Refreshing a First-Time Homeowner’s Kitchen

Refreshing a First-Time Homeowner’s Kitchen

In this episode, we’re helping first-time homeowner Dawn Nelson, who’s in over her head with her kitchen renovation.

Dawn wanted to take down one wall that separated her three main living areas, the dining room, kitchen and living room. But then realized she removed all the drywall on a load-bearing wall.

Homeowner Dawn Nelson's kitchen before the renovation.
Before, Dawn’s kitchen was dull and just didn’t fit her style.

A contractor helped her fix that mistake, but then she realized that removing the wall also exposed a small patch of old flooring.

We’re going to pick up where the contractor left off, and make this place look great!


Patch of vinyl flooring left over after cabinet was removed from Dawn Nelson's home
Removing a wall and cabinet revealed a patch of flooring that the previous homeowners worked around — and it’s an eyesore that Dawn wants covered up, asap. No problem!

Fill In Ceramic Tile Flooring

Dawn was lucky because the previous homeowner left just enough ceramic tiles to fill this eyesore of vinyl flooring.  

The project won’t be difficult because vinyl flooring is the perfect subfloor. That means we don’t have to remove it; we can just install tiles right over the old flooring.

But first, we need to remove some of the ceramic tiles surrounding the hole. They were cut around a cabinet that used to be on the vinyl flooring.  

Ceramic tile after shot in Dawn's home.
The new tile in Dawn’s kitchen makes the space more cohesive!

Once the tiles dry overnight, we apply stain-resistant FusionPro Grout from Custom Building Products.


Mounting plate for over-the-range microwave seen in kitchen before microwave's installation
The over-the-range microwave is ready to be installed, but there’s just one problem: it needs to be properly vented to the outside. We will create an access hole to make that happen.

Install Microwave

An over-the-range microwave has been purchased, but it needs to be installed, and more importantly, it needs to be properly vented to the outside. Otherwise, OTR microwaves just recirculate the air in the kitchen, which isn’t healthy.

I drill through the wall to create an access hole for the venting. Then I take a sledgehammer to the home’s exterior to complete that hole.

With the path for the vent clear, Bear and I lift the microwave into its new home and trim off the vent on the outside. I also add a little paint to that vent so it blends right in.

Over the range microwave in kitchen
The new microwave is complementary to the rest of Dawn’s appliances.
Making a Small, Outdated Bathroom Look Fabulous

Making a Small, Outdated Bathroom Look Fabulous

When you have a master bathroom that’s anything but, and you’re working with a limited budget, it’s time for a small bathroom remodel.

This mid-century house belongs to Logan and Hannah, who share it with their daughters Brooklyn and Dakota and, soon, another baby girl.

The growing family has a master bathroom that needs to grow too, but since it can’t, we’re making the most of what they have.


Unattractive mid-century bathroom with institutional tile floors and a basket under the sink
This bathroom looks dated and institutional. It’s not the inviting spa that it should be — but it has plenty of potential.

The Problems

Logan and Hannah’s master bathroom is not much of a master. It’s small and has a dated light fixture and medicine cabinet, tired tile, a toilet too large for the space, and an overall lack of storage.

Then there’s an oddly placed outlet that prevents Logan from entering the bathroom without getting tangled up while Hannah blow-dries her hair.

Finally, their exhaust fan sounds like a freight train when it’s turned on.

And we’re going to fix all these problems with a small bathroom remodel on this episode of Today’s Homeowner.


Old cast-iron sink in an unattractive mid-century bathroom
A sink without a vanity isn’t very functional. Every bathroom needs storage underneath.

Adding a Vanity

The sink is, well, just a sink. There’s no vanity, and that means there are no drawers, no doors, and no storage. That means Hannah has to store things in a basket under the sink — not ideal. So, the first thing we’ll do during this small bathroom remodel is replace this sink with a proper vanity.

