Bathroom remodel – the demolition

Honestly, we had not planned on doing the demo ourselves. We both have been very busy lately, and since I had a carpenter coming to do the tub framing, I thought “why not have him do that too?” But then I saw his estimate and changed my mind. There is really no reason to pay 3 guys $45 an hour to rip shit out and destroy. I can rip shit out and destroy just fine, and it saves me money on therapy .

Here is a before:

The bathroom before destruction

The vanity was easy. After disconnecting the water and drain, placing a rag in the drain pipe and removing the doors and drawers, the whole things came apart just by using a hammer. Piece of cake.

Removing the vanity top

vanity demo

Taking apart the vanity

We found weird writing on the inside. They totally stole my idea of weird messages under wallpaper (see except the execution was poor if you ask me. Go big or go home.


Removing the toilet was also relatively easy. After shutting the water valves flushing once and disconnecting the water, we removed the bolts, the tank and then the bowl.  A little bit of water spilled out on the  floor but nothing that a towel cant fix. Word to the wise, have a empty bucket near by. Also once the toilet is gone, place a rag into the drain to avoid breathing septic fumes. All was left to do is scrape off the old wax ring.

Removing the old wax ring. I probably should be wearing gloves.

I wasn’t sure how to disconnect the fiberglass tub so I called Jeffrey, the Plumber of Last Resort (all caps because it says that on his business card, I swear).

"Someone called a plumber?"

After taking off the shower trim (that’s the part with the handle), he turned two screws (on the top right and the top left) to shut off the water.

Turning the water off to remove the tub stall

After watching some Youtube videos online, I thought I needed a special magic plumber tool to disconnect the drain. Jeffrey used the handles of a pair of channel lock pliers shoved in the drain and a screw driver to make it turn. Genius!

The plumber's magic trick

The floor was a little more involved, multiple layers of  plywood and linoleum on top of the old original hardwood.

Layer number one reveals layer number two

Layer number two reveals old bathroom floor plan on hard wood.

Then it was the turn of the fiberglass tub/shower stall. Now everyone told us that we would need to cut it to get it out, and that it would create evil fiberglass dust that would get everywhere and cut your skin and make you want to rip out your own eyeballs (contractors are drama queens, just saying). Well it is true to some extent but we were very careful. We bought a respirator, a real one, the Darth Vader kind ($35), and a saws-all for $99. Louis got into a Tyvec suit, rubber gloves, I taped up the suit at the wrist and ankles. He wore  a hood and the respirator. He went into the bathroom alone with the fan on and a shop vac.

Removing the nails that hold the tub surround in place

After cutting the tub in manageable pieces, he vacuumed out and wiped down a bunch of the dust. We threw away the rags and the suit, and took the whole shabang to the dump ($16 of dump fees). That’s it. We lived. But not the mouse we found in the wall.

RIP mouse

Categories: Home improvement | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Bathroom remodel – the demolition

  1. First…. I win!

  2. Chris

    Hi Amandine; good job there. Reminds me of when we stripped the tiles off the wall and the ceiling (yes; the ceiling!!?!?!?) when we did the same in our kitchen. Look forward to seeing the finished product

  3. Ack! that mouse picture is crazy! I’m looking forward to seeing the progress.

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