Flashback – Upstairs Bathroom Demolition

Since we hadn’t planned on blogging our journey in renovating our house from the beginning, but wanted to document it, we ended up taking tons of pictures of the process. Periodically, I’ll be sharing some photos of the transformation of the upstairs bathroom, while we gear up for future projects. (We know what we want to do next, but September seems pretty late to be demolishing a bedroom that we expect people to be staying in when we host Christmas. Fall tends to get super busy for us, so we can’t count on as many solid working weekends as we can in, say, February.)

So how about some sooty, dusty pictures of a bathroom getting demolished? Sounds good, let’s get started!

Before this project, I had never demolished anything. It was kind of fascinating to take the room apart, layer-by-layer. During the long hours of pulling plaster and lathe down, I spent a lot of time listening to Jim Dale read the Harry Potter books. And occasionally wished I had a magic way to speed through. (But only occasionally, because I learned I actually really enjoy demo!)

Actually, ripping up the tile with a heavy scraper DID make me wish for magic. My hands were numb after this, from repeatedly crashing the scraper over and over into the tile. I remember at the end of this day, I had one of the best pizza-eating experiences of my entire life.

Some very dear friends helped us remove the cast iron tub and old toilet. We are extremely fortunate to have such lovely people in our lives.

Tub/toilet-free and ready for more demolition. Also, that is the window fan that I ruined by thinking it’d be fine to use to pipe plaster dust and what turned out to be a lot of soot from the room. That is now our Construction Fan, because apparently those suckers don’t come apart for cleaning. Lesson learned!

Continuing to remove alllll of the lathe. Incidentally, I have found old 5K shirts are my favorite work clothes. This is the third one in this post alone!

Tim uses the reciprocating saw to cut some lathe so we can pry it off cleanly without destroying bits of the wall we’re not ready to address yet. Yup, the bathroom was totally open to the stairway for a bit!

The other side of that opening. This is actually still open at the bottom of the linen closet we’re putting in, though visually there is privacy, obviously.

Insulation in the ceiling! As I removed the ceiling lathe, I had to staple up the insulation as I went. In places where the paper tape was pretty brittle, I ended up duct-taping across (and then stapling the duct tape). It wasn’t a perfect system, but it mostly held until we drywalled the ceiling, with the exception of one huge chunk that fell down, heh.

The entire mirror-wall totally stripped bare. The other side of this wall is the office, one of the few places we had drywall when we moved in. For some reason, it is all skinny, horizontally-installed pieces.

Window wall, bare and ready for more work.

Removing some of the plaster from the hallway-side of the opening to the stairs necessitated some crazy plastic action to keep plaster dust from invading our living space.

While we had the plastic sheets up, Tim took down the one wall of our living room, so the plumbers could install a new pipe and he could put an electric conduit in.

That’s basically it for demolition. I learned some skills, got tons of blisters, and had a ball. So much more to come!


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