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Unread 11-11-2006, 08:48 PM   #1
EGL
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Eddie's Guest Bath Remodel Project

I started on the remodel of our guest bath today (which my kids use) and am starting a construction thread here to chronicle my progress, as well as ask questions (I have some at the end of this initial post).

So here's what we're starting with. It's a 5' x 10' space with a tub/shower, 4' vanity space, toilet, and an odd 3' x 2' window in the shower area (more about that later). Basically, I'm going to gut it down to the walls, except the tub itself will stay (with a new shower head and valve, and new tile). Here are a couple of before pics:





And after a few hours of fun with an 8# sledgehammer, here's what we have now:



As you can see, there is extensive water damage to the floor (which was the main reason for starting this whole adventure). The floor is spongy there between the toilet and tub, so the floor is very rotten. I will be ripping all the underlayment and subfloor out and replacing it, as well as some of the drywall where the water wicked up into it. Before beginning this project, I knew there was a major water event going on in the area between the tub and toilet, but didn't know the source of it. I though perhaps there was a leak in the pipes in the wall, or it was coming from the toilet. After I unseated the toilet, my suspicion was confirmed - the wax seal had failed allowing water to seep out the back of the toilet seal. So now I have a big job ahead on repairing the floor.

Here's some fun stuff - picking out tile. Went to Lowes this evening and picked out the tile that will be used in the shower surround as well as on the floor. The 12" tile will be layed on a diagonal on the floor and in the main field on the tub surround. An accent band of the decor tile will be used across the tub surround. Also shown are color samples showing the intended wall color, which will most likely be the lighter color. Also, on the walls will be bead board about half way up.



And now a few questions. Below is a close-up pick of the toilet flange with a towel stuffed in it to keep those nasty sewer gases at bay (sorry for the grossness of the pic ). That toilet flange looks like it was set on top of the vinyl that was in there (you can still see a little circle of vinyl that I cut around the toilet in order to rip the old vinyl out). How does that flange come off? Do I need to get a new one and install it? I plan to have tile on the floor, with a 1/4" CBU subtrate, so I will be raising the floor about 7/8" higher than it originally was (1/8" thinset below CBU + 1/4" CBU + 1/8 thinset under tile + 3/8" tile). Won't the toilet flange have to be higher now by that much? What to do here?



And what about that 3' x 2' window in the shower? It's actually framed in wood (why in the world it didn't rot away long ago is beyond me), but it's not rotten - the wood is discolored, but that's it. It's framed in regular casement molding. I was thinking of removing that molding and framing it in bullnose tile instead (taking the tile all the way up to the top of the window as well, instead of stopping midway like what was originally done). What do you guys think? How would this be done now days?

Thanks for any and all help, guys, I appreciate it!
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Unread 11-11-2006, 09:16 PM   #2
jadnashua
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A toilet flange is supposed to sit on top of the finished floor and be anchored through it to the subfloor, so the one you have was installed correctly.

If you have access from below, you can cut off the existing one and install a new one. If you don't, you can use an internal pipe cutter and cut it off, then do it. But, since yo are going to tear out the floor, you should have plenty of access from above. I'd just run the new vertical pipe high, then cut it off when finished tiling, and glue on a new flange. If you notch the tile you won't have to drill through them. Buy the new flange before you start so you'll know how big of a hole to leave (assuming it is a 3" pipe, the flange will fit over the pipe - a 4" pipe can have a flange fit inside, and you could tile directly up to the pipe).

Now, having said all of that, a cop-out is to use flange spacers and raise the surface of the flange. I'd not consider that since you are planning to tear up the subfloor, you'll have easy access to do it right.

