Sandra & Justin's Kitchen:
Dealing with Dust

Renovation Diary

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Good riddance to the ceiling popcorn.

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Name: Sandra & Justin
Type of Project: Kitchen remodel
Location: Arlington, Texas
Type of building: Single-family home, 2,450 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.

This week we created the biggest mess of our young lives and went through lots and lots of plastic sheeting. Prepping the room to take out the popcorn ceilings felt like we were making a field operatory or just a scene out of Dexter. Removing the popcorn ceilings wasn't very difficult, but it took a lot of water to loosen it. With the soffits our and the popcorn ceilings removed the room felt instantly less oppressive and dark. There was so much more light in the room and coming from the long tunnel of work still ahead. 

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Lucy and Quinn on tile destruction.

The next thing to be demo'd, the tile flooring beneath our feet, was much harder to remove. Although we had gotten a good start with the initial smashing the floor took during our "before" party, we needed some help. So we brought in our favorite babysitter/helper, Quinn to help us get through a long Saturday of tile smash-out. We got our kids in on the action as well. They donned boots, goggles, gloves, and earplugs, and we handed them hammers and let them go. It took a long time and was hard work, we were glad to have their help and make this a family effort.

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Our very strange cat, Calvin, loved napping on the smashed tile and the whole kitchen remodel in general.

Since smashing out the tile doesn't leave a smooth surface, we had to rent a grinder to smooth the old tile quickset and prep the surface for the new bamboo flooring I purchased this week. Picking up the grinder and hauling all of the flooring in a rental car (since ours got crunched while we were at the cabinetry shop last week) added to the fun. The loaner Impala was not intended for hauling, and it made it much trickier loading and unloading the 56 boxes of flooring and the rental floor grinder. But we made it.

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Peeking in through plastic just as Justin finished the floor grinding.

At home I taped Justin into the kitchen with plastic sheeting as we tried to control the dust situation. Even then, there was so, so much dust. Three hours later, Justin ran to return the grinder while Carter, Lucy and I swept up roughly forty pounds of dust in the kitchen. After the first few sweepings we found the vacuum to be the most effective tool for collecting dust. I then proceeded to vacuum morning and night around the house to try and shut down the dust storm. We were just glad we were able to do this when the weather was nice enough to not need heating or air conditioning, forcing the dusty air further throughout the house. Thank goodness.

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Carter takes a break from tile smashing, with the old cabinets visible in the sunroom (to be picked up by freecyclers that night). Lucy is grabbing what feels like the four hundredth bag to sweep dust and debris into.

With all of the old kitchen: cabinets, soffits, and flooring out, we are ready to get started on the new stuff; plumbing and electrical work next week. The demolition is almost all done.

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us next week for #7 of Sandra and Justin's Diary.

(Images and diary text: Sandra Jergensen)

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