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Unread 03-14-2011, 06:10 AM   #1
steventhomas42
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De-pinking our home - Our first DIY bathroom remodel

After years of fear and loathing of the ugly pink bathroom in our 1960's era home, we are finally remodeling it and making use of some wasted space in the process.

The bathroom was originally 4' X 10' plus the 60" showertub that sat to the right rear of the bath making that end 6.5' wide. The plumbing wall for the tub made up the side wall of a closet in my daughter's room.

There was also a rather useless 1.5' X 5' linen closet with a 24" door engineered in just such a way as to cause you to knock everything out of the front with your elbows if you needed anything from the sides. That closet subtracted from the 4' width on the left side, and the sink and toilet shared that side as well. Also, the bath had only a 24" door due to that closet's placement.

My daughter now has a walk in closet on the opposite side of her room due to another remodel, so we are taking in her little closet and removing the goofy linen closet as well.

Removing the old tile walls was easy. In the original construction, the whole room had been drywalled, then a second layer of drywall was added to the to-be-tiled areas (even the shower ). The tile was applied with soem form of adhesive that had cured light brown. Most of the removal involved removing the bullnose and then getting a wonder bar in between the two sheets and prying the whole thing off at once. Fortunately the studs in the shower are remarkably solid and with just a minor amount of moisture evidence on the facing edges.

The floor was another matter. It is a mud bed with hexagonal tiles. My wife has been removing those by hand. The linen closet section has some painted tongue and groove boards in the floor that are level with the top of the mud bed. The bedroom closet has regular tongue and groove flooring in it, also level with the top of the mud bed. The mud bed is really well preserved.

My plan was to remove everything down to the subfloor and studs and do the floor and tub surround with hardibacker and tile, but my wife questions whether or not we could tile over the mud bed and T&G flooring after applying leveling compound.

This is a spring break project that I can only do in the evenings, so if I can save her some sledge hammer work in the daytime, I'd like to do it, but I'm unsure. I'm on my way to work now, so I'll have to post pictures later.

What say you?

Thanks,
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Do a mud pan. C'mon, you know you want to.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 06:44 AM   #2
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You can't tile over T&G plank flooring. As a minimum, you'd have to install 1/2" plywood, then a tile underlayment of some sort. You could remove the wood flooring and go from there. The other issue you'd have is the joint between wood and mud subfloor would have to be honored with some sort of expansion joint.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 06:53 AM   #3
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Steve,

What is your waterproofing method of choice for the shower?
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Unread 03-14-2011, 08:39 AM   #4
steventhomas42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbcamp
You can't tile over T&G plank flooring. As a minimum, you'd have to install 1/2" plywood, then a tile underlayment of some sort. You could remove the wood flooring and go from there. The other issue you'd have is the joint between wood and mud subfloor would have to be honored with some sort of expansion joint.
OK, this sounds intriguing. It wouldn't be that much trouble to remove the T&G and go back with plywood and Hardibacker to come up to the desired level. What manner of expansion joint material would be required?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CabotAndRowe.com
What is your waterproofing method of choice for the shower?
I am planning to put a vapor barrier on the walls, apply hardibacker, mesh tape and thinset the seams, and then install the tile to the walls using self-mixed thinset.
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Do a mud pan. C'mon, you know you want to.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 09:38 AM   #5
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An expansion joint may be nothing more than a grout line filled with caulk. Most folks don't want them in the middle of their floors.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 11:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbcamp
An expansion joint may be nothing more than a grout line filled with caulk. Most folks don't want them in the middle of their floors.
So in order to make this work, we would have to make sure that our tile layout accomodated a grout line directly over any wood-to-mud transition, and then the grout line would be filled with caulk instead of grout.

If we were to do so (and I can't say it will happen due to the fact that we are trying to take in *two* closets which could make the layout tough), would color-matched sanded caulk be okay or would we need to go unsanded?
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Do a mud pan. C'mon, you know you want to.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 12:16 PM   #7
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It would match the grout, sanded or unsanded.

You might find it easier to rent an electric demo hammer and remove the mud bed. Shouldn't take but 1/2 a day. Remove the plank subfloor, sister the joists as needed, then lay down some plywood and backerboard.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 12:25 PM   #8
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Do you think my wife could handle an electric demo hammer? As stated, my wife has to do the daytime work and then I come in for the evening shift.
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Do a mud pan. C'mon, you know you want to.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
Do you think my wife could handle an electric demo hammer?
That's kind of a loaded question isn't it, Steve? I don't know your wife so it'd be hard for me to judge. I know women who could work power tools better than many men and I've known others who couldn't operate a feather duster.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 12:37 PM   #10
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Wanna see her work? Tell her she can't do it.

The tool will weigh about 25 pounds and will vibrate a lot. You have to move the chisel end along the edge of the tile to shear the tile off, and you have to stand the tool up to chip down into the mud to break it up. It's kinda fun, especially for those with stressful day jobs. Most of your work is done guiding the tool, as it's weight will do most of the work for you. The hard part is removing the debris.

Have you any friends that could be persuaded to work for steaks and beer?
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Unread 03-14-2011, 12:44 PM   #11
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Yeah, I guess you're right. What I meant to say was:

My wife can operate a reciprocating saw with marginal accuracy. She's not little or big. She's 5'8, medium build. She's lugged kids around for years and can control our 100 lb dog.

I've never used a demo hammer, so I don't know how much force it feeds back to the operator, and I would not want her to chop a hole in the subfloor.
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My favorite quote of 2011:
Quote:
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Do a mud pan. C'mon, you know you want to.

Last edited by steventhomas42; 03-14-2011 at 02:29 PM.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 01:29 PM   #12
steventhomas42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbcamp
Remove the plank subfloor, sister the joists as needed, then lay down some plywood and backerboard.
Harking back to your earlier reply, Bob. The existing mortar bed is about 3/4 of an inch thick plus the ceramic tile on top of it. Are you saying that we might still need additional joist support to offset deflection problems if we go with Hardibacker, thinset and tile? I would think the new material would be lighter than the old.
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Quote:
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Do a mud pan. C'mon, you know you want to.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 01:34 PM   #13
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No, I was thinking that a lot of times you'll find that the joists under a mud bed have been shaved to a peak. This was done to reduce stress in the mud, I assume. It does make it harder to fasten plywood. Also, sometimes mud is used to correct slopes or the carpenters may not have been on top of their game or they recessed the joists because they knew mud was coming. I'm just guessing you might need to address the joists somehow.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 02:28 PM   #14
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Ahh. That makes sense. We can resolve the "peak" question without much difficulty as the bathroom is near the entrance to our crawlspace. Based opn what I have seen throughout the house, the framers didn't cut corners (just the tile guys, apparently). I'll check it out, but I think we'll be good. The deflectometer rates this room as L/480, and the mud/tile that was there has been in place without cracking of gorut, tiles or mortar for over 35 years. The only loose tiles were around the A/C vent, and I'm sure those were loosened by the act of cutting the hole for the vent when it was installed.
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My favorite quote of 2011:
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Originally Posted by WendyHMN
Do a mud pan. C'mon, you know you want to.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 05:10 PM   #15
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Steve, this thread will be much more impressive if you show us the lovely pink bathroom. Then we'll know how far you've come.
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