Enter ghetto stove. The kitchen in our house was a big selling point for us, but it definitely needed some tweaking to fit our tastes. The previous owner had left us an awesomely old stove and even more horrendous refrigerator that had to go, and the tile countertop and backsplash were proving to be a pain in the neck to keep clean. So, enter the age of the kitchen renovation. Since the cabinets were fairly new, we decided to only replace the countertop and backsplash, and replace a couple of dated appliances to match the nicer ones that were already in place. The appliance part was easy, but the rest proved to be a bit more difficult. Enter, our secret weapon – Todd. Todd is a good buddy of Scott’s that has helped us on many a home improvement project. It’s a constant discussion between us who has the shorter end of the stick in helping the other guy out. Scott was in the lead after laying on insulation in Todd’s attic all night while Todd was on the roof, readjusting a satellite. Todd then stepped into the lead with our kitchen renovation (FYI, Scott regained the throne after helping Todd move a 1,000 lb desk down two stories recently. ouch). With Todd’s help (and my very helpful supervision) they tackled the kitchen countertops and backsplash, after creating a plastic bubble around the kitchen to keep in some of the dust.After our kitchen was quarantined, Scott and Todd took to the tile backsplash and countertop. Their technique, as Scott so eloquently puts it, was “taking a crowbar and ripping it off”. Basically, we find the best way to demo a kitchen is to simply demo the kitchen. There’s no fancy way to rip up stuff. They found a starting point along one of the grout lines, pulled up a tile, and the rest was history. The countertop surprisingly came off in a couple of pieces (since we pulled off the plywood with the tile), but the backsplash was a bit more messy.
The picture above is the “oh sh*t” moment in our renovation. Pulling out the backsplash tiles not only took the tiles, but the wall behind it as well. D’oh! We had thought that we could simply pull off the tiles and re-use the drywall behind, but we soon learned how wrong we were. After this realization, we just decided to pull all of the drywall off and replace with new, which was a great decision on our part. It’s a bit more work and moola to do this, but well worth the fresh palette to apply your lovely new tile backsplash.
Enter the bare kitchen, sans countertop and backsplash. Luckily, we only had to endure this barren state for a couple of days. When doing a project like this, really spend some time coordinating the timing of your demo and the arrival of your new countertops, appliances etc. We only had about 2 days of down time between this stage and the almost finalized kitchen, which made life in the Hernandez household much easier (no kitchen makes Scott and Audrey an unhappy couple).
Stay tuned for part 2 to see how the kitchen went from scary to totally awesome!