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Old 08-07-2014, 11:02 PM   #1
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Bathroom Remodeling Questions


I knew when I bought this first home of mine that I'd need to remodel the bathroom, which was in very sad shape.

I pulled up the cheap, cracked vinyl and found the subfloor was pretty soft, definitely in need of replacement. I want to put a bit of money into the bathroom, so I also removed the shower surround, and I'm considering replacing the bathtub (opinions?).

My plan is to tile the floor and the shower surround. Considering this, what subfloor should I put down and how should I do it? It is just a matter of cutting it to size, then securing it to the joists? I haven't decided whether I'll be replacing the bathtub. Does the tub sit on the floor, requiring me to pull it, or on the joists themselves? Where can I find more information on building the tile shower surround?

A few of my DIY friends have asked me why I won't be laying the tile myself. They'd help me, they all live in other states. Is it difficult to do it yourself and have good results?



I noticed this was a little odd, the way they did the drywall. It looks like the tub didn't quite fit between the studs, so they extended them, then extended the drywall. It looks very unprofessional in my opinion, what's the best way to correct this so everything is flush?







Another thing is the exhaust fan above the shower, which has clearly seen better days. I purchased one of these Panasonic recessed fans, but I'm not sure how one would go about fixing the ceiling and reducing the size of the hole. A buddy of mine said the ceiling is lath and plaster, but I didn't think they used lath and plaster in the 1970's (when this condo was built)?

http://imgur.com/TgoLWGl,lFkybjB,mjQ...A52c,5GaPIYI#4

If you have any other ideas for this mini-bathroom, I'd love to hear them

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Old 08-07-2014, 11:41 PM   #2
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Bathroom Remodeling Questions


I'm finishing a similar project. I'm a DIYer mom and I work very slowly. I tore out tile walls and had to beef up framing and apply new drywall and a nice tub enclosure in my children's bathroom.

Did you happen to take a picture of the fan while it was intact? If so there are replacement kits where you just take out the motor and plug in the new guts. The metal carcass you have in place can be sprayed with rusty metal primer and white (or any color) Rustoleum. You would avoid a huge mess. My fan was Nutone and it required only a screwdriver. Very easy and it's now quieter. Look for a "remodel kit" on line.




Is the tub you have acrylic? If so I would replace it. There are no decent enclosures that will work with those rounded corners. That leads you to tiling or one of those enclosures that are so thin they are shipped rolled up. They are extremely cheap and can easily crack.

Have you measured the tub? It might be oversized and that would be why they did the hinky framing around it. Standard tubs are 60". There are larger and smaller and you can research that online. Your best bet is what ever is in stock at Home Depot or Lowes. You might even consider doing a fiberglass shower base and walls. You can also put down a fiberglass base and tile the walls to the ceiling. In that tiny bath I would use white fixtures and wall tile.

If you need to pay a plumber to hook up the new tubs drain, gut the bathroom, replace the floor under the tub if needed, set the tub and have the plumber come in. Then replace the rest of the subfloor and go on from there. Most plumbers will not do your carpentry. Some condo complexes require only licensed plumbers do the pipe work.

You should pick up a couple of DIY books and read up so you have an idea of the order and flow of the work involved. I really like the big orange book that Home Depot sells. It's a good starting place and will teach you a lot of terminology. When you go to do your floor You can get Home Depot to cut the 4x8 sheets of plywood to your measurements. This is very handy if you do not have a truck. I used 3/4" exterior grade plywood and 1/4" cement board on top last time I did a tile floor.

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Old 08-08-2014, 08:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlo View Post
I'm finishing a similar project. I'm a DIYer mom and I work very slowly. I tore out tile walls and had to beef up framing and apply new drywall and a nice tub enclosure in my children's bathroom.

Did you happen to take a picture of the fan while it was intact? If so there are replacement kits where you just take out the motor and plug in the new guts. The metal carcass you have in place can be sprayed with rusty metal primer and white (or any color) Rustoleum. You would avoid a huge mess. My fan was Nutone and it required only a screwdriver. Very easy and it's now quieter. Look for a "remodel kit" on line.




Is the tub you have acrylic? If so I would replace it. There are no decent enclosures that will work with those rounded corners. That leads you to tiling or one of those enclosures that are so thin they are shipped rolled up. They are extremely cheap and can easily crack.

Have you measured the tub? It might be oversized and that would be why they did the hinky framing around it. Standard tubs are 60". There are larger and smaller and you can research that online. Your best bet is what ever is in stock at Home Depot or Lowes. You might even consider doing a fiberglass shower base and walls. You can also put down a fiberglass base and tile the walls to the ceiling. In that tiny bath I would use white fixtures and wall tile.

If you need to pay a plumber to hook up the new tubs drain, gut the bathroom, replace the floor under the tub if needed, set the tub and have the plumber come in. Then replace the rest of the subfloor and go on from there. Most plumbers will not do your carpentry. Some condo complexes require only licensed plumbers do the pipe work.

