Looks like this was the week for miscommunication. First our cabinets came in slightly misconfigured (which we decided we could live with), now this.
The floor in the kitchen was kind of a mess. Originally pine planks, it had a layer of linoleum, then a layer of plywood, then another layer of linoleum on it. We wanted to strip everything down to the pine and have that refinished. The floor would have a lot of “character” (ie, flaws), but that was OK. If the old floor turned out to be excessively torn up, we were thinking of having oak laid to match the rest of the house as Plan B. We were clear with our contractor about our plans, and he thought he had clearly communicated it to his crew. The crew had previously ripped away the plywood, and had made a little headway on the lower layer of linoleum, but when we dropped by the house yesterday, all the pine planks were ripped up.
We called Karl to ask what was going on, and he was as surprised as we were. Apparently, someone on his crew had it in mind that we wanted everything stripped down to the subfloor. I know exactly how that is—you take an idea into your head and it refuses to be dislodged. Karl commented that some of the conversations he had with this guy indicated (in retrospect) that they really weren’t on the same page, but he didn’t realize it at the time.
So, Karl asked “what kind of floor do you want?”. Since he’s eating the expense, we didn’t want to stick it to him. We hadn’t been thinking in terms of putting tile down in the kitchen, but once we did, it started making a lot of sense. Plus (as a benefit to Karl), it’s something he can do with his crew, rather than job out (he’s not comfortable laying hardwood floors), so he’s only stuck with the costs for materials. Gwen and I headed straight over to Travis Tile and in a remarkably short time found a tile that we liked and that was pretty inexpensive—it’s a porcelain tile that looks remarkably similar to the countertop material we’ve chosen. Gwen commented that it was probably the fastest decision she’s ever made—no doubt an exaggeration.
This sets us back a day, and it’s a tough break for Karl (probably to the tune of $400 in materials), but it’s a happy accident that we’ll come out of it with a better floor than we had even contemplated before.