Tearing Down the Walls! – How to Remove Bathroom Drywall

Contain the Mayhem

Bathroom demolition candidates start your engines! Grab that hammer, utility knife, flat bar, reciprocating saw and power drill for removing drywall screws.

Get ready to pry out nails and drill out screws, and I hope your slashing and cutting skills are up to par with that reciprocating saw because we are about to get down and dirty in your bathroom renovation.

But before you begin, you’d better shut off the power at the service panel and quad off your demolition site to contain the glorious mayhem you are about to participate in. Hey and by the way don’t forget to remove all the cover plates from the electrical boxes and any trim and baseboards you may have along with your bathroom walls.

You can use a putty knife and flat pry bar for this. Just remember as you move along the wall trim, keep the putty knife behind the pry bar for added control and leverage.

Gloves, coveralls or old work clothes, eye protection and a two strap fine-dust mask are pretty much a given at this stage. Ok, now the fun begins. Take hold of your hammer and punch a line of holes high up on your bathroom walls to create puncture gaps that you can grab and pull off the drywall.

Don’t get too carried away just yet because you still have to be careful not to damage any pipes, wiring or ventilation ducts concealed from sight. If you are unsure what’s behind the drywall then tap on the wall lightly to find a hollow spot and then begin hammering there.

This is a messy job, so suck it up princess. If on the other hand, you like to get grubby then all the power to you.

With your gloved hands, seize the drywall and tear it away from your bathroom wall, making sure to pry it free from whatever fastens it in place as you go. Drywall is cheap, so there is no use trying to save any of it.

Break it, tear it, cut it and puncture it, just take it down. Try to remove it in as large pieces as possible, and a little secret to help with your clean up later is not to drop it on the floor but instead throw it in a disposal bin right away.

That way you have less to clean up. And don’t forget to clean off the studs by backing out screws and pulling out any protruding nails which ultimately makes the studs safer to handle. Because of all the dust and debris, it is sometimes difficult to tell if the stud has any protrusions.

Another trade secret is to slide your putty knife or hammer along the stud, and if it catches you know there is something there. Give yourself plenty of time, about an hour-and-a-half per thirty-two square feet of drywall. And if you are unfortunate enough to encounter troublesome construction adhesive use a chisel or paint scraper to remove the residue.

There are also solvents available to help soften annoying spots.


Feature image credit: speakingofsafety.ca