removing plaster wall ...best way?

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Old 06-06-20, 04:33 PM
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removing plaster wall ...best way?

I need to remove some plaster wall inside a closet to gain access to my bathroom waste pipe. I was wondering whats the best way to remove a section of plaster wall, can it be cut with sawsall or circular hand ginder? Never done this before and should I repair the wall with drywall or plaster? Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 06-06-20, 05:26 PM
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Is this a real plaster wall or drywall. Makes a big difference.. When was house built could give us a possible answer.
 
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Old 06-06-20, 07:48 PM
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A vibrating saw would work. You don't want to use a Sawzall to open a wall that has live water pipes until you can see in the wall. Ultimately you'll be removing the plaster from stud to stud so that you could replace it with a piece of sheetrock or wood.
 
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Old 06-06-20, 08:06 PM
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Make your initial hole with a hammer. Once you can get your arm inside the wall to feel for electrical and plumbing, if you determine it's safe, then enlarge the hole with a sawzall.

Whether or not you use plaster or drywall kind of depends on your wall texture. Drywall doesnt look like rough or sanded plaster. Smooth plaster maybe.
 
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Old 06-07-20, 02:55 AM
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I'd patch with drywall but leave the drywall just shy of the finished wall and then use Durabond to float out the repair making it level with the rest.
 
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Old 06-07-20, 05:07 AM
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When attacking a section of a plaster wall, I usually use a Sawzall at an angle to only score or cut through the plaster without cutting through the lathe. Sort of like scoring drywall with a utility knife. Then using a hammer or pry bar to pull the plaster off the lathe.

Then I'll go back and score or just cut through the lathe separately with the sawzall. But as mentioned, with pipes and who knows what else in that wall, you don't want to plunge the saw into the wall.

Be cautioned though, regardless whether you go the hammer or saw route, you're going to make a LOT of fine dust. Take everything out of the closet, put down a dropcloth, wear a mask, close the door behind you, and use the drop cloth to seal the gap at the bottom of the door.
 
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Old 06-07-20, 05:10 AM
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Anytime you're cutting plaster in a living area it makes sense to have someone run a shop vac to suck up the dust while you cut.
 
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Old 06-07-20, 04:36 PM
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perfect, thank you for the help
 
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Old 06-07-20, 05:37 PM
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If the wall is plaster over gypsum lath either a reciprocating saw or a cuircular saw will work. Both make terrible dust as mentioned. If it is wood lath a recip saw will vibrate the lath on either side of the cut and shake more plaster loose. This is fixable but easier if it is avoided. The precautions about things inside the wall apply either way.
 
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Old 06-08-20, 07:18 AM
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I havent had the time yet to start on opening the wall so Im still not sure what Ill find, this house was built circa 1950 all the walls are plaster, even the ceiling.
 
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Old 06-08-20, 09:03 AM
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I don't know for sure but I think houses built in that time frame used gypsum lath instead of wood lath.
 
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Old 06-08-20, 09:30 AM
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How large a hole do you need? If it is not too large a hand saw will make less mess. I don't mean a good wood saw but a drywall saw or the blade for a recip saw on a manual handle. Yes this is more work and might take more than one blade, but probably will not raise the dust cloud of power tools. Almost certainly you have gypsum plaster over gypsum lath. Probably the easiest of plaster systems to cut. Score the finish, do the careful exploratory surgery then make the cut. For ease of repair cut stud to stud, no need to cut to center of stud. Do the plumbing. We can tell you how to fix the hole. You have options. Since the hole is in a closet maybe the easiest patch is sufficient.
Save the piece you cut out. You will probably not use it but save it. I think you will know why when you get the cut made.
 
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