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Unread 02-13-2014, 11:41 AM   #1
jtraggie99
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Kids Bathroom Redo

I have been perusing these boards for quite some time, and I think I have finally got up the nerve to start work on our kids bathroom. It is a standard 10' x 5', jack and jill bathroom with an alcove shower / tub at one end, vanity at the other, etc. Our house was built in '84, and we have lived there for almost 2 years now. From what I can tell, the bathroom still seems to be in the same shape it was built. This means it has that 80's gray skirted tub with matching gray tile surround. There was a matching gray toilet as well, but we have already replaced it. Also, there was a partition wall that split it into two rooms, that I have taken down. We plan to move the toilet over about 6" (currently almost bumps up against the tub), now that the wall is gone and the room is more open, and put in a slightly bigger tub.

With regards to the tub and tile, I will be tearing out the existing tile surround and tub, having a new tub installed and all related plumbing, once we get the toilet moved over. Then I will be tiling the surround (still on the fence between kerdi and redgard). At some point after that, I will be tiling the floor, which currently is carpet. Why on earth people put carpet in bathrooms is beyond me. As far as tile work goes, even before coming across this board, I do have some history with it. When I was in college, I worked with a family friend who owned his own tile business, helping do tile work for part-time work. To give some perspective, for tubs and showers, he did the vapor barrier, followed by mud walls as a substrate. This was over 15 years ago, I would guess prior to things like kerdi and redgard. But I at least have hands on experience with the process and what it looks like.


With that said, my first question is, what's the best way to get the old tile surround down? It had been suggested to me to use a rotary hammer, which I have, but is that the best way to go? I have no idea what is behind the tile and what they attached it to.

Thanks for any suggestions, and I am sure I will be back with more questions as I move along in this process (which will be slow undoubtedly).
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Unread 02-13-2014, 12:25 PM   #2
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For what it's worth, I just demo'd pretty much my entire house (kitchen + 3 bathrooms) and I used a rotary (demo) hammer for almost all of it and it made life so easy. On my last house, I used a hammer and crowbar... the difference was eye opening.

I'd get the hammer plugged in and humming and see what happens. I'd bet it'll be down in no time.

Note that I was demo'ing a home built in the 1950s and all the construction was square tile over 1" thick mortar over chicken wire.

Always try to pull the walls down in big pieces too as a first option!!!
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Unread 02-13-2014, 01:16 PM   #3
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Thanks Greg. I will give it a shot and see how it goes.
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Unread 02-17-2014, 09:22 AM   #4
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Well, I managed to get the old tile surround out. The rotary hammer actually did a nice job getting everything out. All in all, everything behind the tile appears to be in good shape. I see no evidence of water damage on the studs, which is actually surprising to me, considering it was almost 30 years old.

Next up is getting the old tub out and getting a new on installed.

On a side note, we are thinking about pulling up all the baseboards and running tile along the wall throughout the bathroom and up around the new vanity to serve as a back-splash. Given that our walls are currently textured and painted, can tile be set directly to that surface, or does it need to be bare drywall? Also, when it comes to tiling around the vanity (this is a kids bathroom and water will undoubtedly get splashed on the tile), should I be doing something different that attaching tile to drywall in this area?

Thanks. Just trying to think through everything we might want to do and see what it is going to involve.
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Unread 02-18-2014, 10:39 AM   #5
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Still wondering about tiling bathroom walls in non-wet areas. If I plan to use tile as baseboards, or even going up further up the wall, and the wall is currently textured and painted, should I replace the existing sections of drywall? If I do, should I go with standard drywall or green board?

It was also suggested to me to replace the existing drywall around the vanity (if I intend to tile there) with green board and tile directly to that.

Any suggestions or comments? Thanks.
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Unread 02-18-2014, 05:33 PM   #6
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You can usually tile to a painted drywall surface in a dry area so long as you first rough up the surface with very course sandpaper or similar. Use a good modified thinset mortar for the purpose.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 02-19-2014, 08:38 AM   #7
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Thanks CX.
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Unread 03-20-2014, 08:20 AM   #8
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Ok, I started this thread awhile back but I am finally getting back to things. After getting the old tile surround down, I knocked out the old tub and ripped up the carpet on the bathroom floor. I have plumbers coming next week to move the toilet over about 6" to space it out more in the bathroom, install the new tub, and then take care of all the related plumbing. We decided to go with a skirted tub to make things a bit easier.

To that end I have a couple of questions:

1) I need to get the floor done as soon as possible so I can put the toilet back in for the kids to use. Does it make any different if I do the floor first or tub first? I am guessing obviously not, but just thought I would ask. I am thinking of just saving the tub surround for the last thing we do in the bathroom after getting everything else back together.

2) After pulling up the carpet, padding, tack strips, and scrapping the floor to get as much of the glue off as possible, there are a number of gouges in the slab from the nails for the tack strips. I am guessing these all need to be filled before tiling. What is the best thing to do that with to get a nice flat floor? SLC?

3) On the surround, my wife is leaning towards a subway tile, preferably something larger than the typical smaller tile (i.e. 3 x 6). We have seen sizes from 4x8 to 4x12 to 4 x 16. The 4 x 16 seems way to large for a tub surround to me, so we would probably end up going with the 4 x 8 or 4 x 12. I have read through the subway tile posts, so I have a basic understanding of what I am facing. Being a novice, am I asking for trouble by going this route? Should I stick with a non-offset pattern for my first go-round? Also, any possible complications or increased difficulties with using a larger tile that I might want to keep in mind?

As for water proofing, I am still on the fence between using Redgauard and Kerdi. They are both readily available in my area, but I have yet to decide which would be easier for a novice like me.
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Unread 03-20-2014, 08:31 AM   #9
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1. Biggest negative to tiling the floor first is the need to protect it during the rest of the construction. Tiling only the toilet area might be an option. Or, depending upon how the drain flange is set, temporary installation of the toilet might be a better plan. It's not a big deal to remove and re-install those.

2. Sorry, can't see the condition of the slab from here.

3. Dealer's choice. Larger tiles require flatter substrate.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 03-20-2014, 09:06 AM   #10
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Thanks CX. I will take some close-up pictures of the slab to show what I am talking about.

As for the larger tiles, that was pretty much my only thought as well regarding the flatness.
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Unread 03-23-2014, 12:04 PM   #11
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Ok, I took some pictures of the gouges in the slab that I was referring to. These were from the nails in the carpet tack strips. They are pretty shallow, but do they need to be patched before laying tile (I am assuming yes)? And if so, what would be the best thing to use. They are mostly along the walls.

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Unread 03-23-2014, 12:11 PM   #12
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No need to fill them. Tile away. (unless you are using small mosaics)
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Unread 03-23-2014, 12:17 PM   #13
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Cool, thanks. That's one less thing I have to worry about
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Unread 03-23-2014, 12:20 PM   #14
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By the way, here are some pics of where things are at the moment. I have since added new insulation to the exterior wall where the tub will be. I obviously have to remove the vanity still and everything at that end of the room.

My hope is to have the toilet moved, tub installed, and all plumbing done this week. Then I can hopefully start moving forward on the tub surround.
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Last edited by jtraggie99; 03-23-2014 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Sorry, pics came out wrong. I'll try again and see what happened there.
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Unread 03-23-2014, 12:25 PM   #15
jtraggie99
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Ok, can someone tell me why the two new pics I am trying to add are displays sideways? They do not look that way before I upload them.
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