I was hoping to have some after pictures of our new counter tops, but they company installing them couldn’t travel with this crazy Wisconsin weather today. Instead, I will just have to show you what went into removing the old tile counter tops and the after photos will come later!
On Thursday night I started the process of removing some tiles to see what exactly we were in for. We had a general idea of what was under the tile, but couldn’t be sure without tearing some of it up.
I removed the trim from the edge of the tile and I have to say, it was even more disgusting than I thought it would be. I’ll spare you the pictures, but imagine what would accumulate under wood for 16 years of spills and dirt on your counters. Then multiply that by 10. Trust me, it was gross.
As we suspected, there was a layer of tile, cement board, plywood, and 1×4 framing behind the trim. We are not able to see underneath to tell where the plywood seams were, so we had to start working at it layer by layer. Thursday night Ryan and I emptied the contents of all of the cabinets (which are now residing in our bedroom) in preparation for the demo on Friday.
On Friday my dad was awesome enough to come down and help me demo the counters while Ryan worked. We were able to get the tile and cement board off relatively quickly with a chisel and hammer. We tried several other things, but the small chisel worked best, especially for the back splash where we had to be very careful of the wall.
Under the cement board we were able to see the plywood seems and screws attaching the framing to the cabinets. The sink and cook top were removed with some help from Ryan and we were able to start on the island. The island had the same layers but was also bound around the edges with a thick metal edge. We originally thought we could reuse the plywood base, but it just wasn’t possible. We used a reciprocating saw to cut the screws between the cabinets and the counter and removed the whole thing as one piece. It was heavy, but so much easier than scraping tile and cement board off.
Once the island top was removed we were left with a kitchen that looked very different from the start of the day, just 4 hours before. Ryan and I designed and cut a new plywood base for the island counter tops and reattached the legs Monday night (not yet pictured here).
While it wasn’t the most fun job, Home Depot wanted nearly $1,100 to do it and we really wanted to put our money into the new counters, rather than removal of the old ones. Hopefully the weather is better tomorrow so that we can get our new quartz counters installed. I will update soon! Thanks for reading!