When we last left our fireplace, we'd poured the self-leveling cement for the tile hearth. Our next steps were to:
- Remove the carpet in front of the fireplace
- Tile the front of the hearth
- Tile the top of the hearth
- Tile the fireplace itself
- Build a mantle
And once he got going, he just didn't stop. He just worked his way around the whole room. In under an hour, he'd managed to remove the tack strips from the whole room.
And just so you don't think I'm completely useless, while he was removing tack strips, I was emptying the room. Not the big pieces like the sofas, mind you, but everything else. Into the dining room and covered with a drop cloth. The cats absolutely love it.
Once the room was empty and the tack strips gone, Dan sliced the carpet with a box cutter into 4 pieces and I carted them off.
With the carpet and the padding out, the really dirty stuff began. Most people know that building a house with tile bordered rooms is a terrible idea. I really wish I could got back to 1983 and tell that to the people who built our house.
About half of the tiles came out pretty easily with just a hammer and chisel. The other half and some mortar required the air chisel.
The air chisel is great. It makes tearing up tile go so fast. The only downside is that there is dust on everything. No matter how well you seal the room up, it gets everywhere. There was somehow a layer of it on the coffee table in the next room, even with all the doors closed. We spent more time vacuuming than we did chiseling tile.
After about five hours of work, we were rewarded with this. A beautiful, smooth concrete floor. A clean slate for the home stretch of this room remodel.
So, it wasn't exactly what we were intending to do. We really only meant to remove a couple of inches that would have interfered with our tiling. Oh well. The crappy floor needed to go!
From now on, we're working our way up the fireplace until it's finished. Although, we probably should start thinking about flooring sooner than later.