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Unread 06-03-2007, 10:24 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 48
Question Help!...Demolish/Rebuild Small 35-yr-old Bathroom

5'6"x9' main bathroom in 35 yr old ranch house with unfinished basement underneath. Tub is 60"x29", with the 5' length of the tub running along an exterior wall. Wall contains a 2'x2' horizontal slider window. Tub walls are/were tiled with 4" ceramic tile. Window is not flush to tilewall, rather it is recessed outward so as to create a 4" recessed "ledge" all around.

Next to tub, served by same "wet wall," is toilet. Next to toilet is sink, hung into a 48"x22" base cabinet's countertop. It's also along the same wet wall, but the cabinet is alcoved 24" in towards the wall.

This creates a rectangled total floor space (ie: less tub & alcoved cabinet) of 5'6"x6'6" (36 sq ft) which is/was covered by 1" mosaic ceramic tiles.

Plan is redo entire room using same layout (minimize plumbing changes). Aluminum window framing is moldy. Many tubwall tiles loosened and fell off, and much wallboard has been removed down to the studs. Toilet wall had leaked, which, when coupled with water that "sprayed" through and around the tub's shower curtain, led, over the years, to a deteriorated subfloor: there is a slight spongy depression in floor right in front of toilet, and examination of subfloor from basement reveals moist wood. I believe I am way beyond mere repair stage, and need to basically redo everything down to the joists and studs.

I'd like to do as much of this myself as is "reasonable". I'd really appreciate the advice of members here in determining the order of things to do, what are best practice materials, and what I can tackle myself -vs- what I should leave to the professionals. That other bathroom I mentioned has a shower/toilet/sink, so we can use that while work on this one is being done.

A couple of more considerations before I layout my preliminary plan. The exterior wall along which the tub length runs is "outside" my foundation. Not sure what you call it, but the house actually extends approx. 3' from the foundation. So basically the underside of the tub -- and most problematically the tub drain -- can only be accessed from that little "crawl" space that's formed by the joists that extend beyond the foundation (I hope my description has made it clear what I'm talking about).

Luckily, however, I also need to redo my 2nd bathroom (AFTER this one is finished!) I say lucky because the other side of the wet wall for bathroom #1's tub is bathroom #2's wall sink. So I plan on removing wallboard (and also as much floor as is necessary) from bathroom #2 to gain access to the drain hookup for bathroom #1's tub.

So, here's the order or operations that I've envisioned for this project, which, by the way, needs to result in a fully functioning bathroom in a short 9 weeks from yesterday (August 4th)!

I have an experienced framing expert to help me, a close friend who has been building a two room addition onto his vacation home. I don't envision any problems tackling steps 1-thru-13 by myself/with him. Depending on our success -- or lack thereof -- with the tub installation, I may find myself bringing in a professional to do that and the tile work. But right now I'm just trying to clear that I've got a good and properly sequenced plan of attack.

I hope and expect that I will find myself returning here often during this project to avail myself of the expertise of members for more detailed explanations on the individual facets of the project. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP!!!
  1. Remove toilet
  2. Remove cabinet/countertop/sink
  3. Remove wall tiles & wallboard
  4. Remove tub (all walls & ceiling would then be down to studs)
  5. Remove/replace window
  6. Reposition/rewire electric
  7. Remove floor down to the joists
  8. Add/replace studs & joists as necessary
  9. Add/replace plumbing as necessary
  10. Add insulation as necessary
  11. Install new subfloor materials (so as to receive finish tile)
  12. Install new wallboard (tub will receive finish tile; rest will be painted)
  13. Install new base cabinet
  14. Install new tub
  15. Install new tile floor/marble threshhold/bathroom door
  16. Install new toilet
  17. Install new electric fixtures
  18. Install new wall tile in tub area
  19. Install towel bars/grab bars/etc
  20. Paint
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