Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Can we build it? (part 2)

Well, in short, I don't know if we can build it, but we sure can demo it!

Tuesday, October 5--I started the day by returning RIP to Home Depot, where the friendly employee (not Jimmy) did a couple of things right and a couple of things wrong.

Right: Giving me my money back after I explained tht RIP didn't work
Wrong: Calling me an "HGTV wife" who "expects projects to be finished in 30 minutes"

Um...I've been watching This Old House (which lasts weeks, because nothing is quick about renovating old houses) since before I could spell Bob Villa and helping my folks, who built their own house by hand mind you, for years. I don't "expect" to finish a project like this in 30 minutes. I do "expect" the machine you rented me to accomplish more work in less time than I can get done with a hammer and chisel.

Much of the rest of the day was spent with the hammer and chisel, as well as some quality time with Google. We finally made it through the entire underlayment to the subfloor (well, J cleared 2 square inches down to the subfloor), which gave us a complete idea of what we were working with.

# trips for Pick-Up Sandy: One, returning RIP to HD
# injuries: multiple small cuts from the tile, only one serious enough to pull out a band-aid

October 6--The day started with a phone call to our tile shop for their suggestions, followed by a phone call and trip to a local tool rental shop. Reasons why Wilson Brothers is better:

1. No insinuations that this is my husband's project and that I'm not capable or knowledgable enough to figure it out
2. Far better selection (the tool I ended up going with, a Hilti chipping hammer, came in an array of weights, including two smaller than what I saw at HD's tool shop yesterday).
3. The shop guy let me handle both of the smaller chipping hammers, explained the benefits of both, then told me that if the larger of the two didn't work, I could always bring it back to swap for the lighter one on the same, single, rental.
4. It's always nice to buy local
5. They actually gave me the right tool for the job!

Maybe 3 hours of labor later, I had a clear floor, down to the subfloor. SO exciting to have finished the tile removal part of this process, even if I am still behind by a couple of days.
Bad news: I went through the subfloor in several places, necessitating a larger patch that planned.
Good news: turns out our subfloor is thinner than it should be to lay tile over it. Apparently (thanks, Google), 5/8" is standard, and even minimum code. So...1/4" subfloor? Not gonna hack it. Why is this good? Well, it's not, but I don't think I would have realized how big an issue this was if I hadn't been straddling holes and carefully choosing my steps to be sure I was walking over floors joists. I'm not at all thrilled that bringing the subfloor up to code is going to cause my marble to be about 1/4" higher than the hardwood in the hallway, but it's a price I'm willing to pay to get it right.

# trips for Pick Up Sandy: none, the Hilti fit neatly in the trunk
# injuries: many more micro cuts and punctures, but none requiring band-aids

Title: more Bob the Builder theme song fun

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