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Trisha 10-15-2011 12:31 AM

bathroom remodeling questions
Hello! Our bathroom is in really bad shape and needs some work done. The house was built in the early 70's and as far as we know most of what is there has been there since then. We recently found 2 leaks and had them fixed, one was under the sink and the other required replacing the toilet. However, the big issue now is that the floor has little tiles and between the toilet and bathtub many are loose and my husband has pulled some away, and apparently the subfloor is rotting. (see picture). We aren't about to try and fix this ourselves but I have no idea of how to go about finding someone competent to do the work.

1) Any suggestions on finding someone who does this kind of work? One place near us advertises heavily and says they do bathroom remodeling but when I looked at their site all it looks like they do is put some type of acrylic liner over bathtubs.

2) When we find some places and get estimates how do we have any idea if they know what they are doing and if the estimate is reasonable if we understand very little about any of it?

3) I read somewhere on here that a rotting floor like ours means that the floor under the bathtub is probably rotting too, but that it doesn't necessarily need to be replaced. My husband thinks it should be and at any rate if we are having a lot of other work done, maybe we should go ahead and do that too. The walls also have tiles, bigger ones, but they are hard to keep clean and don't look so nice either (not anywhere near as bad as the floor though).

4) Do you have any sort of very rough estimate of how much this might cost? Very rough, I know no one can really say without actually looking at how bad the damage is, etc.

5) Anything else I should know before we start calling around, getting estimates, etc.?

oh'mike 10-15-2011 05:21 AM

A remodeling contractor is the person you want---

You don't have your location in your profile so we won't be able to send you to a good one ----

Ask friends and acquaintances. Inquire at your local tile store. Ask your plumber (if you found him trustworthy) -Do a google search---look in on Contractor talk--Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum

A complete gut with a new tub---tile work --quality vanity --light--fan--paint---$10,000 to $20.000 (I've seen $40,000 but that's really fancy)---Mike---

Depending on level of quality--location ----level of tile work---

Trisha 10-15-2011 11:22 AM

We're in the st. Louis area. We like the plumber, so that's one place to start.

I really don't like the tile, would it cost more or less to remove all the tile and put something new in?

And if we have the bathtub taken out and the subfloor under it replaced, could they put the old tub back in? Maybe the tubs themselves don't cost that much though. And maybe we need one of those more or less one piece things with the shower wall as part of it. Sorry I am not at all familiar with the terminology.

Maybe we could hold off for a while with the vanity, light and fan and do the painting ourselves.

Bud Cline 10-15-2011 01:42 PM

Ah-h-h-h! Gateway To The West.

Trisha there is no way to even imagine what you have going on there. You should have a local contractor look at that situation (first hand) and then discuss your options with him. It may not be too serious but it could be some extensive work. Once you have a better idea of what is going on there and if you want to attack this on your own then come back and we can help you.:)

gregzoll 10-15-2011 02:47 PM

You can do that work yourself. If you need permits to bring electric up to code, check out with your local city hall. There is no way to know if the floor is rotting, unless you are able to see from below for any water damage. Otherwise, putting in your own blood and sweat is how you make yourself proud. And why take out the tub? If it is in good shape, and no damage from use over the years, save yourself some money. If it is cast iron and showing scratches, call around for tub refinishing.

When we redid our bath, it came out under $3,000.00 for all materials (cabinet, tile work, electric wiring, lighting, paint, gypsum, paint, finish trim). Post dimensions and that would give a better idea of how large of a space.

oh'mike 10-15-2011 05:34 PM

Seldom does the rot near the toilet extend under the tub---

Trisha 10-15-2011 10:53 PM

We're not going to do it ourselves - my husband used up all his vacation days rebuilding our deck. We had a bunch of electrical work done a couple of years ago, so the house in general is in good shape there, although I don't remember if we had anyone check anything in the bathroom or not.

Its a small bathroom - ~ 58 x 58 inches not including the bathtub which is along the back wall. And of course the space under the toilet and vanity.

I don't know what the tub is made of, but magnets stick to it.

I'm starting to think we should just find someone to fix the floor and wait with everything else, and some of that we could do ourselves in the future. Unless the floor person thinks there is a problem with the floor under the tub. Hopefully they won't say there is just to make more money.

oh'mike 10-16-2011 07:28 AM

Typically that floor damage will be able to be repaired without touching the tub---

Any competent carpenter will be able to patch the floor --then a new floor covering and reset the toilet and vanity --new base moldings and you are ready for many years.

gregzoll 10-16-2011 07:59 AM

Trisha, we worked on ours on weekends and evenings. I did take two days off of work to do drywall and tile work, but could have done that on a weekend. It is not that hard, plus it would be cheaper to do it yourself. Look at it this way, do you want to spend $65 to $90 an hour, or do you want to keep that money in your pocket. I figured that our bath took around 40 man hours. Just telling you, it is something to think about.

Mark Potter 10-16-2011 08:05 AM

How bad is the water damage this looks like a no tub guard victim:(

Bud Cline 10-16-2011 11:55 AM

Trish, call someone local to get an idea of the seriousness of the damage. You don't have to spend any money...just talk to them.:)

This online speculation is bottomless.:)

chrisBC 10-23-2011 11:27 PM

Make sure to get references, and make sure that they are insured, and all that. A good website can be an asset to tell who you are dealing with, as a portfolio of completed projects. As mentioned, you want a remodeling contractor, someone who will bring in a plumber when necessary specialized work is required.

When you get estimates, make sure you know what will be done for the money. The best thing is probably to demo quite a bit of the bathroom, fix the rot, and redo the whole thing. If you are spending the money, you may as well make sure it is done right.

I agree that with rotten bathroom floors i've seen, the rot will usually stop before going underneath the tub.

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