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How to Demolish a Bathroom

Here's how to demolish a bathroom before you remodel it.

More in Bathroom

Step 1: Remove the Old Fixtures and Components

The first thing you need to do after you have a plan is to start taking down the old fixtures and components. If there is a mirror, tackle it first, but be careful because if it's glued on, the job can be a little tricky. Begin by running a 5-in-1 tool along the edge of the mirror. If the room has been painted since the mirror was installed, the dry paint could make it more difficult to come off. By using a flat pry bar, start at one end, carefully start prying the top edge of the mirror, making sure not to apply too much pressure. Move along the top edge and simply pull the mirror loose in small amounts.

Note: In addition to the brackets that hold the mirror, it may also be attached with mirror mastic. You must be extremely careful removing a glued-on mirror to avoid breaking the glass.

Step 2: Remove the Vanity

Once the mirror is off, it's time to remove the vanity and the lights. First, remove the bracket(s) that were used to hold the mirror in place.

Begin the task of unhooking the connections under the vanity:

  • Turn off the water supply.
  • Disconnect the supply line from the valves.
  • Remove the connection to the drain stopper.
  • Disconnect the drain pipes.

Now the vanity is free to be lifted and removed from the base cabinet.

removing the vanity

Step 3: Remove the Baseboards

Next, remove the baseboards along the wall. This will make it easier to remove the old cabinet.

Step 4: Remove the P-trap

Remove the P-trap portion of the drain.

Expert advice: Whenever you have to disconnect the P-trap portion of the drain or any other drain assembly, it's a good time to clean it out and inspect any seals or gaskets that can develop a leak in the future. Replace any that have significant wear and tear.

remove P trap

Step 5: Remove the Shut-Off Valves

Turn off the water-main valve and remove all of the shut-off valves. This will let the pipes slip through the holes.

Step 6: Remove the Screws and Cabinet

Remove the screws that hold the cabinet in place and remove the base cabinet from the wall.

Step 7: Remove the Light Fixture

After turning the power off at the breaker box, remove the bulbs to the light fixture, take the decorative covers off, remove the screws and then the main-fixture housing. Cap off all the wires with a crimp. Finally, remove the fixture bracket.

remove old light fixture

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