If you read the last post, you know that we have been working on a complete home remodel since we moved to Michigan. Just last week, I finally finished the downstairs bathroom that I had been working on since Christmas day. We had originally planned to have a builder do both bathrooms for us, but he went over budget, so I decided I would save some money and do this one on my own.
So first off, here are the "before" photos:
|This part of the house was an addition, probably added in the early 80s and renovated in the 90s.|
|Everything was the cheapest materials you could buy. Still functional, but not particularly nice.|
|The porcelain throne|
|This is a standard low cost fiberglass insert tub/shower combo. On the right was a wall just for plumbing. It made the bathroom feel very small.|
So then I tore it out. This was the easiest part of the whole job. Pro-tip for pranksters: Did you know you could probably gut your buddy's bathroom in about three hours and then when he comes home from work, he has just an empty room instead of a bathroom??
|Let the throne stay for a while in the interest of keeping two poopers in the house as long as possible|
|original tub drainage pipes|
|I had to change the rough plumbing from the stubby wall in the right of the tub (which I tore out) to the exterior wall on the left.|
Exterior plumbing can be risky because when it's that cold outside, pipes can freeze and burst, and are not easily accessible. I decided to invest in closed cell spray foam. It's not cheap, but has double the R-value of fiberglass. I put down about 2" of spray foam, and then filled the remaining 3" behind the plumbing with fiberglass at a later time.
|So here's the plumbing, pretty standard PEX. I've plumbed automotive fuel, brake, and cooling systems before, but this was my first time doing home plumbing. I pressure tested it and it held 50 psi for several hours, so I figure it will work.|
This tub is original to the house, and was in the upstairs bathroom. I really wanted to keep it because it has a lot of character. The contractor we had hired wanted to break it up throw it out, he wouldn't take on the job of moving it down the stairs. I told him to get it out of the bathroom and I'd get it down the stairs. I'm not really a big guy (extra medium, actually), but I have some big friends who were willing to risk their lives getting out down a stairway with a 90° turn in it.
|Waterproof membrane on the lower part of the tub surround|
|Tiling upwards isn't so bad, but tiling downwards suuuuuucks.|
|Wall tile done. It goes up about 40" around the whole room, and to the ceiling in the shower area.|
Then we laid out the floor tile. Had to make sure it all fit and that we had enough. We didn't, I sent the wife on a materials run. This hex stuff comes in about 1sq ft mats. We picked out the white tiles where the black tiles went, and I labeled each mat.
|B5! It's like playing battleship.|
Then I laid the tile. This was incredibly challenging. I spent all free time for a couple weeks on my hands and knees for this floor. Sometimes the mats get misaligned and that is bad times. You have to find ways to cheat the gaps or you end up with very noticeable seams. My wife helped where she could but she's very pregnant, so that kind of limits what she can do.
|Fitted and laid|
|Next up was grout. Not too difficult, or even time consuming compared to the tile.|
|Paint was easy once we found the right color.|
Final step was finish plumbing and vanity install. My wife found an antique dresser on Craigslist, so I had a top made from the remnant quartz from our kitchen. I cut down the drawers to half depth so I could fit the plumbing in the back.
|New easy-to-clean pooper|
|Shower. Needs a shower curtain and rod but we'll get there.|
Sothis is the final result. I'm happy with how it came out. It cost all of my free time for four months and a few thousand dollars, but barring any plumbing catastrophe, it was worth it.
With that done, the living area of the house is basically complete. I still need to do some reorganization in the basement, and possibly a footer drain to keep it dry (we still have some water intrusion issues down there...) but the inside is pretty well finished. It's quite a nice place to live now.
Next up we have to put our attention to the landscaping and.... garage???
|My beautiful wife, and a swamp with turtles.|
Nope. Baby. Baby boy is next up. Then maybe a garage.