Sunday, April 1, 2012

DIY Renovation: Bathroom Makeover Part 1

Tearing it all down

The soon-to-be bathroom with the previous owners stuff in it.  
We started out our renovation with the master bathroom. When our house was built in 1944, the room was a screen porch. At some point, the porch was enclosed, and turned into a "bedroom"(according to the previous homeowners).  At best, it was an office. It was only 9'x9', and had two doors. One opened into the living room, and the other into the master bedroom. Plus, there was no closet. Not a bedroom in my opinion.
The empty room.
Notice the blue and purple indoor/outdoor carpet. 
The first thing I did was drywall over the doorway into the living room. I strongly dislike bathrooms that have doors into public spaces in a home. Bathroom are private places, and their doors should be in hallways, or bedrooms. At this point we were still coming up with ideas for the floor plan, fixtures, and colors.  Here are a few of my inspiration photos. Since this was done 5 years ago, I do not know where these photos came from.  If you recognize them, please let me know so I can give credit.

I really like the fixtures here, and the use of baskets and shelves instead
of cramming everything into a cabinet.
Once we got our floor plan nailed down, my husband and I pulled down the ceiling tiles, only to discover another ceiling above it. We tore that one down too, and guess what? One more!  None of them were sheetrock, so we had to start from scratch and hang new sheetrock on the ceiling joists. The walls were already done (except the section we added for the shower wall), but the sheetrock had been put up after the lowest ceiling was hung. That meant there was a large gap between the top of the sheetrock on the walls, and the new ceiling. I was extremely stressed about this. I absolutely did not want to cut strips of drywall to hang all around the top of the room, and I especially did not want to mud and sand it.  Luckily, the very largest crown molding that you can buy was just barely big enough to cover the gap. Problem solved. 

I pulled up the carpet and discovered that the floor was not plywood. It was built like a deck out of 2x6's, over top of cement.  I did not plan on having to break through cement to run pipes into this room. The reality of renovating an old house, that had already been renovated once before, really set in at this point. 
Making progress!
We hired a plumber to rough in the water and drains for all the fixtures. It was mostly an unpleasant experience to work with them, but they got the job done. We put down new subfloor over our "deck", and then hardibacker. I give the hardibacker two thumbs up, it was very easy to work with, although you need special screws.

We decided to go with a separate tub and shower. We bought a jetted tub, which looking back, was kind of a waste. We never turn it on. A soaking tub would have been just fine.  Also on my list of regrets is buying our tile from Lowes. I'm happy with what we have, but we went to Floor and Decor for our most recent project, and they have an infinitely better selection and better prices. Also, after much debate over buying a shower base vs. tiling the shower floor, we decided to go with tile to match the walls. It would have been so much easier to buy the base. So. Much. Easier. I cannot stress enough that there is no way in hell I am building or tiling a shower base ever again in my life. It is too much work for too little reward. Tiling the walls was fine though; we even built in a little recessed area for our shampoo bottles.

After we  framed the shower walls, we had cover the base of the shower with waterproof material that you seal with really stinky glue. The walls of the shower got a vapor barrier before the backer board went up. The tub was easy enough to install. We built the frame for it to drop into, and laid it in a mortar bed.  The water pipes went up the knee wall at the end of the tub, as well as the studor vent. This may all sound complicated to any would-be DIYers, but if you buy a book on home repair with lots of photos, you will be able to do it too. I like this one and this one. 

Since most of the walls already had sheetrock, the drywall work in this room was minimal, just the ceiling and the outside shower wall. My husband and I are on the small side, so rather than wrestle with heavy pieces of drywall and try to hold them up while also screwing them in, we bought a drywall lift, and then sold it once we were done. I'd like to take a moment to state that I absolutely hate sanding ceilings. Hire someone to do it for you. It's well worth the money, if you can find a good drywall person. 

We had just one more hard part left before I could have fun decorating- the tile.  All in all it wasn't that bad. The room was big enough that we were able to use 12" tile on the floor without it looking out of proportion. We used 6" tile for the tub and shower walls. The floor was a breeze, but the tub and shower were a little more work. We had a ton of cuts to make. Thankfully, my husband was able to borrow a tile saw. I cannot imagine trying to use one of those snap cutters for this many cuts. 

Stay tuned for part two of the bathroom makeover. It's going to have the fun stuff, and the "big reveal" of the after photos!

1 comment:

  1. Its gotta go!! Hahaha.

    I can't wait to see what it looks like afterwards. Seriously.

    -Bronx Shower Doors