Saturday, 16 January 2021

How to Remove Wire Mesh/Wire Lath Plaster Tile Walls Bathroom Remodel

– [Jeff] So we are looking here at an old house from the 1940s And today, we're going to be demolishing this bathroom

See all this tile, this all has to come down And this tub, which we suspect is a cast iron tub, we're going to shatter it What we're gonna do, we have to unscrew the drain first, we have to get all of this stuff off, make sure that it's not attached to the plumbing anymore, otherwise if you start bashing into the tub, you could ruin the plumbing behind it We're gonna be replacing that plumbing anyway, but still, this is best practice for you, if you're not going to be replacing the plumbing, to remove all of the hardware off the tub first We're then going to try to cover what we can on this tub with a sheet or a towel, so that when we start slamming into it with a sledgehammer, you don't send pieces flying all over the place and possibly hurt yourself

That's just a good safety precaution to use What we're gonna experiment with today, because, see these are very difficult walls, these are wire mesh with cement And we're gonna show you from the back side of it the view that we have And these are very, very thick This ends up being like two inches thick, and very, very difficult to get out

So we may try to just bash the tub, and shatter it, get it all out of the way in pieces first, so that we can then step into this area, and start bashing away at these walls here And we're gonna see if we can use some type of surgery, maybe with our angle grinder, to cut lines around here, you know, square it first So we can get behind it with a prier, and pry the wire mesh off of the wall Usually, the wire mesh is nailed or screwed onto the studs, and so if you can just find where those nails are, you can pry it off without having to sledgehammer and bang it and bang it all day, and just send dust and pieces of cement everywhere when you don't need to When the best solution for you is to pry it off with big pry bars and just do it like a surgeon instead

So here we are in the kitchen, on the other side of that bathroom wall, and you can see the back side of this wire mesh, see how the cement is all over in it? This is like, really, really difficult material to remove off of the walls But there's the back of the tub right there The drain there, that's the overflow And you can see that pipe right there has a nut at the top and the bottom So we're going to unscrew both of those to make it separated from the plumbing, and then we can start bashing away at the tub

But yeah, you can see, what a mess This right here, this little spot that you see right here, took about three hours to remove (drill whirring) So prior to demolition of the wall, we're also gonna remove all of the hardware off the wall there, to separate everything from the pipe Everything that's screwed on here, all of these handles are gonna come off (drill whirs) (drill whirs) So when you're using the grinder, you always want to have a buddy with you

And your buddy operates the vacuum here, while you're grinding on the wall there (grinder whirring) (vacuum cleaner hissing) – [Man] Not that way (sledgehammer pounding) – [Jeff] So anytime you have the opportunity to get at the end of the wire mesh, which is right here, you can start behind it and try to pry it off of the studs there We may even have to come back and score this line a little more, and get it deepened up there, and all the way through the wire mesh So we can start to just peel it back

Now this was about five whacks with a 10 pound sledgehammer So this stuff is so thick, it's almost two inches thick back in here So you can see it's futile to just try to hit this, and whack it all down with a sledgehammer You'll be there all day doing it (metal clanking) So see how sometimes it's the smaller tools that enable you to dismantle the wall

So here, we're just using this small crowbar here, this demo bar And we're peeling the mesh away from the studs So that allows you to get behind it, and then wedge from behind (sledgehammer thudding) – [Man] Is that good, I don't know (sledgehammer thudding) (sledgehammer thudding) – [Jeff] that's it, see just work your way up, and get behind it, peel it away, and you can see the large sections of the wall that start to come off once we get these off the studs

That one too, that's the next one there So here, we got the first major chunk down, see how big that piece is? So we didn't have to pulverize it into a powder And we're just gonna use these nippers here We're gonna cut through the middle lath here, and then this piece will soon be free There it is

(shovel scraping) A couple more little snips But this is basically how you do it There, a whole piece came out That's how you remove wire lath, folks (shovel scraping) So here's what it looks like after about a half hour with four guys

This is about how much we got here Two guys were working on the kitchen side, and two guys were working here on the bathroom side So it's pretty messy, trying to get rid of a wire lath, because you have to use all sorts of combinations of crowbars and slamming it with the sledgehammer, but we found that most of the work that freed up the most amount is when we were using our little metal snippers here to snip through exposed parts of the wire that you see right here And we also used our angle grinder with a metal cutting wheel on it to score and slice through big sections of these as well – [Man] I don't wanna crack the whole side of the house, because that could happen

