old country house blog


I confess…
 is not my favorite part of any makeover…however…
I have found out…and sometimes the hard way…
GOOD PREP is probably the most VITAL component of a successful makeover…
for without adequate prep…
…you will pay dearly….
…and tears will fall.


1. Removal of all hardware, and screws, hooks and nails.
2. Patch holes with wood filler and Spackle. the room
was originally constructed of plywood, so many of the holes required wood filler.
3. Let filler dry and sand walls smooth.
4. Lightly sand and clean all of the walls to prepare for the wallpaper adhesion

I ventured into uncharted waters here…I have never laid floor tile before and
thus many tutorials like this one
were consulted and I also got a book from Lowes on installing tile.

The existing floor was like a archaeological dig…a trip back through time
and the history of floors. 
5 Layers…beginning with…from the bottom layer…
1. The original Heart Pine Floor
2. BAGillion year old Linoleum
3. Plywood (probably a sub floor for:
4. OLD Vinyl and finally…
5. The Vinyl we installed 9 years ago.

I only removed the top layer, our old vinyl, because the next layer
was installed over 50 years ago and there is the asbestos issue. 
The Vinyl our original landlord had installed was paper backed and
 just as someone told me last week –
“Often times people trying to save a buck will use GREAT Glue on cheap Vinyl”
 and that appears to be exactly what they did here.
Much of the backing stayed down and I attempted to scrape most of it off and got about half.


 It was gorgeous yesterday…I am not usually one who is a fan of balmy warm days using up my potential cold winter days…but yesterday was nice…and a great day to work outside. My view is so lovely..well until you get to the recent temporary resting place of the old oven, the old dryer and as of the other nights dumpling mishap…the OLD microwave…
(TRICK- I discoverd that the toilet flange hole is 7 1/2 round.

..same measurement as my 
FiestaWare dessert plates so I used one the draw out that hole!!!

I cleaned as best I cold this surface and then got Cement Board to lay as my new tile backing.

They told me I could just score and cut it but I had to use my saw.
I should have gotten this tool. Instead I used my saw, which did fine, but was a bit of overkilL
 I also wore a mask…very dusty.
The room as it turns out is 33″ at one end and 32″ and the opposite end…
found this out the hard way…but for my first time..it came out okay.
I said under my breath…multiple times…”NEVER AGAIN! but I am still glad to know I CAN do it…

To install the Cement Board I used my  notched trowel to apply the Thin Set

(which I bought pre mixed at Home Depot)
and made sure to use my alkali resistant mesh tape on all my seams.

There is a bit of a science to where you put your screws in a large space but as this
room is 32 x 70…I just made them evenly spaced. I also made sure to tape all my seams for as one
tutorial told me “NOT using seam tape is like not using any adhesive at all!” okay.
here is a sneak peek at the Wallpaper..
…tomorrow I will do the full reveal of that…

Today’s Tasks:
1. Install tile (I cut and prepped it last night so we are good to go)
2. Paint the Bead Board
  3. Final things which
will include – Installing the  toilet and sink.

I think I may have my buddy Jess install the baseboard and shoe mold…

Thank goodness the Bathroom is across the hall from the Living room so I can keep an eye on my sweet girl who is so very sick with the flu. She is down and I feel so bad for her. When she is sick like this, which thankfully is not often…I look at this big girl ….

Charlie and Tiger have been taking good care of Phoebe…

and see this baby girl…

My Sweet Phoebe…

See you all tomorrow with the Wallpaper Story and Quasi Tutorial….

By the way!! HOUSE BEAUTIFUL DAY 6 !!!!


  1. I am about to do a very similar thing! We have old glued down vinyl (its 40 yrs old) over plywood subfloor on wooden floor joists. I was thinking I could/would leave that all in place, screw the plywood a little better to the joists in a few places that the floor is squeaking, and do floor leveler in a few funny low spots. After that, I thought I would screw my hardiboard over the vinyl (over plywood) and then mortar and grout my tiles over that. But it looks like you thinset your hardibacker to the floor-is this necessary? Maybe I should buy that book you got from Lowe’s?! 🙂 Sarah

    1. I cannot remember where I read it, but somewhere told me to put the thin set under the cement board…for potential uneven spots? at any rate..I am hoping it will keep everything looking smooth….. Thanks for checking in!! I do love the Lowes book…very helpful! and I can take it into the space which is not good with my laptop!!xo

  2. What a project you have going on! Can’t wait to see how it progresses. Thanks for showing your step-by step! Animals are the best little care-takers, aren’t they? They know when it’s time to settle down and cuddle when someone’s sick.

  3. Love your blog. Love your pet portraits. Think your kiddos are adorable. But this post has touched home 🙂 My previous home was that 1 -2 inch out of square 100 year old home. I loved it and it had character but seriously the history of not-so-modern-American plumbing lived underneath that house!!
    I’m in the midst of a bathroom redo ( coincidentally) in my much younger (but not new, current home) and I am thoroughly enjoying your reno. But I was especially touched by the mention of reno work and watching over your sick one coinciding – the last time I redecorated my kitchen it was largely because I was quarantined with a sick child for 8 days 🙂 Looking forward to seeing the finished product and a “well” Phoebe!
    …and the last time my daughter was reallllly sick our Golden. Biscuit, would not leave her side. Charlie is the best!!

  4. Very well written information. It will be valuable to anyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep doing what you are doing – can’r wait to read more posts.

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