Well, That’s Different

After a number of years with just exposed OSB subfloor (and a couple of rugs) as the flooring in my kitchen…


It now has (part of) a floor.


Do not be fooled by that picture. It is still mostly this…


I have been avoiding this project for actual years because 1.) I couldn’t find flooring I liked, and 2.) I knew what an extra large pain in the ass putting this floor in was going to be.

There were a lot of good reasons to install wood floors in here (and there was a minute where I almost bought some click-lock floating laminate as a “temporary” floor for both the kitchen and the crazy-pink-tile rooms) but, at the end of the day, I’m not ever going to take my boots off in this part of the house, and tile felt like the right choice for all of the (literal) shit I track in on a daily basis.

Then, instead of continuing The Hunt for Perfect Kitchen Floor Tile (which has been going on for, again, actual years) I just said fuck it and bought some tile through Home Depot online without ever having seen it.

I don’t love it, and I don’t hate it, and it’s not plywood. So. Good enough.

Hilariously, this is how the tile was delivered.


That’s the delivery truck speeding away after leaving my tile in the middle of the road.


This is me, with two tractors, trying desperately to move the tile out of the middle of the road before someone came driving down it. (Also doing it by myself because I was exposed to covid a few days earlier, which, sure enough, started kicking my ass 24 hours after this.)

Every day is an adventure, right?

Anyway, Covid knocked out my plans to get this done in late December, then I started a new job, and somehow in the middle of all of the craziness I decided it would be a good time in my life to spend a month eating off a hot plate. Again.


(Couldn’t even find the actual hot plate I own for times like these…had to use my camp stove.)

In these wonderful times we live in where all possible information you could want on any DIY project is available on YouTube, I won’t spend a lot of time talking about tiling itself, but, two things to note:

First, this orange underlayment I used is the Schluter Ditra uncoupling membrane.

You cannot tile directly over subfloor, and Ditra is the underlayment I found that adds the least possible hight to the tile (only about 3/16″) which was important to me because of the crazy hight differences between all of my floors. (Also, the cats love it, obv.)

Second, the clips you see between the tiles here are the Perfect Levelmaster tile leveling system.


I highly recommend this system for any large format tiles, especially on a subfloor that might not be perfectly level.


And that is it for my tiling advice today. This post is mostly just an excuse to put up a solid before-and-(mostly)-after pic of the kitchen…



As a total aside–and in the spirit of that thing I’ve been preaching about on this website for actual decades… telling an authentic story–I’m struggling a bit (a lot) with what the next chapter is going to be for me, and the farm, and where my life goes next. And as much as telling stories–especually about where I’m stuggling–has been a part of my life, I still have very mixed feelings on telling stories on The Internet these days. (Maybe I’ll go old-school and write a book on actual paper? Who knows. I’ve been hand-writing correspondance recently like a proper luddite, so I wouldn’t put it past me.)

Posts here will continue to be sporadic until I figure it out, but at the very least, all of you who have been on this journey with me for a decade or more deserve to see that the actual kitchen has an actual floor.

(Also, speaking of things that are old and sporadic, if you receive these posts/updates via email, the subscription service I’ve used for years is being shut down, and this will likely be the last post that comes through to your email this way. I’m going to transition to a new system and all of you who are on the existing email list should be ported to the new one, but if you don’t see anything else come via email in the next couple of months and still want to receive new posts, make sure to check back on the actual website for updates, or re-sign-up here.)

25 Responses

  1. I am a new reader to your post. I am fixing up a decrepit house, bu the view is perfect and I love the property. Thank you for being perfectly real.

    1. Looks great! Thank you for keeping us, your avid readers, in mind with these updates.

      Whatever you choose, wishing you all the best.

      And chickens.

  2. I very seriously appreciate your authentic and raw posts. You’re an inspiration to those of us learning to use power tools and feeling empowered doing so. I love how your kitchen is coming together! I love reading your posts- I’m not a great commenter but know that your posts are greatly appreciated. Have you thought about doing a class for those of us that are still power tool newbies? I love my chopsaw but I’m TERRIFIED of our old table saw.

