Master Bathroom Remodel
I haven't posted anything in a while, but I have been busy around my house and last year I tackled the biggest project I've ever done: remodeling our master bathroom. It was a project I initially didn't want to do, but after I had bids of $16k to $26k it was clear that I couldn't afford to hire someone to do it and that if we wanted a new bathroom, we'd have to DIY. It was a decision I don't regret. My brother, father and I worked nearly every weekend day for six months and many late weekend nights to complete this, and it really pushed all of us outside our normal comfort zone. We learned all sorts of things about carpentry, drywall, tiling, plumbing, and most importantly, what a bad job some "pro" contractors will do to your house.
I hated, *hated* this bathroom from the moment I saw it. It was super ugly, the jacuzzi was a horrible, space sucking hog, there were floor to ceiling mirrors on 3/4 walls, the tile shower was 28" wide and impossible to clean, and it didn't have a single place to store anything.
I think this looks way better. We have lots more storage, save more water and electricity and the colors and style are more appropriate for our house.
Throughout this project, I relied on the same principles I always try to use: buying supplies from the Habitat Reuse Center whenever possible, always trying to use green building practices and striving for water/energy efficiency, and making the whole project ook exactly the way I want while using as many off the shelf components from the hardware store as possible. I also bought some nice tools along the way and get to keep those for future projects. :)
Here are some photos from a few of the more interesting steps in the process, I left out a lot because I didn't want this post to go on for days.
Removing the jacuzzi and tiled shower. The dryer duct used to run inside the jacuzzi and through the floor, so we had to reroute it in the laundry room.
The floor under the jacuzzi was spongy, so we pulled back the subfloor and discovered that the previous contractor had simply put new wood over a rotted floor and severely hacked up joists. We had to pull half the subfloor off, sister all of the joists, then put new plywood down . This was the first hurdle we hit and it took an entire weekend to fix.
I replaced all of the polybutlyene pipe with PEX. While we were doing this, we discovered a previous plumber had replaced a 20' section in the middle of the 3/4" supply line with 1/2" copper!! No wonder we had low water pressure in some fixtures. We sweated in new copper pipe and corrected the problem. It's nice to have all of the PB pipe out of my house. Too bad no one was there to take more photos of us doing the plumbing work! :)
I had to replace large sections of the wall with new drywall, and patch up all of the damage done when we pulled the mirrors down. For the area behind the shower, I used Fiberock Aqua-Tough panels which are made from recycled materials. I used normal moisture resistant drywall for the rest, and just patched all of the torn sections with lots of skim coats of joint compound.
We didn't want the hassle of trying to keep a tiled shower clean anymore, so we splurged and bought a swanstone solid surface shower kit. We set the base in thinset mortal and glued the two wall panels up with silicone, then hacked together a bracing structure to keep panels in place while the silicone cured.
Tiling was another hurdle, I've never done it before and I was really worried that I would make a mistake and have to live with it for years. :) After I took the free class at Home Depot and read a few books on it, I figured I could do it.
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