Renovate Australia

Home improvement blog about renovating our Queenslander house in Townsville, Australia, and our home in Adelaide, SA

Should You Tile Under Bathroom Vanities or Kitchen Cabinets?

February 1st, 2013 by Bill Hutchison · 1 Comment


Cracked and Damaged Grout Against VanityLike many issues that we have come up with during our home improvements there seems to be no clear cut “correct” way to do this. A lot of it comes down to personal preference.

When the kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities were installed in our house they were installed first, and then the flooring was installed. While this is a common way to do it, there are some disadvantages that are inherent to this type of cabinet and tile installation.

Exposed Concrete Under Cabinet Beside TileIn our kitchen the dishwasher was installed in a cabinet space that used to be a cupboard. Because it was not tiled under the cabinet you can see the concrete sub-floor under the dishwasher. The concrete floor was also about 1.5cm lower than the tile, so I had to raise up the dishwasher so that the bottom of it would match up with the tile.

Water Damaged Bathroom Vanity Grouted Into TileThe vanity in our ensuite has unfortunately sustained some water damage. Because the vanity is grouted into the tile we don’t really have the option to replace the vanity. Instead we will need to attempt to repair the existing vanity, hopefully without damaging the existing tile or causing more damage to the already compromised vanity.

Some other thoughts about tiling under kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities can be found here:

Music is “Do What You Can” by Lee Rosevere

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Should I Install my Floor Tile or my Baseboard Trim First?

January 25th, 2013 by Bill Hutchison · 1 Comment


Which is right, and which do you prefer? We discuss this in the latest Renovate Australia podcast …

Builders prefer to do the baseboards first and then bring the tile right up to the tile.

Home-owners generally prefer the look of doing the tile first and then installing the baseboard trim.

If it is installed with the tile up to the baseboard trim then you should leave about a 1/8″ gap that you should fill will caulking. Our gap was unfortunately filled with grout, which is now cracking because of movement of the walls and floors.

Cracking in the Grout between the tile and baseboard trim

Problems I have found with doing the baseboard trim and then the tile:

  • cut edge is exposed, so any imperfections in the trim is visible
  • border of the room is a visible joint
  • if you don’t want the visible trim you need to install some 1/4 round over the joint
  • Very difficult to replace the baseboard trim with new without damaging or replacing the tile

Selleys Mortar WorksWith the cracking that we have in the gap between our flooring and baseboard trim I picked up a product called Selleys Mortar Works. From what I was told it should be the correct product to fill the gap left by the cracked grout, so we will see how it performs…

It’s probably pretty obvious after listening to my podcast that my preference is for the baseboard trim to go over top of the flooring. But how do you prefer your floors and baseboard trims to be finished?

Caulking between the floor time and baseboard trim Selleys Mortar WorksCracking in the Grout between the tile and wall

Other sources of information:

Music is “Do What You Can” by Lee Rosevere

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New Podcast for Renovate Australia – Pilot Episode

January 18th, 2013 by Bill Hutchison · No Comments


Renovate Australia Album ArtNow that we are back in Australia and starting to renovate, maintain, repair, and decorate our new house in Adelaide I think it’s time to start a new podcast!

We will see where this goes but the plan is to engage in more conversations, seek and give advice, and have some fun as we settle and work on our new house.

Music is “Do What You Can” by Lee Rosevere

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Wooden Animal Heads

January 11th, 2013 by Bill Hutchison · No Comments

Having animal heads on the wall is a Canadian tradition. Unfortunately though I have a feeling that Australia Customs and Quarantine wouldn’t allow stuffed animal heads into the country…

A very cool option that I saw today was a wooden animal head.

Wall Mounted Wooden Animal Heads

I think that the wooden animal head here is an elk, but either way I think it looks pretty cool. Not sure I could talk my wife into it though … ;)

To see the full post that I found this cool mounted wooden animal head at check out Apartment Therapy – Joe & Brad’s Small Space with Big Style.

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