Help, poured concrete and rocks in my wall?

jennifer132March 17, 2014

The house was built in 1928. It is located in NY metro area. We thought* the walls in our kitchen were just wood framed with plaster and lathe. Then the electricians cut into the wall and found this. The cement (with rough filler and rocks) is only in one section of the kitchen, roughly the back corner of our house. House is 17" wide on the exterior and this is about 5' of that width and about 3-4' on the other run of the wall.

Any ideas? Explanations? Will my house be okay?

Thanks, Jennifer
*thought it was ... Those are such dangerous words!

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lazy_gardens

Is there a second story above the kitchen?
Was there a fireplace in that corner?
A bathroom?

It that the top of the wall or the bottom of the wall?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Mousun

We have this in our bathroom. Similar age house, same part of the country. Mud bed is one word for it, and it was used as a base for tile, in a pre-cement-board era. I can see in the photo the marks on the stud from the wire mesh that was used a base for the layers of concrete, and you may see chunks of concrete that look like brick or rock, with the indent marks from the tile still on them.

Your house will be fine. It just means that your kitchen once might have had floor to ceiling tile, as was popular for some houses of the era.

But the stuff is a complete bear to remove, if that's what your after. Messy, sharp, and heavy.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 12:53PM
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jennifer132

Mousun, thanks for the info and reassurances. Yes, mud bed, that's it. We have a thick mud bed under our entire kitchen floor, which is why we are keeping that floor. Luckily the electricians grabbed buckets and shovels and cleared enough space to give me up-to-date electric.

Lazy gardens, the photo is the center/middle of the wall. No FP or bathroom on the original floor plan in that corner. Perhaps, it was tiled behind an old stove? Thanks for the ideas.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 1:07PM
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sundownr

That's what our 1930's walls are like and we are in central TX. Interior and exterior bathroom and kitchen. No problems with removing.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 1:47PM
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jennifer132

Sundowner, thanks for the reassurance.

It was a bit alarming at first. We are doing this mostly DIY, DYI other than electric and countertop. We have had to patch and demo other parts of our walls before. We just didn't see this before.

Thanks to the heads up from the folks here, we will assume that we may this in our walls beneath the tile in the bathroom too. Yippee! But that's not till next year, if we survive this kitchen reno!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 2:28PM
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jennifer132

Sundowner, thanks for the reassurance.

It was a bit alarming at first. We are doing this mostly DIY, DYI other than electric and countertop. We have had to patch and demo other parts of our walls before. We just didn't see this before.

Thanks to the heads up from the folks here, we will assume that we may this in our walls beneath the tile in the bathroom too. Yippee! But that's not till next year, if we survive this kitchen reno!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 3:12PM
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deedles

Oh man, am I ever glad we're done with those kind of 'surprises'. We had 3 kitchen ceilings hidden above the 1970's drop ceiling and one was some kind of cement.

How come no one hardly ever finds that jar of gold coins in the walls but always finds this kind of stuff? Does not seem fair, really.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 5:15PM
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jennifer132

Deedles: that's exactly what I said to the electrician. Why aren't we the family that finds the gold coins? Or at least an old master piece?

My DH found a sword tucked up in a ceiling. It was hidden by lots of debris. I doubt we'll go on The Roadshow, but at least it's a good story.

FWIW: following your progress. It's all coming together beautifully.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 7:30PM
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Linelle

A sword?!! How cool. Do you still have it? Any idea how old it is?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 7:36PM
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jennifer132

Linelle: we have the sword stashed somewhere. I'll have to unearth it after the reno and take pictures. It was cool. But it's also a bit odd to think of the guy who stashed it up in the ceiling joists in the basement. Why was he hiding it? I'll start a thread: my house gifted me an old sword; what did your house gift you during your reno. Maybe other folks have found neat stuff and not just rocks and concrete.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 8:14PM
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chrissyb2411

Maybe it's a casing for a dead body?!?! Prohibition era, mobs, NYC. ;)

Probably not,but I would enjoy making up a few fun stories.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 6:22AM
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jennifer132

Jimmy Hoffa! Chrissyb call Geraldo.

We just uncovered a small area of original wallpaper. I'll upload a picture later. It's quite charming. A previous owner put sheet rock over the entire section of the wall, including the original baseboard.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:33AM
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jennifer132

Jimmy Hoffa! Chrissyb call Geraldo.

We just uncovered a small area of original wallpaper. I'll upload a picture later. It's quite charming. A previous owner put sheet rock over the entire section of the wall, including the original baseboard.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 12:23PM
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