When I purchased my house in October, the first big project was supposed to be the kitchen. Although I started some work, I kept pushing the big stuff back.
I was always busy at school, and there never seemed like a good time to dive into redoing the kitchen counter and backsplash.
Well, today I couldn’t push it back any further. I’ve got a week and a half off from school, so my dad and I finally got to work. And oh, did we work.
This was the general plan for the weekend:
- Demo the old counter and backsplash
- Put up drywall where the old backsplash was (so that we can later put up a tile backsplash)
- Add insulation behind the cabinets/backsplash
- Make some alterations to the electrical wiring
- Install a new counter-top
- Install a new sink
- Install a garbage disposal
And What Did We Get Done Today?
First stop? Home Depot.
We needed to pick up some supplies – namely the counter top. It was a pre-fab counter top, kind of sand colored. I snagged two pieces – a 8′ section and a 4′ section. Altogether, it came to about $150.
Next stop? Demo.
After taking apart the window sill around the kitchen window (which over-lapped the strange backsplash), we set to work on the main demolition. We unscrewed the countertop from the cabinets, we unscrewed the clips on the sink, and we pried the whole thing out.
Ahh… a blank slate. Or, maybe, a less than blank slate.
Beneath the backsplash, there was the remnants of a very old wall. The house was originally built in the 1920′s, and it had a plaster wall built on laths. Part of the wall had previously crumbled off (maybe 25%), but the remaining plaster was covered with some hideous old wallpaper.
There was also, oddly enough, no insulation in the wall. There was a small cavity – about 5 inches – in between the laths and the exterior brick wall. Doesn’t seem like the most efficient setup.
What to do? Another trip to Home Depot. Time to pick up some electrical stuff, some plumbing supplies for the new sink, some contractor construction bags to clean up with, and a roll of insulation to insert into the wall.
Installing the insulation was interesting. We didn’t want to remove all of the cabinets, so we had to kind of jam it up and down into the cavity.
We ended up removing three of the wood laths, creating a small opening into the wall cavity. Then, we cut the insulation into 24″ strips (wide enough to horizontally between the studs) and jammed them into the cavity one at a time. We found this easier than trying to push a longer piece of insulation into the cavity vertically.
After the insulation, we set about rebuilding the wall. It seemed easy enough to throw up some drywall, but it took quite some time. This was also complicated by trying to get the electrical boxes set up and fit into small openings in the drywall.
At this point, it was quite late, and we were about ready to call it a night. The last thing I started doing was to build a frame to sit on top of the cabinets and raise the countertop by about an inch. This spacer was necessary to bring it to the same height as the range.
12 hours later, we have a half-reconstructed kitchen. Hopefully, tomorrow, we can finish the countertop and install the new sink. We won’t be cooking much until then…!