* Long post alert
The next day, I took out the grinder which my husband kindly put out with all the other tools. I expected the mortar to come off in big chunks once the blade hit, but instead it disintegrated into dust. I attempted this for about 20 minutes, looked around me and pulled the emergency brake! This was not going according to plan - I was expecting rubble - not dust! 20 minutes of grinding created so much dust that I spent the next 3 hours cleaning my living room - every surface had to be vacuumed and wiped down. What a pain and disappointment.
Once hubby returned, I told him about it and he suggested that he attempt it with the larger grinder while I went out with the kids. He would protect the area with a plastic tent and we'd be just fine - we've done a lot of drywall work in our house, we should be fine, right? Sure, the tent would do it, I thought as well, but trust me honey - it really creates a ton of dust I say as I leave the house!
Here is where you come to the conclusion that we are idiots, know-it-alls, could have told you that, etc., etc., and yes, we hold our head down in shame, because hubby entered his plastic bubble around the fireplace and ground for 1.5 hours straight - he emerged and his heart dropped - the dust had not only escaped the bubble, but it had migrated across the house - the kitchen was covered, every floor, the toys in the playroom, each window - you can't possibly imagine the mess we had in our house. There were tears and words exchanged and then we buckled down and cleaned. We removed everything and put it in the garage and then cleaned for days. The fireplace was now halfway done - what to do?
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. (Yes, I'm using quotes to make us feel better)
I do like the fireplace better already though - much brighter, although I think hubby at this point would have lived happily ever after with the existing tile!