So the destruction began, very carefully and very slowly, almost as if the crew were forensic anthropologists. The whole idea was to save the hardwood floors underneath. We needed to see if glue and/or screws were involved. As it turns out, both were involved. So the initial process was, let's reveal the screws, see if we can remove them, so the plywood sub-floor (in theory) will just lift off. Well, that was very slow going. The Phillips head screws were packed with dirt and glue so you couldn't get the screwdriver in to remove the screw. Plus, as you removed pieces of the linoleum tile, it left traces of this very sticky, tacky adhesive behind that managed to adhere itself to just about everything.
So, unable to remove the screws, more aggressive means were called for. L had a handy floor tool that he'd used on his own floors and was anxious to try out on our floors.
Well you can see that was much more successful in removing the plywood floor and tiles. Still, there was all this tar paper glued to the hardwood floors beneath. Would we be able to have that cleaned off and still salvage the hardwoods below? Only time would tell.
So everyone got to work on different areas of the floor and began attacking it with a vengeance. In all, I think it took a few hours to pull up the whole floor.
Time finally did tell, as we were about 3/4 of the way through the tear up phase. Do you see those grey cement areas on the floor? That's where there is no hardwood floor. When the house was originally built, there was a mudroom of sorts with a wall where the blue basket is now and a support beam where the other patch is. Plus, after tearing up most of the floor, we discovered that the former homeowner must have had stock in a screw company because he used screws every inch and a half. Dude! The floor wasn't going anywhere, you could have used fewer screws and spaced them 2-3 inches apart!
So it was quickly becoming obvious that with all the screw holes and missing pieces in the floor, that the hardwoods could not be saved. We would either have to install new hardwoods or tile. So the tearing up process continued. In the following days we went to look at wood and tile. We got estimates for tearing out the original hardwoods and putting new ones in, installing a new hardwood floor over top the existing hardwoods, and tiling over the existing hardwoods. Amazingly, all three prices were within a couple hundred dollars of one another because of differences in labor and materials costs. We really wanted to keep hardwoods in the kitchen. I personally just liked the look of hardwoods, they're warmer and richer to look at, they're homier looking and more welcoming than cold, hard tile. There were some other factors we had to consider. The kitchen door off the driveway is our main door. We almost never use the front door and neither do our guests. Also, we entertain quite a bit more than the average family, and we regularly have band practice and equipment being hauled in and out. This doorway being heavily trafficked needed to be able to withstand all this. Also, in Spring when it rains and in winter when it snows, this is where we leave umbrellas and wet clothes hanging to dry. We also have the washer and drier right next to the back door. All this water would be hazardous for wood floors. Still there are some woods that handle water better than others and we could have a hard finish put on the wood floors to protect them from moisture. So much to think about.
Then, when B finally got the floor removed from underneath the laundry area and we smelled the damp and saw how much water damage was done to the floor, the decision was made for us. We were going to put ceramic tile down on the floor.
So we continued with the floor destruction and also went in search of counter tops. We decided to go with Lowes and that caused the next area of destruction. If we ripped out the old counters ourselves, we could save money. The first thing that had to go was the back splash so the installers could come in and get a good measurement for the new counters. M jumped right in on that one, you'd think she was anxious to be rid of all that lovely pink!
Luckily, that pink laminate stuff came up pretty easily. As long as we were ripping out the back splash, why not go ahead and rip out the rest? Now of course, if you're ripping out the back splash, it would probably make sense to do all the painting before the new floor and new counter tops went in, right?
Well, that would entail removing all the hardware from the doors.
Next you would have to sand all the varnish off the cabinets before you can prime them to paint.
Once you got the doors sanded, well of course you would need to remove the doors so you can sand the facings.
It's amazing how tightly screwed these doors were, even with a power drill/screwdriver, some of them needed more torque and had to be removed by hand. So once all the cabinet doors were removed, then the painting could begin. This next post will be startling as we go from brown to white cabinets. Stay tuned!