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Old 02-03-2010, 04:46 AM   #1
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Bathroom Remodel - Wish I had done it myself


I'll leave the company out for now. I had originally intended to do my own bathroom, in that I have a very very basic, internet gained knowledge of how things are done.... that being said, I know enough to figure things out, but know far from everything. I was running out of time to getting my bathroom done, so I opted to pay for it, the quote was around 4.8k which included walls, tile floor, shower tub and surround, new toilet, sink, medicine cabinet, etc.

One thing that was done, by mistake, was that the guys putting up drywall were supposed to tape and mud it so I can paint it. Instead they plastered everything. When the plumber who subcontracted these guys for the job had come and saw, he stated that this was a mistake in my benefit. Basically it's drywall with plaster on it, the ceiling was skip trowed?.

I've since primed and painted it, but It got me wondering if this is appropriate for a bathroom or not, as I always thought plaster got wet, and softened up, and when they put the drywall up, I don't recall seeing greenboard... thought I'm not sure if the water resistant stuff is supposed to always be "green" or not.

The whole ordeal with the bathroom has just been a headache, but I atleast wanted to make sure this type of wall would be appropriate for the bathroom.

They've also not been back in the house since Friday, though had stated they'd come in Monday to put up the trim. The hot and cold on the shower are reversed, and I'm not sure if I should expect the tile they put in to be sealed if it wasn't listed as "Seal tile" in the original quote, or if I should expect to hafta do it myself.

In any case.. I'll take any advice, suggestions as I've not paid for any of it yet, and this company has lost a good deal of my confidence. <they also seem to enjoy watching my television while I was away too, the channel was changed>

Feedback, Please?

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Old 02-03-2010, 04:56 AM   #2
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Bathroom Remodel - Wish I had done it myself


My house has plaster walls in the baths, has for 80 years or so, no problems with that.

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Old 02-03-2010, 04:57 AM   #3
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My house has plaster walls in the baths, has for 80 years or so, no problems with that.
Ah, I was trying to google about plaster walls, but all I could find was how to repair, and about it bubbling from water damage, or something to that affect.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:17 AM   #4
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I work on actual lath and antique plaster walls in baths all the time. No problems unless water has gotten into or behind the plaster. In your case, you have plaster over drywall so not even the same situation. You should be fine.

It does concern me that you think they may not have used the proper waterproof drywall/backerboard though. That will come to haunt you down the road. Does one of the bath walls faces a closet where you could get a peak? Pull a tile or two and double check?

As for the tile, did they use a grout type that requires additional sealing? Something about the tile used that would require it? I suspect you are alright without additional sealing but see what they used.

Hate it when plumbers do not take enough pride in their work to get hot and cold lines in the right place. If it is the sink(s) make them switch things---no problem with access to supply lines there. If it is the tub/shower and access is now all walled and tiled over it is more involved of course.

It sounds like you have some valid negotiating points for adjusting the final price. Pay fairly for the work that was done correctly and according to contract but stand firm in demanding some discount for that which was not. I will leave it up to you as to what to do if they used regular drywall in the bath. I personally would make them redo it. For one thing it does not meet code and I suspect your contract calls for the work to do so?

Sounds like the major problem here is the contractor was not keeping watch over his subs? His problem if the wet areas have to be redone because of this.

Send the subs each a copy of your cable bill if they were watching television! Some really are addicted to Oprah and Ellen.

Last edited by user1007; 02-03-2010 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:28 PM   #5
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I work on actual lath and antique plaster walls in baths all the time. No problems unless water has gotten into or behind the plaster. In your case, you have plaster over drywall so not even the same situation. You should be fine.

It does concern me that you think they may not have used the proper waterproof drywall/backerboard though. That will come to haunt you down the road. Does one of the bath walls faces a closet where you could get a peak? Pull a tile or two and double check?