Usually, when you have water lines coming out of a bathroom, there’s a shutoff valve. While there’s one of those near the toilet that we removed, there’s not one for the sink. That means we have to turn the water off at the street and then add shutoff valves. This is a job for the plumber, Artie.

Partially remodeled bathroom with new vanity, gold drawer pulls and knobs and no toilet
This bathroom is really coming along! It’s starting to take on the grand appearance the homeowners wanted.

He will do more than add shutoff valves; he’ll also install an offset toilet flange. This will allow us to position the toilet closer to the vanity.

But before he arrives, I’ll remove the dated ceramic cup holder and toothbrush caddy.

Today’s Homeowner Radio Show | July 31, 2021

Today’s Homeowner Radio Show | July 31, 2021

fireplace arch
Adding an arch gives your fireplace character and enhances its visual interest.

Are you looking to finish a fireplace arch with glass, pottery shards or other materials, and need some tips to do the job right?

Or are you building a small patio and don’t know the best materials to use? How about making a birdhouse? It’s a popular project, but do you know the next steps to take?

Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show where we cover these topics and many more such as:

  • The best way to clean an old concrete birdbath
  • Which adhesive to use when installing tile on the sides of kitchen countertops
  • What to do when dealing with an unresponsive contractor
  • How to fix visible cut-ins from a botched paint job
  • How to repair damaged drywall from a loose towel bar
  • Steps to take when staining a solid oak front door
  • What to do when your concrete sidewalk begins to crack and rise
  • Hybrid water heater vs. regular water heater
  • Repairing or replacing a soffit
  • Durable materials to dress up your concrete patio

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Radio Show: Send us your question!

If you have a comment, general question about home improvement, or something we’ve featured on Today’s Homeowner, please fill in this form:

Previous articleToday’s Homeowner Radio Show | July 24, 2021

Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.

Save Water With New Korky Toilet Fill Valve

Save Water With New Korky Toilet Fill Valve

Korky toilet valve best new product
The Korky Toilet Fill Valve will help your toilet bowl fill faster while keeping quiet.

A toilet that constantly runs or fills slowly is annoying, not to mention wasteful. If you’re dealing with this issue, the Korky 2X Long Life Toilet Fill Valve could be the solution for you.

This fill valve fits 99% of toilets. Also, it’s easy to install. Simply remove your old valve, insert the new one, adjust for a tight fit and you’re done.


This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product from these links, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


The rubber formulation resists chlorine, hard water, bacteria and rust, making it last — you guessed it — twice as long than other valves.

It’s ideal for toilets built since 1994 with a 1.6-gallon flush and it’s fully adjustable to prevent wasting water in any toilet.

For more information on the Korky 2X Long Life Toilet Fill Valve, log on to HomeDepot.com.


Further Reading

Previous articleToday’s Homeowner Radio Show | July 17, 2021

Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.

Save Water With Korky’s New Toilet Fill Valve

Save Water With Korky’s New Toilet Fill Valve

Toilet, seen from above, with a new fill valve
The Korky Toilet Fill Valve will help your toilet bowl fill faster while keeping quiet. (©digitalreflect, stock.adobe.com)

A toilet that constantly runs or fills slowly is annoying, not to mention wasteful. If you’re dealing with this issue, the Korky 2X Long Life Toilet Fill Valve could be the solution for you.

This fill valve fits 99% of toilets. Also, it’s easy to install. Simply remove your old valve, insert the new one, adjust for a tight fit and you’re done.


This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product from these links, we will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.


The rubber formulation resists chlorine, hard water, bacteria and rust, making it last — you guessed it — twice as long than other valves.

It’s ideal for toilets built since 1994 with a 1.6-gallon flush and it’s fully adjustable to prevent wasting water in any toilet.

For more information on the Korky 2X Long Life Toilet Fill Valve, log on to HomeDepot.com.


Further Reading

Previous articleToday’s Homeowner Radio Show | July 17, 2021

Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.