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Old 01-10-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
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Stall Shower Renovation


I have an older home built in the late 40's in Syracuse, NY.....the bathroom in general is really retro - 4" square green tiles with black tile trim throughout....anyway the room has a tub (the tub has a "tub over" and looks great and I made some changes to the tub fixtures so it can serve as a shower during the renovation) and also a stall shower....I wanted to take the stall shower down to the studs and start anew with fresh modern tile and fixtures - light and shower unit....I took the ceiling down (32'x45") - it was tile in a mortar bed and wire mesh - it is now down to the studs - many more hours than I had in my "plan"....the walls are more forboding....tile over 1 1/2" of concrete (which I knew there would be - I just did not have a clue that it was that thick) - and of course the floor is also a small mosaic floor tile in probably a 3' mortar bed....I have spoken with some of the local tile folks and they will pour a new mortar bed and do the floor tile which is worth paying for I am sure....
I guess the question is what is the "easiest" way to attack the walls? - a wrecking ball will not fit unfortunately.....I was thinking of renting a small jack hammer....I know I will need that for the floor....
Also the plan is to restore the space using cement board and just drywall for the ceiling....or should I also use cement board for the ceiling as well....?
Much appreciate the help.....

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Old 01-10-2008, 04:30 PM   #2
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should be 32"x45".....

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Old 01-10-2008, 08:09 PM   #3
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By "small jack hammer" I'm guessing you mean a small electric demolition hammer ? don't get carried away with the big sized ones, they get real heavy, real fast, when you are holding them against a wall and pushing all day.

As for the ceiling, unless you are going to tile it again, you will want to do it with moisture resistant sheetrock (green board), as cement backer board will not be a very pretty finished surface.
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Old 01-11-2008, 08:23 AM   #4
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Since you are putting new cement board up try using a sledge hammer to take the tile on the walls down. I've never seen 1 1/2" concrete on walls before but with regular backer board a sledge hammer works good to demo to the studs.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:21 PM   #5
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Troubleshooter.....
Thanks for the reply....Yes....by small jackhammer I meant electric demo hammer...yes...and I can rent one at the local Home Depot.....thanks for steering me to the greenboard...someone else had said they used cement board and skimed it to make it smooth....

Ponch.....
I will start with a sledge and a crowbar and see what happens - believe me I wish that the wall was cement board....but it really is 1 1/2" thick with wire mesh behind.....the top of the walls are exposed with the ceiling down....and as well there were two holes drilled into the concrete where a rod was installed and it is that thick....perhaps this thickness only extends down a few feet....ho, ho, ho....wishfull thinking - will start the demo this weekend....
Thanks,
Rick
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:32 PM   #6
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DO YOU LIVE IN A FRICKIN FORT!?


JK. Seriously though DO NOT take a maul to the walls you WILL destroy them and bust stuff loose on the back side. Use a angle grinder to cut in between the studs then just twist and pull the stuff off. You can pick up a cheap diamond blade for about 14 bucks. If you do not have a angle grinder they are only about $40.
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
Since you are putting new cement board up try using a sledge hammer to take the tile on the walls down. I've never seen 1 1/2" concrete on walls before but with regular backer board a sledge hammer works good to demo to the studs.
Trouble with that approach is that a house built in the early forties has a good chance of still having plaster walls (sheetrock was still new and considered a cheap inferior product), so beating a full morter bed on diamond lath off the shower walls will destroy everything around it.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:30 AM   #8
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Conside XP Board, one step better. Our Drywall suppliers stopped carrying green board and replaced it with this (it's a purple board):

http://www.nationalgypsum.com/products/product69.aspx

(I believe that the Big Home Improvement Stores stock it now too. Green board is outdated)
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:31 PM   #9
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Jiggyjack....
Sometimes I think it is a Fort...'bout 13 years ago I finished the basement and the toughest part was the concrete baseboard - 4" tall and tapered to about 3" at the base also on wire mesh....the basement is 2/3 the main floor - good size....must have been a fire sale on concrete at the time....the trash folks were great - they hauled it away every week for three months....
I do have an angle grinder so I will get a good blade and try it your way - I suspect the demo hammer might be too drastic.....

Troubleseeker....
Thanks...the regular walls in the house are some sort of cement board about 4' wide and laid horizontally....then plaster on top....I will heed your advice as well...thanks....

ABW...
And thanks I had just heard of the XP product and will use.....

Thanks,
Rick
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:03 PM   #10
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If you havent started YET,,,protect that tub,,,all that crap falling into it will ruin a good finish that was usable till it hit the fan!! LOTS of cardboard,and a good tarp or two Maybe even a piece of plywood cut to fit right on top of it stick something IN the drain and tape over it. That way with plywood you can 'stand' on it,cardboard so the ply doesnt scratch!!3/4 or more is NICE!!

Start at the top and come down each stud and it wont take as long as you think. Even start with a small claw hammer OR a forked crowbar that prys over the stud(in middle of it) with fingers behind the plaster makes it fall right off.(MAY have to make your own). Use the same thing for pulling sheeting off roof rafters!! For tough spots wonder bars are great!! I have some too,,,MOST nails are rusted off heads by now,,,IF your lucky!! Use plywood as a scoopable floor!!
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
Conside XP Board, one step better. Our Drywall suppliers stopped carrying green board and replaced it with this (it's a purple board):

http://www.nationalgypsum.com/products/product69.aspx

(I believe that the Big Home Improvement Stores stock it now too. Green board is outdated)
Going to have to take a look at and for that product. Thanks for the heads up.
If it is like most progressive products, it will take another 5 years for it to show up in the market down here, and another five bfore the inspectors know that it is ok to use.
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:34 PM   #12
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All.....
Much appreciate all of your replies.....As an update I am able to open a hole going into the cement and tile about 3/4"......then using a crowbar and sledge get underneath the top layer and break off the top layer of tile and cement in pieces.....the last layer which is wire mesh coated with a separate layer of mortar - I am breaking the cement from the mesh at the studs and then cutting the mesh with a cutter.....slow going and a TON of trash....
I tried a grinder - but after about 10 seconds I could not see.....way too much dust.....
One quick question - I read that it is a good idea to put a plastic vapor barrier up before the durock....any thoughts....?
Thanks,
Rick

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