5 Demo Tips
Demo is usually the easiest, fastest and most fun part of the job… it could also be very costly and ultimately time consuming if you don’t do it right.
#1 Removing Trim… First thing is to always run your knife along the edge of any base, door or window trim. By cutting the caulking in half, this separates the trim from the painted surface on the wall.
#2 Slowly and gently pry it away from the wall with two flat bars if you have them. This picture shows the damage “on purpose” that can occur if one forgets to use the knife first.
#3 Probably one of the most used tools in my pouch are the nippers. There round head allows for minimal effort when removing nails. Simply grip tight and roll to the side. If you’re planning on reusing the trim or any board be sure to slowly and gently remove the nails from the back side. This will ensure the front will stay whole and undamaged. By pulling them from the backside any paint or wood filler will be left undamaged on the front.
#4 Keep in mind that there can always be hidden electrical, plumbing or in this case metal studs tucked away behind what you’re removing. Be thorough when looking for screws/nails holding things together. My method of “surgical demo” meaning slow and methodical deconstruction of anything that is questionable was definitely used for this area.
#5 A bad tile installations usually mean the use of inferior materials or inexperienced workmanship. The plan was to remove the tile in the Foyer and do hardwood floors throughout the main area and hall. This previous installer made a few mistakes during his install. Follow these tips and you won’t. #1 Use the best grade of thin-set that you can afford when laying tile. More expensive means more glue and sticking power. #2 They did not apply adequate pressure to the tile after laying it down. One should always spread your fingers out and press slightly down while wiggling the tile to ensure a good even bond. Applying pressure that does not lower the height of the tile by more than a 1/16” is just about right. #3 It is absolutely crucial to wet the concrete surface down weather it is solid slab or even concrete backer board that you just installed. This act will prevent the concrete from immediately wicking away all the moisture in the thin-set. Without enough moisture, thin-set will NOT cure and bond properly. The further I got into removing this tile the chalkier and easily flaked off the thin-set became. I was completely surprised it lasted as long as it did without cracking.
By reverse-engineering so to speak the instillation process of anything during its removal, instead of just smashing it to pieces. A person can learn a lot, of both what to do and what NOT to do during the instillation of a new one. Once it is out then you can smash it to pieces if that makes you happy.
Cozy, Kevin B Harrington