Out goes the kitchen (part two)

Intro kitchen removalWe continue wreaking havoc in our kitchen. In our previous post we removed all hanging cupboards, a tall standing one and an elevated counter. Now it started to get really fun: removing the counter and all cupboards underneath.

Nowadays you can get your countertops in a few different varieties: you can get them in wood (laminated or full), stone (like granite or marble), or even composites as of lately (like Corian, but these do come with a cost). However, back when our kitchen was installed in the Dark Ages, it seemed like a good idea to create a wooden countertop and then tile it.

I don’t know who came up with that idea first (and believe me, it has been popular in those same era kitchens), but I for one am not going to join that little club. Not only is it nearly impossible (at least with the tiles that were used) to get a nice smooth flat surface, the grout didn’t survive all the decades that have passed since installation day. Exit grout, exit hygiene.

And now, exit tiles:

Remove countertop

I was looking for some kind of joint underneath the tiles, were the two wooden counter tops underneath the tiles met. When that didn’t work out as expected, I called in some help to start removing screws keeping the counter in place at one end:

Unscrew countertop

(I’m not the only one working here, see?!)

With the counter gone it was only a matter of unscrewing the screws that were keeping the cupboards together:

Unscrew cupboards

That was a little easier, so the one leg of the U was shrinking now that the first cupboard was gone:

Shortened leg

With the U transformed in an L, now the sink needed to be removed. Yep, that ugly, light-brownish, heavy as hell thingie. I tried lifting it out, but failed miserably to do so. It was so heavy, and it seemed to get stuck after 1 or 2 cm of lifting that I really wonder how they got it in in the first place. So we needed a solution to get this huge mass of ceramic out, and luckily I knew just the right one.

A sledgehammer.

Sledgehamer sink

Banzaï! Away frustration, and away sink!

The dishwasher also had had it’s best time:


Apart from that, it didn’t actually work anymore. Chrisje tried turning it on one day, resulting in

  1. Total electrical outage of the house due to the fact that the main breaker switched off
  2. A strongly burnt smell in the kitchen, coming from said dishwasher

Who said old electric appliances can’t be fun?

With the sink gone, we could now peel of the counter. It now also became clear that going from the Dark Ages until now didn’t do the wood around the sink much good… Most of those two cupboards (at least the back half side) and the counter underneath the sink were rotten from water intrusion… Now you know why a tiled  countertop is a no-go.

Exit dishwasher and we’re only left with two cupboards and one piece of countertop (yeah, that’s the one where I tried to start, should have seen that coming…):

Last cupboards

Just as before, unscrew everything you can, use a little brute force and you’re done!

Clear kitchen 1

Clear kitchen 2

An empty room, except for that exhaust hood still hanging on the wall. Remember In the previous post when I mentioned one shouldn’t go and take it down alone? I’m the perfect person to make that claim, as I actually tried (and succeeded) and in the process almost killed myself, buried under it… It involved a ladder, a wheelbarrow, some other wood to create a construction to lift the thing, and then it almost tipped over and fell… Do not try this at home!

One evening, one kitchen out the door, and we’re al set for the next step. Educated guesses are more than welcome in the comments!