As for the tile, did they use a grout type that requires additional sealing? Something about the tile used that would require it? I suspect you are alright without additional sealing but see what they used.

Hate it when plumbers do not take enough pride in their work to get hot and cold lines in the right place. If it is the sink(s) make them switch things---no problem with access to supply lines there. If it is the tub/shower and access is now all walled and tiled over it is more involved of course.

It sounds like you have some valid negotiating points for adjusting the final price. Pay fairly for the work that was done correctly and according to contract but stand firm in demanding some discount for that which was not. I will leave it up to you as to what to do if they used regular drywall in the bath. I personally would make them redo it. For one thing it does not meet code and I suspect your contract calls for the work to do so?

Sounds like the major problem here is the contractor was not keeping watch over his subs? His problem if the wet areas have to be redone because of this.

Send the subs each a copy of your cable bill if they were watching television! Some really are addicted to Oprah and Ellen.
The bag of grout (that they left) just says "Sanded Grout 1500" I see no indication on the bag that would indicate that it doesn't require sealing, just a picture of a bottle suggesting using "Grout Inhancer" with it. And not to walk on it for 24 hours. I know that any and every drop of water on it turns the whitish grout to a darker grey until it drys.

All the drywall is covered now. I did tear the wall a bit in the closet so I could get a better look. I know the face of it looked white, the back of it is just brown. There's no brand label or anything like that to go off of. It looks like the same generic drywall I used to patch a hole in the living room, unless they have water resistant drywall that looks like regular drywall. Kinda sad... only took like 5 pieces to finish the bathroom, and they opted for the cheap stuff maybe? (Bathroom is only 4' x 8' and the shower is a 48" shower which takes up atleast a third of that space).
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:36 PM   #6
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assuming what they put up was a veneer plaster there is a specific drywall to use its a dark purple color and i believe is called veneer board, but it is specifically designed for a plaster veneer finish
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:02 AM   #7
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It is possible that they put the shower valve in upside down. Some of these can be reversed by shuting off the water, remove the trim plate and do a 180 on the valve insert itself. I have made this mistake myself.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:35 AM   #8
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assuming what they put up was a veneer plaster there is a specific drywall to use its a dark purple color and i believe is called veneer board, but it is specifically designed for a plaster veneer finish
Well, they didn't use that atleast. Like I said, it just looks like regular drywall, I don't see any print on the back identifying it as anything else. I'm gonna call them tomorrow and discuss my concerns, considering they were supposed to be back in a few days ago to finish. Just wanted some help with talking points.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:00 PM   #9
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Bathroom Remodel - Wish I had done it myself


Jeremy,
sealing the grout would be a good idea and is a very simple job. I use a water based penetrating sealer on most of my tile jobs and it just wipes on and soaks into the grout. I usually hit it twice. It will help keep your grout from getting darker over time from dirt and soap, etc.
I was thinking the same thing as moppy about the shower valve. I would ask them to correct it. They should have checked the operation of it anyway.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:32 PM   #10
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Jeremy,
sealing the grout would be a good idea and is a very simple job. I use a water based penetrating sealer on most of my tile jobs and it just wipes on and soaks into the grout. I usually hit it twice. It will help keep your grout from getting darker over time from dirt and soap, etc.
I was thinking the same thing as moppy about the shower valve. I would ask them to correct it. They should have checked the operation of it anyway.
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Appreciate your guy's insight. I think in the future I'll just do jobs like this myself. I'm more or less convinced they didn't use any greenboard, the trim looks sloppy, maybe some of it's just buyer's remorse. I just had pretty high expectations for putting 5k in a 4'x8' space.