Do you know if the subfloor under the tub is intact? You might have to remove it, fix the floor, then reinstall it. Depending on its condition, having done all of that work, you might think about replacing it instead of re-installing it.
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Unread 11-11-2006, 10:23 PM   #3
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eddie,

i installed some lowes tile that looks super similiar to yours in my mom's bathroom. after fighting with lippage and a few uneven grout spacing lines i had the bright idea to measure the remaining tiles. they had some issues.

just a heads up since it looks like the same tile as the ones i installed.
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Unread 11-11-2006, 11:02 PM   #4
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That floor looks pretty nasty. I second jadnashua comment on the floor below the tub. Don't underestimate the damage that water can do. If it's spoungy, it's all got to come up. Looks like you got a project!
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Unread 11-12-2006, 12:08 AM   #5
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Thanks, Jim, for the idea of putting in the new drain high and then just cutting it off at the needed level when the finished floor is done. Since I'll have all the floor up in this area, that sounds like the way to go.

And Neill, I'll be sure to measure those tiles before they go down.

The crawl space under this area of the house is about 3' tall, so I plan to do some reconnaisance tomorrow to see what things look like under there. There is insulation stuffed between the joists, so I'm going to pull it down so I can get a better look at the condition of the floor under the tub. When I was down there the other day, just looking at the joists, I did see a little bit of evidence of water on the joist between the tub and toilet, but it didn't look major. And it was just on the one joist. If the floor under the tub looks solid from below, my inclination would be to leave the tub in place.

If I do end up have to pull the tub out to replace the floor under it, here's where I'm puzzled and I know this may seem like a dumb question, but -- (a) the tub is flush fit between the two walls; (b) the tub is a rectangle in shape between those two walls; (3) a rectangle in a tight square hole cannot be tipped up and out. So how do you get a rectangle out of this square hole? I think I recall hearing of people busting it up with a sledgehammer, but then how do you get a rectangle back into that square hole? I'm just stuck on the simple geometry of this and it seems like the bathroom would have to be built around the bathtub when it is flush between two walls like this. Am I missing something?

Thanks,
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Unread 11-12-2006, 01:19 PM   #6
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around the tub area you have to bust out everything to the studs to get that old tub out and new one in. then you may get about an inch of wiggle room to maneuver a new one. careful of your fingers!
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Unread 11-12-2006, 10:15 PM   #7
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Well, it's been a day of demolition and some surprises. I started by pulling up that rotted 3/4" particle board floor. Actually, in the wet area I used a square-edged shovel to shovel it up since it was pretty much in crumbs. After that, I went to the HD and bought a reciprocating saw (hey, I was glad this project justified the purchase ), and used it to cut the 1/2" plywood subfloor at the walls. When I pulled the plywood up, it revealed the bat insulation between the joists. The insulation sustained obvious water damage.



I pulled out the insulation, revealing the crawl space. I then demo'ed the tile walls (which, by the way, were tiled right over regular sheetrock. Around the edge of the tub were some signs of water damage, but nothing severe. The wall insulation in this pic looks wet, but it's actually dry and undamaged.



This shot shows the view into the crawlspace, where you can see I have about 3'-4' to work in, which is good. Also, you can see that the bathroom itself straddles the main support beam of the house, which is a triple 2 x 10. The joists are 2 x 10 as well.



This shot shows the condition of the joists from the water damage. Surprisingly, the joist in the foreground only shows about 1/2" was water on it. The joist in the background shows a lot more water on it and was the one closest to the leak. But the damage is primarily confined to the left of where it sets on the beam.



I have decided to rip this 30" tub out and replace it with a 32" whirlpool. The 1/2" plywood beneath the tub is rotted, so I will have to replace it anyway, so might as well do a new tub in the process, right?

So, now for some more questions:

1. The lower level of floor was 1/2" plywood and the upper level was 3/4" particle board. I'm planning on using two layers of 3/4" plywood for the new floor, and ripping out the entire floor in here to do it. Sound o.k.? What type of plywood should I use? Treated? Non-treated?

2. I need to pull out the old tub next. I looked at the tub flange around the wall and it's not nailed to the studs anywhere. So I'm guessing I just need to unhook the drain and then tilt it up from the non-drain end and walk it out? Also, I haven't looked under the tub yet, but does the drain unhook beneath the floor or beneath the tub? I'm hoping it's beneath the floor.

3. Since the shower will be on an outside wall that is insulated, I'm assuming I should still do the vapor barrier beneath the CBU, correct?

4. After I get the floor all ripped out, I plan to put some blocking between the joists at the wall edges to give me something to nail the new floor to along the walls. I also plan to do some blocking around that toilet flange. Right idea?

