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Old 06-01-2015, 12:22 AM   #1
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Floor Demolishing


I've removed all of the 1"^2 pink tiles from my bathroom floor

But what's left, is a surprisingly thick ~1.5" thick layer of cement. I've chipped away one small corner with a rock pick and a small hand mallet. It works ok but it's sloooooow work.

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So, is there a faster way to remove this? I was told to just take a large sledge (which I do have) and swing away. But I'm afraid I'll end up going right through the sub floor if I do that? Also there is this metal grid that it looks like they poured the cement on top of, which makes it pretty impossible to pry up the cement with a large crow bar, which was my initial plan.

So any other thoughts on this? I'll keep chipping if that's what I have to do. But a faster way would be nice.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:38 AM   #2
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Welcome to the Renaissance period of building. It will take a lot of jack hammering to get that base out of there. Then you are left with about a 4" drop. It would have been better to leave it there, use Hydraulic cement to fix any cracked areas. Then put on the new floor.

When they did those floors, they used what was called a "Dry Mix". It was mostly for fireproofing multi tenant units.




Last edited by gregzoll; 06-01-2015 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:57 AM   #3
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I'm not sure this is what you think it is. This is a single family, single story ranch style home. This bathroom is on the first floor and there is a basement underneath. This inch plus of cement is just sitting on top of the sub floor. It's only in the bathroom. I assume it was for water reasons, not fire reasons. Because the rest of the house has hardware, the bathroom for was actually raised up above the level of the rest of the flooring. I'm not sure what kind of flooring the new bathroom is going to have, but getting it to be nice and level shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Also I assume you were joking about the jack hammer? A jack hammer would go right through this stuff and right through the sub floor and into the basement.
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:09 AM   #4
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I know what it is. I told you the type of floor that was used for that period. It is going to take you a lot of jack hammering. Unless that Dry Mix base has a lot of cracks in it. Leave it alone and just install your new tiles on top.

Removing it, is going to open up a huge can of worms for you. Especially the fact that you live in Ma. Making any changes on older homes, means that you have to take them up with the historical board.



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Old 06-01-2015, 01:10 AM   #5
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And no I was not joking about using a Jack Hammer to remove that Dry Mix. If you think I am joking. I have some Ocean Front property for sale in Nevada.



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Old 06-01-2015, 07:28 AM   #6
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What are you doing in that room?
If you are setting tile---repair/replace the part you have removed--then set your tiles on the old mud bed--
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:26 AM   #7
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I think Greg may have missed it when you said the deck mud was a little over 1" thick. There are some high-end old homes that were built the way he mentioned, 3-4" of mud in the bathroom floors, this is not one of them.

However, if the mud is still in good shape, except for that one area, you could repair it and tile away. You need to make sure the old is not moving at all by stepping and releasing while someone watches, not even a hair of movement is allowed. Let us know what you find.

Next time realize that it's possible to go over the old tiles if it's in good shape.

No jackhammer wanted for this job. Use the crowbar to pry up gently, then whack it with a 2lb. hammer to break it. Use tin snips to cut the rib-lath. Wear heavy leather gloves cuz the lath will tear you up.

Surely you must know what's going to replace that old floor by now.

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