Demolition Advice

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by jdf405, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. jdf405

    jdf405 Electrical Engineer

    Los Angeles Area
    Hi Everyone,

    I need to demo a tile bath tub surround this weekend. The tile is on a mortar bed about 1.5" thick. Behind the mortar bed is some tar paper then a 2x4 wall. Here's the tricky part - on the other side of that 2x4 wall is another tiled wall (with 5/8" drywall with Kerdi Schluter).

    I am seriously concerned about cracking grout and maybe even tile during the demo of that wall.

    My couple of ideas involve using a rotary hammer drill in hammer only mode with a chisel bit - the high frequency beats won't resonate the wall that much, but its slow.

    The other idea is to cut the tile & mortar into small sections using an angle grinder and diamond blade. The downside here is profound amounts of fine dust (Don't worry I wear an approved respirator, eye, & ear protection).

    Any other thoughts or suggestions?

  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    You forgot to mention the wire mesh. You have a very time consuming job ahead of you. If you have a window in the bathroom put a box fan in it to exhaust some of the dust out. The last one I did we used the 4" grinder. I think that is the best way. ( if there is one) Good luck.

  3. jdf405

    jdf405 Electrical Engineer

    Los Angeles Area
    Oh yeah, and there's some wire mesh to help dull the $30 diamond blade and add sparks for fun.

    I would put the box fan in the window but I don't think my neighbor would enjoy the dust. I'll leave the vent fan on (to the roof). I also think I might get some unlucky person to hold the shopvac next to the grinder to help suck some dust in.
  4. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Columbus, OH
    Mortar bed is really the way to go when doing tile....hard to get off though.

    Can you remove the tile w/ your hammer drill and chisel and reuse the bed?

    tile over it?
  5. get some gloves

    get some thick leather gloves.

    or you will surely be needing stitches before thejob is through...
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple Bathroom Design & Build - North Vancouver, B.C.

    North Vancouver, BC
    Dust management

    A shop vac isn't going to stop that dust. You need a big fan in the window full blast and with that it is going to be dust city in about 2 minutes. Near white out.

    The light weight poly that comes in a box should be taped to the floor walls the whole show. Run the shower for as long as you can the water flow will help knock the dust down. keep the sink running - it all helps.

    Locate your joists and cut down the stud 2"-3" left or right. Then go back and do some horizontal cuts at about 12"-24". You should be able to twist out the whole square. I would first do the middle span and remove this.

    Get some scrap 2"x stock and screw the studs together to prevent the studs from twisting as you remove layer by layer.
  7. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    A shopvac will make it less bad, if you use the yellow bags - the ones for drywall dust - and the fine filter - and run the exhaust out the window alongside the fan. Might be the excuse to get one of these?

    But even with all that, I predict that you'll be finding dust from this project, in every single room of your house, for at least the hext 3 months.

    I'd look into renting a wet grinder:
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Do not allow the furnace to run while demoing this...
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    On the back, I make a vertical cut in the center, then a horizontal one halfway up, and another one above the tile, then pull the four pieces out. Similar process on the two ends, except you do not need the center vertical cut.
  10. jdf405

    jdf405 Electrical Engineer

    Los Angeles Area
    Status - Job Complete

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for all the advice. The job went smoothly - actually better than I thought. I sealed the room off with plastic sheeting and that kept the entire house clean. :)

    The I used my rotary hammer drill (Bosch Bulldog) in hammer only mode and the tiles popped right off the mortar. Then I used the angle grinder / diamond blade to slice the mortar into 12-16" pieces and pulled it off with a little work.

    Regarding using the Shop-Vac for dust control - works :DMIRACLES...:D My wife (an angel in a respirator) held the vac pipe right next to the edge of the protective guard on the grinder. We estimated it caught between 80%-90% of the dust. After 20-30 minutes of cutting you could still easily see in the room and what was floating settled pretty quickly.

    Happily we can report that none of the tile in the adjoining room was damaged!
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