Our demo party filled the first dumpster, so we swapped it for another one the same size and we filled it up too. In addition to all of the remaining plaster and lath debris, of which there was plenty, we took up the flooring down to the subfloor. This was an involved process, mostly because there wasn’t anywhere that had only one layer of flooring. The living room and dining room had a floated Pergo-style laminted pressboard floor that looked like hardwood. It, like most of the work done to the house shortly before we bought it, was cheap and installed badly. Despite being less than ten years old, it was in bad shape and we pitched it. Under that was peel-and-stick tiles, under that was a thin veneer hardwood, under that was the original hardwood floors, and under that was an inch-thick layer of plaster, mud, and general crud from when the house was built.

Under-floor Crud

As with the first floor, we didn’t save the hardwood floors. For one, there wasn’t enough of it. We’re completely changing the floor plan which would complicate any effort to save it, we’re installing radiant heated floors, and they were in really rough shape from all of the nails.

Bathroom floor removal in progress

Living room done, dining room in progress

Because our subfloor is planks that are spaced apart by a quarter inch or more, we couldn’t use a broom to sweep up all the debris without pushing cascades of crud through the cracks and down into the first floor where all of our stuff is in storage. Now granted, we covered everything with tarps and it’s all pretty dirty already anyway from the dust of the demo party and unavoidable debris that comes down anyway, including through various holes in the floors and walls. Even so, we wanted to do what we could to prevent it from being any worse than it had to be. Sarah spent several hours a day over the better part of two weeks sucking up all the crap with the shopvac. We hauled out about eight contractor bags of the stuff and filled our toters a few times, since the dumpster was gone.

Of course, then I went around de-nailing studs and joists and leaving nails and random other bits of crud all over the floors she had just vacuumed, but this is kind of how it goes. I’ll get it cleaned up again after we’ve pulled out the rest of the interior walls and the plumbing and are ready to start putting things back together. It’s already starting to look like the kind of space we can start building things in, but it will really start looking promising once we get the whole floor completely cleared out.

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2 Responses to Second Floor Demo Floor Demo

  1. Jon says:

    Maybe you can burn that old wood for some heat up there this month 😉

    Are your floors sagging on the 2nd floor? If so, do you plan to level them like the 1st floor by adding strips on top?

    Are your 2nd floor joists 2×8’s? If you are tiling or putting down stone in the 2nd floor bathroom, do you foresee having to strengthen what’s there to avoid deflection issues?

  2. Matt says:

    Heh, we’ve burned some of the old pieces in the past in our firepit, so long as they aren’t painted or varnished. The floor joists on the second floor are 2x10s, just like the first floor. The attic is only 2x6s, which is an issue since we want to make that livable space. We’re not sure how level they are, but we’re expecting we’ll need to do something similar to the first floor, if not something more ambitious, which we’re currently considering. Most of the second floor will be hardwood, but the bathrooms will probably be tiled.

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