You should pick up a couple of DIY books and read up so you have an idea of the order and flow of the work involved. I really like the big orange book that Home Depot sells. It's a good starting place and will teach you a lot of terminology. When you go to do your floor You can get Home Depot to cut the 4x8 sheets of plywood to your measurements. This is very handy if you do not have a truck. I used 3/4" exterior grade plywood and 1/4" cement board on top last time I did a tile floor.
Thanks for the reply, Arlo. I'm new to this stuff, but very excited to be learning.

The fan is still in tact, I just removed the metal cover with the thumbscrew that held it on. It actually works fine, but I'll be replacing it for aesthetic reasons. The eye is really drawn to that area above the shower, and that recessed fan/light combo will look really nice. Great tip, though, I had no idea those kits existed.

I'm not sure what it's made of, it's either fiberglass or acrylic (not sure how to tell). It's definitely whichever construction method is cheapest, no porcelain or steel. Stud to stud, the bathroom is 60" wide (59" with drywall). It looks like they used a 1" spacer in order to use a 59" bathtub/shower combo. I would be interested to see what a setup would look like that eliminated the tub all together, an interesting idea. I know white walls and tile would make the bathroom look larger, but they're just so bland, I'll likely go another route (not sure what yet). I'll definitely do the carpentry work before calling in the plumber.

Great call on the books, my grandfather actually mentioned that he has a bunch of them he'd let me borrow. That seems like the way to go for skilled work such as this, rather than internet how-to's. I'll stop by today and see what he has.

Luckily my brother and father both drive full size Dodge pickups, so access to a truck isn't a problem. Good to know on the flooring, there seem to be so many options out there!
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:37 AM   #4
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Bathroom Remodeling Questions


The more I think of it, the more I really like the idea of doing away with the tub and going the glass shower route, which would certainly be more in-line with the rest of the condo.

Here's a pic for an idea of the space I have to work with.

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Old 08-09-2014, 12:15 AM   #5
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keep us updated!
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:34 AM   #6
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It looks like you did have the cheap thin surround. They eventually crack. The old bathroom looked clean at least. I like these walls and they are in stock at my Home Depot for $358. The matching base is about $130.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/ASB-Firen...9534/100655386

I used the tub version. It has lots of built in shelves and I have a teen aged girl. One thing I did was to spray four cans of door/wall expanding foam to stiffen up the structure. It has a solid feel now.

Read up your grandfathers books but keep in mind older books won't have the latest products such as that fan kit I showed. Another great publication is Family Handyman magazine.

I like white fixtures because they are classic. You can go to a house built in 1910 or 1930 and other than being worn out the white fixtures are tolerable. In the 1950's and 60's they used mint, pink, blue and yellow fixtures and they are usually ugly. You can paint the room any color and use colorful shower curtains. If you plan to sell your place in the next few years neutral is a good way to go. If I didn't have messy teenagers using that bathroom I would have done white subway tile. They are twenty cents each. I wasn't up for carrying cement board around and cutting it though. Just my opinion.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:48 AM   #7
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Bathroom Remodeling Questions


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Originally Posted by federer View Post
keep us updated!
You're likely to see too many updates!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlo View Post
It looks like you did have the cheap thin surround. They eventually crack. The old bathroom looked clean at least. I like these walls and they are in stock at my Home Depot for $358. The matching base is about $130.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/ASB-Firen...9534/100655386

I used the tub version. It has lots of built in shelves and I have a teen aged girl. One thing I did was to spray four cans of door/wall expanding foam to stiffen up the structure. It has a solid feel now.

Read up your grandfathers books but keep in mind older books won't have the latest products such as that fan kit I showed. Another great publication is Family Handyman magazine.

I like white fixtures because they are classic. You can go to a house built in 1910 or 1930 and other than being worn out the white fixtures are tolerable. In the 1950's and 60's they used mint, pink, blue and yellow fixtures and they are usually ugly. You can paint the room any color and use colorful shower curtains. If you plan to sell your place in the next few years neutral is a good way to go. If I didn't have messy teenagers using that bathroom I would have done white subway tile. They are twenty cents each. I wasn't up for carrying cement board around and cutting it though. Just my opinion.
It was clean, but I'm going for a more modern, upscale look. I've rented apartments all my life, I'm ready for some nice finish work and amenities

I actually removed the tub yesterday, then began removing the subfloor for replacement.

I've decided to go with a walk-in tile shower, rather than a bathtub. I understand this might decrease marketability when it comes time to rent in a few years, but that's not a concern of mine.

Good tip on the books, they could very well be outdated.

That's very true, white definitely has staying power long after other styles have passed. I don't plan on every selling this condo, it'll make an excellent rental once I'm ready for a house.







