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Old 02-25-2017, 06:33 PM   #1
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Demo on an older home, what is this?


Hello,

I am going to have a professional do most of the work in my bathroom, I don't want to mess with water or electricity, but I thought I'd try to learn how to do the walls. My first problem is that I don't know what the walls are. The house was built in 1912 so lath and plaster is a possibility (I think), but it seems there have been several DIYers in this home over the years. When I started removing the wall surface, I found what seems to be a thin board attached to the wall. The wall texture and tile are both applied to the board. I guess my questions is this: Do I need to remove the texture/tile from the board, or do I just remove the board?

OK, I tried to post the images but, since this is my first post, I'm not allowed to. Any ideas without the images?

Thanks,
Swani
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:09 PM   #2
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Re: Demo on an older home, what is this?


OK, I figured out the upload thing. I think.
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Demo on an older home, what is this?-img_3835.jpg   Demo on an older home, what is this?-img_3837.jpg   Demo on an older home, what is this?-img_3838.jpg  
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:47 PM   #3
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Re: Demo on an older home, what is this?


I'm sure it's plaster, or at least some version of plaster. There were many ways to make plaster back in the day usually a cementious-type mix with all kinds of binders to hold it together such as horse hair.

Anyway, that rough coat is what was put onto the lathe, the thin boards that run horizontally on top of the 2 x 4 studs. It was intentionally rough so that it would "key into" the lathe. The succeeding coats were smooth(er) coats and the last coat became the finished wall.

Your best bet is to remove it all back down to the 2 x 4 studs. It makes it much easier to install drywall or backer board and you can add insulation if needed. It's a helluva messy job. Dusty, gritty, lots of tiny nails to pull out of the studs, but, it's the right way to go if you're doing a complete reno.
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Old 02-25-2017, 10:32 PM   #4
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Re: Demo on an older home, what is this?


Before I would start a heavy demo on the home, you might want to have it tested for lead and asbestos so that you know what you are getting into and how to handle it safely.
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:48 PM   #5
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Re: Demo on an older home, what is this?


OK, thank you both for the replies. Unfortunately, I woke up this morning intent on getting more progress going today. Later, I stopped to check email and saw that I had replies to this thread. So, I'm going to stop where I am until I can get someone out to check for lead and asbestos. Thanks for that tip.

Assuming I am given the go-ahead to keep working, what I would love to know is if the plaster can be skim coated to avoid taking out the entire wall? I'm posting two more photos from after this morning's session in case that helps.

Thanks so much for the help, both of you. Much appreciated.

Swani
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:22 PM   #6
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Re: Demo on an older home, what is this?


It CAN be skimmed, but, it will be tough especially with the first coat because you will get bits and pieces of that cement-based rough coat in your joint compound. It will frustrate you, but, once the first coat is on and dry, the 2nd coat, and, if you need it, a third coat will go on much easier.
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Old 02-26-2017, 04:58 PM   #7
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Re: Demo on an older home, what is this?


---------Welcome to the forums!--------------------

I would patch that with setting-type compound, after removing the loose material, stiff brush it, mist with water to help with the bond right before compound application. Add a shim across the hole (at top to match tile thickness) to drag a straight-edge (1/8") shorter than depth you require finish to be using a general purpose air-drying compound. I've repaired sections similar to that and most seem to be over a heat register... seems to dry the wall above effectively and loosen the bond between coats well.

Lead paint (as said) is a much bigger concern than the quantity of asbestos in the plaster itself; http://www.oehs2.com/documents/AIHCE2000Plaster.pdf

Don't sand it and you should be fine, if a lot more is to be removed than pictured, I'll add more safety info... you have already removed the paint layers with the lead, hopefully contained the area from air-born dust.

I'm voting gypsum plaster rather than lime plaster (with horsehair or other animal fiber binders) simply due to your date, a couple decades after the start; https://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-prese...at-plaster.htm

This from the link; "The conservator injects an acrylic adhesive mixture through holes drilled in the face of the plaster (or through the lath from behind, when accessible). The loose plaster is held firm with plywood bracing until the adhesive bonding mixture sets. When complete, gaps between the plaster and lath are filled, and the loose plaster is secure." Modern day version to key loose plaster from the backside;
No plywood, it sets in about 1/2 minute, I've found...

Gary
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Old 04-29-2017, 04:29 PM   #8
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Re: Demo on an older home, what is this?


Hey guys,

I'm back. I had to take some time away from this but I was at it again today. I have removed more of the wall from the previous post and started on another wall. I think I have decided, based on the advice above, not to attempt to finish the walls myself. I'm going to stick to the demo only. So, the one thing that is tripping me up here is this comment from above.

Quote:
Your best bet is to remove it all back down to the 2 x 4 studs. It makes it much easier to install drywall or backer board and you can add insulation if needed. It's a helluva messy job. Dusty, gritty, lots of tiny nails to pull out of the studs, but, it's the right way to go if you're doing a complete reno.
Part of my problem here is that one of the walls is an exterior wall. If I remove the plaster, I won't get the lath and frame, I'll get bricks. There is another room in my house where a previous owner did this for cosmetic reasons.

The other thing is that it seems like overkill. If I get the walls down to the plaster, can I stop there and ask a contractor to skim coat (or whatever) from there? Will they laugh at me for putting so much effort into something that didn't actually move the job forward? Pulling the top layer of paint/texture/board off of the wall is a pain in the butt. I don't want to get to the end and find out that it did no good.

OK, so the photos, in order are:
  1. Same wall from before with more of the paint/texture/board layer removed
  2. Second wall around the window.
  3. Close up of the wall in photo 2
Thanks so much to all of you who've helped me so far and thanks in advance for any additional help.

Graham
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Demo on an older home, what is this?-img_4189_v2.jpg   Demo on an older home, what is this?-img_4190_v2.jpg   Demo on an older home, what is this?-img_4191_v2.jpg  
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:17 AM   #9
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Re: Demo on an older home, what is this?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gymschu View Post
Your best bet is to remove it all back down to the 2 x 4 studs. It makes it much easier to install drywall or backer board and you can add insulation if needed. It's a helluva messy job. Dusty, gritty, lots of tiny nails to pull out of the studs, but, it's the right way to go if you're doing a complete reno.
OK, I should have just listened to Gymschu from the start. I have moved on from the silly skim idea to just pulling all the walls down. Gymshu, apologies for not taking good advice when offered.

So, I have most of the walls down that I can (see photo). My question now is about the exterior wall and the ceiling. The exterior wall has no lathe. Do I pull the "plaster"/concrete stuff off of the bricks? In the corner, where the interior wall meets the exterior wall, you can see that there is a gap (photo with my hand).

And last, the ceiling. There used to be a cabinet (I removed it) but it went all the way to the ceiling and you can see where it was. Is my best bet to pull the ceiling down too or is that a bigger job than fixing that section? See photo for ceiling section.

As always, all replies appreciated (even if it takes me a while to heed the advice).

Thanks,
Graham
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Demo on an older home, what is this?-removed-walls.jpg   Demo on an older home, what is this?-interior-wall-meets-brick-wall.jpg   Demo on an older home, what is this?-view-ceiling-where-cabinet-.jpg  
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:39 PM   #10
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Re: Demo on an older home, what is this?


If it's an attic above, then you'd be in for a whole lot of insulation falling on your head if you pulled down the ceiling!
Easiest thing to do for the ceiling is to just put up a clean sheet of drywall to the existing ceiling. You'll lose the 3/8" of headroom but you'll have a clean smooth ceiling.
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