Cutting Concrete Slab
LESLIE: Doug in Washington needs help installing a second bathroom or maybe a third. Hey, Doug, what’s going on?DOUG: Hi. I’m actually installing a bathroom in the garage that I’ve converted for my home office.
LESLIE: Oh, perfect.
DOUG: And, yeah, it’s a concrete slab and putting in a shower, a toilet and a tub. And I actually, from the way that it’s going to lay out …
TOM: You plan to stay there a long time, don’t you, Doug? (Doug chuckles) In that office.
DOUG: Not sure but I do want there to be a bathroom over here, so …
DOUG: So the question is – I’ve never cut through a concrete floor and I think the slab is probably 25-years-old or more. What should I do to tackle that or is that a job that I should hire out instead?
TOM: Well, it’s a big – it’s a big job, especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever done it. This whole thing is a pretty complicated plumbing job. The first question is where is the waste pipe and are you above it?
DOUG: Yes. I’ve already located the sewer line and it’s not difficult to tap into that. The big chore I’m going to have is getting through the concrete.
TOM: Well, what you would do in that situation, Doug, is you may go to a rental center and you could rent the saw that is used to cut concrete and, essentially, it’s a saw that has an abrasive blade on it. You sort of curve the concrete around the hole and then you might use a jackhammer to break it out.
LESLIE: So you sort of score the perimeter?
TOM: Sort of score it pretty deep all the way around and that’s the way you get a really clean, square cut.
LESLIE: You know, similar to notching like a four-by-four post or a six-by-six where you sort of create the perimeter and then sort of notch in the middle. Would you do that the same way with the concrete?
TOM: I would just cut the four corners of the place I want to take it out, so I have a nice square, and then I would jackhammer out the middle. And this is the way to do it without disturbing the rest of the floor and then of course after it’s all done, you’re going to have to, you know, pour a patch in there.
DOUG: OK. Very good.
TOM: Alright. Listen, if you feel like it’s too much for you, you wouldn’t be admitting defeat if you hired a plumber just to rough this in for you.
TOM: And then you could concentrate on all the stuff that’s above the floor but have the plumber just rough-in the drain. They could probably get it done in a quarter of the time.
DOUG: Very good. OK. Well, thank you very much for taking my call.
TOM: You’re welcome, Doug. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.