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Old 08-09-2014, 10:27 PM   #8
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Bathroom Remodeling Questions


I would not recommend using a shower or tub that has a styrofoam base such as the Firenze model by ABS. The styrofoam will break down over time as you compress it and the actual material is relatively thin and has a propensity to crack, especially around the drain. HD has replaced the Firenze with a similar model by Delta, that still has a lot of foam to support its base. The material may be thicker with the drain area somewhat less likely to crack.

I suggest taking a look at the new 4 piece shower and tub sets by Aquatic, that replaced the Vikrell units made by sterling. They are stronger and the base or tub can optionally be set into a bed of concrete for the best support. These units are designed to be caulkless, whereas the Delta or Firenze units require caulking at all the joints.
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Old 08-09-2014, 11:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MaineLL View Post
I would not recommend using a shower or tub that has a styrofoam base such as the Firenze model by ABS. The styrofoam will break down over time as you compress it and the actual material is relatively thin and has a propensity to crack, especially around the drain. HD has replaced the Firenze with a similar model by Delta, that still has a lot of foam to support its base. The material may be thicker with the drain area somewhat less likely to crack.

I suggest taking a look at the new 4 piece shower and tub sets by Aquatic, that replaced the Vikrell units made by sterling. They are stronger and the base or tub can optionally be set into a bed of concrete for the best support. These units are designed to be caulkless, whereas the Delta or Firenze units require caulking at all the joints.
cant you just buy a tub that doesnt have the foam on the bottom?
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:04 AM   #10
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Yes. You can get a tile ready base. I just reread your original post and you want to tile the walls. I misread earlier. If I were doing a tile shower I would get a Corian base and tile the walls. You can do a tile base but I imagine it's a headache for a beginner and when you say it's a condo you don't want to leak on a neighbor. I know you wish someone else, like a pro would pipe up. The info from Maine1 is good. I didn't use the Firenze base. I used a Kohler cast iron tub. My bath is pretty basic because it's for kids. When I was researching I found a good blog where they tiled to the ceiling.

http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/0...-chapter-four/

The guy on the blog explains tiling and crown molding really well. I suppose it's because he's learning as he goes. However you should use cement board as a base and waterproof it with something like Redguard before you tile. It looks like he just tiled over plain drywall.

Last edited by Arlo; 08-10-2014 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:03 PM   #11
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I believe that many of the pros on here recommend John Bridge Tile Forum as an excellent resource for tiling. One of the pros here posts on there, too.
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:39 PM   #12
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I would not recommend using a shower or tub that has a styrofoam base such as the Firenze model by ABS. The styrofoam will break down over time as you compress it and the actual material is relatively thin and has a propensity to crack, especially around the drain. HD has replaced the Firenze with a similar model by Delta, that still has a lot of foam to support its base. The material may be thicker with the drain area somewhat less likely to crack.

I suggest taking a look at the new 4 piece shower and tub sets by Aquatic, that replaced the Vikrell units made by sterling. They are stronger and the base or tub can optionally be set into a bed of concrete for the best support. These units are designed to be caulkless, whereas the Delta or Firenze units require caulking at all the joints.
Very good to know, thank you. I'd rather do this the right way the first time.

Quote:
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Yes. You can get a tile ready base. I just reread your original post and you want to tile the walls. I misread earlier. If I were doing a tile shower I would get a Corian base and tile the walls. You can do a tile base but I imagine it's a headache for a beginner and when you say it's a condo you don't want to leak on a neighbor. I know you wish someone else, like a pro would pipe up. The info from Maine1 is good. I didn't use the Firenze base. I used a Kohler cast iron tub. My bath is pretty basic because it's for kids. When I was researching I found a good blog where they tiled to the ceiling.

http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/0...-chapter-four/

The guy on the blog explains tiling and crown molding really well. I suppose it's because he's learning as he goes. However you should use cement board as a base and waterproof it with something like Redguard before you tile. It looks like he just tiled over plain drywall.
Great, thank you.

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Originally Posted by MaineLL View Post
I believe that many of the pros on here recommend John Bridge Tile Forum as an excellent resource for tiling. One of the pros here posts on there, too.
I'll check it out, thanks.

Today I pulled up a piece of the plywood subfloor, and it left me quite confused. I expected to see full length joists, evenly spaced. Is there such a term as 'abstract carpentry'? I was happy to see so much space between my condo and the one below, but surprised there wasn't any insulation. Should I add it? Would it cut down on the noise transmitted from solid floors?







Further, this piece of subflooring is under the wall separating the bathroom from one of the bedrooms. I thought the frame of the wall would sit on the actual joists, then the subfloor would butt up against it, but I don't know much about this stuff




There's definitely evidence that moisture was there, and the top layer of plywood has separated in two places, but it looks like all of it is solid. I don't see any evidence of any water or rot now. Considering it runs under the wall to the right, is it worth replacing it, or should I just lay my backerboard over it and proceed? I wasn't able to determine if the subfloor also ran under the wall on the left and/or the far wall.

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