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The Goddamn Bathroom Floor: Demo to Blank Slate

June 15, 2011

When I moved into my condo, I knew the development was old (approximately 60 years old), and that the bathroom needed to be rehauled. Since I’m poorish, I decided I would do the work myself. I started on May 27, 2011.

I’m thinking the theme of this blog will be, “The Previous Owners Fucked Everything with Their Ugly, Stupid Dicks.”

1. To start, I removed bathroom door for easier access in and out. The door hinges were painted over with the thickest paint available on the market. Actually, they may have gone to the black market for even thicker paint, like, shit you can only buy in Russia because it was made in the 70’s and contains Uranium and the ashes of war criminals. That, or they troweled on Satan’s Gloppy Jizz with a bible. Just to give you an idea of how badly they desecrated these door hinges.

Anyway, I carved the hinges out with a knife and the brute force God grants to the rightfully indignant, and I moved the door to the living room, along with a good chunk of the trim paint. I cursed in 3 languages and moved on.

2. Next, I removed the hideous medicine cabinet after I hit my head on the corner of it. Twice. The screws holding it up were painted over, with the same type of paint as the door hinges. WHY. Additionally, the cabinet was glued to the wall. I’m glad they were so thorough, I would have been so mad if that piece of shit cabinet had ever fallen off.

3. I removed the baseboards. You’ll never guess how they attached them to the wall. WITH GLUE. I know that you are just as shocked as I was upon discovering this. With one section of the baseboard, I also managed to remove drywall. Now I have a cute hole in the wall. It matches the hole in the floor. THERE IS GODDAMN HUMAN HAIR IN THE WALL DO I LIVE IN A HORROR MOVIE ARE THERE PEOPLE LIVING/ENTOMBED IN MY WALLS??!


4. I turned my attention to the wrist size bead of caulk glommed around the bathtub. (Which, by the way, looks like a squatters tub in some rancid tenement. The tile is the color of diarrhea medicine, and there are mysterious blue-green stains in the tub itself. It’s all very…colorful.) I peeled one corner off, and decided to drink deal with it later. I did, however, remove just enough to where I can…

5. Started removing the nasty peel and stick tiles from the floor. Several of these tiles have been slowly escaping (who could blame them), so I grabbed a corner and tugged. Underneath was vinyl sheet flooring. Flooring which was stapled to a piece of plywood. The staples went all the way through 4 layers of flooring to the original peel and stick tiles (seriously, did they make these all the way back in the fifties?), which have apparently been soldered to the floor. I grabbed a pry bar and got to chiseling the floor off.

It has now been about 6 hours.

6. Jeff arrived, with awesome tools, including a heat gun. I pointed out that the heat gun will help remove tiles, he insisted on chiseling. I think he was a stonemason in another life. I managed to convince him to try it out, it worked (obviously, it was my idea), and we were left with a very, very sticky subfloor. LaBrea tar pit sticky. I think Jeff lost half a toe, because he stood in one place too long. So we started balancing on boards to work around the bathroom. My back was spasming too much to laugh at this situation.

7. We used the heat gun to remove the python of caulk around the tub. This was mostly uneventful and I consider it the one thing that went off without a hitch.

8. This entire time, we were stopping here and there to tug staples out of the floor. Hundreds of staples. I got a bruise on my PALM from holding the pliers in my hate-grip.

9. Then it was the time to remove the toilet. Jeff informed me that the toilet was barely screwed down to the floor. There are screws, sure, but they are just for show. Luckily, the toilet was glued down. IMAGINE THAT.

10. I have my first breakdown when the water valve to the toilet wouldn’t turn all the way off, leaving us with a small, steady stream of water. The breakdown became a tornado of rage when the maintenance staff informed me that they won’t shut off the water to my unit because there is no individual water main, just valves for the entire building. I killed them with my mind and after I threw a grand mal tantrum, Jeff bought a cap and just capped the valve. I put an empty yogurt container under it to catch the slight drips. I pat myself on the back for recycling.  

I'm just pretending I give a shit.

11. We finished removing the layers of floor, much of which had disintegrated into dirt (this was common around the rest of the bathroom). I had no idea this whole time I’ve basically been living on compost.

12. This entire time we were still pulling out staples. They were easy to find with MY FEET. I was also vacuuming like a freak, because I bought a shop vac and goddamnit I am going to use it.

13. Miscellaneous side jobs: making the hole in the drywall larger, and then patching it. Patching the gaping hole that surrounds the light switch. Trying many things to remove the glue from the baseboards (that failed, the glue is still there). Making 3 trips to Home Depot. Patching a big hole in the subfloor. Screwing the subfloor to the joists, since it was just kind of floating around the bathroom wondering where to go.

14. I used a leveling compound to fill in gouges, holes, and sunken areas. Jeff nags me that it’s kind of pointless. I ignored him, because I remember about that damn heat gun. In hindsight, he might have had 1/10 of a point, but I feel better for having leveled.

15. I waterproofed the floor with Redguard. I admired the neon glow of the floor, and considered keeping it this way before I realized I was delirious from exhaustion.

Next up: Goddamn Tile.


From → Bathroom

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