How to remove a railing between 2 rooms

We have been living with these 1980's railings between our kitchen and "sunken" living room since we purchased the house in 2000.  I never liked them, but I've learned to live with them over the years.  Last weekend, I decided it was time to do away with them once and for all.  Taking them out was really simple.  The hardest part was cutting and laying new tile (which wasn't that hard either, just time consuming and a little messy).
Here are the pictures:










The first step was to remove the wooden plugs that covered the screws.  I was able to pop them off easily with a flat head screw driver.
 In these pictures you can see the screws that were under the plugs.  I had to unscrew all of them and then I was able to lift the entire railing off the floor.
Ta Da!!!!  Doug wasn't too thrilled with me because I couldn't find the extra tiles. But after searching for 2 days, Madison and I found them in my workroom.
This is what I found when I took the railing up.  
I had to remove all those screws and pry the board up because if I put the tile on top of the board, it would have been too high.
 This must have been the original flooring.  Why the previous owners didn't take those darn railings down when they upgraded the kitchen boggles my mind, it would have saved me all this trouble.
So here you can see they put a concrete underlay between the tile and the old floor.  I found a piece at Home Depot on sale because half the sheet was damaged.  Since I only needed 2 small strips, it worked perfectly for this project.
The concrete board is really easy to cut.  You need to score each side first.

 Then you can snap it where you scored with a utility knife.
 I had to purchase these special screws to drill into the concrete board.(some guy at Home Depot stopped me to see if I knew what I was doing....that really makes me mad)
 Here is the concrete strip placed on top of the old linoleum and then screwed down into the floor.
There was just enough tile left over from when the previous owners upgraded the kitchen.  I was able to buy a wet saw from Clarks Ace Hardware for $80.  I had never used a wet saw before, but it was really easy.  Just like using a table saw, only you need to add water in a tray that rests under the saw blade.  What I didn't expect was to get water splashed all over my face when I started up the saw.  I won't include a picture of that mess.  I cut my tiles with the new wet saw trying not to lose a finger.
  Next, I spread a thin layer of tile adhesive and placed each of the tiles down using spacers (found in the tile aisle at Home Depot) and let it dry for 48 hours.
 I spread grout over the spaces once this was dry and let it dry for another 24 hours.  I got lucky and found a  small container of grout that matched the existing grout.  
  Finally, I added a stair guard to finish it all off.  I would have preferred wood, but I'm happy with this one.
I'm so happy those ugly railings are gone and thankful to Doug who puts up with me and my projects (but he did know what he was getting into when he married me 15 years ago!)

I hope you have a great day and don't be afraid to tackle projects yourself.  You CAN do it.

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