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Cement Board Misery

Day two of the kitchen renovation involved removing the cement board. We assumed this wouldn’t be too difficult. For those who are not familiar with cement board, it is put down between the subfloor and tile. Cement board is supposed to be screwed onto the floor and then adhesive is applied for the tiles and grout is put on between the tiles to even them out. The previous owners added one more step. They decided to glue the cement board to the subfloor in addition to screwing it in. I guess they wanted them to be super secure. We hoped to just unscrew the cement boards and lift them up. Not so. The grout and adhesive were hiding the screws, so they were hard to find. The glue on the subfloor also made it VERY hard to get the cement boards up even when we did get the screws out.

I went searching on Google. People suggested using a roofing shovel and/or an electrical chisel. Jim went to Home Depot, rented the chisel and bought the roofing shovel. I went to work that day thinking the cement board would be up in no time. When I got home, Jim had made some progress and I got to work helping the best I could. After day 1 this was the progress we had made:

That is about three boards total...

Another view

A wider view

Look at how much there is left!

It took us SIX days to get up the cement board. I meant to take pictures each day to show our progress, but I guess with the exhaustion  I forgot. After one day of the electric chisel, we decided it wasn’t speeding things up and it was just creating a mess (our house looked like a dust storm went through it). Jim was determined to get the rest of the cement board up with just a crowbar, a sledgehammer,  a roofing shovel, and his brute strength. I am surprised Jim didn’t throw out his back digging underneath the cement board. Between the shovel, our trusty crowbar, and sledgehammer, the job was done. There was more damage to the subfloor than we hoped (the glue ripped up parts of the wood) but now we were ready to get moving.

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5 responses »

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  3. Here is my test -if tiles don’t just pop off in large pieces then I get out the chainsaw and cut the whole damn subfloor out and re deck with advantek t&g. It’s the same amount of work but you end up with a nice smooth flat subsurface.

    Reply
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