Thanks!
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Unread 11-12-2006, 10:58 PM   #8
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Hi Eddie. I think you shoulda pulled the tub before you cut the floor out! You want to use an underlayment grade of ply like ac or bc not treated. Yes the drain is under the tub. Disconnect it and roll the tub out. You want a vapor barrier on all the walls, where the shower is. If you have insulation with paper on it just make some slices in the paper. Sure the blocking will be fine.
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Unread 11-13-2006, 09:59 PM   #9
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The tub is out and the floor is gone! I think pulling that tub out was probably the easiest part of this whole project so far. Only took about 10 minutes. The only thing attaching the tub to the house was the drain, which was a simple twist of the PVC nut to unhook it.



Next I need to clean up my cuts around the wall edges where I rough cut out the old plywood and then install blocking between the joists around the walls to support the new plywood. Also, I think I'm going to sister on a 2 x 10 to the joist that had the worst water damage. Even though the damage it primarily to the end of the joist hanging over the beam, I don't want to take any chance of having to replace it in the future.

Next Question: How long should I let the joists dry out before I put down the new plywood? Does it have to be completely dry?
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Unread 11-14-2006, 08:30 AM   #10
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I think I'd want to let those joists dry as long as possible - so they shrink back down to size. Perhaps blowing some air over them with a fan would speed the drying time a bit.

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Unread 11-15-2006, 09:45 PM   #11
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Here's a progress photo. Last night I installed 2x10 blocking between the joists around the wall edges to give me something to secure the plywood to. Tonight I put down two staggered layers of 3/4" BC plywood. It's nice to be able to walk around in there again instead of hoping from joist to joist. I also cut the old toilet flange off below floor level and put a sleeve and new piece of drain pipe on extending a few inches above floor level. After I get the finished floor down I'll cut the drain down flush and install the new flange. Next, I need to get the plumber out to install the new shower valve, spout, and head for the shower/whirlpool, and need to get an electrician out to install a circuit with a GFCI outlet for the whirlpool motor. While I'm waiting on them, I'm going to be scraping the popcorn ceiling off.

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Unread 11-15-2006, 09:54 PM   #12
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Heads up Eddie, you made a major mistake . The plywood is laid in the wrong direction. It needs to be laid with the face grain perpendicular to the lay of the joists. We have several articles on all that in the Liberry. Better go check 'em out.
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Unread 11-15-2006, 10:09 PM   #13
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What Mike said.

If you really installed two layers of 3/4 ply and the other layer is running the opposite direction, you still have a usable floor, but not nearly as good as if you'd run them both perpendicular to the joists.

That popcorn ceiling will come off very nicely if you spray it first with water from your handy-dandy garden sprayer and wait about ten minutes. Just gently scrape it with a wide sheetrock knife.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Unread 11-15-2006, 10:44 PM   #14
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YIKES!!!!!!!!! Looks like I'll be pulling up a layer of that and orienting it the other way (perpendicular). Makes my head hurt thinking about it, but I think it's got to be done. I went and saw Mike's visual in the Liberry and it really makes the point. Thanks for clueing me in, guys.
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Unread 11-17-2006, 05:30 PM   #15
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Project update:

A. I pulled the plywood back up, recut, and relaid it running perpendicular to the joists. Wasn't particularly painful, only took a couple of hours. And it actually does feel more sturdy, but could just be my imagination.

B. Electrician came today and installed the GFCI circuit and outlet for the whirlpool tub.

C. Plumber is scheduled to come Monday and install the new shower valve, head, and spout.

Now a couple of questions:

1. When I thinset the 1/4" CBU on the floor, does the orientation matter? Since they are 5' sheets and the room is 5' wide, it would be nice if I could just do the CBU sheets parallel with the joists.

2. The central air vent is now about 1" below the plywood surface level, and will be even further down (about another 7/8", for a total of nearly 2") when the finished floor tile is down. Is there some kind of extender for a 4" x 10" vent boot that will fit in the opening to hide the plywood edges if looking down into the vent?

Thanks!
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