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Demolition in the Shower Room!

It's that time again; dust, rubble, chaos and destruction! Yep, we're back on the demolition. Plans for our kitchen renovation are finally underway after much discussion, plotting and planning. And of course, it begins with some demo-work in the old shower room.

This room was always the worst room in the house. It doesn't feel like part of the house, it feels like an outbuilding. It's cold (really freaking cold!) and using this room as a shower room (which we did whilst renovating the upstairs bathroom) made this room mouldy, dank and completely inappropriate for use as any kind of room. For the last several months, we've kept the door of this room firmly shut at all times and preferred to completely ignore it. So needless to say, I'm pretty excited to finally be demolishing it!

As a little background about this room: it's part of an old single-story extension at the back of the house. The extension is split into two rooms: this one, and the kitchen. The final goal is remove the wall separating the two and have this room as part of the kitchen. The back wall (with the window) is only single-skin of brick, hence why this room is so freaking cold, so we also intend on insulating it and making it feel more like a room and not a shed.

But first we needed to turn it into an empty shell. Here's a glance at how this room looked pre-demolition....

old downstairs shower room
disability shower
shower room demolition
dated bathroom
old bathroom decor
polystyrene tiles in bathroom

Wallpaper in the bathroom is never a good idea; you can already see it was beginning to peel away and a lack of ventilation in here was causing even the tiles to become loose. I truly have no idea how the previous owner managed to keep it in such great shape, because we failed. This room desperately needed bringing into the 21st century.

With my newly purchased wallpaper steamer (oh yes, I went all out and finally ditched the substitute steam mop) I finally got demolition underway. I soon discovered this rather bold fuchsia pink wall colour choice... What a colour. Mind you, it beats the diarrhoea brown on the back wall....

demolition in the shower room
pink walls in shower room
Eurgh. We stripped the walls from wallpaper and took off the tiles, uncovering yet more tiles! Oh the joys of lazy decorators. Some of the tiles had been plastered over (not sure why?!) and then re-tiled, and some had simply just been tiled straight over without the re-plaster. Removing the first set of tiles and extra plaster was easily done with just a few basic tools, although it did create lots of dust... Oh, the dust.

removing tiles in shower room
plaster dust

But the second set of tiles? These were an absolute nightmare to remove by hand. It was as if they had been stuck on with the most super of super-glues. So we purchased a new SDS drill which was amaaaaazing. Our last SDS drill didn't even last a day, so I was keen to splash out a little extra on this one, and I'm so glad I did. I came with extra speeds and was far more controllable than our first one - So worth the extra dollar and it removed these tiles like an absolute BOSS. Most of the tiles will be hidden at the back of the new kitchen units, so we only removed the top row of tiles and the ones around the old shower. This way, the plaster remained in tact and overall it will be a lot less messy - plus, never be seen.

tiles underneath tiles
old tiles impossible to remove
using an SDS drill on tiles

The radiator was then disconnected as its completely unnecessary on the grounds that we don't use our boiler which is from the 60s, hugely uneconomical and potentially quite dangerous. It's an old back boiler, so we can't even make a like-for-like swap, we need a whole new system. Since we can't afford to make the swap, we don't need any radiators and we're actually going to be installing underfloor heating in this room which will hopefully be far better than a radiator anyway.

removing a radiator
removing a radiator

And then of course, we needed to remove the actual bathroom suite. Or is it, shower-room suite? Luckily the plumbing for this room had an isolation valve (hurray for savvy plumbers!) so we simply isolated the supply and ripped apart this room, piece by piece without having to shut off water to the whole house.

bathroom demolition
taking out a downstairs bathroom

Removing and capping off the toilet was a particular internet search I struggled with. I knew we needed to 'cap' it somehow, but finding the right cap took me days... Why it isn't called a 'toilet cap' I or 'toilet plug' I have no idea. If this is a job you're looking to take on, you need this.... A steel drain test plug.

how to plug a toilet
how to cap off a toilet forever

We shoved it down the soil stack as far as we could and then turning the screw pushes the rubber down and outwards creating a total seal meaning no smells can escape. Unused soil stacks (or sections of) can become a nesting ground for rats, so it's essential to properly close it off. We'll be concreting over this plug and hole to make it extra secure.

how to remove a bathroom forever

And... huzzah! I think it actually already looks better. How about you? Next job for this room is removing the dividing brick wall which I'm totally nervous about. We've had the go-ahead from the local building control that it's non-structural, but I'm still totally wary.

But, onwards and upwards!

Total Costs

(rounded to the nearest pound)

New Tools Purchased:
Steam Wallpaper Stripper £25
SDS Drill £50

Materials Used:
Toilet Cap £9

Total Cost: £84

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