Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kitchen Remodel: Phase 1 of Cabinet & Tile Removal

With kitchen design plans and a down payment given to our contractor, Kim Longsworth, we decided to move ahead with removing the existing tile backsplash, the cabinet above the range, along with the small cabinet to the right of the range.

The small cabinet to the right of the range with the canisters on top
Having done various remodeling projects in our previous homes, we knew that at some point we would probably encounter an unexpected twist to our plans. It's sort of like being archeologists -- as you break through walls or tear up floors, you run across some weird implementation that a previous civilization (or in this case a homeowner or builder) probably thought was a genius solution to a problem. 

We didn't have to wait long to discover our first "genius move." When David removed that small cabinet next to the range, here's what we found:

There are no floor tiles under the cabinet. It was sitting on the cement pad.Oy!

But that made us wonder about the rest of the cabinets. After drilling a small(ish) hole in the base above the kick plate we found out, yup, the other run of cabinets has no tile underneath. That's actually not quite accurate. At the left end of the cabinets, there's a section about a foot and half wide. We could tell that it wasn't part of the rest of the run because it's slightly off level and there's a seam in the counter. Upon further investigation, we found that section is on tile, but had been sawed off to kinda', sorta' be even with the rest of the cabinets. Brilliant.

The only thing we can figure is that once the pad for the house was poured, the cabinets were installed, except for that last piece that got sawed off. Then the tile was put down around the cabinets. When the final counter piece was ready to be put in place, the light bulb went off that it would be too high. So, they chopped off the amount needed from the kick plate.

What all this meant was that we would now have the extra steps of filling the tile voids in with cement to get the surface area even for our new cabinets. That will mean two extra days we'll be without a sink, once the existing cabinets are yanked out and the cement pour done and allowed to set. Merde!

But as it wasn't a job we needed to tackle that very moment, David forged ahead with removing the tile back splash. Now when you're wielding a hammer and chisel, chipping into tile, pieces are going to start flying. And some of those pieces are going to ricochet off of and into the closest objects. Now if your body is one of those objects in the trajectory, guess what happens? Yup, you get cut. 

At one point during a break from tackling the tile, David walked out to the porch where I happened to be. I looked up and could have swore a pack of rabid chickens had been trying to peck him to death. He had blood running down his arms, his legs, even his feet. Fortunately, none of the cuts were deep. 

While waiting for his blood to clot, we went ahead and removed the cabinet over the range. No rest for the hen pecked. After stowing that in our spare room (there is really no other place to store it), we weren't surprised to discover that whoever painted the wall decided not to include the area behind the cabinet. 

Once all the tile was removed, it was time to call it a day. But not before doing some tidying up.

Minor kitchen chaos

Coming up: taking my turn with the hammer and chisel to chip off the cement that held the tile. How much fun does that sound?

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