Tag Archives: demo

Main House Remodel: Framing

The kitchen is gutted. Drywall has been removed. Floors ripped out. Doorways moved and opened up. New kitchen framework started.

It’s amazing what a huge difference just a few days makes!

Kitchen Remodel - WRKDesigns


The Bathroom Debacle: Part 3

It was now time for us to rip out everything that needed to be replaced. For the tile around the tub, this was demo #3. We weren’t thrilled about moving backwards, again, but we knew for sure that this time things were going to be correct.

The FINAL bathroom demo:

bathroom debacle 3

1) The floor ripped out: It took Neil less than an hour to rip out the floor down to the subfloor. LESS THAN AN HOUR! Granted the floor had not been grouted yet, but still, you should not be able to rip up tile flooring that easily. There had been 3 different mortars used on the floor, all of which were the wrong kind.

The mortar for the last few tiles, that had been installed to fill in remaining gaps, was still wet after a week and pulled right up by hand (and wiggled while in place). Not 1 tile was broken during the removal process and the Ditra (orange stuff) underneath buckled and pulled right off the floor. Turns out the wrong mortar was used to secure that to the subfloor too.

Note: You’re not really supposed to use Ditra in a bathroom, but if you do use it there is a special kind of mortar that MUST be used in order for it to stick to the plastic properly.

2) Tile removal started: The bullnose tiles pulled off easily, even after being grouted. Which we found out the wrong grout had been used. Since there were such huge, uneven spaces a sanded grout should have been used instead of a non-sanded which is for 1/8″ joints and smaller. I don’t think we had a 1/8″ joint in the entire bathroom (unless you count the slipped tiles)…that would have been asking too much.

As you can see it doesn’t look like very much mortar was used to secure the tiles to the wall in the first place. Which is probably why we had tiles slip out of place (along with the fact that no spacers had been used).

The shelves also pulled out easily and the mortar, again, was still wet after more than a week. Guy used the same wrong mortar on the floor tiles and the wall shelves. How we were supposed to successfully use shelves that pulled right off the wall (after being grouted) is beyond me.

3) The walls removed: The boys were able to get some of the tiles off and since none of the walls had been seemed at the edges, it was easy for them to pull off the Durock sheets as whole pieces. And there was no damage to the tub!

Now that we were down to the studs, for the 3rd time, we cleaned up (which included scraping clumps of crap off the tub…Guy was a slob and has left globs of mortar and grout to dry and harden all over everything, rather than wiping it up as he went), we were ready for the professional to come in.

Next up: The new tile bathroom transformation!

Final Bath Demo

final bath demo part 1

We finally finished the remaining demo of the in-law bathroom.

Part 1: Ripped out the ceiling. There was metal mesh bracing all around the wall to ceiling corners, which turned out to be a real pain to remove. Since we currently don’t have access to the attic crawl space above the in-law suite, we had no idea there was insulation above the ceiling, especially not the cellulose kind. Neil was quite surprised when it all suddenly fell down like a big cloud of dust.

So, it ended up taking him twice as long than expected since he had to continuously stop to clean up the insulation before moving onto the next area.

final bath demo part 2

Part 2: The next day we got some help from The Amazing Dan. They were able to remove all the last remaining drywall, nails, and fallen insulation, then it was time for the floor.

I even got my hands dirty and became a floor ripping out machine…”I am Woman. Hear me Roar!” =)

It was freezing that day, so please excuse my ridiculously bundled up appearance. Once I got the 2 top layers of flooring and some cardboard (yes, wet, old, soggy, gross cardboard) the boys were able to pry up the 3/4 inch ply wood on the bottom and we were finally finished with the demo project.

Now the real fun can begin!

Project: In-Law Suite Bathroom Demo

We gutted the in-law suite bathroom. Our plan is to fix up the in-law suite first, so we can move into there while the rest of the house gets worked on. So, one of the main projects for that side was redoing the bathroom.

