Remodeling for Kittens

I haven’t had foster kittens in a long time: I miss them terribly. Buttercup doesn’t miss them at all, but she doesn’t get a vote in this one. The thing that has been holding me up on this one is the fact that my bathrooms, the place where the foster kittens might live, are carpeted. At first you might think, “Well, it’s a soft place for kittens to play. What can be so bad about that?” I have one word for you: ringworm. If any kittens I get ever contract ringworm, it’s over. The carpet will harbor the ringworm until I quit fostering. Additionally, kittens barf on the floor. They miss the litter box on occasion. Their medicine ends up mysteriously turned upside down on the floor. The carpet will become a germ factory in the short time it takes to foster just a single litter of kittens.  Since this isn’t an option I want to pursue, I have chosen to tile the bathroom floor.

The complication is that I have had a lot to do before I could remodel the bathroom floor. I had to unpack. Mostly check. I had to paint a bedroom. Check. My friend Jen was coming for a visit (what a way to spend Spring Break – in the cold!). Check. Let me spend a moment on that one, actually.

Jen is always the first person to visit me after I move. She came to San Francisco to see me shortly after we arrived. I was surprised (and thrilled) to learn that she would want to come see me right away when I moved to Colorado. As a matter of fact, 3 of her last 4 plane rides were to come see me. To make this trip more exciting, she planned to bring her new boyfriend for me to inspect.

jen-and-eric *Lane, you no longer have to wonder what he looks like – here you go!*

They got here late Monday night after nearly missing the connection in Atlanta. The next day we went shopping (window shopping, apparently – I actually came home empty handed) for things for my house. On Wednesday, they both got sick – I think the altitude got to them. We spent Wednesday at home playing video games, and Wednesday night a friend of Jen’s boyfriend came over for a barbecue. The next day Jen and her boyfriend were even sicker, so we stayed home again so they could nap and do indoor things. At least we got to spend time together.

The final verdict: the boyfriend passes muster. He’s a good guy.

So, yes, back to the remodeling. I had to crash for a long time after Jen’s plane took off, so I lost Friday. On Saturday, Michael and I went shoppng for the supplies to tile the bathroom. For the record, you need a lot of heavy supplies and a few tools, so don’t shop for this stuff alone! We couldn’t fit the backer board for the tile into the car, so we are waiting for a non-rainy day to pick it up (in a pickup truck) from the hardware store. In the meantime, we started the demolition.

remove-carpet-and-pad1We removed the carpet and the padding underneath.

prying-up-tack-strips We pried up the tack strips holding said carpet to the floor.

trimming-threshold We trimmed the extra padding away from the threshold.

prying-baseboard And finally, we pried the baseboards off (in one piece, thank you very much).

Notice how I use my tongue to help me do any work that involves prying? It’s my secret technique.

Michael removed the toilet all by himself. It turns out to be a pretty easy job if you take precautions like turning the water off and draining as much water as possible before trying to move anything. Yes, we did remember to stick a towel in the hole (soil pipe, technically) to prevent sewer gasses from escaping.


For now, we have a floor-less bathroom. Tomorrow morning we are going to check if we need a permit to install heated floors (my kittens are going to live in luxury!) and if not, we need to call an electrician. If we do need a permit, well, I guess the heated floor just isn’t going to happen. It takes about 3 weeks to get a permit here, and I just don’t want to wait that long for kittens.

The next step is to obtain the backer board and (hopefully) the heating element for the floors and install them. I might also paint the room since there will be no floor to ruin. I plan on this project taking as long as it takes – I’m in no hurry and I want to get it right. If we’re without a bathroom for a few weeks, so be it – we have 2 others. So far everything has gone well – my walls are even perfectly square at the corners! I am not going to jinx this with an inflated sense of confidence – I’ve screwed up enough knitting to know that something can go wrong at any moment, and the knitting is comparatively easy. Keep your fingers crossed that this goes well!


4 thoughts on “Remodeling for Kittens

  1. Sounds like a fun project. I’ve always wondered why people carpeted bathrooms anyway. I always thought, “what happens if the tub floods or something?” You then have a soggy carpet. And don’t get me started on potty training boys and their aim. I’d hate to deal with carpet with that! lol

    Good luck getting it all done. It sounds like you are on the right track. I hope you don’t need a permit for a heated floor…I wouldn’t think you would, but you never know until you ask. I can’t wait to see the kittens you get after finishing your remodel!

    Oh, and I’m so jealous of your square corners! I swear nothing in our house is square, not even the ceilings! lol

  2. I found it extremely funny that next to every picture it says, “we removed…”, “we pried…”, “we trimmed…” and yet it’s only Barbara in the pictures.

    When you said “we” did you mean, you did all the work and Michael stood around taking pictures? 🙂

  3. I worked, too – why else would I be there with the camera? It’s just that this is Barbara’s blog, so who the heck wants pictures of me doing stuff?

    In the end, though, Barbara’s going to do much of the work on this project herself, partly because I’ve got to do my day job and partly because I think she wants the pride of accomplishment. I’ll help, but frankly she’ll be much more careful to lay the tiles neatly than I will!

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