This blog chronicles my entire kitchen renovation from start to finish. Greentea Design has provided me with their solid wood kitchen cabinets, and I'm taking care of the rest.

If you'd like to be brought up to date, check out the archive in the sidebar for previous posts. I posted recently about some final sketches Greentea created for me and some decisions I've made. Now for the flooring.

One of the steps to this renovation that I was super excited about was getting new flooring. When I first moved into this house I knew I would eventually knock the wall down separating the living room from the kitchen, and continue the same flooring throughout. Since I love the look of painted hardwood, I decided to paint the existing hardwood in the living room (I detested the oak colour) and get hardwood installed in the kitchen and paint it the same colour. I was so excited to see the tiles go that I had lived with since last December (beyond gross). I'll stick a before photo here as a reminder:

As I mentionned in a previous post, the contractor spent alot of time levelling the floor, because it dipped from one end to the other by several inches.

Initially the contractor was going to purchase unfinished hardwood to lay in the kitchen. But when he went to pick it up, he said there were alot of knots showing and was worried it would show through the paint. So he went with finished flooring. And he purchased boxes of various colours that were leftovers from previous customer orders, so it only ended up costing $1.99/sq.ft. When they started laying it, we all got a kick out of the different colours and thought it looked pretty cool.

As you can see in the last photo, because the floor involved some layers to get it level, the kitchen is now a little step up from the living room. The contractor put a nice curved finishing piece on the edge.

I had a dilemma for a while about what colour to paint the floor. It was between white and gray. I ended up choosing gray because I just can't imagine dealing with the fur of 6 cats and the dirt I create on white floors. I would lose my marbles. I went with Pigeon Gray by Benjamin Moore.

I didn't want to use floor paint from Benjamin Moore because each coat needs 24 hours to dry and I had to live in the house with the 6 cats during the painting. Also, I had asked for the cabinets to be delivered on the 14th, and the floors and ceiling weren't ready until late afternoon on the 12th. I asked at the store what I could do that was faster than floor paint. I was told I could just use regular paint and varathane over it. I figured I'd give it a try. And now that it's done I'm regretting my decision for a quick way out. I started with a primer, which doesn't seem to have stuck very well to the hardwood. At Home Depot I asked what I should use as a primer and obviously I should have either sanded first, which I had no time for, or bought a better primer.

After 1 coat of primer I put on 2 coats of the gray, then 2 coats of varathane. Here are the floors after the first coat of gray (in an eggshell finish).

Here are the floors with all 5 coats applied.

They do not seem to be as durable as the floors in my office where I used Benjamin Moore's floor paint. There are also streaks from the special brush used to apply the varathane (but I didn't sand so this is my fault - although I didn't sand my office and there are no brush marks). I think next time I will find a temporary home for the cats and myself and use durable floor paint. For now, I am too tired of painting to deal with it. I'll see how it goes, and eventually I'll probably slap a coat of floor paint over the floors if they get scratched up. In the meantime, I'm going to sit back and enjoy them, because the gray turned out fantastic and exactly what I had in mind.

Next time, a post about the arrival of the cabinets. One word - INCREDIBLE!