DIY Projects With Your Spouse – Shower and Tub Surround Demolition

Once all the research is performed regarding how to tackle your DIY job, gather all your safety equipment and the proper tools.

In our case, we were given recommendations but ignored the advice.

I originally thought we could reuse the tiles. The tool pictured below is what I started with.  It’s a grout scraper/grinder. My original plan was to painstakingly go around each tile grinding down the grout lines and gently pry off each tile off.


After grinding down a couple of grout lines I tried my wimpy picture hanging hammer and pry bar.  I gently went about my task, but all I managed to do was to chip off pieces of tile.

Brilliant idea number 1—fail.

Along with a little whining on my part, we decided reusing the tile wouldn’t be possible and moved onto the big hammer.

Oh what fun it was to smash the wall and watch the pieces fall to the floor.

The floor was the last to be demolished. Not learning my lesson from the walls, I started with a chisel and a maul. Doh-dee-doh……

Brilliant idea number 2—fail.

6K2A2432Pfft….I ended the job with this—my new favorite tool—the sledge hammer. That floor was toast in a matter of minutes. 😀

Other than knitting, this was the most cathartic activity I have participated in.

Our next step was to even out the wall studs so that the backer board would be even when installed. During my research, I learned this was an important step in order to achieve a well done tile job.

The previous not-used-in-showers-anymore-sheet-rock was attached to the studs with a few screws and Liquid Nails (construction adhesive). We had to remove the hardened Liquid Nails to even out the studs.

6K2A2425I started with my 5-in-one–another favorite tool. The removal of hardened Liquid Nails was another time consuming, difficult task. I hurt myself many times. This tool wasn’t exactly a poor choice, but there were easier ways of removing the hardened construction adhesive.

I graduated to using the hairdryer to warm the Liquid Nails along with my 5-in-one. That went a little better, but remained time consuming. My research suggested using a hand wood planer. My husband convinced me we didn’t have that much to remove, so he thought that I needed the puny tool pictured below. It’s a cheap hand wood planer—not exactly what I had in mind, and it didn’t look like the pictures from the book of our expert.



Brilliant idea number 3—fail.

I gave up and let my husband have a go. I retired to the couch with a headache and back spasms. During this time, my husband returned to the hardware store twice. One trip he came back with a power hand wood planer—funny.


The walls are even and we are now ready for installation—finally.

We are using the ‘Traditional Method’ of installing a shower pan. All the conflicting information I gathered, and received from Dave at the hardware store, this one made the most sense to us.

We have begun to build the shower pan. Tin snips are required to cut the metal mesh to place in the bottom of the shower so that the mud will get a good grip. However, just as everything else, I cut the metal mesh with wire cutters. eye roll

Brilliant idea number 4—fail.

I do have a handy tip that I learned from my husband. To avoid the cords of power tools connected to extension cords from becoming unplugged at the most inconvenient time, do this. Always use the proper type of extension cord, I don’t think the wimpy ones should be used with a power tool. Remember–if the tool is not in use, unplug it and keep the cord out of your way.

6K2A2418So far, our marriage is still intact. We have quibbled over one issue. It had something to do with my husband not trusting me when I told him something–he just had to ask Dave at the hardware store who left us more confused, and me more frustrated.

In the future, we agreed to walk through the hardware store like we know what we’re doing and to tell all the little helpers that we know what we’re looking for.

I will blog about our rookie step by step, but we did begin building our shower pan. It didn’t work so I tore it up. Our shower now looks like this. Because we used the proper materials for the pan, this one had to be chiseled out—the sledge hammer didn’t work.6K2A2453

Apparently, we–meaning I–have a little motivation problem.


About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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14 Responses to DIY Projects With Your Spouse – Shower and Tub Surround Demolition

  1. I wish you additional luck in the continuation of your home improvements!

  2. mewhoami says:

    Even with all the ups and downs, this looks like it would be a really fun project. I especially would enjoy the sledge hammer.

  3. Glynis Jolly says:

    You do have another bathroom, right?

  4. Don says:

    You must have got rid of a lot of frustration using that sledgehammer. 🙂

  5. Gallivanta says:

    Who knew that sledge hammering could be so much fun!

  6. suzjones says:

    The sledge hammer – best stress reliever on the market!! Guaranteed to work off stress and shed those pounds!

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