For Christmas (and my birthday, and Mother’s Day), I’m getting new kitchen countertops, hooray!
As many of you have heard me complain, the wooden countertops are beautiful to look at but hard to maintain and too easy to damage. They have to be sanded annually and re-oiled for optimum preservation, but who has time to do that? Worse than that, they are not level, so water pools on them and mildew grows there. Yuck!
The previous owners of this house did a lot of amazing work remodeling it. But they did it all themselves and their inexpertness in certain areas is starting to show. For someone who cooks as much as I do, the mold on the countertop is a show stopper.
Something had to be done!
Both Home Depot and Lowe’s said they couldn’t install the new countertops until the bottom row (at least, if not more) of backsplash tile was removed, and Home Depot was going to charge me $700.00 – $1,000 to do it for me, and couldn’t guarantee they wouldn’t wreck the wall behind the tiles, which I would then have to pay more to have repaired. The nice folks at Lowe’s gave me the confidence to try to do it myself.
So this week I saved $1,000 and learned to remove ceramic tile myself (that is: taking one’s time, very carefully and slowly–no wonder people charge so much. It’s not hard–you just have to take your time).
I started with a simple grout removing hand tool then graduated to a power tool–I am now a proud owner of a Dremel 200, which is so much fun to use. Drilling away each tiny section of the grout cement made me think of my dentist removing my crown this summer, and I realized I liked the detail work involved in working with small power tools. Maybe I should have been a dentist or a surgeon…
I do have to rebuild part of a wall in one section (my very first removals, I am getting better as I get the hang of it), but hope the rest will continue to go smoothly.
I think my mother-in-law Beverly knows about all things Dremel and am hoping when she’s in town in January she can show me how to use it to engrave Dashiell’s name into his stainless steel lunch boxes.
(yet another use of the headlamps! way to go Jeff…)