Demolition Day

The hardest part of our bathroom remodel is finding a chance to work. Two small children tend to need our attention, like ALL THE TIME. Go figure. So after a couple of months of biding our time on the bathroom repair, Jack had scraped away at the popcorn ceiling little by little, and he and his dad had pulled out our fake marble shower walls. Then Jack took out the drywall around the tub this past week, but with as much as we still had left, it felt like it was painfully slow to get things rolling. We finally caught our big break on Friday afternoon. A friend volunteered to watch Dean for a couple of hours, so I called Jack at work and told him to come home early. We put Kent in front of a movie (Wall-E, which we all love), and then we launched into our long-awaited demolition.

I had pulled up some of the baseboards and quarter-round a few weeks ago, very satisfying at first, until I realized there was a second layer of flooring underneath the linoleum that was standing in the way of the baseboards coming out completely. So we had this big plan to yank up the flooring and get the tub out all at once, whenever we both had a chance to get in there and work. The first layer of floor came up fairly easily in large pieces. Then Jack started in on the second layer, which came up in one big piece and revealed — yep — a third layer. Jack remarked that it was one layer for each decade the house has existed. Actuaries think of things like that. So this bottom layer was linoleum that was basically stuck right on the slab. It peeled off in unruly chunks, kind of like one of those bad price stickers that doesn't come all the way off, but 37 square feet of that. It'll require a lot of scraping to take care of it and reveal the nice clean slab underneath. Honestly, it makes me just want to coat the whole floor in Goo Gone. Bleh. At least the baseboards came out really easily after all the flooring was gone, and we can chip away at the residue in the coming days.

The first major item to leave the house was our old toilet. Thank goodness our city does large-item pickup every week.

Here's the floor after we took out the toilet and part of the top layer of flooring, and you can see the second layer of flooring where we started to take up the floor next to the tub.

The third layer of flooring, some very crusty, yellowish old linoleum.

See my pretty chunks of baseboard? P.S. The mask is for mold, not fashion or comfort.

The awesome do-it-yourselfers.

The second major undertaking of the day, removing the tub, required a sledgehammer. As we've learned about bathroom remodeling, we've realized that almost everyone busts up their tub with a sledgehammer to get it out, because they're so darn heavy that it's nearly impossible to get them out in one piece. We already called the Habitat Restore to see if they wanted to come pick it up, but after they told us they don't have a lot of demand for cast-iron tubs, we figured there was no reason to try to get it out in one piece. After the flooring was out of the way, Jack was free to start whacking away at the tub. Observe.

It took a while, and Jack was tentative at first but really got into a groove and would shout triumphantly every so often when a big piece came flying off. Kent was very concerned about the banging, though not enough to stop watching Wall-E. Jack managed to break the tub into two large, ridiculously heavy pieces that he and I carried awkwardly out to the curb, plus several medium-sized chunks and about 100,000 tiny shards, one of which later took up residence in my foot before we had a chance to sweep thoroughly. Better me than my kids, I guess.

This is what remained after we carried out the first big chunk of tub. Note the small tear visible in the drywall just above the tub.

Here's our bathtub alcove after all the pieces were removed, but before sweeping.

And here's that same space after sweeping. Stark contrast.

Did you notice the tear in the drywall? That came from a flying piece of metal. Here's what it looks like on the other side, which happens to be in our guest bathroom:

Oh well. Patching comes with the territory. And we're probably going to be replacing the flooring in this bathroom (boy, I hope it has the same three layers) and repainting it when we're done with the other bathroom, so we'll hardly notice the extra work. Ha.

Kent is very happy to walk around the bathroom again and see the changes unfolding.

On their way to us from various corners of the internet are a new, deeper bathtub and all our shower/tub hardware. Amazon really does sell just about everything these days. We've also been all over town for research and price comparisons, to tile and plumbing stores, hardware stores, and paint stores. (Painting still seems somewhere in the distant future, considering all the other work that needs to be done first.) We have this saying in our house every time we start a project, no matter how small: "There's never just one trip to Lowe's." This time, though, it's getting out of hand. They're going to start recognizing us soon. "Oh, there's the mom with the screeching baby who always carries around the same tile mosaic to different parts of the store to match it to everything..."

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So glad for an update. I know how difficult all of this for you guys, but Tally Ho!
Gruncle mark
Some leveling compound can go right on the linoleum to fill in the spots. Unless you have a reason to replace the subfloor it would be fine.
I can't wait for the After photos.
Great progress, this is the second hardest part of any project. I'll let you know when you get to the hardest part ;)
Can't wait to see you later today. I was looking at your pictures and noticed something you might need to do before you put up the cement board for the tile. It looks like the long wall of the tub has studs that are spaced a lot further apart than 16" (which is code I think). This wasn't a problem with the old tub surround because it was pretty light. But I'd be worried about it not being supportive enough to hold the cement board and tile, and it might lead to bending and cracking tiles later on. Adding a few studs between those gaps would probably help. Of course, ask someone who knows what they're talking about, but it shouldn't hurt.
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