Christine and Pierre's Kitchen:
All Tile Must Go

Renovation Diary

Pin it button big

First tile - gone!

Pin it button big
Name: Christine & Pierre
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Type of building: Ground floor apartment of a triplex, 1,100 square feet

The Renovation Diaries are a new collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

After a week of recovery from from the pantry removal, we were ready to tackle the next step – demoing the tiles in the pantry. We had researched quite a bit about the best way to go about this (YouTube FTW!) and talked to our contractor about it to make sure it was DIY-friendly. 

Saturday morning we picked up the jackhammer and spade bit from Home Depot. I foolishly thought that we might finish within a four-hour rental period, but Pierre is much more realistic than me and wisely took the day rental, which we used in its entirety.

Pin it button big

Pierre jackhammering like a pro.

The tiles actually came up pretty quickly, but once they were up we spent ages removing the thinset. It didn't have to be perfectly flat, as we're planning on doing a pass with self-leveling cement later, but the more we remove, the easier the floor installation will be.

Pin it button big

The tiles came up pretty quickly, but removing the remaining thinset is what really took ages.

Pierre did most of the jackhammering. The tool is pretty easy to use but is just heavy enough to exhaust you after a few hours. Near the end we had a pretty good system where I would sweep and clear as he removed thinset. A few other things slowed us down — the spade bit had a screw that would loosen and fall out every half an hour or so, forcing us to stop and reattach it. We also fought with the metal doormat holder for a good hour — it seemed to be attached to the cement with superglue and magic. But we finally got it out.

Pin it button big

Stupid mat holder. Probably took an hour to remove.

I'm glad that we did this job ourselves. It was very tiring but very doable. It's becoming a little easier to imagine the finished space with the tiles gone.

Pin it button big

The final result.  

Estimated time for project: 12 weeks
Time remaining: 10 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us next week for #6 of Christine and Pierre's Diary.

(Images and diary text: Christine Zoltok)