Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Given how massive this project was, many of the tasks that are usually major milestones in a project seemed small in comparison.

Painting

One of the first finishing touches was paint! Once the drywall was completely sanded, I dragged my very pregnant body on a ladder and got to work priming the ceiling and walls.

Once the trim was installed, I then finished the room by applying 2 coats of paint. Because of all the cabinetry, only the ceiling and a portion of the walls were visible, which meant that I could get away with just priming a large portion of the kitchen and only painting the parts that would be seen.

Painting the trim was slightly more annoying. It was difficult to paint around the doors and window (especially the one that opened) without getting paint on the glass. But with the trim and walls painted, it looked great!

Tiling

Aside from the floor tile, our kitchen has two other tile areas: the main backsplash behind the cooktop and a small backsplash behind the sink.

Our main backsplash tile was one of the first things we picked, more than a year before we installed it! We loved that the tile came in 5 different textures because we could have a solid colour but still keep things interesting.

After the countertop was in, I found out that I was being induced the following week, so it was essential that I get as much done as I possibly could before the twins came. One of the biggest things remaining was the tile work. Luckily I was able to get our contractor to install the yellow backsplash within a few days of our countertop being installed.

I meticulously laid out the entire backsplash, making sure that no two tiles with the same texture touched. This sped up the installation process significantly, which was important since time was of the essence!

Our contractor installed the tile in about 3 hours. We then had to wait at least a day to grout to make sure the tiles had really set.

On the Monday before my Friday induction, I began grouting the tile. After grouting, I had an ultrasound appointment that unexpectedly sent me to the hospital. Although everything turned out fine, it held me hostage for a good 5 hours and I had to have my contractor finish cleaning the grout off the tile. As you can imagine, the stress level was peaking at this point!

Once the grout was cleaned off and dry, our contractor caulked the seams for me (since it’s not my forte) and it was finally done – 3 days before I gave birth!

I also tried to get the subway tile backsplash done before I gave birth, but it didn’t work out. I struggled to find an edge piece that I liked and eventually had to order one, which I didn’t get around to until a week after the twins were born.

Originally our architect had suggested a plain white subway tile, but I found these beautiful textured tiles from Cera Gres. The tiles were a matte white and had several different textures. We decided to go with two: the smooth texture and the studded texture, where the studded tile would be randomly mixed in with the smooth tile.

Once the tile edge was ready, our contractor came back and installed the tile. Luckily our brand new babies napped a lot, so I was able to grout. He then came back to caulk. I must have been pretty sleep deprived at this point, because I only took a couple of pictures once it was done.

Electrical

Although the majority of the electrical work was already done, there were a few finishing touches that were required at the end of the project. Once the tiling was done, we could then completely finish the electrical work, which was mostly putting face plates on the counter plugs and hanging the pendant lights. I finished the electrical covers before I went into the hospital, but Alex had to finish the pendant lights after the twins were born.

Plumbing

Like the electrical work, most of the plumbing was done prior to our cabinet installation. Alex had run all of the pipes to their future location – including new pipes for our upstairs washroom which has yet to be renovated.

Once the cabinets were in, he just had to finish the connections to the sink, fridge and dishwasher. Our priority was to get the sink water connected at the very least before the babies came, but luckily we got it all done – the night before I was induced!

Heating

Our old kitchen had a large radiator to heat the back half of the house. There was no room for such a large rad in our new kitchen, so we had to be creative about how to heat that part of the house. Based on a recommendation from our radiant heating guy, we decided to install a kick heater under the sink and in-floor heating under the tile portion of the kitchen. Because we wanted the tile to be flush with the hardwood, we didn’t have room to put the in-floor heating on the subfloor like it’s typically installed. Instead, we had to put the pipes between the joists in the basement. The result is a nice, warm tile floor!

Baseboards

The final step was to install baseboards around the perimeter of the room. Because we had renovation fatigue and two newborn twins, this step took us well into the winter months. It took me until March – MARCH! – but I finally got around to it.

I wanted something pretty clean and simple, so I bought primed baseboards from Home Depot. There were only a few places that needed baseboards, so it wasn’t much work. I had to rip the baseboards to the right height (to match the height of the kick under the cabinets) and then cut them on the mitre saw. I then installed them like I’ve installed all the other baseboards before them: attach by nail gun, countersink the nails, fill holes with wood filler, caulk and paint. Luckily the babies cooperated and slept through most of it on an unseasonably warm March day.

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