Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bathroom Renovation Updates

     It feels like we started the bathroom renovation FOREVER ago - and to be honest it kind of was forever ago.  The Bathroom Demolition Day post was from November 11 and now it's almost St. Patty's Day!  Progress has been a little slow - but that's what happens when you don't feel like working on the bathroom at night after work and when 1 half of the working couple is preggo.  :)[FWIW, Clint claims that it's very difficult to work on the bathroom after work when it's dark outside because of the poor lighting in the bathroom...]

     Nonetheless, I'm excited about the progress that has been made, and I think that the stuff left to be done may be easier, or go faster, or at least make us feel like we're making more progress than the stuff we've accomplished so far.  Which begs the question, what have we done so far??

     Well the first thing we had to do was finish the demo - which included stripping the last part of the floor to reach the subfloor and tearing down the built in bump out for the old shower.  We also had to pull up some of the subfloor around the plumbing for the old shower and the toilet, since the plumbing needed to be moved. Here's a photo of what the bathroom looked like in this state.  We used a big paper template of the clawfoot tub to get an idea of where the plumbing would need to be moved.

     Once all the plumbing was moved appropriately - we had to address the subfloor.  Apparently our 1911 house has settled considerably since being built, and there was a good 3-4 inch slope from the back of the bathroom to the front.  There was also some sloping from the outside wall to the inside wall.  Normally with small issues in leveling you can just use self-leveling cement, but these differences were a little too big for cement, so we needed to build a new and level subfloor.  After some debate we decided to build on top of the old subfloor instead of ripping it out and building up or down from the joists.  We lose a bit of height that way (which is unfortunate since our ceilings are so low), but it was a much simpler way to do things.
     Building the subfloor was a little bit time consuming, but fortunately not too difficult.  We employed many of the same techniques that we used to build level garden boxes on the sloped ground outside.  We started by laying a small (4x7) board of the new subfloor down at the highest point of the subfloor (the back wall seen in the photo), and jacking up the other side with shims until the new subfloor was level from the back to the front. Then when it was level, we measured that against a 2x4 that would become one of the "new" joists.  Then we cut the joists to replace the shims as the new leveler.  We did that across the length of the bathroom, putting new joists down on top of where all of the old joists were, and a few going the opposite direction for extra support.  Once we had all of the new joists in, we just had to secure the new subfloor onto the joists.

     Then, just when we thought we were done, Clint and his dad realized that the back wall was a bit of a false wall, and decided to tear it down to gain us some more space in the bathroom.  There was also some drain vent pipe that went through the exterior wall (which we've moved to go up and out through the attic now), but it left a hole in the wall of our bathroom, hehe. So this was our new (old) wall, and the new and exciting view from the bathroom. 

     Once the floor work was done, we also had to move the plumbing and electrical around in the walls to account for the changes we were making. We did just about all of the plumbing work ourselves, but Clint's dad was a great source of help for the electrical work. 

     For the remaining plumbing, we needed to move the drain pipes for the new vanity and bring the water pipes up through the wall since we're using a wall-mount faucet instead of a vanity-mounted faucet over the sink.  For the electrical, we added wiring for an exhaust fan since our bathroom didn't have one before, and split the electrical for the old vanity lights since we're going to use a pair of sconces in the new bathroom.  We added a GFI outlet and moved the previously installed one to fit with the new vanity.  We mounted everything in place where we would need them, and added some studs so that we could mount the mirror on studs instead of drywall.  Then the men added insulation to all the walls, and we built a recessed area in the back wall (the one with the hole) where we will hopefully be able to put our shower toiletries. 

     Finally we got to the point where all of the behind the scenes work was done (I thought I took some pictures of the bathroom at this stage - but I couldn't find any on the camera so you'll just have to imagine how great the bathroom looked when all of the plumbing, electrical and stud work was complete).  Clint's brother Erin came over to clean up some of the work in the bathroom and prepare the walls for drywall installation. That was a huge help. We decided to hire the drywall job out because when we did even that small amount of drywall work in the nursery it took weeks and weeks to get the mudding right (and we had to have Clint's brother come over and fix it)... These guys can complete the job in 2 days.  :) I think it's worth it to speed up completion of this bathroom.  I really need this bathroom to be done so we can finish the nursery before Walden arrives!!

     It's crazy the difference that just adding drywall makes to a space!  Suddenly, it almost looks like a real room instead of a disaster zone.  :)

     The mudding still needs to be sanded - but once that's done we'll be ready to prime and paint!  This weekend we're going to start tackling the floor - putting down wonder-board in preparation for tile.  Then once the tile is in and the walls are painted, we can actually start installing the important stuff like the TOILET, tub and vanity/sink!  YAY!!  I'm so excited and can't wait to see how all of the elements will look together when the bathroom is complete.

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