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Old 08-14-2011, 07:10 AM   #1
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Bathroom Nightmare


I pulled out the asbestos floor tiles in our tiny full bath - the only full bath in our house, yesterday. I carefully removed all the glue with an adhesive remover, and we realized the plywood was not in good enough shape to save - a lot of water damage by the toilet. So we removed the bottom layer of ceramic wall tiles to be able to pull out the plywood - and found an awful lot of fuzzy black mold by the shower. An entire 3 foot section was covered, and the wood framing at the floor was rotted. Since we were eventually going to replace the bathtub anyway, and have to do something about the large wood-framed window in the shower (another mold infested area, I'm sure), it seems like now is the time to tear eveything down and start over.

Knowing that this is our ONLY bathroom, so we need to have a working toilet and shower relatively quickly, where should we start? Floor first, then toilet, then bathtub? Floor last? I suppose we could tent off the shower walls after removing tile so we can shower while working on this.

Removing the window (which my husband wants to do) means also trying to find wide slat aluminum siding which matches our old siding, and even thought I find it weird to have a window in the shower, I was thinking we could just trim it out in vinyl instead of wood and keep it. Please give me your thoughts on that.

Thank you for any and all advice!
-Cheryl & Bill
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:52 AM   #2
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Bathroom Nightmare


Post a picture or two----

How old is the house? is the bath the original one?

Sounds like a full gut is in order---

Get all your supplies --you can reset the toilet as many times as you need--however,you will be without a working shower for a few days.

Typical progress for a two man(or women) crew.

DAY 1---demolition and dumpster--

2. correct framing and subfloor?

3.(and 4?) plumbing and electrical rough in---new piping--shower/tub mixer valve--drain upgrades-
new fan/duct--light openings---outlet---switches

5. install tub---drywall and Durrock

6.7. tape and mud

8.9. ceramic walls and floor

10.grout--(prime walls and ceiling)

11. first coat of paint.--install vanity---base moldings-toilet---shower trims

12 final paint---switch covers--towel bars--door bumper--mirror--all the little stuff. Caulk the tile work.

That's for two people with much experience---adjust the time to suit your skills and ambition---Mike--
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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Bathroom Nightmare


Matching the siding will be hard to impossible. Aluminum siding itself is a bit of a dinosaur. If you have a garage, sided in the same material, I'd pull off the material on it's back wall and move it to the house. Just reside the garage back.
It will be very hard for amateurs to do a bath with the damage you've stated in a short period of time and do it well.
I'd look to an onsite porta potty and showering at friends or relatives for a while if you can. Another option is a temporary shower. Either in the basement or outside.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:40 AM   #4
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Thank you so much for the quick and thorough responses! The house was built in 55, but the bath was remodeled at some point in time - underneath the faucet I can see old brown plastic tiles that were the original wall tiles. The speckled almond 4x4 tiles in place now remind me of my parents 1969 bathroom.

My husband can handle the job - he can fix and repair anything, has worked construction in his past, has most tools already and loves an excuse to buy more. I will be his less competent aide which may slow us down a bit (;

Your idea for the garage siding is a great one, which gave him a better idea. We have some siding under the roof V on the side of the house which needs replacing. Bill is going to take that down, use the pieces he can to fix the window area, and replace that trim area with vinyl on both sides of the house.

On to step 1 today - tile demo so we can see just how bad the damage is. We'll tent the walls with plastic so we can shower as we slowly work on this.

I will post pics later. Hopefully, once we remove the plywood, the T&G subfloor will look ok.

Thanks again for you help. We welcome any advice!
-Cheryl & Bill
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #5
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Bathroom Nightmare


There are plenty of folks here to offer useful advice----Good luck!!
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:13 PM   #6
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Bathroom Nightmare


Get the shower back in working order, and the toilet. If you had that much mold, it was leaking into the wall for quite a long time, and no way for air movement. When we did ours, it was a Saturday afternoon, that was supposed to be just replacing the caulking around the tub. Ended up tearing down the old Rock-Lathe and Ceramic tile around the tub area, then the next morning at 7 am, went to the local Lowe's, and got a shower fixture on sale for $55, that was originally $200, and got a five piece surround, and some green board.

