Welcome to demolition!
Okay, so I’ve given you an overview of our plans for this kitchen, and what we’re hoping to accomplish. We thought it would be a relatively straightforward couple of days, but boy… were we wrong! Once we started demolition, we realized we had created quite a mess for ourselves.
Let me try and break down where we went awry.
oh, look! It’s Richard’s hand!
So on our first day of demolition, we removed all of the upper cabinets, which also meant moving everything in those cupboards to our living room. Let me tell you, living in a kitchen/living room for about a week isn’t fun. Bleh. We also had to remove the range hood, IKEA GRUNDTAL pot racks off the wall, as well as anything living on the countertops. We kept stuff in the lower cabinets and didn’t bother removing the fridge etc., as none of that was changing besides paint.
range hood and stainless panels removed
Once everything was out of the room, we contemplated the tiling. Before we could paint or start putting up our new METOD cabinets, we would have to remove all the existing tiles. This was precisely the moment that things went wrong…
See, our building has all this great character because it’s old. Do you know what else it has?
Crumbling plaster walls – that’s what! As soon as we started removing the tiles from the main wall (carefully, I should add) huge tile-sized chunks of plaster were coming away with it. Behind the plaster, all we were left with was the original lath and nice gaping holes. From what we could tell, the original plaster “feet” (where the plaster squeezes in between the lath, creating little anchors) had broken away. Due to the sheer thickness of the tile adhesive that they used (crazy thick!), the plaster just came away with the tiles.
our beautiful lath…
After removing everything, this is what we were left with. One massive hole, and another smaller one.
The two end walls were okay as they were either external brick walls or newly built cement board ones. Minimal damage, with only a bit of filling required to even them out.
We googled how to repair walls, looked at all sorts of products available at our local B&Q, and ultimately decided on two courses of action. For the larger hole, we would fill most of the gap with new cement board, screwed into the studs. Around the edge of the board, we would fill the gap with a plaster repair compound (ours was the same brand, but a different type, can’t find it online). For the smaller hole, we felt confident we could simply patch it with the plaster repair compound. In retrospect, we ended up with some smaller cement board pieces when we cut them down to fit the larger hole. Those would have probably been better to use in the smaller hole, but at the time we didn’t want to buy a large board just to use only like 10% of it.
Due to the depth of the original plaster, and modern cement board thicknesses, we ended up using two pieces screwed together. Nothing we could find was the depth that our original walls were.
Here’s where a lot of the excess time of this project started taking place. See, our local B&Q didn’t have the type of cement board we were initially looking for (although we later changed to a different kind, which they did stock) and so we had to wait until the next day before we could get the right stuff. Then, the plaster took aaaages to dry, and we needed to apply it in layers for the large hole, allowing each to dry about 24 hours before applying the second. All in all, it took us 3 days (!) just to patch those two holes.
our drywall patch job
Ouch! Three days of next to no visible progress is quite disheartening. We were feeling quite frustrated at this point, and tired of living surrounded by boxes of kitchen items. At the end of all that time and effort, the result was so minimally changed from what it was before, but it was definitely an improvement!
No more cabinets or ugly tiles, but also nothing else! Hey, at least it’s clean, right? 😉
But that is where I’m going to leave this off! I’ll pick up soon with photos of our new paint colour, and the cabinets in place. For now, I have to finalize which tiles we’re going to use, measure, and order them!