The existing bathroom had old and dated everything: old rusty sink; old toilet with wooden seat; old cast iron tub (which we were going to keep until Neil chipped off a piece of the side removing the glass block windows in the wall); ugly wallpaper that had been painted a few times; ugly painted fake tile chair rail; and dated medicine cabinet and lights.

Our bathroom is now an expressway from the in-law suite to the kitchen of the main house. We weren’t planning on completely ripping out the walls (this bathroom backs up to the eat-in kitchen on the main house side). The original glass block window for this bathroom was framed out in the kitchen and needed to be removed. When the boys removed the wood paneling in the kitchen and the glass blocks, they discovered some fire damage, so they kept gutting.

They did a pretty good job, however, we now have to replace the tub because it was chipped by falling glass blocks when they pushed them out of the wall; there is a hole in the wall of the in-law kitchen where one of their hammers went all the way thru; and the built-ins visible to the in-law suite dining room area need to be replaced because they were cracked in the wall tear down stage.


  • Be aware of built-ins and the placement of features on the walls of joining rooms when doing a demo. Take the time to scope out what’s on the other side so you don’t damage anything and have to replace or rebuild it.
  • Be gentle when smashing down walls as to not poke holes thru to the other side. It leaves big holes that you then have to figure out how to patch…after you’ve already primed your kitchen walls.
  • Do not push old glass blocks through the wall so they land in the tub unless you had adequate padding. You will end up with a chipped tub that costs more to fix than to replace, glass all over your floor, and a few less glass blocks that you could have used for crafty projects.

I get get a few goodies out it. I have 10 useable glass blocks to play with and an old sink that will be a new bird bath. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the glass blocks yet, they might end up in the garden as well…I’ll need to research some project ideas. The sink is currently hanging out in yard waiting to have the old hardware taken off and be set up somewhere…need to figure out a good spot for it. It’s really heavy so I’d prefer not to have to move more than once, so some garden pre-planning is in order.

We’re not entirely sure what we’re going to do with the bathroom. Not really sure why we HAD to gut it at this point in time, when we didn’t know what we were going to do with it…but oh well. Here are a few ideas I had for the remodel:

  1. Sink with cabinet in dark brown with matching details (either a sink that fills up the entire space of the top…like pictured…or is the style that the counter and sink are 1-unit so there are no “around the sink” edges that collect dirt)
  2. Built-in shelves/cabinet over toilet area or dark brown floating shelves (this will partly depend on what kind of medicine cabinet/mirror I find that I like)
  3. High shelf, on wall with door or wall with vanity/toilet, to add extra storage (may not end up in this bathroom, but will definitely be going in the small bathroom in the main house)
  4. Tan/cream/beige colored tiles (Neil’s choice, I like black/white/grey tiles, but that will go in the main house bathroom…the in-law suite is going to end up as his “office/man cave” so he gets to pick out the tile…with my subtle pushes in the right direction)
  5. Possible wall color…might end up being more of a golden yellow though…or maybe more of a blue…will have to decide once we pick a tile
  6. Side of toilet hidden storage for cleaning supplies (cute idea, don’t know if we actually have space for it here though)

Other ideas include: tiled wall to chair rail height all around bathroom and acting as backsplash behind sink; stand up shower or tub with shower; and built-in tile shelves in the shower to hold shampoo, etc.

Not sure when we are going to actually start the remodel, but hopefully it will be soon because the other bathroom is already half gutted and we really need a nice place to go to the bathroom while we’re working…well I do at least.

Before we start making it nice we do have to put in a new fan/vent in the ceiling and get some electrical work done. The original fan was placed in the wall and was venting into the basement (FYI: Huge no-no). Some of the outlets were installed dangerously (run from boxes with old wiring, wires run in front of studs, etc) so they need to be replaced, and electrical for overhead and vanity mirror lights needs to be installed. It’s amazing the amount of things to take into consideration when redoing even a small bathroom.