Next, I started to gut the bathroom. This was an exhausting, dirty job. The plaster was difficult to remove in this particular bathroom because there were a lot of corners. The corners made it difficult because they were reinforced with a heavy duty wire mesh. Also, the wall down the middle of the bathroom added a significant amount of time to the demolition process.
Things got worse when I started to tear down the ceiling. The stud spaces on the north wall of the bathroom were open to the attic and full of Styrofoam insulation. This type of insulation is hard to clean up because it’s extremely light and goes everywhere. The entire floor was covered in about a foot of this stuff when it was finally stopped pouring out of the wall. Also, as I was tearing down the ceiling I thought I heard a strange chatter/growling noise. I turned down the radio and sure enough, it was another bat. I could hear it, but I couldn’t find it. So, I decided to move into the hallway to work, hoping that it would either come out or retreat back into the attic. Well, after about 5 minutes it came flying out of the bathroom directly at me. I had a pair of pliers in my hand and instinctively swatted it out of the air. This grossed me out a little so I decided to call it quits for that day. In total, it took me about 14 hours to completely remove the plaster from the bathroom. I also ran into two more bats during the removal, though they just sat there and let me flick them into a box (probably because they were hibernating).
After the plaster was gone I stuffed the openings to the attic with fiberglass, removed the old wiring, broke up the cast-iron tub with a sledgehammer, and removed the subflooring. Then I was ready to start putting everything back together. I decided to reconfigure the layout of the entire area so I could fit a new half bath at the end of the hallway. This involved covering three existing doorways, making a new doorway, and building a short wall. However, I first covered the whole floor with 7/16th inch OSB plywood. There was a giant hole in the floor where a laundry chute used to be so I had to frame in supports as well. After the floor was covered and everything framed, I had to shim some surfaces to create an even transition from plaster to drywall. Notice the 1/2 inch plywood on the studs.
Next, I rewired everything to code and insulated. This involved using GFI outlets, installing a fan vent, and making sure there would be enough lighting. I was lucky enough to get the insulation for free from my father. He’s currently remodeling an older lake house and decided to use new, more efficient insulation. So, I went to his job site and grabbed what I needed. I also framed in a new ceiling directly below the old one to make room for more insulation.
After that I was ready to set the tub. I purchased a tub/shower that installed in 4 pieces. It was very easy to install and looked decent for what it cost. I started by framing a short wall on the end of the tub. Next, I set the base and screwed it into position. The wall pieces were glued to the studs and screwed into place. Lastly, I roughed in the plumbing for the tub/shower. Both bathrooms are now ready for drywall.