Stop Planning; Start Doing


I finally have what I think is the final kitchen layout. (And I’m now a lot faster at SketchUp.) Note that the top run of cabinets and library ladder rail won’t happen, unless I decide in the spring to not sell the house…or no one wants to buy it. (While I don’t want to overbuild for someone else, I’m perfectly willing to do so for myself.)

drviewA careful look at the underside of the floor* has convinced me that I can take up the tile (and probably two layers of lino under it), then sand and refinish the wood. All of the plywood patches appear to be located where cabinets will cover them, and if not, I can tooth in a few boards as needed.

I desperately want to start taking up the tile but I have guests today through Christmas; I suppose we’ll need the kitchen. I’ll have the cat’s paw and cold chisel in hand on the 26th, and will take the tile and whatever is under it back to the cabinet edges (then remove the rest of it once I pull the old base cabinets).

As for as the cabinets, I plan to use 3/4″ AC birch ply, finished side toward the interior. The outside surfaces will be painted white. (Yes, this blog may soon actually include some woodworking!)  I’ll be working in stages; the sink-base cabinet and corner cabinet for a lazy susan will come first, then the measurements for the remaining base cabinets will be pulled from those (I don’t trust myself to get everything dead right off my drawings).

Then, I’ll tear out the current MDF crap, sand and finish the floor, then scribe the base to it (I know it won’t be level; nothing in this house is). My hope is that I can get that base done and get the carcases and countertop in place quickly so I’m not without a functional kitchen for more than 8-10 days (some of which are, unavoidably, for the floor finish to cure).

Then, it’s on to the upper cabinets; my dishes and food will just stay in the dining room until they’re done.

And for Christmas, I’m hoping for an IKEA gift card. That’s where I’m getting the sink.

*Yes, I know that’s technically a sub floor if I can see it from underneath, but that’s what I’ve done in the living room and dining room, and it works just fine.

About fitz

Woodworker, writer, editor, teacher, ailurophile, Shakespearean. Will write for air-dried walnut.
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14 Responses to Stop Planning; Start Doing

  1. J ohn Horst says:

    Looks like a great plan. Hope you give us progress photos. Are you going to make your own cabinets?

    • fitz says:

      Yup – I plan to document everything … Ad nauseum. And yes; I don’t look forward to that many boring boxes, but it’s the only way I can afford to do it.

      • J ohn Horst says:

        I also built all of mine; current cost here in the Panhandle for custom tops and bottoms is $90 per foot. I prefer making furniture but for that price I had no choice. In my area most if not all cabinet makers buy the doors and drawers. How is the dissertation coming along?

  2. rondennis303 says:

    Megan –

    What out for bad things when removing your old floor. Depending on the age, asbestos was used in flooring products bad in the day. You might want to have some testing done.

    • steveschafer says:

      Ditto on the asbestos. If you tear up asbestos tiles the wrong way, you’ll fill the air with asbestos fibers that will get everywhere.

  3. I was about to caution you as well about the asbestos risk as it was common in old linoleum and its backing material, but I can see others beat me to it. You can take samples and have them sent out to a lab before you go and disturb a wide swath of flooring (see if you can get a small sample from under a door threshold or similar out of view place). Asbestos floor tiles were made well into the 1980s so likely your middle layer if not both may contain asbestos which is really bad stuff if it gets into the air. Below is a link to some sample photos and details if you are interested:

    • fitz says:

      Maybe I’ll get lucky and there’s no lino or other material between the ceramic tile and the wood…maybe.

      • Good luck with it and let me know how it goes. The new plan for the kitchen looks very nice. The only suggestion I’d make is consider having more headroom above the sink and possibly an under cabinet light over it to balance out the light from your range hood.
        I just got a copy of sketchup the other day and bought Bob’s shop class on demand series which has been interesting so far. I used Autocad a lot back in the day, so it has been fun.

  4. Curt Putnam says:

    Consider building a level base upon which the base cabinets will reside. Much easier to level an unseen base – lives behind the kick board. Do it once and you are done.

    • fitz says:

      Oh…I guess I didn’t convey that correctly. Yes, the base will be seperate and scribed to the out-of-level floor so that the cabinets can sit level atop it. Toe kick applied, then “furniture feet” last.

  5. IKEA gift card??? Wash you mouth out with Lava soap 🙂

  6. Greg says:

    Resource to make cabinets like these?

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