October 15th was the start of a weekend and every weekend around here is crunch time! Both of us usually spend all day at the Farmhouse working every weekend. Today was the day Mike was planning on chipping up the front entryway tile floor to make way for a new tile floor we would later lay. The tile in the entry was a 4×4 square, brick-looking tile.
Mike rented a rotary hammer from Cincy Tool Rental in order to get through the tile and what he assumed would be a layer of concrete board underneath. Unfortunately, after he started the project, he quickly realized that the tile had been laid on top of a mortar bed which was a couple inches thick in places. Because of the thickness of the mortar bed and the fact that it wasn’t laid in sheets, like the concrete board would have been, the task suddenly became significantly more difficult, time consuming, and very, very dusty. Because of all the dust we decided that I should probably head out for the day and the remainder of this messy project since breathing in that much dust isn’t good for anyone, but especially not someone who’s breathing for two!
Mike spent the rest of the day and half the next chiseling through the concrete down through a layer of metal mesh until he reached the plywood sub-floor. He mostly used the rotary hammer but a pry bar, hammer, and shovel also came in handy to wrench up the metal mesh. After a lot of time and effort, he was able to get all of the concrete and metal mesh chiseled up into pieces, bagged, and removed from the house. There were at least two dozen contractor bags full from that task alone! Once it was all out of the house, he was able to clean and repair the sub-floor as needed in preparation for the new tile. In the end, the sub-floor actually was in pretty good shape and didn’t need too much repair. It was an exhausting, dirty, long process.
While we still had the rotary hammer rented, Mike also removed the hearth around the original fireplace in the kitchen. The hearth was nice but really ate up into floor space in the kitchen, especially since we planned on adding an island. I had been picturing myself stubbing my toes every morning on that hearth! Luckily the bricks came out pretty easily and without doing any damage to the bottom of the fireplace, so that was one “win” in a long, tough weekend.
Funny how whenever you start a project you think will be pretty straight-forward, without fail, it is always astronomically more difficult than you expect. Murphy’s Law should have an official post script that says the adage especially applies in home renovations!
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