Thursday, June 7, 2007

Blood & Gore

We work and work...what does this house want from us? Blood?


That's real blood! Not paint! Ow!

It turns out (Mom & Dad, you probably shouldn't read this bit--skip ahead to the next picture), flying tile shrapnel is sharp!

Our new countertop came in ahead of schedule, so replacing the tile hideousness in the bathroom got bumped up on our priority list.

We had researched the subject online and in our various home repair books and were ready to go to town. However, none of them mentioned anything about safety goggles or closed-toe shoes. I suddenly have a whole new appreciation for Common Sense Warnings (à la "Drano is not intended to be applied internally--do not drink!")

Anyhoo. For all you DIYers out there, when demolishing a tile counter, proper safety precautions are recommended.

The counter that was

Step 1 in Hideous Tile Counter Removal is to pry up the metal thingy holding in the sink. (Actually, Step 1 is to disconnect the sink & faucet. Then pry up the metal rim. It's important to do this in the right order.) You need a hammer and a chiselly sort of a tool. Matt had what I think was probably a proper chisel. I had a very hefty flathead screwdriver.

FYI, the red stuff in the sink is not blood. The house was contented with a token (hah! get it? toe-kin!) sacrifice on my part. One reason not to paint your bathroom red is that the stuff gets everywhere.

Very satisfying. Sink all gone.

Step 3 is to chisel up all the tile that is holding the counter on--the edges, the perimeter, and the first row of the backsplash. This is the perilous part. The tile resists, resists, resists, EXPLODES. And tile shards go flying.

Here I am, chiseling away

Matt, making swift progress.

Funny illustration of our different working styles. So, we had removed all the tiles from the perimeter, so nothing was holding the counter to the walls. But then we were kind of stumped as to what to do next. We had a crowbar (love that crowbar, by the way--what a great tool! Hats off to the caveman/woman who invented it), but we couldn't seem to wedge it anywhere. So we decided to kind of loosen things up by banging on the underside of the counter with a hammer. When it became clear that loosening had been accomplished, I started jimmying around with the crowbar and saying, "Okay, you bang with the hammer to my right, and while you do that, I'll lever the crowbar--"

And Matt reached over and yanked up the whole counter top. He don' need no stinkin' crowbar.

Matt manhandles the counter

Et voilà! No more hideous counter. (We still have a hideous backsplash, but we're planning to paint that.) The whole project was surprisingly easy, if messy. Except for unscrewing the sink--that was a pain. Otherwise, not too bad.

Mission accomplished

We have to move the outlet, get some liquid nails, and buy the new faucet before attaching the counter--an adventure for another day.

Still, good work was done here today.

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