Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chipping Away

I have fairly major developments to share! Tile work has begun... and actually almost finished. But let's back up for a minute. Before the tilers came we had to prep the house. My goals were to centralize all of our stuff to keep it from getting damaged or dusty. My OCD may have gotten a little carried away, but I would rather be safe than sorry. We moved our fridge, furniture, and odds and ends into the living room since no tile work would be done there, then covered it with plastic and sheets. 


You'll see in the coming pictures that we taped off all of the outlets and anything else we thought might get filled with tile dust. Our tiler warned us that there would be tons and tons of it, so I figured it was easier to take preventative measures rather than to have to clean dust out of tiny nooks and crannies after the fact. Moving all of the appliances and furniture off the tiles also made me realize how disgusting the floors are! Not only is the tile pink and ugly, it's filthy. See how on the right side of the picture the grout is more or less white and on the left is brown?! Sick. So, here's where we started (sorry some of them are blurry... I switched my camera to manual focus and then forgot... again). 

The laundry room/pantry.



The kitchen.



The dining room.


The half bath.


The entryway. (Again, see how the grout on the edge of the stairs is way cleaner than the grout on the floor?) 


I also tried to protect the dishwasher by covering it with a towel and writing the tilers a little reminder note to be careful near it. I had nightmares of tile corners and jackhammers smacking into its perfectly undamaged self!


And so... the demo began. They used a jackhammer with a small attachment to get the tiles up. It was really pretty quick work, but you cannot imagine the noise. You could hear it all the way at the entrance of the complex while inside your car.

Dear neighbors (most of which I haven't met): I am so so sorry. I hope you were all at work and have no idea of the horror that went on.

Not only was it louder than you can imagine, it was strangely high pitched while simultaneously deeply shaking your whole body. I can't describe it well, but it was awful.


I left to run an errand after about 5 minutes of listening to the jackhammering and my ears rang for at least 15 more. I stopped by my dad's and got ear plugs, ear muffs (not the kind for chilly weather), and safety glasses because tiny shards of tile were flying. My reaction? Horror. 


They just ignored my terrified face and kept chipping, which was for the best.


Under the tile in the kitchen, laundry room, and half bath is concrete, which meant they could safely jackhammer without hurting the subsurface. Our entryway is raised however, so the ground isn't directly under it. There's a product called Hardibacker supporting the tile, which is sort of like drywall made of concrete.  To avoid damaging it, they took the entryway tiles out by hand.


I couldn't have been happier when it was all out. Pink be gone!


The dust wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it was still seriously dusty. And "dust" is misleading... it's not like dust that collects on your shelves. It's powdered concrete... and it's kind of frightening to breathe it in.



The next step was to remove the thinset that holds the tile to the floor, which was the dustiest step of all.  I suggested that we hang plastic to keep it as contained as possible and it worked really well. We also covered the AC vents on the ceiling to keep the dust out of the ducts. 


See all of the lines? That's the thinset on top of the concrete. It's just the mortar that acts as a glue between the concrete and the tiles.


They used a much wider attachment on the jackhammer to scrape it up.


See how it's nice and smooth where they've removed the thinset?


The floors looked so sleek when they were done!






I'll be back with a post on the finished product soon! It looks goooood. 

On an unrelated note, what do you think of John acting as a piece of art under what he calls our "museum lights"? Statuesque, no?


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