Floors, Doors & More~Creekside Mountain Cabin Updates

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Smoky Mountains are beautiful all year and especially during the fall season.  The leaves are just beginning to change and already the colors are breathtaking.  

We are coming along with the cabin and it's been a while since I've shared updates, so I wanted to bring you up to speed on our progress.  You know I always like to start with something pretty since remodeling can be messy, so here is an early view of the fall season in the Smokies.

We finally decided on the floors.  That was a process that took f-o-r-e-v-e-r!

The cabin flooring was tile and me nor my mister were fans.  Not so much because it was tile, but the terracotta color wasn't going to work with the furnishings we had in mind.  We have been doing updates on the cabin as our resources will allow, so I thought of every way possible to save money by keeping these floors.

So, I tried painting the terracotta colored tiles with some chalk paint and also purchased the lacquer they recommended to seal it.  First, I painted the section just in front of the fireplace a gray color, but that didn't look too good, so then I tried black. 

I placed a rug in the room to get an idea of how the black and cream tiles would ultimately look, but it just wasn't working.  Not to mention, the time it takes to paint each tile, then to seal each tile, with no guarantee that down the road it wouldn't scuff of peel off.  We wanted the floor solution to be the final solution, not something we had to worry about holding up.

So, we thought about hardwood or prefinished flooring and found out that wasn't an option.  We were told by the flooring guys that this type flooring cannot be installed in a cabin that may go months on end with no controlled environment.  Hardwood, prefinished wood and bamboo products will buckle in extreme heat and cold temperatures.  So, that brought us back to tile.

It's a cabin, so I wanted a rustic feel.  I can't remember how many home improvement stores and tile stores I visited, there were so many.  I looked at every option available and settled on tile that looked like wood and natural stone.

I brought a lot of samples to the cabin so we could see them in the space and for one reason or another we couldn't find one we really liked.  Especially considering the cost for the tile and installation.  Also, many of the wood-look tiles had the color on top of the tile with edges that we were warned would possibly chip down the road and/or the color could be scuffed off or chipped off in time.  Yikes.  We didn't want a flooring we had to worry about down the road.

Next, we considered natural stone.  We visited a few quarries and of course I scoured Pinterest for inspiration.  We have blue stone on our front porch and found quite a few homes where blue stone was used indoors, and we liked it!  Here are a few of my inspiration pictures.

We got some quotes and blue stone it was!  A flooring that had a nice rustic touch and we wouldn't have to worry about the color scuffing off and if it chips...that's character, right!  They removed all the old tile and began the installation.  They began installing the stone in the kitchen.

The eating area.

A lot of discarded stone pieces were swept to the side as they did the work.  

The fireplace hearth used to extend from wall to wall, but we had one side shortened so we could install a wood burning stove.  We chose a freestanding stove rather than a fireplace insert.  Having both will allow us in the fall and early spring, with warm days with cool evenings, to enjoy a quick fire in the fireplace and once the days become cooler we can fire-up the wood burning stove to help heat the cabin. 

This picture was taken before the fireplace hearth was shortened,
before the ceiling tiles and venting system was removed,
and before the floor tiles were removed.

Here is the after:

The stone still has to be washed and sealed, but other than that it's done!

The upstairs flooring is pine hardwood and as you can see the stairs still have paper on the treads to help protect the finish while the guys are working in the cabin.

We also had a sagging beam replaced between the living and eating areas.  This is the original beam.

This is the new beam and we have much more head room now.

My mister used to duck his head when coming down the stairs, so the guys cut back the floor joists at the bottom steps so he no longer must duck.  Notice the front door?  It's new too.

We replaced all the exterior doors and it made such a difference!  This was the old front door.

And this is the new.

I love the new door hardware!  Sorry for all the dust.

Upstairs, in each of the bedrooms, there were double doors leading to the upstairs deck.  The problem with these doors?  They opened onto the deck which really limited where we could put rockers and swings, and there were no screens.  The cabin is bordered by two rushing creeks and mountain air is amazing...no screens?

These are the old bedroom doors.

