Confession time. When I started my DIY bathroom project, I thought that just maybe I could truly do it myself. I’ll admit, and Laura and the rest of family and friends will attest, that I sometimes bite off more than I can chew. And humbly asking for help is not one of my strong suits.
So when my dad offered to make the two-hour trip to help demo the bathroom, I confidently declined the generous offer.
Then the tub happened.
It only took one afternoon of trying to dislodge a 300-400 lb cast iron tub to bring me humbly to my knees. No, but seriously, I think I threw out my back.
For all of my heaving I was able to move it about 2 feet off its spot. Next, I just needed to carry down a flight of stairs, through the yard, and hoist it into the bed of my truck. A daunting task for mere mortals, but just another Tuesday morning for me.
Eh hem… enter Dad, to whom today’s post is dedicated. For the record he is not paying me to thank him for his services, nor am I earning any commissions by mentioning his name. He is, however, a great candidate if you need to rent a “Generic Father for Backyard BBQ”.
Serious moment though – I am extremely fortunate to have a phenomenally knowledgeable and selfless dad to show me the ropes and to make sure I always shut off the power for cutting through old wires. His disapproving glare alone has saved me from at least a couple dozen would be brushes with death.
Alright, enough chatter. Let’s get to work! Here’s the plan for Day 3 of the Bathroom Renovation:
To read about exactly what we’re working on, here are the categorical updates for Day 3:
Bathroom Wiring and Electric
No updates from yesterday, but this will be a point of emphasis with my dad this afternoon. With his past help I’ve run new wiring for all three of the upstairs bedrooms, installed four light fixtures where there previously weren’t any, and updated the kitchen and dining room electric as well.
Fun aside: when my dad and mom bought their house in the late 80’s he updated every inch of knob-and-tube wire in the entire house and upgraded from a 60 amp box (can you believe that’s all the power they used in old homes?!).
Here’s a reminder of where things stand. We should be able to check off #3-6 before the day is over.
Shut off the electric to the bathroom Disconnect and remove the old fixture, switch, and outlet
- Replace the knob and tube wiring with new 14 gauge wire
- Replace the outlet boxes
- Cut a hole for a second outlet, one on each side of the vanity
- Move the light switch closer to the door, adding a second switch for the installation of a new exhaust fan and light combo
- Cut a hole for the new exhaust fan/light system over the shower. Install system through attic, attaching the boy to a ceiling joist.
- Run two separate power feeds from a box in the attic (already installed during a previous project) to first outlet and the light switch box. Then run power in a series from the 1st bathroom outlet to the second bathroom outlet and then to the bedroom outlet located on the same wall. Finally, run two lines from the light switch – one to the vanity light and one to the exhaust fan/light.
Fortunately, the toilet was an easy one step removal that I knocked out during Day 2 of the Bathroom Renovation. We won’t have anymore work to do here until near the end of the project.
Only one step left here:
Turn off the water to the toilet Flush the toilet draining as much of the remaining water as possible. Unscrew the water feed line and drain water into a nearby bucket Remove bolt caps and unscrew toilet from the bolts holding it to the floor Lift toilet from its place and dump water from bowl into a bucket or the tub. Have towels handy for water spillage Stuff a rag into the drain to prevent sewage smell from entering room
- Replace flange and/or wax seal as needed (flange may still be in good condition)
- *Note: the flange looks good, though the wax seal will need replaced
- Install new toilet, hook up water feed
Bathroom Vanity and Sink Installation
There also won’t be much to update here for a while. The sink and vanity were quickly and easily uninstalled, and the new one won’t be installed until maybe the final day or two of the project.
Here is the progress we’ve made thus far on the vanity and sink:
Turn off the water to the sink Unscrew the water feeds and the drain pipe – have a bucket handy to catch drips Detach the faucet from the drain pipe (plug plunger) and remove Lift off the sink and carry it out Detach the vanity frame from the wall and floor using a hammer and crowbar Replace plumbing, valves, connectors, etc as necessary
- Install the new vanity on top of the new flooring. My new vanities stand on legs atop the flooring, rather than sitting flush with it all the way around, as the old one does.
- Silicon the sink to the wall as gaps between them dictate
- Install the new faucet hardware and connect to the water supply and drain.
- Turn on!
Removing the Cast Iron Tub and Shower Surround
It took longer than I expected, but I tore out the entire shower surround and the tub is all that remains. I was able to move the tub away from the wall and flip it onto its side. In doing so, however, I essentially destroyed the old p-trap. It was going to need replaced anyway as the new tub definitely won’t line up over the exact location of the old drain. I just hope the couple of feet of pipe between the shower p-trap and toilet drain is uncracked, as I’d prefer to keep that part.
Shut off the water to the shower Disconnect the spigot, handles, and shower head Rip out the frame around the shower. Break apart the overhead frame to open up the shower to the ceiling, and tear out the built-in shelving Remove tiles and plaster from the shower surround, taking the walls down to lathe Disconnect the drain pipe from the tub
- Remove the tub by sliding it down the stairs on a blanket (team of 4 people likely needed), or break the cast iron tub with a sledge hammer *(Dad showed up this morning with a family sized bag of potato chips, a cooler full of Diet Coke, and his favorite sledge hammer…)
- Replace or repair any plumbing as necessary, including installing a pressure balance valve and extending the pipe to raise the shower head.
- Build the frame for the new shower and closet, preparing the walls and ceiling around it for cement board and/or drywall. Frame spaces for in-shower shelving for soaps, etc
- Install the new tub and glass shower door
- Cement board the walls around the tub, mortar, tile, and grout over the cement board
- Add the exterior wood frame for the facade of the tub
- Caulk in any cracks or space between the tub and wall or frame
Tiling Bathroom Walls, Floors, and other Cosmetics
We still need to tear of the rest of the floor. I’m unsure of the quality of the wood under the linoleum, but the tongue and groove subfloor beneath the tub was alright. If there are weak floorboards anywhere, they will need to be either torn up and replaced or covered with plywood.
Here is where things stand:
- Rip up the linoleum floor. *Additional step: Repair or cover floor as needed
Remove the paneling from the walls.Repair or cover the plaster as necessary Pull down the tiles from the ceiling. Repair or cover the plaster as necessary
- Attach cement backing board as the underlayment on the subfloor
- Mortar, tile, and grout over the floor, using spacers to keep the tiles in line and a tile saw to make cuts as necessary
- Install open shelving on the backside of the shower wall. Leave an access door below in order to access the shut off valves for the shower water lines
- Install the mirror, towel racks, toilet paper holder, or any other decorative pieces
That’s it for today. Let’s see what we can get done!