’t like the colors or patterns. if you can find a pattern you like, though, it might be a good alternative. You still have to use stinky adhesive with it, though. hmm, does any of that help?

      • val

        Absolutely, very helpful. There’s no beating hearing personal experiences with a product. thanks!

        • misterkrista

          I would say that everything I read said to ONLY go over old vinyl if you only have one layer. So you may have to remove your top layer if you already have two.

  6. Wow. Nice new floor! I wish my kitchen remodel was that easy. The “bones” of my kitchen are very, very dysfunctional. It’s a gut-and-re-do-completely kind of thing, way more than I’m willing to commit. So I settled. It’s why I don’t “cook,” only wash and eat. So much easier than fighting with it every day.

    PS — I do love my gas range top. Wouldn’t go back to electric for anything.

    • Gah, yeah it is frustrating when a room needs that much work. We have a bathroom like that…. it will be a few more years before you see that bathroom remodel on our blog, and it will definitely take more than 48 hours.

  7. I’m so envious. 48 hours? My dad’s been trying to remodel the house since we moved in – 15 years ago. The living room floor’s been down to plywood for years, and they were going to replace the floors in basically the entire house just before last Christmas, so ripped up the floors and put the leveling compound in, but the wood was warped so it never got done. As far as I know (I’m in France at the moment, thank God), there’s still no flooring in. Can I borrow your ability to get things done?

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