Master Bathroom Renovation Update

We are well underway with this bathroom renovation! It's so fun to see this project slowly come together after months (well, years) of planning. I have shared some behind the scenes on my Instagram stories over the last few weeks but I wanted to give you the full tour in a proper post.

You can read about the very early days of this project in one of my earlier poses here. So picking up where I left off in that post, here's what has happened in the bathroom. Spoiler: A LOT HAS HAPPENED in the walls and in the floor. This is not the glamorous part of renovation. There is a lot of water that has to pass under the metaphorical bridge to get those impressive Before and After photos. 

Beginning in our toilet closet, when John demoed, he found a significant amount of water damage around the base of the toilet. In order to begin the repairs, he had to cut away the rotting subfloor, figure out why the toilet had been leaking, fix the issue and then replace the subfloor. I'll spare you all the plumbing specifics but, basically, the builders did not lay the correct plumbing 20 years ago which has caused major (gross) issues in this bathroom ever since. These pictures below show you the active and inactive water damage to the subfloor, the portion of subfloor that John cut away to reveal the waste pipes, the old faulty pipe that he removed (a 4-in pipe fitting shoved into a 3-in waste pipe = chronic leaking and back ups), the primer and sealer he used for the new fittings and lastly the new waste pipe. The toilet will sit on top of this flange after the tile has been laid.

The plumbing for the sinks needed to be moved closer together a few inches so that the plumbing would line up properly with the vanity sinks. John used SharkBite fittings and flexible pex to do this. Using these products made this project so easy and very DIY friendly.

The tricky part here is that this back wall in our bathroom is an exterior wall - our garage and attic are on the other side - which means that you should not push pipes up inside this wall because they can freeze in the winter. In order to make everything work, John and his Dad framed out a new wall right in front of the existing wall so that the pipes could be hidden. While they had the wall open, they went ahead and moved the electrical locations to account for the new fixtures. 

Hindsight, I should have purchased the light fixtures before they set the electrical because I totally guessed where they should be located. I sketched it out as best I could with the spec dimensions available on the website and hoped for the best.  

The guys installed Sheetrock over the new wall studs (the green Sheetrock is moisture resistant which you definitely want in a bathroom), too. Keep scrolling down for those pictures.

Next, John tackled the bath tub. Neither of us are bath-takers but since we are renovating this bathroom, we didn't want to cut corners and neglect the tub area. Who knows, maybe when we are all finished with this project, I'll want to take a bath. 

Since the old tub had been removed, we were working with a blank slate tub nook. For some reason, the dimensions of the old tub were very unusual, so we had a heck of a time finding a new tub insert that would fit in the space. Some were too long, others were too short or the drain didn't line up with the plumbing or the bowl was too pronounced. All.of.the.issues. Not to mention, bath tubs can be VERY EXPENSIVE - like thousands of dollars. We happened upon the "baby bear" drop-in tub from Home Depot that fit the space "juuuust right". We special ordered it and picked it up at the store. Let me tell you, it was hilarious trying to fit a whole bath tub in the back of my car! 

Back at the house, John demoed the old tub, framed out the supports where the new tub would drop-in, secured the tub to the frame with brackets, and lined up the drain. 

The shower also needed to be framed out, remove old plumbing, install new plumbing in the floor and the wall and build the L-shaped curb (the glass shower enclosure will line up on the top of this curb). 

Once all the plumbing was roughed in and finished, John installed sheets of concrete board to the floors. The concrete board helps prevent the floors from moving which could lead to cracked tile down the road. That would not be good! He spread thin set mortar using a notched trowel, laid the concrete board on the mortar and then used concrete screws to tighten the concrete board to the subfloor. Now the floor is solid as a rock and ready for tile! I don't have any process photos of this step to share with you but you can see in the photos below the concrete board installed on the floors.

I made one change to the bathroom a little late in the game that was a half step backwards but it all worked out just fine. I decided that I wanted to have three wall sconces above the double vanity rather than just two. I think that having balanced light on both sides of the vanity mirrors will not only be more functional but will also make the design more attractive. 

The last part of the bathroom update that I want to share with you is the Schluter-Kerdi waterproofing system that we used for the tub and shower. It is extremely DIY friendly and you will love how easy it is to install! I'll have a separate post on that tomorrow. See you then!

 

 

Emily WardComment