Guest Bath Redux: Demo Days 1&2

by Cait

First, a Public Service Announcement. If you are going to demo a bathroom: buy a respirator. If anyone even hints at the word mold: buy a respirator. If you have asthma like me: buy a respirator. Please do not just use a paper mask or a painting respirator. The one below is a charcoal cartridge, particulate & fungal respirator. I promise I was not paid by anyone to say this, I don’t even know the brand on mine (the photo looks like it says Survivair, Inc – I just know Robert bought it at his work, which is an auto parts store).

Ok, now with that out of the way we can get on to the fun demo photos.We probably could have done this all in one day over a weekend (or a very long evening) but we wanted to take our time.

Day 1

raise your hand if you think they followed the instructions on the box after sealing it in tile

This is pretty much our stopping point for Day 1. Though only 30 minutes of work, somehow after discovering several layers of drywall (some not rated for use in bathrooms), a couple of boxes of baking soda, and far more foul things than I want to think about or recount, we decided to call it quits. Especially since we wanted to make a run to Publix before they closed. But at least we got the process down. We sealed the door in plastic, went to Publix, and relaxed in front of Criminal Minds. Hey, Derek Morgan, apparently you own rental property, want to help with my bathroom?

Day 2, my view

Day 2, my view other side

On Day 2, since Robert only bought one respirator (though he’ll be getting a second one) and I smashed my finger (it’s fine), Robert volunteered me to stand outside and throw the debris that he passed out the window into the truck bed.

Day 2, R’s view

you mean you don’t store your unused tile inside the tub surround?

more surprises

Apparently the cool thing to do during a small bathroom overhaul is to plug the jacuzzi jets and leave wires where they can be exposed to water. Awesome. (Not that I like jacuzzi tubs anyhow.)

After we filled the truck bed we decided to call it an evening and Robert took the debris to dump in his old job’s dumpster. (Hey, the manager said he could!)

I know that it looks like we’re going about this in a strange way; we’re kind of doing this in stages as opposed to completely smashing everything and shoveling the debris out the window. Most people would probably have yanked the sink out first, but we still have to shut the plumbing to that off (pretty sure the under-sink valves don’t work). We’ll probably shut it off at the street, remove the sink, and cap the pipes soon because we’d like to donate the sink and toilet to ReStore this weekend. Also we’d prefer to salvage the tub if possible. If we can’t salvage the tub we’ll probably donate that as well and try to find a semi-cheap fiberglass tub. Here’s hoping we can salvage it.

Today the stupid cabinet that I hated came out, some of the drywall came out (it would have had to come out anyhow thanks to them wallpapering directly over drywall to the point where you can’t remove it) and some insulation. After everything is completely demoed we’ll treat the walls, replumb, replace the insulation and put up new, moisture-rated drywall and backer board. Then honestly it will probably sit for a while, but it really depends on how expensive all the tile is.

If y’all could please suggest the best mold-killing treatments that would be great. I hear the way to go with wood and drywall is 1 cup Borax to 1 gallon of water, but I’m open to suggestions. Oh and greener insulation would be great, too. Where can you buy the stuff made from recycled blue jeans, and how much is it?

13 Responses to “Guest Bath Redux: Demo Days 1&2”

  1. wow! This has turned into one heck of an adventure! Always exciting to see what you find “underneath the layers.” Sorry I don’t have any suggestions on the mold or insulations things but I will keep my eye out (haven’t had to deal with either issue – yet). Good luck! Demo looks fun at least for now!!!

    • Oh yes, quite the adventure! I think it’s been fun, Robert might too (when he isn’t saying “phew” or “oh God!”).

      No worries about not having mold treating/insulation suggestions :)

  2. Oh my goodness, you guys are working hard… Looks like your episode of Criminal Minds was well-deserved! :)

    When we had mold in our last house, the mold guy used a bleach solution to spray down the walls & then sealed it with some sort of mold-inhibiting paint. Although… that was on concrete basement walls, so I don’t know if the same thing applies to wood…

    Good luck!

    • Thanks Jen! Hopefully the pizza I ate while watching it is well deserved, too! ;)

      Yeah, I’ve heard that bleach works on non-porous surfaces like tile or concrete, but not as well on porous things like wood. I think a Borax&water solution is supposed to be better for porous surfaces, and I’ve heard a vinegar solution works on some surfaces too, but I’ve never had experience with it.

  3. Omg… I am so impressed by the work you are doing, and also feel kind of sorry for you because it doesn’t look all that fun (compared to building the outdoor shower for example) but I bet it will be great once it’s finished.

    Very strange that the previous owners left tiles etc IN the wall… makes no sense at all.

    Good luck with the rest of it!!

    • Thanks Ever! It is both fun and annoying at the same time. I’m just looking forward to finishing demo and moving on to the next step.

      Yeah, I thought sealing the tile in the wall was pretty strange, haha.

  4. Yeah, not too much fun, huh? Been there, too. I love Criminal Minds, too. Derek “Hottie” Morgan as I call him. :) Have you seen Flashpoint? If not, you should, because it’s a fantastic show. Sort of similar to Criminal Minds, but not really. Anyway, you should check it out. Happy demo and renovating!

    • Thanks Amanda! Demo has been fun (aside from the part where I smashed my finger with the claw part of a hammer trying to pry tile off). I don’t know that Robert would agree. I’m looking forward to moving on to the drywall/tile stage for sure, though.

      Have you seen the spin off from Criminal Minds called Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior? It came about after the episode set in San Francisco with the missing father&daughter. Sadly no Derek, but still good. I’ll have to check out Flashpoint :)

  5. I have seen a few episodes of Suspect Behavior, but I just didn’t think the new team has the same appeal. And, let’s face it, Derek and Garcia make CM. Haha. You def should check out Flashpoint between demoing the bathroom and yard work. :) If you have Netflix, you can watch 2 1/2 seasons on instant watch. Yay for a marathon.

    • It’s true, Derek and Garcia really do make it. Garcia is in Suspect Behavior, but it’s still missing a certain something. I’ll probably give it another season.

      We’ll check Flashpoint out for sure! We don’t have Netflix, but it’s on the To Do list (we’re planning on building a media tower one day).

  6. Well, Netflix is offering a one month trial, so you could give it a whirl… Then we’ll have to discuss. :)


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