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The Bathroom Remodel that just kept growing...

1646 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  chrisBC
Good morning all,

Now that the children have moved out, my wife and I found ourselves with all this disposable income (it's amazing how much was consumed from the 6'5" teenage burn on groceries and home repair!). We decided to use that to improve the house, gaining some help from architecture contacts and such to attack the bathrooms first.

We have two back-to-back bathrooms, covering a total footprint of about 9'x12'. We're completely gutting the space, and moving the wet wall so that the master bathroom gets enlarged, and the guest bathroom gets reduced to a half-bath. We intend to extend the house and add another bathroom and bedroom down the road shortly, so the bathroom count isn't a problem.

This was to be an ambitious project, but close enough to our capabilities given the right subcontracted experts. I've done plumbing and electric before, and have some licensed experts in the family (though in other states). I've mapped out the demo-construction phases so that at no time are we without a working toilet or shower, which of course makes the project more interesting.

So, I'm planning on coming back here for some advice, if you guys are willing. I've got the good start of a saga, and I'm thinking this
will last for most of the summer, given my time to complete the work.

The fun began this weekend, when I finally finished demo-ing the tile shower. I discovered to my horror that the shower was a poor remodel from a previous owner. Under the liner, I found a plywood patch about 70% the size of the shower. Beyond that patch, the rest of the wood showed dry rot, reaching under the wall into the living room. There was also a lot of water damage affecting the wet wall in-between the two bathrooms. However, since that wall was being moved, I wasn't too worried. The underlying joists were also damaged, but much of that damage looked old, and they had already been sistered. The sisters look pretty good though the floor is a bit bouncy...

I intend on replacing the wall between the bathroom and living room, and repairing the subfloor out to at least the first clear joist. We planned to replace the carpeting in there anyway, and if the dryrot extends farther, I can take care of it then...

My first question (of many :)) surround those joists and the floor repairs I'll be starting. I've included some photos of the situation...

1) How can you tell if an already-sistered joist needs repairing/replacing? Visually, there's just a bit of discoloration on the sistered joists, so I think they're good, but I'm not sure if the bounce I can feel is weak joists or weak subfloor.

2) Since I still have an exterior wall with usable sill-plates, I need to support the subfloor at the edge. I'm thinking of putting 2x6 sections between the joists at the wall's edge, attached to the joists and the rim joist using framing nails. Is this a good plan, or is there something better?

Thanks for all your help!



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#1 if you can dig into it with a cat's paw (nailbar) easily, then time to replace. If there are no mushy bits, the wood is solid, then probably fine to apply wood preservative.

#2 Yep, that is exactly right, add blocking as needed.
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