Expanding a Kitchen

In the original floor plan, a bearing wall separated the dining room from the kitchen.

The first step in combining the two spaces was to provide temporary support for the ceiling and remove the wall in preparation for installation of a flush beam.

The double-LVL and steel flitch beam was fastened together with 1/2-inch-diameter bolts 16 inches on-center.

A pair of come-alongs rigged in the attic helped hoist it into place.

Each end of the beam was supported by a 4-inch-by-6-inch Parallam column.

The engineer's plan called for steel reinforcement — plate steel and C-channel — to be bolted to the existing floor joists.

Steel reinforcement bolted to the existing floor joists.

The old subflooring was replaced with 3/4-inch AdvanTech T&G sheathing glued and screwed to the framing.

Carpenters troweled thinset onto a layer of 1/2-inch plywood installed over the AdvanTech sheathing.

Workers screwed down 1/4-inch backerboard.

The surface was skim-coated and edged with dams and a perimeter expansion joint in preparation for electric heat mats and self-leveling underlayment.

Laticrete's electric heat mats are designed to be cut to fit in the field and have a self-adhesive backing that holds them in place; tape and thinset are also useful to hold down edges and wiring connections.

While the mats can be covered with thinset, the author prefers to use a self-leveling underlayment.

To anchor the hanging peninsula cabinet, a crewmember fastens double 2x6 cleats to the ceiling framing with structural screws and glue.

The finished kitchen features custom cherry cabinetry and a tough porcelain tile floor dressed up with stone tile insets.

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