what's the best way to demo part of a lath-and-plaster wall?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by barrybpdx, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. barrybpdx

    barrybpdx New Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    portland, or
    i'm going to be adding an in-wall shower to my tub that's in a walled enclosure. the walls are lath and plaster.

    i'd like to demo only as much of the wall as needed, leaving the top 1.5' or so intact. i'm not going to tile there, and ideally this section will remain as-is.

    any suggestions on the best way to make a clean line without too much damage to the upper part of the walls?

    i was thinking i'd use a circular saw w/diamond blade and cut to a depth of 1/4" all the way around at the tile/plaster transition.

    seem reasonable?

    has anyone had success with this or another method?

    -barry
  2. barrybpdx

    barrybpdx New Member

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    portland, or
    maybe this should be in the Remodel forum(?)
  3. BellevuePaul

    BellevuePaul Seasoned DIYer

    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    Circ saw sounds good to me

    Only trouble is, depending on if you're have to cut right up to a corner, it's hard to get the circ saw in there all the way. I have a little cordless circ saw that's great for stuff like this.

    BTW -- is there tile on the wall right now where you want to cut? I guess so, otherwise why bother with a diamond blade?
  4. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Plaster chews up blades real fast. You can score deep (like 10-15 cuts) w/ a utility knife and then just bust out below it carefully. Should get all the way through the lath that way. Easier yet is a sawzall and cut between the lath boards. I did my bathroom for a new shower and had to patch in some drywall on the vertical sections because I had no stud at the end of the shower to reattach lath. Plaster and Lath walls are nice, but a real bitch too.

    Jason
  5. chassis

    chassis Engineer

    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    We have a discussion on this in the remodel forum.

    I just did almost exactly what you are doing, which is demo out 2 plaster walls, come back with cement board and drywall for a new shower. The 2 new walls meet up with plaster walls and new ceiling drywall over the old plaster ceiling.

    To get the corner cuts clean (very clean) I used a RotoZip tool with a masonry cutoff wheel. In the end you will probably be taping/mudding the corner, which will cover up anything looking ragged. Finally, paint and room lighting will hide any remaining sins.
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