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Unread 06-19-2018, 04:43 PM   #1
shooteneq1
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Plumbing question on an old shower demo.

I am about to fully gut a bathroom in my house. It has tile 4' up the walls and a walk in shower and the entire thing is done in mud and wire lath walls and ceiling, built in 1959 and has original tile. I have lots of experience as a tile guy but somehow managed in 15 years to never do a demo of mud and wire lath walls, although I have not done actual tile work for a living for 10 years now. I know its going to be a pain to remove but is there an easier way that is better than taking my grinder to the walls along with a sledge and pry bars? I obviously would like to keep dust to a minimum. The walls need to be opened up anyway for some rewiring and also I am redoing the plumbing as well so keeping the walls isn't in the cards. To add insult to injury the wall on the opposite side is another bathroom that I will not be redoing until next year so I would like to keep the hammering to a minimum so I don't damage the bathroom on the other side of the wall. Any help is appreciated for techniques to make this demo a bit easier.
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Unread 06-19-2018, 04:51 PM   #2
jadnashua
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Cut the wall into manageable sections, wear good eye, hand, and body protection, if you're trying to keep anything, either remove it first, or cover and pad it well, as the stuff is heavy! The lath is really nasty stuff, so heavy gloves and good eye protection are critical. Get someone younger and stronger to do it, and supervise! Once you've got the lath severed, prying should do a lot of the work verses hammering.
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Unread 06-19-2018, 05:07 PM   #3
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As has been said, body and face protection are most important.

I had good success using my Boschhammer with a 2 in spade tip to literally cut through a mud wall and the wire mesh, pushing it along at an angle against the wall, almost like a knife. I think the saw will be even dustier and harder to navigate in small spaces but produces more compact segments.

I do not envy you. I hated every minute of doing that.
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Unread 06-19-2018, 05:10 PM   #4
Eschbach
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Just did one today.I like to start at the top and and peel it all down in one step.Let gravity do the work.Much less dust
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Unread 06-19-2018, 05:13 PM   #5
shooteneq1
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Would I need to make a relief cut at the top? The ceiling is in decent shape so as long as it doesnt crack during the removal of the walls I will keep it, other than that everything is coming out. I would like to keep dust to a minimum since I am living in the house, I do plan on taping off the room and having a fan blowing out the window while working inside of it. I tried an oscillating bit on it just to see and it may as well have been epoxy i was trying to cut through, hardly did anything. I know the grinder would breeze through it though
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Unread 06-19-2018, 05:18 PM   #6
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One of these would help.


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The few that I've done I would punch a hole in the wall next to a stud, then use a prybar against the studs to pry loose the lath. Hopefully, the fasteners have rusted out and will come out easily.

Also keep some tin snips on hand to cut the lath when needed to separate a loose section from the wall.

And those little pieces of mud really fly across the room. +1 on the eye protection. And since the lath will be rusted, avoid getting scratched by it, or you'll have a tetanus shot in your future.
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Unread 06-19-2018, 05:50 PM   #7
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Ah...it’s good to see multiple methods.

It’s probably because I run a little hot and have a lot of spare energy....
But I mostly use a regular 16oz. claw hammer to punch holes through the entire assembly. Start in the middle of a stud bay and pound a hole. Then punch another hole below it, with a slight overlap. Then repeat until you’ve punched a vertical line from top to bottom. Then repeat for every stud bay...or every other stud bay. Then punch horizontal holes along the top and bottom. Beware of where the studs are ‘cause you ain’t gonna punch through that area. But with the walls divided up into a bunch of rectangles, you can lean on a section and it pivots away from being flush and you can yank it off the wall. The inside corners are the toughest portion of demolition and I use a combination of flat and heavy duty pry bars.

And what everybody said about protecting every inch of flesh and eyeballs and stuff.

I just accept that there’s gonna be a lot of dust and prevent it from leaving the room or getting into my lungs.

I’ve never had a problem accidentally breaking the drywall or tiled walls on the opposite side of the stud I’m removing. But do take down any pictures or plates or other hanging objects so they done come a crashing down.

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Unread 06-19-2018, 05:57 PM   #8
Davy
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If there's a shower, I like getting the floor out first. After a little tearing out, try to find where the edge of the lath is and poke holes along that edge where the sheets overlap. Try to get it in manageable size pieces.

Get a chipping hammer and turn the fan on high to blow out the dust. I did one a while back that didn't have a window in the bathroom. They said I had dust on the far end of the house. Oh well, I did the best I could.

What the others said about the safety gear. Don't forget the band-aids.

You'll sleep like a baby.
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Unread 06-19-2018, 06:02 PM   #9
shooteneq1
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Ok so looks like wear ample protection, and try all the different options listed here and see which one works best and do that. thanks for the input all. Im 40 and got 4 herniated discs so I will be taking it slow. Hoping to have done in 2 days or so, its just a 6x4 bathroom or so but those walls are still going to be a pain, especially where the tile is as with the tile and lath its about 2" thick.
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Unread 06-19-2018, 06:14 PM   #10
Tool Guy - Kg
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With a back like that...

I’d use an angle grinder to cut the wall into 16” squares. The squares won’t magically fall off the wall, but they’ll be easy. Attach a vac hose in-line with the blade so as to capture a lot of the dust during the cutting. You’ll need a good $30 filter for the shop vac and clean it out often. If you can open a window and have a plywood chute that leads to the back of a pick up truck, you’ll handle the debris the least amount of times.

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Unread 06-19-2018, 06:29 PM   #11
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Might want to keep a box of some quality bandaids and Neosporin handy.....

Last edited by jerrymlr1; 06-19-2018 at 07:39 PM.
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Unread 06-19-2018, 06:29 PM   #12
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Good reason to buy a new tool, Medusaw.
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Unread 06-21-2018, 11:36 PM   #13
Shady at Best
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I like making relief cuts at all of the 90 degree intersections. Anywhere 2 planes come together. The rest should peel right off

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Unread 07-02-2018, 05:44 PM   #14
JDHolmes
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I did a whole bathroom like this (no shower though) in my second bath in March.

Pry bar and hammer...I hammered between the studs and jerked out the 15" sections as a whole.

You've probably already done this job, but breathing protection is MANDATORY for this work. It choked me to death the first time. As others have mentioned, heavy gloves. Miserable work...did I say miserable work?


Don't forget the dolly to move section out of the room to where you storing them.
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Unread 08-01-2018, 09:44 AM   #15
shooteneq1
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Plumbing question on an old shower demo.

I have a demo ongoing in my house and need to replace the mixing valve for the shower. All the water lines are old galvanized pipes and I seriously doubt I can unscrew them from the original threads and attach new lines. What is the appropriate way to connect an old galvanized pipe to a new cpvc line? I know the whole house needs to have all the lines redone eventually and I plan to do that, but i need a fix to last the next year or so before I have that done. Thanks for any input even if it's bad news.
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