It took me all day Sunday to finish the prep before I could do the plumbing, and get it ready for Monday to put up the Green board around the tub area, tape & mud, and get ready for that evening to put up the five piece surround, and working shower on Tuesday morning. It took us probably six weeks to finish to a final product, which actually turned out very good. I did leave the window in ours, but covered the pane with the plastic film for privacy, and put two pieces of foil faced foam board to insulate the window from the finished space, before I put up the ledgers to bring the Green board out enough to allow the frame to still be there. From the outside, it looks like a window, from the inside, you can not tell that there was ever a window.


If I recall, total cost to finish ours was around $2600, not counting the labor that I charged my wife for everything I put into it (new electric, plumbing, finish trim, she did the painting, etc.).
As for the toilet, I used a Fernco no-wax ring, so that I could pull the toilet out of the way during the construction phase and be able to use it. Ended up using the neighbors shower for a couple of days, which helped out, but took off of work for the Monday that weekend to put in enough work to get it working in some basic sense.

Last edited by gregzoll; 08-14-2011 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:57 PM   #7
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Thank you again for all your help.

We were eventually going to have to replace the bathtub (old cast iron, with a huge crack in the corner). Since we have to take the walls down anyway, now is the perfect time to replace it. Here are the problems we will encounter:

This bathroom is TINY. 59.5" by 95". The 5 foot tub is actually sunk into the walls in three sides because of the tight space. I would love another cast iron tub because I know it will last, but I worry about trying to install such a heavy tub into such a tight space. Getting the old one out is going to be enough of a bear. My sledgehammer is ready!

Any suggestions you have for tub removal, or new tub purchase and installation, are most welcome.

Thank you so much!
-Cheryl & Bill
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:10 PM   #8
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We just left the tub in place, since it is in good shape. If yours is scratched up, you can have it refinished. As for removing it, you would just break it up. A newer fiberglass with surround kit, you may have to walk it in on end, and will have to have the room gutted with nothing in it, when you go to put it down flat.
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:30 AM   #9
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Pop that old one out with your sledge hammer and get a new cast iron one---it will fit in as the old one was the same size.

A Kohler Villager tub is manageable by two healthy humans.

Do it right---the bath will be there for a long time---use the cast iron----Mike---
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Old 08-17-2011, 08:53 AM   #10
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You will need to be down to bare studs to get the new tub in and be sure you already have the tub blocking in place. I personally like to have my tub drain ready to connect before putting the tub in also. Need to think about insulation behind the tub also as it may be hard to install after the tub is installed but maybe not.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:12 AM   #11
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Bathroom Nightmare


Is there another window besides the one in the shower? If not, you'll need an exhaust fan that exhausts outside. I'd put one in even if there's another window.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:08 PM   #12
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Bathroom Nightmare


Md - we do have an exhaust fan to the attic - but we found it is not exhausted outside. We will definitely fix that. We decided to keep the window, remove the wooden trim and tile right up to it. We haven't made much progress except for wall demo to the studs, as we are waiting for next weekend when we will have more time, and we had a lot of shopping to do at home depot to prepare

We got a great deal on a whirlpool tub with air jets and a heater. It's small - 5' x 32", so it will fit ok in the current space. It will be lighter to install in our tight space, but a bit more work with the electrical and mortar it will require. My husband is a saint!

We purchased 12x8 porcelain tiles for the shower surround, and 12x12's for the floor. How would you space for the grout lines in each? We were thinking 1/8 for the shower and 1/4 for the floor, is that reasonable?


Thanks again for everyone's help!
-Cheryl & Bill
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:26 PM   #13
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Bathroom Nightmare


We put down 16x16 tiles for our bath in a brick pattern.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:50 PM   #14
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Greg - what size spacers did you use? Was this for the floor or the walls?

Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:23 PM   #15
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Walls got painted, we used a 5 piece tub surround. Floor was 3/16" spacers, and under the tile I used Georgia Pacific's "DensShield". It made it a lot easier fitting it around the tub, where it jutts out. This Took a fifties style bathroom and brought it up to date is the thread I started back on 5/22/2010 with pic's of the job. The hardest part, was when I sent the photo to my wife of the tile after I did it, she sent a text stating that the first row when you enter was put down wrong. I did fix that, but overall, it turned out pretty good, compared to the ugly rubber duck color tile, and the walls we had painted at that time "Perrywinkle".

The base cabinet, we ordered from http: //www thertastore com/ Only bad thing was, due to their back order on cabinets, it took us about four weeks from the time we ordered it, which actually worked out great, due to I had to still finish the front half, and put down the tile.

Last edited by gregzoll; 08-22-2011 at 06:27 PM.
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