Full Bathroom Demo Day 1: How to Demo Shower Enclosure and Granite/Tile Step

We started demo in the full bathroom the other night. I had just made dinner (stuffed peppers-yum!) and Jake announced he thought that night was the night to start work in the bathroom. I said I didn't want to, as I wasn't feeling very well, but he said I didn't have to do anything. By the time I washed the two pans I used, he was asking me to open the door- he had a shower door in his hands ready to carry out. I was so excited- I ran outside and took a picture of the shower doors to send to friends and family!

how to remove shower doors

Here's how it went down. First, Jake started by taking off the shower doors. He took them off the sliding hardware one by one and carried them out. Then he sliced the caulk with a razor blade (utility knife) and took off the metal hardware pieces that supported the doors. Then, he started on what started it all- the shower head and faucet. We turned off the water and drained our well. Since we are on well water, not city water, that part is pretty different. The actual shower head piece came off just by screwing it off, but the arm wasn't so easy. It took some Googling and quite a few tries but he got it off eventually by screwing it off as well. Then he removed the faucet and handle. We were pretty disgusted when we looked at the underneath side of the showerhead- ignorance can be bliss, I guess.

how to remove showerheaddemo shower walls

remove shower tub faucet
 The culprit.

Next, he started on the shower surround. He used the same method and took it off one large sheet at a time.
remove shower walls
how to remove old shower

The pipes for the faucet were still leaking, so we had to hang a bucket off of each to catch the water. Those cute decorative coral milk jugs came in handy after all! Behind the shower surround, unfortunately, the sheetrock had mold and mildew on two of the three walls. He removed it with a crow bar, hammer, and brute strength. Well, brute strength on some parts- some parts were so soft they just crumbled off. Now we're down to the studs, on two walls, good (we think) sheetrock on the back wall, and the tub and what was behind it.

how to demo moldy sheetrock

Then, he started on the step into the tub. There were two granite pieces, one against the tub and one that you step on. He sliced all around the edges to loosen it, and removed it as well with a hammer and crow bar. That really took some strength! That granite piece was really well adhered, and that granite was heavy!

how to remove step shower

remove granite step bathtub

The outside of the step was tiled with the same time as our floor, and I wanted to try and save it if possible. With the step gone, we would be exposing more floor space that may or may not be tiled. If it wasn't tiled, we would need to tile that newly exposed floor to match the existing tile. The existing floor tile in there is good, and matches the tile in the rest of our house- including the two entries, kitchen, dining room, and hallway. The previous owners left a few squares of tile, but we knew it wouldn't be enough. I hoped if we could salvage these pieces, we might have enough combined to use for the floor. Jake used a screwdriver and hammer to carefully knock the grout out between the tiles. (Hey, use what you have!) I held the face of the tile to keep it from falling down and breaking. Thankfully, the tiles easily came off in whole pieces, undamaged. Victory- we could reuse those tiles.

remove granite step

Shockingly- maybe not? We've found some interesting fixes in this house. The wood under the granite was sign board. You know- the signs on the side of the street that home builders use to advertise new homes? "Builder name- starting from the $120s." That kind of sign board. Jake removed the screws with his drill and took it out piece by piece. He followed the same method with the 2x4s supporting the step. My job during all of this time? Carry out the small pieces. Haha. And cheerlead.

remove tile step
It was a good thing we saved that tile; under the step was bare concrete.
remove step into shower

demo shower

demo black mold sheetrock

remove old shower
The happy wreckage. 

demo shower
View from the mirror- trying to capture it all in our small bathroom!

I was incredibly impressed with Jake during all of this. He really is handy! This is the first demo we have done in the house, and it was amazing to watch him work. He was very fast. It probably took about three and a half or four hours to do all of that. It was really fun watching it all happen. The most fun might have been when the step was gone; it was pretty amazing how much floor space that cleared up. I knew it would in theory, but seeing it in real life was pretty great. This bathroom is our only full bath, and it's the one we both get ready in. It can be a tight squeeze when we are both in there at the same time. With that step in, if one of us had to go behind the other to get by, one would have to get against the counter and the other would kind of brush the other when he walked by. With that step out, you can easily pass the other with no issue. So much room for activities! (Step Brothers, anyone?)

All in all, day one done. I'm pretty excited to see where it goes from here.

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