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Old 04-08-2009, 11:04 AM   #1
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Hardwood project


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My wife has been wanting to tear up a portion of our carpet in the livingroom and the tile floor in the kitchen to replace it with 5/16" hardwood flooring. After pulling up the floor vents I noticed that the carpeted portion is subfloor, pad, and then carpet. And the kitchen is subfloor, concrete board, and then tile. How do I tear out the old tile and carpet and install continuous hardwood throught these areas with the difference in height?

The tile floor in the kitchen runs under all of the cabinets and was likely installed wall to wall with everything placed on top. Is it completely necessary to tear out the cabinets and install hardwood wall to wall, or can I save myself the hassle of tearing up the cabinets and countertop somehow?

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Last edited by quick6r; 04-28-2009 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:13 PM   #2
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I assume if you're able to get the tile and tilebacker up in the kitchen, then everything will be level with the living room subfloor. Right?

You can rent a toekick-saw to cut cut down to the subfloor in the tiled area infront of the toekicks and cabinet sides. I've not used one, but I'm told they're difficult, dangerous, and not fun.

When you install your hardwood in the kitchen, you can install it up to the cabinet, but then you'll have to put some kind of trim. Where the wood hits the toekick, I'd trim by building up the toekick (basically, add another one in front of the old one). Along the sides of cabinets you'll probably want to go with 1/4 round.

I'd also be inclined to caulk the end-gap to make sure water doesn't get into the end-cuts, but I'd ask the flooring manufacturer to Ok this first. Actually, I wouldn't put wood in a kitchen at all (I like it, but I'm sure I'd ruin it one day when the dishwasher floods).

-Steve

(Total amateur - be skeptical of anything I say here)

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Old 04-08-2009, 02:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Steve! I'm sure that one way or another I will be able to get the tile and backer torn up in a majority of the kitchen and then it will be level. Cutting and removing the two where they run under the cabinets is the issue as you said.

I wonder if I could make a dusty mess by taking a dremmel along the base of the cabinets to score and break the backer loose.

Anyone else have suggestions?
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:26 PM   #4
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You did catch the part about renting the toekick saw, right?

It's a purpose designed tool for this work (see my earlier posts for the caveats).

-Steve
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:53 PM   #5
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Yep, I saw the toekick saw info and I'm looking into it. Thanks
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by quick6r View Post
Yep, I saw the toekick saw info and I'm looking into it. Thanks
Depending on the amount of area you need to cut in front of the cabinets, an alternative to the toe kick saw (looks and sounds dangerous) is an oscillating tool like the Fein MultiMaster, Dremel Multi-Max, or Rockwell Sonicrafter. Those are fantastic for flush cutting. I recently purchased the Dremel and used it to cut out a square opening in particle board since I didn't have a drill bit large enough, and it did a fantastic job. Big project will be flush cutting at a transition from laundry room to hall so I can pull the hardwood in the laundry room and replace with tile. That will make the job super easy to get a nice, clean cut.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:02 PM   #7
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Wood finally came in. Started by cutting the carpet off the corner where the hardwood will be installed. Removed tack strips and some trim.

Found a local rental place that has toe kick saws. Will be able to cut the tile and concrete backerwith the saw in one shot? I'm a little concerned with the height difference between with the cabinets remaining on the tile and backer, and the rest of the floor being only 5/16". I guess I will deal with that with trimwork.

Any issues that might arrise that I haven't thought of?
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:24 PM   #8
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I don't have any advice but have a question.

Are you really sure you want to remove the tile floor in the Kitchen? From the pictures it looks nice and it sure would be a lot easier to just put hardwood up to the edge of tile.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:31 PM   #9
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Actually, I'm not sure......... but my wife is. Maybe I can talk her into letting me leaving the tile.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quick6r View Post
Actually, I'm not sure......... but my wife is.
Happy wife, happy life.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:39 PM   #11
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No toe kick saw, dremel, fien multimaster I have ever seen or used will be able to cut the tile flush with the cabinets. Sorry. Maybe the Fien Multimaster with a grit blade. Those blades are like $30 and you would probably go through a dozen of them. The tool is about $300.

Keep the tile I say.

If you REALLY want to remove the tile. I would remove the cabinets to get to the tile. It will be easier in my opinion. Oh, and an excuse to upgrade your countertop too! Granite has never been cheaper!
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Brik View Post
No toe kick saw, dremel, fien multimaster I have ever seen or used will be able to cut the tile flush with the cabinets. Sorry. Maybe the Fien Multimaster with a grit blade. Those blades are like $30 and you would probably go through a dozen of them. The tool is about $300.

Keep the tile I say.

If you REALLY want to remove the tile. I would remove the cabinets to get to the tile. It will be easier in my opinion. Oh, and an excuse to upgrade your countertop too! Granite has never been cheaper!
Oops, quite right. I, mistakenly, skimmed the OP and thought he was flush cutting hardwood. Flush cutting tile would not be a job for the Multimaster; totally agreed on that. You'd go through carbide or diamond grit blades like crazy. At $90 a pop for the diamond, no thanks.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:42 PM   #13
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I have to agree with the posters voting to leave the tile. Its' a much better surface for the kitchen. I've had both and currently have oak strip flooring in the kitchen. Just had it refinished when the refrigerator went out. Freezer thawed, water ran out the door bottom and cupped the wood strips in front of the fridge. That was a year ago and you can still feel the unevenness and see a difference in the finish. Just an accident waiting to happen IMHO. Get or make a nice transition up to the kitchen tile.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:58 PM   #14
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Funny, I had the same reaction. I thought the tile was new, it really looks pretty good, certainly if you take your wife out to a swank dinner place with the money and time you save NOT putting the hardwood in the kitchen, and whisper in her ear about all the time everyone will save by NOT having to clean up every last water spill, she will see the light, possibly after a couple bottles of champagne to CELEBRATE you not having to tear up that perfectly good flooring, and wait it gets better, with all the money you save, you could maybe take a trip to the Caribbean this winter......
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:51 AM   #15
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I hear there are some really good deals on vacations to Mexico right now.

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