Monday, September 5, 2011

A Little Off The Top

Hey guys, I hope you're enjoying your extra long Labor Day weekend with this lovely day off. Unless you work retail of course, in which case I will probably see you later at Starbucks/Home Depot/Target since those stops have become the staples to my weekends.

On Friday night Dan worked a little late so I got started making some more progress to our hallway tile situation. What is the situation you may ask? We are laying new wood floors throughout the whole first floor so all this tile needs to come up (as well as in the kitchen). But the tile is not sitting on the original floors- oh no, that would be too easy. It is plastered down onto super thick backer board which is then screwed into plywood which in turn is not only screwed but nailed also into the original floors! Gah- why did these people have to do such a good job laying those tiles like they were gonna be there forever? Why cover the hardwood in the first place? Maybe after we get the plywood up we'll have our answer- more patching? stains? chalk body outline?

Very shortly after we moved in we took up the tile in the entryway with a crowbar and a hammer (after also removing the carpet in the living room):

And here's how the hallway used to look after I started taking those tiles up:

Here you can see the three layers make an obvious step up into the hallway.

After using the crowbar proved itself to be useless to the super thick backer board we employed reinforcements: the Hilti demolition hammer. That thing cut through the backer board like butter. I almost shed a tear thinking about the hours I spent chiseling away at the tile with a crowbar when this thing would've got the job done in about fifteen minutes. Live and learn. We will definitely put it to good use again when we tackle the tile in the kitchen so that almost makes up for it.

So on Saturday night, after the backer board was completely gone, we tried our luck at using the Hilti to take care of the plywood. But since it is nailed down to the original floors it was not coming up very easily-- the Hilti doesn't pry it simply demolishes straight forward. 

Splinter city, yikes. It looks as if we're going to have to go back to the good old pry bar route to get all the nails up and get the plywood out in bigger chunks, rather than break it up into millions of little splintery pieces. Ugh. These steps are pretty daunting but when the going gets tough I simply look over at that beautiful stack of wood floors sitting in our living room and it makes me want to get that plywood out as soon as possible! Have any of you ever done a job like this and have a handy tip to offer? A great tool we don't know about? Slow and steady wins the race I suppose. 
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