Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kitchen Demolition

We are tearing into our new house like there is no tomorrow. We decided that the dirty, outdated kitchen had to go, and we have been putting in blood and sweat (no tears yet).

The continuing destruction in the new house has been an excellent excuse for me to indulge and wear baggy clothes. And shower together after we get home, but that's an entirely different story.

Here are some progress pictures.  First up was our first day of demolition:

L-Sit on the counters. Yep.

I harangued a coworker into helping us, and he was instrumental in providing additional force for tearing off the overhead cabinets (Thanks, Mark!).  The next day, I tore into the base cabinets while Daniel showed some prospective tenants around, and we finally got everything cleared. 

Day 3 had us tearing up most of the plywood sub-floor, and we started off using an electric scraper.  An electric scraper is a tool that has a blade on the front, angled towards the floor, and vibrates.  As it vibrates,you urge it forward and it peels off vinyl flooring.  That is the theory, at least.  You still have to put a good amount of tugging in. And, oh, let me tell you - apparently the insidious glue that vinyl people use is still wet after 10 years or however long ago they installed the final (third!) layer of vinyl in the kitchen.  Still wet.  My nice black gloves now have a gray cast over the palms and fingers, but luckily once a nice layer of debris lands on the glue, it becomes a non-issue, at least on gloves.

By the way, Kids - listen to your parents. My parents have done a few kitchen / house remodels in their time, and they were the ones to tip me off to the electric scraper tool.  Otherwise vinyl removal is REALLY difficult.

Here's Daniel standing on our subfloor:

King of the Subfloors.

So, I should also note that I only went to the gym once this week. This is the whole reason I do Crossfit - to have Functional Fitness. To be able to rip apart a kitchen and not really be sore (my knees hurt a little bit).  To help Daniel wrench up large pieces of plywood (deadlifts helped here). To go to the dump and toss 870  lb of garbage off the back of the truck into an abyss where a machine was moving the stuff into big piles (wall-ball and medicine ball throwing!- and the 870 lb was off our receipt).  To be able to carry 50 lb bags of thinset mortar and heave them into the truck, then up stairs into the kitchen (farmer's walk and deadlifts).  And (this is important), I recognized the value of rest, so while we've been busting our buns after work every day, I consider that making up for my missed attendance at the gym.  These are essentially 3+ hour slow steady workouts.

So, what's left? Today we're making at least one more dump run. Oh yeah, we borrowed our friend Tori's truck. Why? Because the God-Damn Ram (that is what I'm now calling it; GDR for short) was dead again when Daniel went to fire it up. He suspects something is draining the battery while it sits, using up parking space. I put out a call to my coworker, who's friend's husband is a mechanic, so hopefully Monday I will convince him to come down and take a look. Otherwise, Tori's mechanic sounds like a champ (Union Bay Garage, near the U-Village, if anyone needs a mechanic in Seattle).

Then we need to finish tearing the wall off, and removing some additional drywall from the kitchen. There's a little bit of residual wall stuck to the ceiling that Daniel didn't get yesterday with our new Sawz-All from the pawn shop (hey, it was half the price of a new one at Home Depot).  Then we can start Con-struction! We have a couple of replacement boards for the subfloor - seems like a couple might need some routing of one edge (sigh) or maybe we can palm-sand them flat. Then we are nailing down a layer of 1/4" plywood (or OSB, whatever is cheaper), then we are using thinset mortar to lay down 1/4" cement backerboard (aka Hardiboard).  After you use thinset to lay down the backerboard, you screw it into the plywood.  Then comes the exciting part - tile! I don't know if we'll actually get to that today, although it would be nice to install it and grout before the floor refinishing starts on Monday.

It's coming along!

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