Demo Day

I’m back!

It’s been a great February, with lots of time to relax, reflect, and get my focus together as we move into the spring.  I’ve been spending a lot of time on my own and learning to lighten up on myself.  Dare I say: it’s been working! I truly think that personal development is always a work in progress, but I’m definitely feeling more relaxed and more supportive of myself these days.  A wise friend recently told me that I’d do better if I remove “should” from my vocabulary (SO TRUE) because it’s a word ridden with guilt and unnecessary pressure.  I love the advice and I’m sticking to it.

Now let’s move on to more active and exciting updates… it’s DEMO DAY!!!!

Remember the basement bathroom project we put on hold a few weeks ago?  You know, with the cracked tile and outdated fixtures? Well, last weekend we got back to it and showed a sneak peek on Instagram and Facebook.  It was time to get our hands dirty (well, mostly Dan’s – I was playing photographer) and start tearing up the crumbling tile floor.

With any demolition project, it’s important to be safe first.  We both wore old clothes, goggles, and close-toed shoes.  Dan also wore gloves for the majority of this project.  Before we even did any demo, we made sure we had all of the tools we needed, garbage bags, and a plastic tarp to catch our debris.  Here’s the step by step process for demo-ing our bathroom.

First, Dan removed the trim pieces along the base of the bathroom floor.  We left the pieces behind the toilet and the sink, since we still had to remove both of those items before the trim could come out.

Next, we started the toilet removal process. We drained it first, which involved turning the water off, flushing as much water out of the tank as we could, and using an old rag to soak up as much water and squeeze out as much as possible. We did the same for the toilet bowl to empty out the bowl.  This was a bit of a process, but it was worth it in the end by lightening up the load to carry as well as being safe and water-free.

Dan removed the toilet tank first by unscrewing three bolts that were holding the tank to the base. Again, this made it lighter and easier to manage. Then, he removed the base of the toilet with two bolts.  We laid these pieces on a plastic tarp outside the bathroom.

Next, we removed the sink.  As always, we had to turn off the water before starting the process.  The sink bowl portion was caulked to the wall, so Dan pried it apart from the wall using a pry bar.  Next, he disconnected the drain plumbing from the wall.  Dan also had to break the grout away from the pedestal base, so he used a cold chisel to separate the two pieces.

We realized at this point that we had forgotten to disconnect the water line, so Dan did that carefully, so as not to knock over the pedestal (this should have been done before the pedestal was removed).  We removed the sink from the bathroom and took off the rest of the trim.

Then we finally started to remove the tile.  We started with the platform because there were a lot of tiles that were cracked and unattached, so they were easy to remove by hand.  Then we saw that the tile had been laid directly onto plywood, which was actually a serious construction mistake.

In bathrooms, the tile is supposed to be laid onto cement board or some other material that’s suitable for getting wet.  Since the tile was directly laid on top of wood, the wood was completely rotten as well as the framing beneath it, which also happened to be covered in a layer of mold (see below).

Once we saw the mold, we made sure to put our respirators on and turned on the bathroom fan before continuing to rip everything out.  For most of the tile removal, Dan was able to lift the pieces off by hand and use a hammer to get rid of some of the harder pieces.  Dan then disassembled the framing beneath the tiles, which were all moldy, rotten 2x6s of wood (he was able to break them in half easily with one hand).  This was the entire process for the platform on which the toilet was built.

We’re still in the process of finishing the demo completely, and we have to remove the rest of the tile from the main floor of the bathroom.  After that, it’s time to rebuild the wooden platform and make it safe for future use.  The wall repair will come next, and then the repainting and redecorating!  It looks like spring cleaning will take on a whole new meaning for us.  What have you been up to this winter?  Any indoor projects on the horizon?  I can’t wait to start working outside again… 70 degrees, here we come!