Thursday, March 06, 2008

This Olde House - Kim Kills A Bathroom

Off of our current "Master Bedroom" is a small (5' x 7') bathroom. It was designed and shabbily built around 1964, and hasn't been touched since. It is pink and blue. It is claustrophobic. It is so outdated that we can barely stand to look at it, let alone use it. And to my knowledge, we've never bathed in it since we bought it.

Sensing my displeasure, Kim "HULK SMASH!!" Hall agreed to help rid me of the all-too-painful eyesore. And we tore into like ugly on an ape.

Pictures: (click any to enlarge) There was a lot to document for historical purposes, so I'll try to minimize any confusion with some bullets about each picture.
  1. Before - A picture of the very pink accessories and the blue tiles. Aside from the true sense of despair one gets by viewing the room in person, what is barely discernible in this picture is the poor craftsmanship of the room. The grout was done badly. The trim was done badly. The floating and taping on the walls was HORRIBLE. If professionals did the work and they were paid for such obviously inferior efforts, the original owners were either robbed or blind or both. I'd never have signed off on any of it.
  2. Before - A picture of the very pink tub and the very scummy tiles. Since we've never bathed in there, that grime on the walls is decades old. I think Cindy TRIED to clean it, but couldn't put a dent on it. Again, the photo doesn't convey the poor quality of the work in the room. But it isn't long for this earth.
  3. During - A picture of Kimmer eyeballing the guts of the ancient vanity and contemplating what to cut out first. He was instrumental in getting everything shutoff properly and I'm sure I would have flooded half the house without his help.
  4. After - Once the vanity was removed, we found a mess that was likely older than I am. Seeing as it was UNDER the vanity, either the builder left it there or a former owner swept it under there.
  5. After - A closer picture of the antique mess left behind by someone decades ago. Mostly cigarettes and a pack of matches. I wanted to see what the pack said, but I thought I'd have to be disinfected if I touched it.
  6. During - Kim "Urban Lumberjack" Hall took a couple of swings with a 10lb sledge and dashed open the side of my mighty pink tub.
  7. During - Instead of busting the tub in place, Bruiser freed it from the wall. It is filled with broken tile and surrounded by shattered porcelain.
  8. After - Eventually, I shattered the tub into manageable pieces. The dark debris is shards of cast iron. The light debris is an obscene mixture of tile and porcelain.
  9. After - A final view of the tub. Everything in the last two pictures is the entire remains of the tub. We hadn't removed anything, yet. It was amazing to see how little space a 5' tub could take up once you shattered it.
Time Spent: About three hours to demo everything and clean it up the mess.

Tools Used: Reciprocating saw, screw drivers, wrenches, claw hammers, FatMax Extreme Fubar, 10lb sledge hammer, lots and lots of muscle power.

Process: Kimmer was kind enough to volunteer to disconnect EVERYTHING. Fortunately we had very little problem with removing the connections. Once we knew everything was dry, Kimmer cut the back out of the vanity and we tossed everything into the dumpster. The toilet went next, but it put up a good fight and soaked Kim before it was done.

Then came the tub. Now I don't know if I've watched more episodes of Flip This House than Kim has, but I knew the tub was going to be a beast. I had made a couple of calls earlier in the week and was told that in a small bathroom it would be best to just whack it until it was in pieces. Mr. Clean however, wanted to try to dislodge it and lift it out. He clobbered all the tiles around the tub and we tried to pop it out. It didn't move. So I hammered all the edges until it was notably smaller. It moved, but barely. We managed to get it onto upright, but that was only due to Kim putting in a massive effort, just to move it a couple of inches. In such a confined space and with such an unyielding weight, we finally agreed it was impossible to haul it out unless it was reduced to much smaller pieces.

So Kim took a coffee/phone break and I wielded the 10lb sledge. Thankfully there was plenty of room for one man and his hammer. I'd lift it over my head and drive it down with a thunderous result. I doubt I threw more than twenty swings at it, but I was drenched in sweat afterwards. It was completely fulfilling carnage and I felt tipsy from releasing so much anger and venom.

I'm certainly looking forward to doing it to our other bathroom. And I'm going straight for the sledge when that happens!

What's Next: Eeek! A lot to do here. I still have to remove all the blue tile on the walls and the pink tile on the floor. Then it is a complete overhaul: new vanity, new toilet, new tub, all new accessories, new vent, new light, probably even a new window. Only the tile removal is on my radar, for now. And I'm hoping to hit that next weekend.

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