We friends and I have demolished most of our old bathroom but we are
not sure how to proceed with the floor. The following picture provides
the view from where the bathtub used to be. What are we looking at
here? Is it wetbed on top of something else? Should all of it be
removed and if so, what's the best tool for doing that?
Many thanks in advance!
Been there, done that, except that my pipes were under the subfloor,
so I only had about 2.5 inches of mud to remove.
I just chipped away with a hammer and chisel, hauling bucket after
bucket out to the curb, until it was gone. I had a plaster stippled
ceiling below the bathroom so I was no more agressive with my pounding
than I had to be. Luckily nothing happend to the ceiling below. Keep
that in mind if you have a similiar situation.
Obviously, be careful around the pipes - is that a gas pipe in the
Looks to me like when you're done you are going to have to frame a new
subfloor over the existing one to conceal the pipes. Keep in mind the
height of your finish material as you figure out how to frame the
floor. Getting the height right with a mud base is "easy", but if you
are going to use "modern" building materials (i.e. 2 byes, plywood and
cement board) the thicknesses of all those materials will have to be
considered right from the start.
If its like the bathroom floors in my 1930 house......the mudbed is on
top of a very weak, crappy mortar / debris layer that they use to
bring up the floor level.
To demo the floor I would suggest a demolition hammer (Hilti, etc)
with flat chisel blade. Attach the floor between the two layers at a
shallow angle. The mud / tile layer break up & then you remove the
You could also use a single jack & a chisel.
The crap layer in my floor had very little strength; mortar, wood
chips, broken tile, misc constrcution debris.
My mud / tile layer was about 1.5"....the crap layer was about 2.5"
My suggestion is remove everything down to the "subfloor" & then
remove it as well. Currently it is nothing more than short pieces of
1x held in place by 1x cleats. This system gives you a discontinuous
subfloor.....not very stiff, not much support for you tile.
Replace with plywood. Then use wonderboard or float a proper base.
That notched joist is pretty sad. I would sister in new joists
(taking into account your finish floor reconstruction method) re-route
the fresh water through drilled holes, not notches. And re-inforce
around the necessary notch for copper drain line (?) with reversed
notched plywood (or aluminum) sisters
Of course if you've got a closely spaced support framing beneath the
joist....all this sistering maybe be unneeded.
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