This is the week to have my existing kitchen counter tops removed and replaced with granite. As the post title says, it’s been a long hard week. The photo at the top of the post shows the “before” conditions. There was a mixture of laminate, tile and granite counter tops with a tile backsplash. The granite on the island in the center of the kitchen was installed about ten years ago and is not a very high quality granite. Everything else is original to the house which is going on 15 years old now. The plan is to remove all the counter tops, backsplash and sink and replace with new high quality granite tile backsplash and a new granite composite sink.
The contractor arrived punctually first thing Monday morning to begin the demolition. I was amazed at the efficiency of his men in the removal of both the existing counter tops and tile backsplash. They also removed the sink. The entire demolition only took a couple of hours and I thought that this was going to be a snap!
A snap is exactly what I heard Tuesday morning at about 3 am. The snap was followed by the sound of running water! I raced downstairs to find water shooting out of the uncapped hot water pipe that was previously connected to the sink. Water was everywhere. The sink is directly in front of the window on the right in the picture above. Water was all over the floor, the walls, the ceiling and the window. Panic took over as I raced down to the basement to shut off the main water valve to the house. I’m guessing that the water flowed full blast for a period of about 10-15 minutes before I shut down the main valve. The Bride and I spent the next couple of hours sopping up all the water we could. We used every towel we had in the house….clean or dirty, and I must say, we have a lot of towels.
A pointed phone call was made to the contractor at 6am. To his credit the contractor dispatched a plumber immediately and both the plumber and the contractor were at my house in about 45 minutes. After the plumber replaced the ball valves for both hot and cold water we investigate the extent of the damage. It was clear that water had gotten beneath the wood flooring and had run on top of the sub floor to a small carpeted area adjacent to the kitchen. Fortunately there appeared to be no damage to the ceiling in the finished basement below. The contractor assured me that he would repair any damage caused by the water. It would take another day for the extent of the damage to become apparent. Nothing further was scheduled in the home for Tuesday as this was the day the contractor was cutting and preparing the granite at his shop.
On Wednesday the contractor arrived bright and early to install the countertops. By Wednesday morning it was also possible to see the effects of the water on the hardwood floor. The water between the hardwood floor and sub-floor had caused the hardwood to cup severely. The contractor consulted with his “floor guy” and I started searching the internet for information about cupped hardwood floors. It appears that if the cupping does not get any worse it will be possible to sand the floor down once it dries completely, and refinish it. The contractor again reassured me that he would be responsible for the repairs. The granite install took all day but it turned out beautifully if I do say so myself.
Thursday was supposed to be the final work day and the day that the tile backsplash was installed. This day only one worker was sent to accomplish the task. He worked slowly and methodically and by about 6 pm completed the tile. About the time he finished up the contractor appeared with his “floor guy”. The floor guy confirmed that he could sand the cupping out of the floor provided it got no worse and since it had been two days since the flood, he didn’t think it would get worse. We set a date for the second week in May to sand and refinish the floor.
I am totally thrilled that the contractor has stepped up to the plate and accepted his responsibility without a whole lot of threats from me. If the refinishing job turns out all right the contractor will get a stellar recommendation from me.
The bad news is that I will have to alter my travel plans to accommodate the refinishing of the floor. I will still leave this Sunday and do my Forest Service Passport in Time project in New Mexico for a week but I will have to come home immediately afterwards. Once again I will have to cancel my trip to Canyon de Chelly which I had scheduled for the week of May 10th. This is the second time in 3 months that I’ve had to blow off a trip to Canyon de Chelly.
This will be the last post for at least a week as the location for the Forest Service gig is quite remote and there will be no internet connection. When I return I hope to have some fantastic stories to tell so keep tuned!