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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
*Pics added*

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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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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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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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Newbie Bill
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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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually, I'm not sure......... but my wife is. Maybe I can talk her into letting me leaving the tile.
 

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Handyguy
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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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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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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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Civil Engineer
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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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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
With a little convincing........ the tile is staying. Now I owe her new countertops and twice as much hardwood flooring. Oh well, it will look alot better this way and she is happy.

Thanks for the advise guys!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A couple more questions for you guys...........

Kitchen floor is subfloor, 1/2" cement backer, with tile on top. New floor will be subfloor, red felt, and 5/16" Bruce hardwood. Question is, do you lay 1/2" (luan, osb, ect.) to end up flush with existing tile, or use transition pieces from wood to tile? If raising the floor is the best option, what should I use for the 600 or so sqft that I have to do?

Now that I am doing the hallways too, will I need transition pieces to the bedrooms (getting new carpet) or let the carpet guys make the joint look good?
 

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Handyguy
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A couple more questions for you guys...........

Kitchen floor is subfloor, 1/2" cement backer, with tile on top. New floor will be subfloor, red felt, and 5/16" Bruce hardwood. Question is, do you lay 1/2" (luan, osb, ect.) to end up flush with existing tile, or use transition pieces from wood to tile? If raising the floor is the best option, what should I use for the 600 or so sqft that I have to do?

Now that I am doing the hallways too, will I need transition pieces to the bedrooms (getting new carpet) or let the carpet guys make the joint look good?
I would use transition pieces, you will need them regardless of a height difference or not. Let the carpet guys worry about that transition. Its often just carpet butted tight unless its a floating floor. Make sure you end your floor under the middle of the door so you don't see carpet when its closed or see hardwood from inside when its closed.
 

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Newbie Bill
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A couple more questions for you guys...........

Kitchen floor is subfloor, 1/2" cement backer, with tile on top. New floor will be subfloor, red felt, and 5/16" Bruce hardwood. Question is, do you lay 1/2" (luan, osb, ect.) to end up flush with existing tile, or use transition pieces from wood to tile? If raising the floor is the best option, what should I use for the 600 or so sqft that I have to do?

Now that I am doing the hallways too, will I need transition pieces to the bedrooms (getting new carpet) or let the carpet guys make the joint look good?

Hey Quick6r, If it was me, I would put 1/2 plywood under your hardwood so the floor is flush with the existing tile. The extra cost isn't excessive and it would be nice not to have a height difference between the two floors. Depending on what your subfloor is now, it may be beneficial from a structural standpoint too. Remember that raising the floor may require you to under cut doorways etc.

The bedrooms, well, that is your call.
 
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