How to Remove Tile Flooring, master bath update part 3.

You might remember that we are in the beginning stages of a remodel of our master bathroom and closet. This weekend we decided to tackle removing the tile floor from the bathroom. I had every intention of hiring the contactor to do this, but the feedback I was getting for the costs were more than I was willing to spend on demo. I’m not going to sugar coat this for you… this is a sucky, messy job, but totally a DIY one if you’re willing…

Again, this is what the bathroom looked like just before we moved in. We had already started some updates like wallpaper removal you can checkout here.

Master bathroom BEFORE

After removing my vanity we discovered that the floor tile was set in a bed of concrete and lath and it was roughly 1.5” thick… that’s a LOT of concrete and mainly why we didn’t want to tackle this ourselves.

This is what the layers looked like. Starting with the base there is OSB, tar paper, metal lath, concrete, mortar then tile. Looks fun right?

DIY bathroom tile concrete and lath removal

We used our hammer drill with the spade bit attached for the entire job, I would HIGHLY recommend this tool as it made removing all of these layers a ton easier. Also, you MUST wear eye protection and a face mask, I would also recommend earplugs and something to cover your hair as well… did I mention how dirty this job was?

We found that removing the floor in layers was the easiest and fastest way to go:

Using the hammer drill (with the spade bit attached) we removed all of the tile (which I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to remove), then we separated the concrete from the lath by inserting the spade bit between the two layers, then we pulled up the lath which was held in place with staples (instead of screws which you would most likely see in older homes), then pulled up the tar paper which was also stapled down.

DIY bathroom tile concrete and lath removal

I did most of the removal while my Hubby had the backbreaking chore of lugging all of the debris down to the garage. After 5 hours of work we ended up with this. A nice clean sub floor that was still in good shape thanks to the tar paper and lack of screws holding down the lath.

DIY bathroom tile concrete and lath removal

We’re not 100% done though as we still need to remove the flooring from the water closet / shower area. We originally thought we would still use this area, but decided against it at the last minute. We will need to remove the toilet prior to removing the floor, but that shouldn’t be a problem. BTW all of that dust you see is not from my lack of cleaning, it’s the concrete dust from the demo… trust me you do not want this stuff in your nose or throat so please wear protection.

DIY bathroom tile concrete and lath removal

We still have quite a bit more demo work to do in here, a couple of walls to remove, my Hubby’s vanity, the toilet and shower not to mention the baseboards and door trim, but we feel pretty good about saving money by doing much of the demo work ourselves. Yes, I took some Aleve before I went to bed and when I woke up this morning, but this job could’ve been MUCH worse than it was.

I hope this post helps anyone looking at tackling this particular type of tile and concrete removal. I personally am hoping to never have to do it again…

Have a great week everyone! And as always thanks for stopping by!


The Master Closet Remodel Part. 1

We had SOOO much fun this weekend starting on our master closet remodel / renovation. Lots of drywall dust, carpet crud and insulation removing fun! Here is a recap from the beginning…

Our closet is located off of the master bath, on the end of the house over the garage. It was by far the largest closet we saw while house hunting here in Louisville (which is just one of the reasons we loved this house). Having said that though it has some “issues”, it’s layout is awkward and it’s chilly in there in the winter. As a side note we have already replaced the 2 windows so we are assuming the problem is in the way it was (or was not) insulated.

This is the view looking into the closet from the bathroom:

Master closet renovation remodel

This is my side of the closet. The door you see is access to the unfinished area that slopes down to the garage side walls, it’s large but freaking cold and we didn’t really use it.

Master closet renovation remodel

This is my hubby’s side of the closet, lots of nice natural light on this side, which he totally needed in order to help him determine blue from black suits…

Master closet renovation remodel

Here is the original layout of the master closet, just LOOK at all of that unused space marked “storage”!

Master closet renovation remodel

Below is the most recent plan for the new space, but since we are building the units ourselves this plan is certainly subject to change.master closet plans

One of the closet walls is being moved back in order to enlarge the shower, which is on the other side of that wall. Also, we will be removing the walls on both storage sides of the closet and installing a new knee wall 4 ft. back from the original walls. These changes will make the new walls about 5ft. tall (the original walls were 8ft. tall) and give us an additional 63 sq. ft. of closet space.

I was just thrilled with the space after we removed the center wall, the light just fills the room now… By the way there are 2 windows in the closet, the one you see pictured and the dormer window on the front of the house.

Master closet renovation remodel

We are saving all of the lumber we can so that they can be used to create the new walls. We removed all of the nails out of the wood before removing them from the wall.

Master closet renovation remodel

Now on to opening the side walls. There was insulation in these walls, but only R-13 which I think is the minimum for our zone. We did not save it to reuse as we will need to insulate this room better. This is the unfinished area on the left that they had setup as extra storage space.

Master closet renovation remodel

We then hit a “little” snag… my Hubby was a tad overzealous and started removing some of the vertical 2×4’s before we had a good look at the wall structure. Once we did we stopped removing the 2×4’s. See we’re not 100% sure if this is a load bearing wall or not. See photo of top of the wall below.

