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How-To Drywall
Hometime Logo Dean Johnson
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Trans 1) Getting Started Trans
2) Building Codes
3) Removing Toilets & Sinks
4) Demolishing Tubs and Walls
5) Framing Walls & Windows
6) Framing Showers & Tubs
7) Mechanical Systems
8) Drywall and Backer Board
9) Cabinets
10) Countertops
11) Ceramic Tile
12) Vinyl Flooring
13) Picking Faucets & Sinks
14) Choosing Showers, Tubs & Toilets
15) Finishing Touches

Loosening Countertops & Cabinets

pry-bar and cabinetCountertops are often secured onto cabinets by screws coming up through cabinet framing. After removing the screws, the countertop may easily be pulled off.

Countertops that are glued to cabinet framing can sometimes be pried free. However, some glues are stronger than the frames so be prepared to break or cut the top off.

Cabinets are usually screwed to the wall through a nailing strip and fasten to each other where their frames meet. So remove all those screws to separate them.

Ripping Out Bath Tubs

Dean Johnson ripping out bathtubTub flanges are generally installed behind finished walls, so they may need to be removed after any wall demolition.

Disconnect the tub drain tailpiece from the trap. Catch the extra water with a bucket.

Remove any fasteners holding the tub to the wall studs, and that should let you pull it away from the wall.

If a tub won't fit through the door and is in poor shape, one solution is to break it into pieces with a sledgehammer.

Tearing Off Wall Surfaces

smashing tile with hammerRemoving old ceramic tile and plaster is fairly easy using hammers and flat bars to break through the surfaces and pry away the materials.

For drywall (and some plaster), you may be able to pop off sections at a time instead of breaking it up and creating a lot of dust.

Saws are also helpful for initiating vertical cuts between the studs and minimizing the hammering needed. But be wary of "live" electrical and water lines.

CAUTION: Always wear proper eye, ear, skin and breathing protection to combat all the dust, debris and noise of wall demolition. And always assume there are wires or pipes in any wall you're breaking into and proceed carefully.

demolition trashRemove any screws or nails remaining in the wall studs. Vacuum or broom out the dust in the room.

Demolishing walls always produces more waste than you expect, so think about renting a small dumpster to easily dispose of waste.

Removing Door Jambs, Pipes &Wiring

recipricating saw cutting door frameBefore you begin tearing out any pipes or wires, make sure they're not "live."

Remove door jambs by sliding a reciprocating saw between the jamb and framing, then cut the nails on the top and sides.

The quickest way to remove plastic or metal pipe is to cut it. If you're going to join a cut piece of pipe with a new run, be sure to leave enough of a stub to fit a coupling.

For wiring, disconnect the power to the circuits you're going to be working on and post a sign on the panel box to let others know about it.

Test the wires with a continuity tester to be absolutely sure they're "dead." Cut the ends clean or twist/tape them together and pull them through the framing.

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