Removing the counter and sink…


 On HGTV they always make demo day seem fun and, quite frankly, easy.  But it is not easy if you are trying to salvage parts of your project.  In our case, we are saving the cabinets, so we had to be careful not to damage them when removing the counter and the sink.  Not easy.

I turned off the water supply valves and then removed the plumbing under the sink.  Since S is a tiny person, she had to climb under the sink to remove the clips that were holding it to the counter.  Five of the clips came out with relative ease.  But there were 50 clips and most of them were rusted pretty badly.  We sprayed some WD-40 on them and waited to see if they would loosen up.  Nope.  Since we couldn’t get the clips removed we couldn’t just pull the sink out.

Out of frustration, I started to hammer on the up-swing along the counter and it started to come loose with an ease that gave me my confidence back.  The counter had merely been glued down, not screwed into the base cabinets.  Woo-hoo!

But wait…  While the counter was pretty easy to loosen, the two of us were never going to be able to lift it out with the cast iron sink still in place.  New idea.  I got out my jig saw and cut the counter up to the back-splash, thinking we could pull it out in parts.  It was a good idea, but flawed in the sense that the jigsaw could only do so much.  We needed a reciprocating saw, which we didn’t have.  But I had seen a cute little one at Wal-Mart a few days ago that was pretty cheap.  So we stopped everything and went to Wal-Mart.

The cute little reciprocating saw was a Black & Decker product. And it was only $30.  But it was rechargeable and before we would be able to use it we would have to charge it.  And I am not a fan of rechargeable tools anyway since they always seem to lack the power of plug ins.  There was also a Skil brand reciprocating saw which was much more powerful and much more expensive.  I ripped open the box to make sure it was a plug in (it was) because it wasn’t clear from the box.  I rationalized away the extra expense by saying that I could also use it to cut out our ugly front hedges and to take out some scrub trees in the backyard.

We got the saw home and I inserted the blade while S stood back in fear.  It is a big saw.  A scary saw.  And I am not one for reading directions.  I should also mention that it is really quite powerful.  The first time I tried to use it, it was like the cliche of a woman shooting a shot gun and getting thrown down on the floor from the kick-back.  It was embarrassing even though I am sure S didn’t notice.  But if there had been a man in the vicinity, he would have laughed derisively.  Anyway, we got the counter cut apart and we lifted out the half with the sink, which was incredibly heavy.  Rummy enjoyed inspecting it once we got it down on the floor.  They never show how hard it is to do renovations with pets running around on HGTV.

The second piece of counter came out easily and was light enough for me to carry out to the garage by myself.  The sink piece was a three person job that we got done with just two people.  I would like to tell you right now that the best thing in the world is to have a work-mate who is always willing to be the one to walk backwards when carrying stuff.  S is great.

After we got our debris to the garage we did a little clean up in the kicthen and then inspected the cabinets.  We didn’t do any damage to them, which is great.  We also found that the Lazy Susan cabinet had one of it’s side pieces broken, so there were boxes of food and a bottle of syrup (from the 1950’s, I think) laying on the floor begging ants and mice to come for a visit.  We’re going to repair that today before we start putting on the new counter.

Before we got started yesterday we went to Lowe’s so that we could build something together, which became the catch phrase of the day.  We found a good stainless steel sink (8″ deep, double bowls) for $99.00.  We also got a new under counter light that we can hard-wire, which is good.  We didn’t get our wet saw because the tile guy was trying to talk us into buying an expensive and slightly less powerful saw than we wanted.  There is nothing I hate more than the “hard sell”.  We also bought some plastic, folding sawhorses ($30 for a pair), which everyone needs, but I had totally overlooked when I bought my circular saw a few months ago.  Now I have something on which to cut.

Later this afternoon, we are going up to our Home Despot to get our lumber, cement board, mastic, grout and tiling tools.  I’m hoping that we have the base of the counter on today and that we can start tiling tomorrow.

There will be updates, of course.