Master closet renovation remodel

See the 2×6 beams going across the ceiling of the room appear to be resting somewhat on the wall. Most of the beams appear to be nailed in with 2 nails on one side to the rafters but that doesn’t seems like enough support to us. After HOURS of research we think those beams are collar ties that also happen to be used as the ceiling structure, however we’re just not sure. To be 100% sure we’re having a contractor come by and look at it, if he’s not sure I’ll have a structural engineer come by and take a gander. You don’t happen to be a structural engineer who might know what’s going on here?

 Master closet renovation remodel

We moved on to removing the sheetrock on the other side of the room. This is another extra storage space that they had access to from the bathroom. I think they called this the “suitcase storage” on the realtor listing… again a VERY cold space. Same deal with the walls seeming to support collar ties?!

That’s where we finished up on Sunday. We filled up a bunch of bags of debris and cleaned up as much as possible, but we’re at a standstill until we here about the walls. Luckily we have a door on this room so it’s coldness can be closed off from the rest of the house… BRR!!

If you have any suggestions or ideas about these walls or the space please comment below! Thanks as always for stopping by!

Until next time…


The Year of the Closet and the Invisible Woman

Hey guys… long time no talk right!? Well I’ve (we’ve) been pretty busy over here at the ole homestead. Christmas and New Year’s came and went pretty quickly with no major issues… those of you who have college kids that come home for the holidays may know what I mean…

So in the process of preparing the photos for this post I also downloaded and edited the Christmas photos, of which there was not one of me! Which is not a huge deal, until the kids (and maybe grandkids someday) start looking back at family photos and wonder where I am…. I think this probably happens a lot to those of us who are the “photographers” in the family… seriously I need to make sure someone else picks up the camera every once in a while so there is PROOF that I exist otherwise I’m just the invisible woman behind the lens. First world problems right?!

Ok, I’m officially naming this year the “Year of the Closet” because we are renovation/redesigning 4 of the closets in our home. Some of the updates are quick and pretty simple, but the master closet renovation will be pretty extensive. We just finished our middle daughter’s closet, which is what I’m sharing with you today.

It’s a good sized walk-in closet at 6 foot deep and a little over 5.5 feet wide. It does have a challenge with one side being sloped, but other than that it is a great closet… that will probably NEVER get used because Cassidy attends college in VA and only comes home to KY for short visits, her boyfriend lives in VA and well, you know how that goes…


Before closet update

Pretty useless and all those freaking wire shelves drive me bat sh#it C-R-A-Z-Y, yes I have issues I know…

Closet update remodel

So much more useful now! There is now long hanging space for dresses and  little more hanging space for shirts etc. I painted the walls and shelves the same color, Benjamin Moore White Dove, which I’m totally going to use for the kitchen cabinets too.

Closet update remodel

The shelves are perfect for shoes or sweaters. Also, we had new carpet installed in her bedroom and closet after we built and installed everything. We built this whole unit out of MDF and used our Kreg Jig set to assemble, it made this project pretty easy.

Closet update remodel shelf liner

Also, I bought some pretty vinyl shelf liner online at Chic Shelf Paper, it was a little bit of a splurge, but it’s some terrific stuff. I tried to pick a pattern that was neutral enough, but they have a bunch of fabulous prints like the one below.

Sky Flowers

It’s thick and easy to work with, but I had wanted to wrap the paper over the edge of the shelves and it just wouldn’t stick, because of the thickness I guess.

Sloped ceiling closet rod solution

This was our solution to installing a rod on a sloped ceiling. There are tons of ideas out there, but this worked great for us. We installed a double headed screw on the right end of the pole to keep it taut in the pole holder and then screwed it into place. We put the shelf in place then drilled a hole through the rod and the shelf. We used a 4” hanger bolt, some washers and nuts to keep it all in place… let me tell you this is not going anywhere!

Closet remodel update

We didn’t do too much with the other wall, but we did add a picture rail for hanging décor, purses, robes etc. I could even hang a mirror there too.

Using a picture rail in the closet

The picture rail is attached to the 1×4 we extended from the top right rod holder. The hooks are specialty hooks made just for picture rails, I had them on hand from the last house so I don’t have a source for you, but I know I had to buy them online.

DIY custom closet jewlery display storage

I had a ton of fun designing and installing this little “hidden” jewelry area in the unused area beside the dress hanging section. First I installed some wood framing to help define the space and hold the pieces I wanted to use. I installed an unused tie holder from the master closet and used it for hanging necklaces, works like a charm!

DIY custom closet jewlery display storage

Then I installed 2 medium-sized cup holder hooks on either side of the frame and added a wooden dowel that I had stained and waxed. The right hand side lifts up and swivels out for easy access to the bracelets. The chain is “clock chain” from Lowes, I installed it with brass screws and washers going right through one link of the chain. These are PERFECT for hanging LOTS of earrings.

Baskets for additional closet storage

I also added these baskets I found at JoAnne Fabrics. I attached the little metal nametags with hemp string which I think just adds a little something to them… again probably will never get used but they look super cute!

Before and After closet update and remodel

This closet “renovation” was a kind of test to see how easy/well we could build the built-in shelves, because the master closet needs a LOT more than this! I should’ve painted the shoe shelves before putting them together, but now I know that for next time! Well, what do you think?

Next up is the mudroom closet… nothing fancy, but it’s got to work better for us!

Hope you guys are enjoying yourselves, me I’m already thinking I cannot wait until Spring… I’m cold!

As always thanks for stopping by…


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