When installed correctly, ceramic tile can create a very durable easy to maintain surface. Ideal for bathroom showers and kitchen backsplashes, ceramic tile comes in many different color patterns and sizes and can be installed in the home for a number of applications. Being so versatile and relatively affordable to install, most homes today have ceramic tile either in the bathroom or in the kitchen. Quite often homes have tile flooring in the kitchen.
If your home has a tile floor and you have been living there a number of years, then you’re likely to have a chipped or fractured tile. Fortunately ceramic tiles are fairly easy to replace. You should have some replacement tiles on hand, or you may have to find some from a local vendor. Also you will need to have the proper adhesive and grout. As well as the correct tools, grout remover, hammer and chisel, and applicators for the bonding adhesive and grout lines.
A tile floor in the kitchen may break when something gets dropped on it, usually a heavy glass cup or other dropped item that will often result in a surface chip. Large cracks and fractures in tile flooring are normally attributed to a settling foundation or improperly installed tile and underlayment. Whatever the reason, the removal process is the same. Replacing a tile is simple and easy if done correctly.
Removing ceramic tile is delicate work and should be done carefully. Using a grout removing tool, cautiously scrape along the grout lines of the tile to be removed. Be sure to remove all the grout that you can without damaging the adjoining tiles.
Dust out the lines using a small bristled brush or use a vacuum to clean the debris. Check to be sure that all the grout has been removed by going around with the grout remover again. The cleaner the line the less likely you are of damaging a neighboring tile.
Taking a hammer, lightly knock on the tile and begin to crack it into removable pieces. Using a small chisel may be required for stubborn tiles. Clear out the tile pieces and old adhesive. Use a painter’s tool or scraper to remove the adhesive glue from the subfloor.
Once the area is clean and clear of debris, test fit the tile in place to ensure a proper fit. When ready, apply the adhesive thinly onto the subfloor and also on the back of the replacement tile itself. Set the tile into place, press firmly and hold fast for one full minute.
Allow tile 24 hours to set and fully cure before applying grout.
Kitchen Remodel Undermount Sink
Under Mount Sinks – Kitchen Remodeling Trends
Under Mount sinks are all the rage for kitchen remodeling projects, and why not, they certainly look gorgeous in a newly remodeled kitchen. They’re flush, sleek and oh-so-undeniably beautiful.
There are a few points to consider when considering adding an under mount sink to your kitchen renovation. These few points are when I want to address today so that anyone who is thinking about remodeling their kitchens and adding an undermount sink to the project knows what they’re getting into and also knows exactly how to go about installing these sinks so that they give a lifetime of enjoyment to the homeowner.
Here it is in a nutshell: under mount sinks can have weak mounting points, unless you have a brand new granite or other rock type of counter being installed as a part of your kitchen remodeling project you’re probably not going to want to install an under mount sink.
Traditional sinks are clamped at the rim lip with set screws and require a sealing adhesive to help form a strong water tight bond and can be used on any type of countertop.
Under mount sinks are installed using a cradle frame as support for the sink to rest on. Some manufacturers provide mounting clamps that must be pre-drilled and set into the underside of the surface countertop. A silicone bead should be applied to prevent water leakage and not as a primary means of support.
When shopping for the sink you desire, keep in mind the mounting mechanism. Most only come with an adhesive silicone. We recommend that you find one that has a cradle system as means of main support. Contractors who have only used silicone to secure the sink under the counter have had to come back and fix a separation within 6 months.
Just remember, if you plan on selecting an under mount sink as a part of your next kitchen remodeling project, be sure that your contractor takes the time to install it correctly so that you can enjoy it hassle free for many years to come.
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Kitchen Remodel Before
Tons of homeowners in greater Birmingham want their kitchens remodeled but believe that their budgets won’t let them afford the type of upgrades that they really want. The good news is that a beautiful new kitchen isn’t as costly as you might think. There are a lot of rejuvenating and inexpensive methods you can utilize to get a beautifully remodeled kitchen. The tips below highlight just a few ideas available to remodel your kitchen affordably.
1. Take your time and shop around for a remodeling contractor who offers you a competitive price. A word to the wise: Be wary of unlicensed and uninsured low-budget “handymen” who could end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. Because of the current economy, prices among professionals are extremely competitive and it’s a perfect time to use your consumer power to negotiate on labor costs. Because of this, there is no reason to hire someone with the wrong set of tools and limited know-how when you can get a fully insured professional for a similar price…. Not only that, but because home improvement material sales are flat, you can save a lot of money on material prices right now.
2. Look for a contractor who can explain details about the remodeling process and who asks you questions about what you want. A professional who doesn’t have any input to give you probably isn’t much of a professional and shouldn’t be trusted to perform quality work.
3. Ask to see a copy of your contractor/handyman’s license and/or insurance certification. A professional contractor or handyman won’t mind producing his credentials for you, and that way you know that your home is protected from theft, damage and negligent practices because you know who he is and where he can be found.
4. Prioritize what you want to have done and what you need to have done before you begin to meet with your contract bidders. That way, when they come out to do a bid, you can help your contractor understand what you’re really going for and he’ll be able to give you the most accurate bid.