– Nah – Yes – [Jeff] You got so much lime back there Pull that puppy, pull that puppy (wall creaks) There we go

– Holy! (wall crashes) – Yeah So right here, you can see the whole wall's about to separate here, so this is perfect We may be able to get this out in one chunk So we're trying to get this whole wall in one piece And it just might happen here momentarily

– [Man] You hold it where you want it to go – [Jeff] This beats just trying to hammer it and bash it all day long Definitely having this long hook here, whom we've nicknamed Ivan, that helps, 'cause it gives you a long moment arm where you have to push up against the cement block wall Yeah, there's some rotted wood, that's probably from termites or from moisture in years past (sledgehammer thudding) So here, we just try to hammer past where the wire mesh is, so we can peel it back

(sledgehammer thudding) So here's what this modular section of wall looks like See how we were able to get it out all in one piece? Just simply by hammering around the top and the right, and by getting our large crowbar right up against this stud, and pushed it away from the wall here So this is all gonna come down in one piece, and probably this piece will come down in one piece (grinder whirring) So here's the look at our wall, or empty wall, removed wall that we took down today Here's the view into the bathroom

And this is the result of five and a half hours of work between four guys Tearing down lath and cement and tile, and then this walls were about two inches thick total And back here's a little remnant, you can see right here Still sticking out of the wall You can see how thick that was

And why it was so hard to get off And that pile that you're looking at, right there in the bathtub, that pile is probably about 100 pounds worth of stuff in there So the bathtub was about half full, and it completely filled up one whole giant rolling trash bin But you can see how easier it is to pull it out in large sections A lot less dust kicked up that way

And here's the view from inside the bathroom itself So you can see everything we did Now we are going to have to take down all this other, this is drywall from here on up It's drywall with plaster, there's no more wire mesh there They only had the wire mesh behind where the areas were tiled here

But when you're doing a shower, you have to have everything waterproofed So you either have to have cement board with waterproofing over it, or KERDI membrane or KERDI board, that type of thing That's what probably we're going to use, is the KERDI board And you can see here, what's left to do here, you can see how thick this is, and why it's so hard And then, on top of that, the other issues you have is this wall here is a thin drywall and a bedroom, and this whole wall wants to bow when you try to pry against it

So, we have to start cutting score lines down here And then you hit them in the middle with the sledgehammer to make it more flexible Then you can help peel these things, and pry them off a little better But this goes a lot better when you have two or three guys doing it Here we are on day two in the bathroom

And we pretty much just have this side wall left here, from where we removed out the toilet We had to get the toilet out of the way And now we're going to continue on with our same strategy of bashing along here with a hammer to create a channel that we can now get in there and get behind the wire lath try to pull it off Now, as usual, because they really made this slab on the wall in here very thick, you got this here, which is almost an inch thick, followed by about an inch or so or maybe more of all the cement and lath that's behind it and the plaster So, that is almost unmovable

So you think you're gonna get behind it and peel it, and you're gonna find yourself in a problem here So what we have to do is we will come down here with our angle grinder, and we will score a line going down here And then bash it with the sledgehammer, to help give it some ability to flex in here And once it has the ability to flex, then you can peel it better off of the wall here This is, this light switch here, the wires have already been disabled by the electricians

And you can see we've got quite a bit of clean up here once we're done (sledgehammer thudding) So this is where having the larger length crowbar like this one here, helps you to peel Because you need that moment arm If you use the shorter ones, sometimes you don't have enough mechanical advantage by having the longer moment arm So, we'll use what we nicknamed Ivan here

The Russian And kind of wedge it behind, and peel things away from the wall there Okay go So here we are now, just peeling it away from the wall, see? And that's what you want to do And then sometimes, you have to get the sledgehammer and bang it down a little more to wedge it down further

(metal clanking) And then you just pull it again And the reason why we have to be really careful about this, we have to be like a surgeon, and you can see the wall starting to bow out now nicely, but we have to be careful here because on this wall here, on the other side, this is a little air conditioner closet And you can see the studs are trying to move, but you just have to be careful not to bust in that other wall So this wall here is doing nicely, it's gonna come down fairly soon We're just gonna tear it away from the wall, off the studs

And here it comes, she's getting ready (plaster crashes) (Jeff cheers) (grinder whirring)

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