Keeping in mind our current focus of having heat this winter, we need to re-frame the wet wall so that Lester, our radiant heating installer, can run the radiant plumbing up to the second floor, where we’ll be installing two new radiators. That means we have to take the old wall out.

Wet wall before

Wet wall before

The first step in this process was to remove the old toilet flange where the original bathroom was and replace the rotted floor joist. In the process I realized that the 6″ x 8″ rim joist along the outside wall below where the bathtub had been was completely rotted as well. Fortunately I saved the old center beam and columns from the basement, which are the same size, so I can cut a replacement piece to fit.

Toilet flange and rotted joist

Toilet flange and rotted joist

After trying a rented snap cutter, I wound up using carbide blades on a reciprocating saw to cut off the old cast iron drain and cap it. I also used the reciprocating saw to cut off the unused vent pipe. At some point over the years the original (correct) drain venting had been disconnected in favor of just wet-venting through the soil stack. This is less of a problem now that we’ve gotten rid of the first floor connections. We’ll come back and replace all the above-ground cast iron with PVC and put in proper venting at the same time.

Wet wall removed

Wet wall removed

I cut back the floor boards so I could get the rotted joist out and then took out the remaining studs, which by this point were hanging from the ceiling. At this point the only semblance of a wet wall was the two drain pipes, the two supply plumbing pipes, and the gas line. I need to cut back the subfloor a bit more to fit in the new OSB.

I spent some time planning out the wet wall, including where plumbing would go. The challenge is toilet drains, since I don’t want to notch joists. I realized that when we do the second floor I’ll need to replace two of the joists with engineered I-Joists so that we can cut 4″ holes in them. I also need to put in some 16″ O.C. blocking to support the wet wall, since it doesn’t line up with an existing joist. Instead it lines up with the PSL column we put in, which sits between two joists.

The plan is to get this done this weekend. I’ll pick up the lumber tonight and hopefully get the subfloor done tomorrow and the wall framing done on Sunday.

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