I bought a can of grout sealer, looks self explanatory, just seems a bit silly that I'd pay for tile to be put in and a $7.00 can wasn't included in the price.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:06 AM   #11
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5K is about where I start for labor.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:23 AM   #12
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.....I've since primed and painted it, but It got me wondering if this is appropriate for a bathroom or not, as I always thought plaster got wet, and softened up, and when they put the drywall up, ...
I have no idea what you are talking about. Drywall over plaster = sheetrock getting wet = ??huh??
You can apply drywall compound over plaster - we've done it (literally) thousand of times.
As far as them using plaster, as long as they installed cement board in the shower area (behind the tiles) - that's fine.
I have no idea why you are fretting about this (?)

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The whole ordeal with the bathroom has just been a headache, but I atleast wanted to make sure this type of wall would be appropriate for the bathroom.
All similar remodeling projects are difficult, time consuming and extremely detailed. They can become a "personal headache" sometimes - based on incorrect expectations and personal perceptions of them (Rule # 1 in remodeling: Don't ever assume that things will go smoothely and as planned)

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....The hot and cold on the shower are reversed, and I'm not sure if I should expect the tile they put in to be sealed if it wasn't listed as "Seal tile" in the original quote, or if I should expect to hafta do it myself.

In any case.. I'll take any advice, suggestions as I've not paid for any of it yet, and this company has lost a good deal of my confidence....

Feedback, Please?
Hot and cold switched? Can't comment on that.

Sealing the tile: That's by request. We do it as an additional charge. Not everyone wants it. It's "beyond easy" to do = I suggset that you do it yourself.

Cost wise = That's a GREAT deal for that type of bathroom remodel = you should be jumping for joy.
I did my parents bathroom at "cost" (no charge for my time, they paid my workers directly) and that was slightly over $4K (new tile floor and tub/shower, new tub, new sink, new fixtures, new drywall, new granite top, mirror, trim/molding, paint, re-used toilet, etc)

By the Way = Which part of this story is the DIY portion (the theme of this site)?
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:52 PM   #13
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Sorry? I had questions, couldn't think of another forum to go to. Regardless of what I paid, I felt like I should expect a professional job from professionals. I had 4 quotes for the same thing, and no one ever mentioned doing things on the cheap. They were between 4.5-5.2k.

The original agreement was for a shower surround 48", sink, toilet, tiled floors, drywall taped and mudded, skip trowel ceiling, and that's pretty much it. I had already gutted everything, it was just an empty, clean, room with studs exposed and new electrical ran in a 4' x 8' room.

Instead of just doing the drywall with tape and mud, they put drywall up and put plaster over all of it. This was a mistake, it was never meant to have plaster on it, but it was done, and the plumber told me it was to my benefit. It was my impression, and the contractor told me, that they would use greenboard around the shower, but I've been able to look at the drywall behind the shower, and it simply has a brown back, and I do not recall seeing "green" or any other color aside from "white" with my drywall. This was why I asked the question if water resistant drywall is always colored, or labeled. It appears they just used regular drywall on everything and then incorrectly covered it all with plaster. It's my understanding that using regular drywall around a shower can create an issue. Am I wrong?

I've also since noticed that they used wall tiles for floor tiles. It's also my understanding, from what I've read, that you should not use wall tiles as floor tiles (Reference - http://www.web4you.net/cgi-bin/tame/...e/htchoose.tam ).

They also damaged my carpet with plaster, damaged my old trim when they put it back up, the new trim they put on is crooked, the vanity put up has extra drill holes on the inside.

I'm going in to pay them tomorrow, my main concern is the drywall an the tile now, I'm not sure why they had to damage all the old trim when they put it back up (The restorers who did my floors had no problem leaving it intact).

Irregardless, I just came here because I was looking for answers, because I don't know alot about this stuff. I apologize it's not really a DIY subject, I just wanted some advice, and unfortunately don't have any real handy friends to refer to, and my closest resource aside from the internet is the employees at Lowes. I just want to make sure when I go write the check, and sign the papers, that they didn't just cut corners that are going to cost me later. I'll not post again about this here following this post, I appreciate the help you guys have given already, I'm not not familiar with websites about my specific topic, and this seemed the closest match.

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