5. There’s no doubt that even small upgrades can revitalize a cramped kitchen. A fresh paint job, some tile, laminate or vinyl flooring and a bright light fixture are all inexpensive ways to revitalize a worn-out looking room.
6. It is important to note that plumbing jobs that don’t require a contractor to go “behind the wall,” don’t require a plumber, so you won’t have to pay outrageous plumber’s fees for simple tasks like replacing sinks and faucets. But if you’re going to upgrade to a gas stove, you’re going to want to hire a licensed plumber to install the gas lines.
7. Other great ways to liven up your kitchen includes installing additional lighting, installing pre-built or custom built cabinets, refinishing or repainting existing cabinets, and updating outdated fixtures affordable ways to liven up and reorganize cluttered kitchens.
Kitchen remodeling projects vary in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars and even up to tens of thousands of dollars for fancy butcher block countertops, custom built cabinets and high line designer fixtures and appliances. But the good news is, is that there are as many different ways to go about having your kitchen remodeled as there are reasons to remodel.
Another great aspect to choosing to do a kitchen remodel is the return on investment (ROI). Nationwide numbers indicate that the average homeowner in the Hoover and metro Birmingham area can expect to recoup about 76% of their costs of remodeling a kitchen. Source: www.remodeling.hw.net/2008/costvsvalue/national.aspx
The number one thing to remember is to get bids from reputable home remodelers and to work with them to develop the best new kitchen you can at a price you can afford.
Susan's Kitchen Before
Susan has wonderful decorating taste. When we first entered her kitchen, we were greeted by tasteful artwork on the walls, stylish counter-top appliances, and a baker’s rack that displayed her dedication to fine wine. All of this, however, couldn’t quite mask the fact that this kitchen had that lived-in look that often comes with a few years of passionate use.
Cabinet & Counter Top Work In Progress
The cabinets, although sturdy and custom-built from solid wood, showed their age. At this point, the once white paint was less than white and chipped in places, so the original dark wood peeked through. The old porcelain knobs and discolored copper hinges were partially covered with paint. The countertop was an outdated off-white, severely scratched and discolored, and the faded, shallow sink and faucet looked no better. Dark wallpaper overpowered the shine of the large rectangular neon ceiling light, and made the space seem smaller than it was. The apartment-grade linoleum sheet flooring had seen better days as well. All of that was why Susan had decided it was time to revitalize the space, and do the whole kitchen over.
Cabinets & Counter With Built-In Wine Cooler
Susan contacted us for a detailed consultation and a free estimate. When we listened to her, it became clear that Susan wanted an updated, brighter, and more welcoming feel in her kitchen, with additional lighting over a new, deeper sink with new fixtures. In addition to new walls, floors, countertop, and cabinets, she wanted more cabinet and counter space, and a built-in wine cooler for her collection.
Newly Painted Cabinetry
After some deliberation about her wants and needs, we convinced Susan that the sturdy, custom-measured, solid-wood cabinets could be renewed, and she could limit her budget by avoiding a complete tear-out and replacement cabinets. We also agreed to custom-build some additional storage and counter space, and install the desired wine cooler, along with new lights, sink and fixtures, and quality laminate flooring. We settled on paint color and sheen, advised on new hardware and fixtures, clarified expectations for the end product, and Susan was getting very excited. So, to work we went.
The first thing to accomplish is the prep. We always like to make the mess first, then clean it up and start with a fresh slate. In this case that included wallpaper removal, un-installing the cabinet doors and hardware, and sanding them down. We battled the stubborn wallpaper, washed the walls, filled in the larger imperfections, and sanded them smooth. We sanded the cabinet framework, the doors, and the drawers, and removed the factory-looking ceiling fixture. Next, we coated the ceiling, walls, trim, baseboards, and cabinets with primer. After drying time, we applied two coats of paint, allowing for curing and sanding between applications, for a smooth, long-lasting, quality finish. Then we replaced the old light with an elegant oval fixture, and installed a tear-drop light above the sink.
Counter Top & Cabinets After
In the meantime Susan had selected the countertop, new hardware, her new sink and faucet, and the cabinets and wine cooler to be custom installed, so we drove to the store to pick everything up. Since these new cabinets had to match our overall look, they got the same detailed sanding and finishing treatment as the others. The next step was installing the new laminate flooring to prepare the space for the cabinet placement. We also added new ‘quarter-round’ wood trim along the baseboards. Then we measured, cut, and installed cabinets, countertop, sink, faucet, wine cooler, and finally, two additional shelving units Susan fell in love with.
Our last order of business included re-installation of all hardware and cabinet doors and drawers, removal of plastic sheeting with which we contained the dust and debris, any paint touch-ups, and a thorough cleaning of our work area. Then we enjoyed a long moment where Susan admired her transformed, welcoming and usefully designed kitchen. She asked us to return soon to consult about her dream of repainting her whole home, and we left with a smile for a happy customer, and the pride of a well performed job that’s truly appreciated.
Better Built Craftsman
Home Improvements Contractor Serving Birmingham, Alabama