Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kitchen Remodel: Phase 1

I realize I haven't given a house project update in a few weeks. That's because our "paint all the trim in the entire house" project is temporarily on hold. We've got most of the trim painted, but the doors are still in progress while we wait for a few days with no rain (we've been painting them outdoors). I'll be sure to show you the big "after" photos when we get it all done!

Since we can't do anything about the rain and the rain has been preventing us from painting our doors, hubby and I decided we should start Phase 1 of the kitchen remodel -- tearing out our ceramic tile. Our current tile is a whitish/gray color and although that might sound sort of pretty, it's a pain in my neck. It shows up every speck of dirt, dust, and grime and could probably be swept daily. It's also starting to show its age because several of the tiles have cracks in them and are becoming loose.

I don't really know anything about ceramic tile, but apparently it's a good thing if your tile comes up easily and if the "backing" of the tile (whether it be plywood, cement backing or something else) is still in pretty good shape. Lucky for us, ours was both! Our tile came up with ease, thanks to a handy dandy super sized chisel Nathan bought for $20 from Lowe's and we discovered that we had relatively nice looking cement backing underneath.

Since our dining room is connected to our kitchen and has the same tile throughout, we decided to start with that room first.

Here are some photos of our progress:

Dining Room before ripping up the tile

Here's a photo of Nathan with his chisel and glasses (safety first!)

This will give you an idea of how easy this was. He just shoved the chisel underneath the tile, and they pretty much lifted up on their own.

We read horror stories of ceramic tile not being so easy to come up, so we were quite relieved when Nathan found out ours was pretty simple.

This is the project midstream.

And just so you know, Nathan was not alone in this project. I was busy stacking the ceramic tile that he was ripping up so that it could be carried out to the patio. :)

And here's the "after" with all the tile removed.

We were pretty stoked that our first ceramic tile removal job went so smoothly, so we took a picture to capture the moment. :)

And just in case you're curious, here's a breakdown of how this whole kitchen remodel thing is (hopefully) going to go down:

Phase 1 -- Remove ceramic tile in Dining Room & put down new ceramic tile
Phase 2 -- Remove old kitchen cabinets; try to sell on Craigslist. Tear out kitchen soffit.
Phase 3 -- Remove ceramic tile from kitchen, and put in new cabinets and new tile
Phase 5 -- Have countertops installed

Have any of you attempted a tile job? Was it a breeze or horrific? Or a little bit of both? I'd love to hear!


  1. How wonderful! I can't wait to see the outcome. I wish I could do a little remodeling but I don't think our aparment complex would appreciate that. ;)

  2. oooh! exciting!! We tiled our backsplash -- it was not as scary as I thought it would be :)

  3. I have not dealt with tile before. Last September we got hardwoods throughout the first floor so that's the extent of my experience. Someday I hope to add tile in the bathrooms upstairs (it's just vinyl right now).

  4. So glad it come up easy - way to go on tackling it yourself. Our guys (paid) finished tile last night. I got the 16 inch ones (was so afraid the space was too small) but love them - and put it on a diagonal - which I also love.


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