About 80% of the paneling is down, and 30% of the drywall behind it. I also pulled apart the makeshift sink cabinet below, which was put together so cheaply, and sustained so much water damage, that it was like pulling apart cardboard. The frustration is that much of the drywall won't come out in sheets, it comes out only in hand-sized chunks. We also have to be careful with ripping it down, because we don't want to damage the drywall in the rooms on the other side.
The mystery and solution of the "sinking toilet" was confirmed: previous water damage. Apparently, the previous owners started seeing the same thing, so they used some gray putty or filler to shore up the toilet, and used construction adhesive to glue down the tiles (with no grout). Then, to cover up the ugly wallpaper and drywall damage, they put up the paneling, and glued that, to the wallpaper, with the same construction adhesive. The adhesive was not waterproof, so over time, the paneling peeled away from the wall, so they used drywall screws to keep it attached. The paneling buckled at the screws and moisture warped the fiberboard back. Then they sold the house to us. If we hadn't shut down that bathroom, someone would have sat on the toilet one day, and collapsed it into the floor, possibly falling into the bathroom below. There is also evidence showing up the the small bathroom behind this one (connected to the master bedroom), was also leaking (it's not leaking currently, that's the bathroom we demanded they fix and provide a receipt from a real plumber).
It's tiring, dusty, hard work. But we're getting there. I estimate at least half of the demolition will be done by the end of this weekend. By the end of next weekend, hopefully, we'll have everything out but the tub. We're taking it slow and easy, not rushing anything, because we want to be careful and fastidious. We have set aside the whole month of September to get all the crap out and removed. Then we'll asses what we have, and start rebuilding.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000589.html