Kitchen Remodel: Demolition


A lot of renovations start with demolition, but in an effort to minimize the construction mess as long as possible, we didn’t begin until after we finished installing the wood panel ceiling.

One thing we did (and highly recommend) before ripping things apart is taking detailed photos of the space and anything you place to replace. Having reference photos is incredibly helpful when putting the space back together, even if it’s not exactly the same!

After some convincing from Matt, we started by taking down the upper cabinets to the right of the sink. This was a game changer. As soon as they were down we realized how much more open and light the kitchen felt and decided to replace them with open shelving instead. Taking the cabinets down gave us better access to demo the backsplash. The tile was surprisingly easy to remove and came off much cleaner than I expected. We had minimal damage to the drywall which meant we only had to do a little bit of repair to prep for the new tile installation. 

When we moved in the backsplash had been painted, so during demo we found some of the original, unpainted tile behind the microwave. I’m not sure I would have picked an illustrated tile like this myself, but I thought it was kind of cute and fun to see where the kitchen began once upon a time.

In my original design plan I had only planned to replace the existing backsplash footprint, but with the upper cabinets gone I immediately jumped at the opportunity to install a wall of tile from the countertop to the ceiling. This would make the space feel so much taller! I had also planned to keep the existing cabinet boxes and doors, but demo is a slippery slope. It’s easy to say “well, if we don’t do it now, we never will” and before you know it you remove the cabinet doors and decide to build new ones.

Once the backsplash was gone we disassembled the laminate countertop. I actually really enjoy demoing because you start to see how simple construction creates the spaces we use everyday. It’s definitely less intimidating to tackle projects when you see the components it takes to piece it all together. This is not to say it’s easy to build something back up, just achievable with a little bit (or a lot) of research, perseverance and effort!

We left the laminate flooring for now because we knew it would be quite some time before we got around to installing new floor tile. It was better to have an old floor than remove it all and live on subfloor for who knows how long, especially through the winter with the dog tracking in snow and dirt all season long.

Now that the kitchen was a shell of its former self, we were ready to start making it our very own!


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