Shower Demolition Tips
We moved in to this great 1980’s soft contemporary home about a year and a half ago. Needless to say the shower was original to the house. I kept looking the other way but got to the point where something needed to be done. I couldn’t stand the smell of that stinky moldy mildewy shower any more. Originally I was going to just re grout the floor tile, “that should do the trick”. I began the re grouting process and tile started coming up by hand and before I knew it, I was in a full blown DIY shower renovation. It was a blessing in disguise as I discovered bad wood rot around the shower entrance. Keep in mind I am not a General Contractor, but I play one on TV.
So here are a few steps to doing demolition in the shower, from a DIYer.
Step 1: Get proper shower demolition tools
Chisel, Sledge Hammer, Framing Hammer (with long neck), dust mask, ear protection, head protection, eye protection, good gloves, long sleeves, sheet metal shears, a big Home Depot or Lowes bucket to transport the waste outside, and a flat shovel to shovel the debris. Probably the most useful tool will be the framing hammer or a heavy duty hammer drill with a chisel bit.
Step 2: Say a Prayer and put on your protective gear
The demolition process is not an easy one. It is dusty, dangerous, and above all exhausting. Be ready for physical exertion and a huge workout. Also take your time and plan what you are going to do with the waste as it piles up quick.
Step 3: Start demolition and be careful of pipes and wires behind walls.
Turn the water off. Start with the floor tile and get that up. I used the hammer and chisel. As I stated earlier, it came up easy. Next start on the tile walls. I used the sledge to get a hole started and switched to the long neck framing hammer. This tool is especially useful in that it has straight nail removing prongs which is good to use on stubborn areas. Since the walls I were removing had concrete and metal lathe behind it, It took some extra effort to remove. Make sure you are wearing a respirator or dusk mask, eye protection, ear protection and gloves (truly mandatory in this job). Take time in between to clean your space. It is easy to hurt yourself with sharp tile and metal lathe. Always know what’s behind the wall you are demo-ing. Would really suck if you broke a water pipe, cut through electrical, or gas. Use sheet metal shears to cut metal lathe. Once you get to studs, inspect walls for rot and determine if any studs need to be replaced. Remove all nails in studs and let the shower dry out for a couple days.
Step 4: Figure out where to go from there!
I can be a scary sight seeing your shower destroyed, but more than likely you have uncovered problems that had to be addressed sooner or later. I uncovered corroded pipes and rotting wood. Remember to take you time and consult a professional if you are not comfortable in this process!