Demoing the Tile (in which Ken gets to use a sledgehammer and gets drunk with power)

We’ve been hard at work on our main floor flooring project the past few weeks, and we’re nearing the end. Almost. Sort of?

We left the best for last: this tiled area around our front door and stairway. It’s raised up a step from the rest of the flooring, which is why we could leave it until last.

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But we could procrastinate no longer, so this tile had to go. Here’s what we were dealing with: grouted tile, on thinset, on quarter-inch plywood, on the regular half-inch plywood subfloor. You can kind of see the layers in the picture below.

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We thought we’d have to demo out the tile and the quarter-inch plywood, but after Ken began demoing, we found that the plywood had been SCREWED IN to the half-inch subfloor beneath. And we aren’t just talking about one or two screws per board–they were EVERYWHERE. I guess the builders were a little overzealous. This floor is bound to survive the apocalypse.

Thankfully, the tiled layer came off the quarter-inch plywood fairly cleanly, so we decided to only remove the tile and leave the plywood.

But Ken, in his excitement about using a sledgehammer and multiple crowbars, had already begun tearing it ALL off, as evidenced by the lower right area in the picture below.

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So we had to patch a small area. But it was better than finding all the screws and unscrewing them all. That would have been terrible.

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Since we don’t have safety glasses, and because large shards of flying tile can be hazardous, Kenny would lay an old towel over the tile and pound away with the sledgehammer. It also cut down on dust a bit, though the entire main floor got coated nonetheless.

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Some of the thinset stuck to the plywood, but we managed to chip it off by pounding it some more with our hammers. Needless to say, neither of us can hear anything anymore. Methinks we should probably invest in some safety gear ASAP.

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All in all, it took us about 4 hours to get all the tile off. We then immediately covered the plywood with underlayment, since it we are infinitely less likely to get slivers in our feet this way.

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The end of our flooring adventures is in sight!

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