A Little Bathroom Reno: Demolition Derby

Hey! Sorry we fell off the face of the planet (again)… the bathroom reno has been consuming every free waking minute of our lives (there’s something about not having a toilet in your home that motivates you to work on remedying that situation instead of writing blog posts).  We’re back though and here to share the first stage in our big bathroom reno: demolition (aka. the fun part for me).  Did I mention this is our ONLY bathroom?

I love demo.  It’s definitely my favorite part of DIY.  It just makes me feel so powerful and strong and sore… very, very, can’t-get-out-of-bed-walking-like-an-old-lady sore.  And because I’m weird, I like that.

Just for grins, here’s what we started with:

Beals Bathroom Befores LHBH

Before we swung the first hammer, we prepped everything by taping brown paper down to protect the wood floors in our hall and plastic over the door to try and keep some of the dust contained (I will draw your attention to the expert taping job at the top of the door… expert, my friends, expert).

Door Plastic

We also gathered up all the supplies we though we’d need to properly demo:

Tools: hammers, mini sledge, crow bars (in three sizes), screwdrivers
Clean Up: Flat shovel, broom, heavy-duty contractor bags (don’t skimp… go with the expensive heavy ones)
Personal Protection: Respirators, goggles, gloves

I can’t stress enough how important the respirator and goggles were.  They were hot, uncomfortable, and a royal pain in the derriere, but it was way worse in there without them.  Besides, they made a great fashion statement paired with an old sorority tee shirt, don’t you think?

PPE Fashion

And now for an action shot to further showcase my fabulous demolition fashion sense and my impressive muscles…

Just joking about the muscle part. This is where we discovered that we had a really progressive builder in 1940 who used drywall instead of plaster on our walls (hence the “There’s nothing there!” comment from me in the video).  We were fully prepared to deal with plaster in the entire bathroom, so finding out that half of it would be easy drywall demo was like finding a $20 in an old pair of jeans. Seriously.  There were high-fives and a little victory dance.

We got almost all the drywall removed in the first night.

Drywall on the Floor

Day One Demo

The next day we said bye to our toilet (We miss you!) and started demo on the tile portion of the walls.  The tile was laid in thick thin set (oxymoron, much?) over expanded metal mesh.  We were expecting it to be really difficult to remove, but Kevin was able to get it out in fairly intact chunks, leaving us with only the floor to demo.

Wall Demo Complete

For that, we brought in the big guns… in the form of a 20-lb. demolition hammer rented from Home Depot.  Don’t worry, Kev put on his respirator and goggles before we actually got to work.  If you ever use a demo hammer/jackhammer, you’ll also want to use ear plugs (otherwise you’ll be yelling “Huh?!” at each other for the rest of the day… we know from previous experience).

Kevin Demo Hammer

The demo hammer made short work of the floor.  Kevin used it to break up large chunks of tile and I came behind with a crowbar and hammer to pry them up where they were stuck to the subfloor (on a fun side note, I saved a bunch of the little white hex tiles from the floor and plan to make something for the new bathroom with them… I’m just not sure what yet.  Any ideas?).

Bathroom Floor DemolitionIt took much longer to clean up the floor than it did to actually demo it.  We used a flat shovel to scoop the smaller pieces into a contractor bag and carried the larger pieces out to our driveway. We weren’t able to get a dumpster (long story about an even longer phone call), so everything is just hanging out waiting on disposal.  We did put up some yellow caution tape in hopes of covering our behinds should anyone be dumb enough to try and go through the piles (I’m sure our neighbors just love us).

Demo Pile

It took the two of us about three days to completely demo the bathroom (if only real life were like HGTV and it took that long to put it back together again).  We were left with a blank (if somewhat holey) slate.

Demolition Completed

We’ll be back later this week with a guest post from my sister and maybe a little more on the bathroom progress, so stay tuned!


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