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Bathroom leak?

2226 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ARI001
hello all. New to the forum and new to home ownership.
About to close on a house and wanted to start preparing for the work ahead.
At this time the house is vacant, and has been for a couple of months, so I have not had an opportunity to speak with a previous owner about possible problems and/or leaks. No updates to the house since about 1965.
Engineer doing inspection didn't notice anything.

My first job is going to be to tackle the master bathroom. Located on the second floor.

Right now there is some missing tile on the floor, in the center of the room.
Not sure if there are any leaks. But what worries me is the kitchen which is below the bathroom on the first floor has half of it's drop ceiling removed.
I'm thinking bathroom leak. How do I find this?

The bathroom will be gutted. I plan on keeping electric and plumbing where they are, but will be ripping up subfloor. House was built before 1930, so I figure I would check condition of joists.

Any ideas on how to tackle this? Plan on doing it all myself, but not sure what realistic limits are in the bathroom. Don't want to have the tub crash down into the kitchen!
Thanks all!
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If the kitchen has a drop ceiling remove the tiles and fill the DWV lines with water. This will expose any leaks in those. If the water lines are pressurized and leaking you should be able to see that in any exposed lines. You can use a moisture meter to detect areas of moisture on walls and floors that may be a problem. You can also rent specialty cameras that you can feed through a hole in the wall (drill one) to search for leaks and other potential problems.

Most (not all) bathroom leaks I have come across are at the shut off valve or a failed (or lacking) wax ring for the toilet. Why are you removing the sub-floor? Unless it is damaged I see no reason to do this. You can visually inspect the framing from below as well as the sub-floor. If the sub-floor is in good condition lay your CMB over it according to the manufacturer directions.

Also so you know- no drywall in bath or shower surrounds. You must use Densarmour (or similar) or CMB. Also no vapor barrier on shower or bath walls between the studs and sheathing.

You can do this project yourself just make sure you read up on and research the project. If you run into something your not sure about ask for help. Take your time and be willing to walk away when you start feeling unsure or frustrated about something. Do not put unreasonable time lines on yourself and do not work into all hours of the night. If you know someone who has experience doing similar projects or proffesional experience ask them if they would being willing to help out a little. I've helped a few friends out for dinner, a six-pack (drink after your done working), and the cost of the babysitter.
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If the drop ceiling is removed, you should be able to see any water damage in the ceiling above.
If the bath is original, it is probably time to replace it.
Does the bath have a separate shower?
Thanks ARI001!
It is a tub and shower combination.

About the subfloor...Sounds good that I don't have to remove it. I guess I'll just check for rot.
Can you recommend any good DIY books? I browse the net but wind up with many different versions of doing the same job.

Would love to hire a pro, but on a very tight budget.
Just go to your local home center or library for books. Start with books that cover the basics and as you grasp the concept move up to more complex books. Also check out

good luck
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