Saturday, February 18, 2017

Demo Day

So....we started a mini-renovation on our kitchen counters.

We are planning a complete renovation sometime in the future, gutting the existing interior and rebuilding it to resemble the architect's drawing, but I hated this kitchen and wanted to do something until that takes place.  These tile countertops were old, some of the tiles were cracked, the grout was horrible, and I hated the unevenness of the surface. 

It all started with me chipping a few tiles off the small counter surface near the fridge.  It was so easy.  Because they practically peeled away effortlessly, we decided to do the whole thing, thinking a few small, simple changes could make the whole kitchen look different.

Well.  It turns out they only came off easily IN THAT ONE SPOT!  The rest of the counter was like mining rock with a child-sized pickaxe.  Me, Ed, and my friend Kim spent hours chipping the tile off of the counter.  
In the photo above, Ed is using an air hammer to get the tile off.  And that still wasn't easy.  We started by hammering the individual tiles - which surprisingly didn't break as easily as I thought they would, then we used the butt end of an axe which broke part of the wood underneath, and then Ed finally decided to use the air hammer.  That worked, but took quite a bit of time and caused Ed's hands to ache from the constant vibration.
I was really surprised the tiles didn't come off in big chunks.  Little pieces flew everywhere - we all were wearing safety goggles to protect our eyes and ear plugs to block out the noise from the banging Kim and I were doing and the air hammer Ed was using. 
Once we got all of the tile off, it wasn't as smooth as we thought it was going to be.  We had all these ideas - tile over it, put wood over it, pour concrete - but we weren't sure which would be the best plan, so my brother came over to give us some advice.

That brainstorming session turned into him and Ed taking the entire countertop completely off.  Had we known that' was going to happen, we wouldn't have spent all that time chipping away all the tile!

This is what it looked like at the end of the first day, halfway through:   

In the course of our demolition, we discovered that my brother tiled this counter in 1992, which we found out because once they got the countertop off, there was a notation my brother left on the wood underneath that said "Rebuilt by American Tile West 5/92".  My brother has this thing about signing his jobs, you just never know where you'll find a little love note from him.

Twenty-five years this tile was on there.  And it probably would have lasted another 25 years based on how well it was secured.  My brother wasn't messing around when he put this together.

After much deliberation, we decided to have a laminate countertop installed.  It's inexpensive, it will be a solid surface, easy to keep clean, and will look nice until we do the complete house renovation.  Ed and I are going to attempt to tile the backsplash ourselves.

We'll keep you posted on how that turns out.

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2015: The Nuts And Bolts Of It
2014: Gorgeous, Rich, And Rugged. And That's Just The Bag.
2013: Back To Basics
2012: I Can Think Of Better Ways To Spend Hump Day
2011: Can I Appoint Myself The Baroness Of Cattle?
2010: This Time Losing The Wallet Really Means Losing The Wallet
2009: Marley & Me
2008: Eddie Gets Handy Friday
2007: The Perfect Neapolitan Slice
2006: The King Of The Flying Salmon
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

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