One room challenge week 4…what can I say? Week 4 is where all the progress happened. (You can see before pics and my plan for the space in week 1 here). I skipped a week three post because I made almost zero progress in week 3. I was so busy with homecoming decor, cheer competition, making flowers for a wedding, helping with costume designs for a play at my son’s school, that I had very little time for demo. Plus, this is when I realized what I was up against…Mudwall. I never heard of such a thing. My friend Glen came over to give me a consultation(he’s also my plumber). He saw immediately that there was concrete holding the tile on the wall. This was the typical way to apply tile in the 50’s and 60’s. Metal mesh or lathe is nailed to the studs and then concrete is slathered on top of the lathe, then the tile is pressed into the concrete. It makes for very thick walls and nearly impossible demo.
I look at this picture now and wonder what the heck I was thinking?! It isn’t that bad, why am I putting myself through all this?!
This is where I am today. The only demo left is the floor tile. For which I have to rent a jackhammer because it’s also set in cement, which is two inches thick and stuck like a mutha.
…back to the mudwalls. The pink tile above the vanity came off lickety split. I was so excited. I had visions of installing new tile, painting, and hanging curtains, but that came to a screeching halt when I started on the white wall tiles.
Just look at how thick that stuff is! It took me a solid hour just to loosen up this corner. I was so discouraged I just walked away for a while and watched Youtube to see if there was an easier way. I came across a couple videos that helped a bit.
The key to removing mud wall is to find the studs and get the pry-bar behind the lathe on the studs. It’s no use to remove the tile from the cement. Just get behind all three layers and pry it off the studs. Once I got out of the corner and located the studs I was able to make faster progress. The walls started to come down in larger chunks. It still took me about two full days to remove all the mud walls. There’s copious amounts concrete rubble. The loose rubble I bagged in contractor bags in manageable size(light enough to carry)portions. The concrete filled lathe is so heavy and so dangerously sharp I had to put it into trash cans.
It’s super dusty work and requires a dust mask for sure as well as eye protection and gloves would be a great idea, although I didn’t have gloves and I managed to only come away with a few cuts, miraculously.
This morning Beast and I managed to remove the 400 pound cast iron bathtub. Yesterday I struggled and struggled to unhook the drain pipes from the bathtub only to find out today that the pipes were completely rotten in the ground and just crumbled in my hand after removing the tub. So much for all the time I spent with that huge heavy pipe wrench in a four inch space between the wall and the tub. grrr…
This is the current state of my foyer…two bathtubs and an ever growing pile of supplies.
No beautiful progress pictures yet but I can assure you when this project is complete I will certainly have abundant pictures of this bad boy. I can’t wait! In the meantime my next few steps before the plumber comes on Monday…
- replace the pocket door with a 2-8 rather than the current 2-0 to make the bathroom more accessible.
- replace the drywall on the two walls that the plumber will not need to access.
- make my shower curtains, which will be ceiling mounted(my fave).
- figure out exactly what I want to do above the tile on the three walls that won’t have tile to the ceiling. I was thinking of using wallpaper but I’m considering polished Venetian plaster. I’m going to the paint store tomorrow to check out the options.
- repair and refinish/repaint the clawfoot tub and polish the feet to their former brassy glory.
Thankfully week four has been the most productive so far. I almost gave up on the ORC in week 3, and I’m so relieved to have an extra week added to the challenge.
Click the link below to see all the guest bloggers progress in week 4.