The strip out of the bathroom is one of the most important steps as many things can go wrong if you are not careful. First step before you get started on anything is to prep the floors with drop sheets and cover up all the furniture. This is the dustiest, messiest and noisiest part of the project. Make sure you have all necessary protection. i.e. earmuffs, protective glasses, breathing masks, gloves, protective footwear and clothing.
Now let’s get into it!
First step is to disconnect and cap off all plumbing fixtures including toilet, tapware, and vanity. You will need copper or plastic caps to close off all the water pipes. Turning off the main water is necessary to ensure you can close these off correctly.
Next you need to disconnect any electricals and make sure you correctly close them off. Professional help is generally recommended for the capping off stages of electrical and plumbing because any wrong move and you are in serious danger to yourself, those around you and of course damage to the entire house. We strongly suggest you get a licensed electrician for disconnecting and capping off the electricals. This will be the same electrician you use for the final connections.
Next step is to close off all drains to ensure debris doesn’t clog them up. Generally a thick sponge is the best way to close it off completely.
Carefully proceed with the removal of the wall tiles. How you remove the tiles depends on whether they are fixed to a rendered brick surface or villaboard sheeted wall. Bear in mind that this is a very physical part of the whole process and involves heavy lifting and a lot of exertion.
If rendered, be very careful with jack hammering off the tiles as any wrong move can easily damage plumbing and cause a instant flooding if the mains are still running.
If you have villaboard walls, you can simply jack hammer the edge tile, get a crowbar behind and start pulling off the walls behind the tiles. This is much easier than rendered surfaces because the villaboard with the old tiles attached will come off in big sections. Be aware that this step will generate a LOT of dust. Approved breathing masks should be worn at all times. Make sure you have a council approved disposal system (eg. builders skip bin) to dispose of all the rubble. You should also a have pre-planned route from the bathroom to the skip bin which will facilitate your wheelbarrow (account for narrow doorways and hallways, lay down protection for carpet or timber floors).
Once all the walls are removed and cleaned up you can start with the flooring. Be wary if you live in concrete units as copper pipes running through the flooring is not uncommon! You want to constantly clean up as you are removing tiles to ensure nothing hidden appears. If you live in a house or unit that has timber flooring, make sure your chipboard flooring remains undamaged. If you find there is rot from water damage, you will need to remove this very carefully without damaging joists. Remember SAFETY FIRST as this will be very tricky as you will need to balance on joists whilst removing the flooring. Professional help is recommended for this step.
Once all the above stages are complete clean, sweep and vacuum up all areas to ensure that no old material is left behind. Then go through and double check that each stage has been completed properly.