    1. I loved the article and your carefree attitude. I LOL’d at the line, “I don’t love it, and I don’t hate it, and it’s not plywood. So. Good enough.”

      Thanks for the authentic approach to DIY.

    2. I love when power tool newbies start exploring the wonderful world of (bigger and bigger) power saws! I haven’t done any tutorials… it just seems like there are a ton out there already, but I can specifically recommend the tool tutorials from Brittany @ Pretty Handy Girl. (Here’s one on table saws!) I will say that 20% of getting comfortable with a new tool is understanding how it functions and the proper way to use it, and the other 80% is just continuing to get experience with it. Start simple and get a lot of reps in!

  3. Sometimes you just have to pull the trigger…the old “paralysis by analysis” syndrome is REAL! Occasionally you just need to say, this will be good enough…hope your new job is a little closer to the farm???? Thanks for the post, I check your blog regularly just to make sure I haven’t missed anything, will keep an eye on the blog to make sure the subscription service transition keeps me connected!

  4. WOW! That looks awesome. I also check your blog regularly. I love hearing your stories. You’re one of the reasons I joined Instagram to keep up with you and several other bloggers that I have read over the years. I hope your new job is going well. 🙂

  5. “After” pic is BIG improvement. Don’t even get me started on how long it took us to 1st decide on the type of flooring–cork was the winner-which took approx 5-7 yrs to finally purchase. Then it had to acclimate-normally 72 hrs is the suggested time–but we ‘done good’ by making sure of total climatization after another 5 yrs.

  6. You’re awesome. You’re amazing. And I 100% understand about the manure that gets tracked into the house. We have tile for the very same reason.

    It’s awful anytime you are standing in the kitchen cooking during the holidays. Not sure if that’s a thing at your house or not. I’ve got anti-fatigue mats any place I have to stand on tile for more than 10 minutes.

  7. It’s so fun to see the progress after following along on the kitchen and house and property all these years.

    I want to support you in stepping away from internet story telling if that’s what’s best for you but I also really really don’t want to lose your internet story telling.

  8. Love it! Thank you for telling your story, whether it be weekly, monthly, or yearly. I would buy a book, too.

  9. I’m glad I’m not the only one who takes forever to make a purchase like this because they can’t find an option they like! It’s especially difficult with something that isn’t easy to change like tile or wood floors. I like when I have some kind of deadline to make the decision so I don’t keep searching endlessly.. That tile looks great in your kitchen!

    I would definitely pay for a subscription if you decided to take your stories more “private” so they’re not just “out there” for everyone to randomly find. A book would be great too, but I love (and miss) more regular updates even if they’re only monthly (or less.) A book is static and historical whereas a journal is dynamic and in the moment even if the moment was a few weeks ago! I miss regular blogging; not many do it anymore!

  10. I love your updates, no matter how sporadic. Envious of your spread, talents, tool and equipment talents (I’d saw off my fingers if I tried a power cutting tool – must’ve in a past life). I’d sorely miss you if you left us, so maybe keep it sporadic to continue your day job and real life. And, what frkn idiots leaving a pallet of tiles in the middle of the road?! WTH were they thinking?

  11. I always thought a book would work with your story. Perhaps a DIY book interspersed with personal stories. I remember when you made those super cool brooms! How far you have come!
    I am happy to receive cool blog posts at whatever interval works for you! You are awesome!

  12. HI! I am hungry for an update…hope you are well and kicking ass…how is the Lake house coming along?

  13. This sounds like it’s been quite the journey! I guess being satisfied is the lesser of two evils. Glad to see the before & after, it’s amazing what a little tile work will do to the environment. Hope whatever path you find for yourself next is one in which you find enjoyment & satisfaction 🙂

  14. Good job, thanks for the updates, i really enjoy reading updates and see how far you’ve progressed. I also love the grey tiles with white cabinets. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Great job! Bad tile jobs drive me crazy I’m really glad to see your using the proper tools (leveling clips and proper floor leveling). I haven’t used the underlayment for tile yet, I can speculate how that would be beneficial to smoothing the topography of the subfloor (making an XXL pain in the but only an XL lol). Well done, looks like a great tile job especially with the across floor pictures.

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