DIY Network

How to Prep a Wall for New Plumbing

Host Paul Ryan starts a three-part project to convert an out-of-date kitchen into a Victorian masterpiece. He demonstrates how to knock off old plaster and open a wall up for plumbing.

More in Plumbing

  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Step 1: Remove the Old Plaster

Figure out where new plumbing will run so you know how much of the wall needs to be removed, and mark the area.

Put drop cloths down to protect the new underlayment while removing the old plaster and lathe.

Remove the old plaster and lathe using a pry bar and hammer. Be careful for electrical and gas lines.

Clean up debris as you go to keep dust out of the rest of the house.

remove old plaster and lathe using a pry bar

Step 2: Install Fire Blocks

Note: To prevent a fire from spreading up to the attic, Ryan installs a fire block. Old walls are open all the way up through a house. To prevent fire from spreading, install fire blocks between studs in the wall.

Measure the space between the studs and cut 2x4" pieces to fit. You may need to notch out for pipes or wires.

Make sure the blocks fit snug, pound into place.

Toe-nail them into studs on both sides.

installing a fire block

Step 3: Cut the Drywall Pieces

Have a plumber run new water lines and a gas line.

While the wall is open, mark where the studs are so you know where to attach drywall screws. It will also come in handy later when you are trying to anchor cabinets.

Cut 1/2" drywall pieces to close up the wall, mark and cut out water pipes, electrical boxes and gas line connection.

Step 4: Secure and Finish the Drywall

Screw in the drywall using 1/2" drywall screws.

Tape the seams with self-adhesive fiberglass tape.

Mud the joints and screw holes with joint compound and mudding knife. Let dry.

Sand the mudded area smooth using a sanding block.

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