We ordered sliding glass doors with screens from Marvin Windows and Doors and we love them.  Both bedrooms will have one feature wall done in wide pine planks and all the ceilings and wall trim will be pine.  These new sliding doors are pine on the inside so it will all tie nicely together in the end.  And there are screens...which we are already enjoying!

As you may have already noticed, all the sheetrock repair and installation is finished!  There was repair work to do in both upstairs bedrooms.

In the kitchen all new insulation and sheetrock was installed.  The new backdoor hasn't been installed yet.

There is something else new in the kitchen!  A new casement window for over the sink.

This is the old window and there were many problems with it.  It wouldn't open, the top was always cloudy (it is single pane, so I have no idea why) and when standing at the window all I could see was the center wood piece.  I would have to stand on my tip-toes to see out the top or duck down to see out the bottom.  There is a rushing creek just outside this window that we want to see and hear, so a new one was a must.

This new window made a big difference outside too.  This is the old and cloudy window.

This is the new and I can't wait to open her up to smell the fresh mountain air and to see and hear the rushing creek.  I'm so ready!

A before and after with the new doors.  We have a long way to go, but I think that alone was such an improvement.

It's been fun along the way to see what blooms in each season and the Japanese Anemone are blooming now.  My are they pretty!

I know that was a lot to cover but I hope you like what we've done so far and that you will follow along to see how our creekside mountain cabin fixer upper turns out.  You can see all we've done so far right here.


  1. I love the flooring you chose. It makes the room look larger too.

  2. I'm loving all your choices for the remodel! Its looking beautiful!

  3. Love the new doors. Look forward to following along with your progress.

  4. Wow, what a project---I LOVE the floors, the stone is so reminiscent of what would have been used 200 years ago and is perfect for a mountain cabin. You are coming along but what a project...! Grins, Sandi

  5. I'm always waiting for an update on your mountain home. It looks wonderful! I can imagine sitting among nature, listening to the sounds of the creek! What a blessing from God!

  6. Wow ! I LOVE the natural stone floor - absolutely beautiful ! What a perfect choice.
    I really enjoy following along on your renovation - thanks for a great blog !

  7. Oh I love your choice flooring! It looks incredible. I have enjoyed watching your progress on your little mountain retreat:)

  8. Cindy, great choice on your flooring. I know each step of progress puts you closer to being finished! Exciting to watch!

  9. The stone floor is beautiful.It makes your room look so much bigger and I love it with your fireplace and walls. You all have really come a long way. Everything is going to look beautiful.

  10. Love Love Love it all! the floors, the doors....altho you must make a table or something out of that old green door, I really like it for something else!...the windows....you've done a great job. But what I really like the most??? that lil pooch with his ear that stands straight up!!!!!! precious

  11. Wow Cindy! That's quite makeover to begin with. Those stone floors are wonderful! I'm really looking forward to seeing it when it's all done. It will look beautiful.

  12. What a beautiful place to get away! I love the new floor and windows!

  13. I love it, Cindy. I read every word and studied every picture. You have really done a lot in the time you have had it. I love the bluestone floors-amazing! I am happy you put the sliders in-they work great and don't require opening space...and they are probably more efficient than the old french doors.

    Hope you have a great weekend and that you are enjoying your time in the mountains. xo Diana

  14. What a fabulous little nest this is going to be. You have made some fantastic changes..all good. Can't wait to see the finished product. New follower to your blog.

  15. What a perfect choice you landed on- timeless and rustic. Very smart to go with a natural product especially since the color is through the whole stone. It's a wonderful look for your cabin and I like what you are doing with the fireplace and new area for the wood stove. The new Marvin slider look wonderful and I'm sure much more energy efficient than what was there.

  16. Oh my!! those floors are just amazing!! Absolutely stunning and perfect for the area! Kudos!!
    The cabin is wonderful and I know you will enjoy it thoroughly in the coming years. I never would have thought of bluestone...course its common back east...here in the West it isn't something that gets done.
    Love the pinterest ideas....

  17. Oh my gosh, I love all you’ve done! Where is your creek side Mountain cabin? I’m curious as I have a mountain top chalet style house with a creek on property so I’m so intrigued by yours!!!!


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