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Old 07-10-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
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Bathroom remodel primer


The 87 year old house we moved into in March included a home owners warranty. The other day we were running the sink in upstairs bath and after a while water began pouring out of the ceiling below. Long story short is the pipe to be replaced is encased in leveling concrete resulting in need to tear up floor. We knew we would be redoing this bath, but just not this soon. But given we will be tearing up the floor, we are going to take it all the way. Whatever isn't covered by warranty I will do myself. I have tackled several decent projects in my past including a partial bathroom remodel about 25 years ago. Reroofed a couple of houses. Swapped out electric hot water heater for gas. Built a few custom fences. And as you might see from other posts on this forum, I am geared up for a full house rewiring project that I will have to put on hold to get this bathroom done.

So what I need is something of a primer for how to do this right and up to current code. I'm up to speed on the electrical code, but no other codes that may be involved. If there are any good books, or maybe a given thread on this site that I can review that would give me good info I would greatly appreciate it. Anytihng to help jumpstart my learning process.

Have not yet put a lot of thought into design (just found this all out today) but we are not looking for anything fancy. Some simple floor tile maybe part way up the wall, and subway tile around a simple enamel covered steel tub. Nice vanity. This is basically our guest bath. We have a full master bath also which gives us the luxury of time to get this done.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-10-2013, 09:55 PM   #2
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Bathroom remodel primer


The best book on building baths is right here in the old posts---and exact instructions will be given when you ask.

In general---replace any and all plumbing----update the electrical---correct all framing problems---then rebuild---

When tiling, come back here and we will walk you through the best methods---Mike----

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Old 07-12-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
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Thanks - I talked to the plumbers today and worked out a plan. I will do all work except roughin plumbing. They will also replace the cast iron stack at the same time. So this weekend I will start the demo work.
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:59 PM   #4
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Good! We will help with any questions ---good luck--
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Old 07-13-2013, 02:47 PM   #5
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Well sink stool woodwork and all shower tile is out. Found layers of purple paint and black wallpaper from the 20's. I am amazed that I have yet to see one single sign of water damage!

One concern is that I have no way to turn off the water just to this bathroom. I have found the galvanized pipes in the basement but am afraid of what I might get into if I start cutting and capping given their age? The plumbers are putting pex for the roughin. What is the least risky way to proceed? Maybe just cut thread and cap? Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:40 PM   #6
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All plaster off one wall and some of the floor tile are up. One dead bird inside the wall. Eww. So the "studs" are small boards about 3/4 inch by 2.5 inches - one behind the other (the wall cavity is 5").. One holds the lath for the bathroom wall and the other holds the lath on the bathroom side. There are no 2x4's in the wall. So I will sister in some 2x4 beside the existing boards.

So my outstanding questions now:

1. Any advice on capping the pipes. I guess I will cut the pipe with my sawzall, unscrew from the T and replace with a capped threaded nipple.

2. I have a lot of the tile off the floor. The concrete underneath that is covering the subfloor boards appears to be in pretty good shape. Would it work to install new tile over the concrete?
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:07 AM   #7
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Capping off the pipes----you have several options---sawsall and then unscrew---this is what I would try first. Be sure you have two wrenched available--onr to hold the pipe solid and the other to unscrew the stub.

A back up in case pipes start breaking off at the threads----a compression fitting is available for 3/4" and 1" OD pipe---if this is going badly, saw off a pipe---add a compression fitting---then stick in a short copper pipe and cap into the open end.

Those compression fittings can save the day-----I have seen them in m local Home Depot---Mike--
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike
Capping off the pipes----you have several options---sawsall and then unscrew---this is what I would try first. Be sure you have two wrenched available--onr to hold the pipe solid and the other to unscrew the stub.

A back up in case pipes start breaking off at the threads----a compression fitting is available for 3/4" and 1" OD pipe---if this is going badly, saw off a pipe---add a compression fitting---then stick in a short copper pipe and cap into the open end.

Those compression fittings can save the day-----I have seen them in m local Home Depot---Mike--
Thank you! I will do that.

Regarding the floor - the more I think about the more I think I just need to get it down to the bare wood. I've got to around that pipe anyway and I want to give the plumbers access for the roughin.

I keep thinking about that wall with no studs. What is the means of support for the finished attic upstairs?
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:16 AM   #9
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Well spending some time in the basement I have a change of plans. I swear there must be 500 feet of pipe exposed in the basement alone criss crossing back and forth with galvanized running to copper and then back to galvanized and teed to more copper. Lots of corrosion and electrolysis.

Given that plumbers are installing pex under their permit I will pay an extra trip charge for them to install manifold and with two connections to copper in master bath will isolate the guest bath being demoed and allow me to remove about 100 feet of pipe. I can then remove the tub and finish demo so they can come back and do the roughin.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:07 AM   #10
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That sounds like a very wise option----get new piping all the way and eliminate the old rotten stuff---yes, that is a great plan.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dgfit View Post
Thank you! I will do that.

Regarding the floor - the more I think about the more I think I just need to get it down to the bare wood. I've got to around that pipe anyway and I want to give the plumbers access for the roughin.

I keep thinking about that wall with no studs. What is the means of support for the finished attic upstairs?
I'm curious about what you've found that supports the attic. It wouldn't be the first finished attic that was done without proper structural work.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:22 AM   #12
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I'm curious about what you've found that supports the attic. It wouldn't be the first finished attic that was done without proper structural work.
The pic below shows what I know. I hope this is clear and I am happy to provide more info/pics that will help.

I don't know if I am using correct terminology here, but it appears to there are two interrior supports in the basement. The one on the left is a beam supported by the end walls and support posts, and the one on the right is a 6 inch poured concrete wall. One the first floor there are two main walls positioned over those basement supports. That extends to the second floor as well.

The bathroom in focus here is the upstairs guest bath and the wall indicated on the drawing is the wall in question. I have included pics below of what I found there as well as the opposite wall which has the studs I would have expected to find.

Fwiw, based on the materials and wiring found in the attic (no ground pin and screw in fuse box) I would estimate the attic was finished sometime in the 50's or 60's.



This pic shows the walls "with no studs". I have not yet removed the lath because I want to figure out what if anything I should be woried about first. I hope you can see the boards that are there - definitely not 2x4's. In the pic that one board that might appear to be a 1x6 is actually two 1x3 boards one in front of the other on edge.



This is the opposite wall in the same bath with the expected 2x4's.

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Old 07-17-2013, 03:46 AM   #13
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I feel bad for you. I'm at a similar situation (dealing with plaster walls and balloon framing).
I don't have an answer on top of my head, but I would say look for a framing book, it would be a good start.

(or wait for one of the experts to answer)
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:54 AM   #14
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Well this is so far the only wall I have found that has this issue. I was hoping someone here could offer at least an idea of how to proceed.
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:01 AM   #15
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Looking at that drawing, I'm guessing that the prior owners simply did an illegal attic addition, without paying any attention to structural issues. If that wall isn't meant to be load-bearing, who knows about the other 2nd story walls? The "attic playroom" scenario is fairly common.

What to do about it? If it were my house, I'd be poking holes in other walls to find out what's there and what isn't, and making decisions about what to strengthen or not. Is there an emergency escape from that attic room? What's the electrical work like? They often get called playrooms, but of course they're intended as added bedrooms.

More than that, I can't offer - I'm a licensed contractor and I have a professional stake in being opposed to illegal additions.

- Bob

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