You’d think this was the fun part. This is the part the home improvement shows insist you never pay anyone else to do. This is supposed to be therapeutic and easy. After all, there’s not real skill involved in demolition. All you have to do is not break anything you meant to keep. Well, things always sound better before you take that first swing.
Before anything structural could come down, I had to do a little prep. Shower fixtures, over-toilet cabinets or shelves, and the shower door had to first be removed. Once the room is disassembled, then you can move onto deconstruction. Before you take that first swing, remember to plug the toilet drain with a rag and tape up the shower drain with tape.
To me, it made the most sense to work top down. My first swing with a Stanley FATMAX demolition hammer was straight up into the ceiling. To my dismay, there was no moisture barrier behind the drywall, showing the hidden moisture problem. Good thing I was already masked and goggled. After drywall and insulation was removed, I proceeded to take down the ceiling framing. This ceiling did not tie into anything structural so I made short work of it with the demo hammer with a little help from my Dewalt DW304PK reciprocating saw.
The old exhaust fan and both pot lights formerly above the shower were taken down. Since I still needed power to this part of the house for lighting and tools, I made sure to tape the light switches in the off position and terminate all the live wires.
Next would be the shower. Using my Bosch 11255VSR hammer drill with a tile chisel bit, i made quick work of the standard 4″ white ceramic tile, considered to be an upgrade from some condo’s one piece fiberglass enclosures. I knew there would be some sort of backer board behind the tile but was very disappointed to find it was not screwed or nailed to studs but rather mortared onto chicken wire. At first, I’d break up the mortar bed and pry the nails and staples to free the chicken wire. Turns out it’s 10 times faster just to hook the demolition hammer into some wire and yank as hard as I could.
The rest of the bathroom tile from the shower floor and the room floor was removed. Originally, I had intended to keep the drywall next to the shower wall untouched but since it was placed on top of the chicken wire, I had to remove everything down to the studs. The one photo of a hole in drywall was behind the chicken wire along the common wall with my neighbor. Hammer got away from me. =) Although all this demo sounds quick, since I did it all myself and wanted to minimize the amount of debris going into the master bedroom, this whole process required several weeks of evenings and weekends.
Remember to wear all the right safety gear when doing demolition. The chaotic nature of this task lends itself to a greater risk of boidly injury. I wore boots, leather gloves, full respirator, air tight goggles and earplugs. When removing fiberglass insulation, I also had on long sleeves, even in the heat of summer. A little sweat is a small price to pay to prevent an all nighter of itchy arms from fiberglass fibers. Good luck and stay safe. There’s a lot more to do after demo.