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Old 01-13-2011, 04:38 AM   #1
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1940s bathroom remodeling


We are remodeling a 1940s bathroom. It looks like it was retiled recently, albeit with an ugly color. I began to remove the tiles and lo and behold, the original tiling was still underneath. After cracking through some of these tiles, I saw that it was mud tile, with a metal sheet over the studs to hold the cement, I assume.

They really made things to last back then! I've been using a 4 lb hammer and a pry bar to break away the cement and old tiles, but the cement and tiles are thick, so its a ton of work. Is there a better removal method or am I approaching this the right way?

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Old 01-13-2011, 05:10 AM   #2
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1940s bathroom remodeling


You might try a rental "Bosch" electric jack hammer with a point bit or a spade bit. Just be careful when punching through the mud layer, that you don't break into any water or waste lines before you want to. Also in older homes, and those with past remodels in them, electrical wiring may show up as knob and tube or cloth or plastic jacketed wiring instead of BX or conduit.

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Old 01-13-2011, 06:20 AM   #3
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1940s bathroom remodeling


Thanks...that's a good idea about the electric jack hammer.

There was one wire coming up from the basement, for the bathroom lights, and you're right, it wasn't protected. I'll just need to keep an eye on it.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:40 AM   #4
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1940s bathroom remodeling


I had the same type of issue. I removed all material in a small section down to the subfloor. From there you can get your flat/crow/spud bar underneath the metal lathe and try to work it up all at once (lathe, mud, tiles). Luckily my lathe was only held with periodic roofing nails but the mud bed was 1" thick in most areas. Heavy removal but it came up nicely.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:13 AM   #5
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1940s bathroom remodeling


come to think of it, is it a good idea to use a jack hammer on a wall? I can see if the tiles were on the floor, but I have water supply pipes right behind the wall, and it looks original, thus fragile. I don't want to jostle it too much and break something that I don't have access to.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:05 AM   #6
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1940s bathroom remodeling


If your doing that gig of a remodel on that old of a space, you should be budgeting for replacing every supply and drain line and all the electrical anyway.
If it were me, I'd cut the power and drain the water lines put on my headlight and go crazy with a maul, sledgehammer, or whatever you got.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:10 PM   #7
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1940s bathroom remodeling


Take it off in layers. Tiles, clumps of concrete(many will come off with the tiles) and lastly the metal lath with the scratch coat. A crowbar works well with the lath.
Gloves and eye protection are important.
Ron
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:22 PM   #8
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1940s bathroom remodeling


Ron and Rick have good ideas. Mike's idea of cutting the power and turning off the water -and draining the lines-; then just destroying everything is vaguely OK if you are not living in the home while remodeling the bath. I do not advise trying to use any jack hammer on a wall unless you are trying to remove the entire wall. The tool is heavy and trying to use it in a horizontal position will allow you only minimal control. Most of your wiring will show up in a wall and accidently knocking out your power will just open up another can of worms.

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