LESLIE: Bill in Florida needs some help with a bathroom remodel. What can we do for you?
BILL: What I’m trying to do is turn a bathroom into a guy bathroom.
TOM: A man space, huh? OK.
BILL: Sure. I have a gas pump in there and a parking meter. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: (chuckling) OK.
BILL: Painting the walls flat gray.
TOM: Alright. (Leslie chuckles)
BILL: What I’d like to do is remove the two vanities and, on one side, put in a parts washer for my sink and then the other side use a rolling toolbox for the toiletries and face towels and shaving …
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK. Well, that’s kind of a cool idea.
BILL: My question is how to safely remove the vanities and the marble backsplash that is attached to the drywall.
TOM: Well, being that it’s a guy space, I’d say just go for it with a sledgehammer.
LESLIE: Yeah. (Bill chuckles)
TOM: First thing, turn the water off. You basically have to disassemble this the same way that it was assembled initially. And so that means turn the water off to the vanities, to the sinks. You probably can do this right in the cabinet and then just open the fixture up and make sure it is, in fact, off. Then you disassemble first the faucet, pull that out; then you disassemble the bowl, pull that out; then you disassemble the vanity and pull that out because that’s the way it went in. First the rough plumbing was in, then the vanity was put around it and so on.
Now, sometimes, depending on how much of the plumbing was done after the vanity was installed, you may not be able to pull it apart. And if that’s the case, you may have to cut it apart, which you can easily do with a reciprocating saw.
TOM: But that would be the proper steps.
BILL: How about removing the marble backsplash from the drywall?
TOM: OK, that’s a little trickier because you’re going to end up peeling apart some of the drywall, especially if it’s glued on. You think it’s …?
LESLIE: Can you use the piano string trick, like we do with mirror?
TOM: Maybe. But you know, if it’s drywall, it’s so hard to save that paper. The piano string trick is to take some like piano wire and like wrap ends around sort of wooden blocks on both sides so you have something to grab onto and you work the wire behind the mirror – or, in this case, the backsplash – and then kind of saw through it and that separates the glue from the wall. But even if you do that, you tend to damage the drywall itself. If that’s the case, you may just need to cut out that drywall and patch in a new piece; which wouldn’t be that hard to do.
BILL: OK. Alright. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project and send us some pictures when you’re done.
BILL: Thank you. I’ll do it.
TOM: Alright, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
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