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Advice for the Amateur Bathroom Remodeler

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by welsummerchicks, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010

    I am getting a bathroom remodel! There's only one trick - I'm doing it myself, though I plan to get help with moving the plumbing for the shower.

    The old bathroom was badly damaged when an interesting and creative (NOT REALLY) repair the former owners had made, gave way.

    So! I've purchased some items already - a pedestal sink (since it's a small narrow room despite being the main bath), and faucets, shower mechanism, shelving.

    Right now, I'm gutting it down to the stud walls. That part is fun(demolition!), and will make it easier to get the tub out. However fun it is, I'm still being very careful to not harm anything necessary, and am taking pictures as I go so I can refer back to them.

    It's quite a small tub, so I don't imagine I'll have to cut it to get it out. I've already removed the old cabinet with its double sinks and the old toilet, which was in a tiny little enclosed area that was pretty miserable to try and use. I should be able to move the plumbing over to allow for a 4 foot shower and give more room for the toilet.

    There were two medicine cabinets and a long horizontal mirror and flourescent light fixture. I plan to keep but perhaps relocate the two medicine chests and remove the large mirror.

    My plan is to remove the old tub and install a shower, pedestal sink, some oak shelves - I've got some gorgeous natural oak left over from the stable that I'm getting planed and dimensioned for open shelves. I plan to put towels and linens on the shelves.

    I'm debating whether to get a shower surround or buy a shower pan and make the shower walls of ceramic tile.

    I did notice that when I opened up the little partition wall between the toilet and tub, where the tub plumbing is located, that the back of the wall board (the paper) had deteriorated some.

    So one question is, when a partition wall like that exists between a toilet and shower or tub, is there some way to construct such a wall so that it has better ventilation or circulation, so that the wallboard does not get affected over time?

    I do not believe the fellow who built the bathroom used 'green board' (wall board intended for areas that may occaisionally be damp, right?). And I assume that I should.

    And he didn't put any cement board on the walls or anywhere else he put tile - he just put his tile against the wall board (with thinset mortar). The grout he used has gotten brittle and has fallen out in some spots, despite the narrow grout lines.

    Are the better shower surrounds (I priced a 4 footer at 500 dollars at a better supply store) made of acrylic and fiberglass long lasting? I like the idea of a ceramic tile shower, but it seems a lot of extra work given that I have so much to do.

    I will have to sister two floor joists and I will have to replace some of the subfloor. Because it was built so long ago, I may not be able to buy subfloor lumber of the same dimension....I'm checking into that tomorrow.

    Any advice is appreciated. I've put up and finished wall board before, so don't anticipate any problems with that. I just finished some in the living room and it actually looks really good, so I haven't lost my touch.

    I'm planning on tile on the wall near the shower, as well as around the sink. My only real puzzlement right now is if I want to do the entire shower area in tile or buy a surround.

    I've laid tile before, but not with the type of grout recommended for bathrooms. I understand the type of grout for bathrooms is less forgiving, but I think I can get used to it. I plan to make a section of tile as a practice run; I can use it as a table top if it comes out well, that's so I get used to that grout.

    Any and all suggestions welcome and appreciated.


    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

  2. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    I did a bathroom remodel when I lived in Florida, the guy I lived with was an expert tile guy, we tiled around the tub. After it was done it was gorgeous, but even Steve said if he had it to do over, we would have done a surround.
  3. lishah2000

    lishah2000 Songster

    When we did the remodel in our old house we got the acrylic insert they put right over your existing tub/tile. We had to take the tile out because of water damage, but left the old tub. I only live there about a year after it was done, but I loved it! You have to be careful not to scratch it, but cleaning was so easy!

    I have tile again now and I wish for that acrylic again.
  4. ChickenAlgebra

    ChickenAlgebra Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    Surrounds are way better to me, but I have 8 kids, 1 foster kid, and am 7 1/2 mths pregnant with twins. Far easier to clean, and harder to flood behind.
  5. turney31

    turney31 Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    palestine texas
  6. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    bumpity bump!

    Do any of us think the bathroom type grout is easier to clean than the regular old sanded/unsanded grout? Do any of us think that larger tiles and smaller grout lines are better for cleaning? Do any of us think porcelain tile is easier to clean than regular clay tiles?

    LOL....I am considering a nice medium brown grout.....and a lighter colored tile.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  7. ChickenAlgebra

    ChickenAlgebra Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    Tile is beautiful. I am just all about ease of cleaning. But seal the grout properly and keep it sealed, it should do fine.

  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Personally I'd go with the easier surround insert.

    Tiles are far easier to work with if procelain. Grout wipes off easier and you can leave the residue until your grout dries so as to not muck up your lines. If your working with a colored grout look for premixed colors. Very hard to work with the color fines needing to mix in, they have a tendancy to float off with water when applying making uneven coloring. Though a wall would be more forgiving than floors but still wouldn't use it.
  9. turney31

    turney31 Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    palestine texas
    Wels, are you going to post pics? Keep us updated.
  10. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Best advice--hire it done.

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