Saturday, November 30, 2013

Beyond Demolition

The Builder was indeed rained out last Monday and spent the day working on the bathroom.  But because I was at work, you won't find those photo's here today.  He rarely remembers to take photo's (probably because I'm always following after him with my camera, :) ).  He worked on Friday, but he was anxious to get back to our project today.  We're officially done with demo, hooray, and have moved on to installation.

Last night we headed out to Lowes to pick up the shower tile.  What marvelous and creative tile did we choose you ask?
Bad photo from Lowe's web site, but this is plain white subway tile.  Yep, plain white! (I know, the color looks similar to a bone or off white in this photo - it's not) OK, I love color, and there is a lot of beautiful tile to choose from these days.  But there's a practicality with white subway tile.  Should I ever get tired of my grey walls, or want to update the overall decor, white is an easy color to work with.  There was another deciding factor.  Cost.  These tiles are 22 cents a tile.  Roughly $18 a box.  We needed six boxes at basic estimate.  There were some other tiles that were very, very pretty.  But they were were $55 a box.  More than double the cost.  Since we've gutted the entire bathroom, I didn't want to break the bank on tile I might get tired of in 10 years.  So subway tile it is. :)

But we didn't go totally bland.  Check out the tile we bought for a mosaic border!

LOVE it!  There will be a four inch band about 2/3 of the way up, all the way around the shower.  This photo, again, doesn't do this tile justice.  Hopefully my camera will when the time comes to take photo's.  It also picks up the color from the floor tile.  

We also bought a new faucet set to replace the builder grade one that was showing definite wear.  The old shower head had a weird connector that wouldn't allow us to just change the shower head.  So we bought a brushed nickel set to modernize the bathroom.  Since we were going to buy a new faucet for the new sink and vanity.  If you give a mouse a cookie...sigh.

Here are some photo's of our progress from today!

OK, as I mentioned earlier, you're missing a few photo's since the last update.  Basically, the cement board is completely installed and the bathtub has been put back in place (The Builder doesn't want to re-finish it in the garage because he says it will get dust or grime in it before it makes it back up - and he's most likely right!). The Builder works with a lot of different trades, and one thing he's learned in the recent years is that you should skim coat your wall with the mortar before you install the tile. It creates a super strong bond, which is what you want. If you look at this photo, the upper right corner hasn't been skim coated yet.  I dragged The Builder downstairs today to put the lights on our tree when he ran out of mud the first time, and I snapped this photo before he could get the rest put on the wall.  Ahh, the trials of having a wife who blogs.

The laser level is The Builders favorite toy as of late. He snapped chalk lines on the wall so everything would line up correctly.  Having the tile square is essential!

Mixing the mortar.  OK, not a fun photo, but a quick shot of getting it mixed properly. Somehow The Builder has a tool that goes on his drill to mix things easier. Since tile isn't his trade, no clue how he got it, but it was certainly handy to have for this! The plumbing fixtures are from where the sink should be. Such a shame there isn't room for a double vanity here, but as you can see, there isn't a whole lot of space, and I'm not willing to give up all counter space for double vanities. Easier for The Builder though, since he doesn't have to split the water line.


Houston, we have tile!!!

I had to wait patiently for The Builder to put a few pieces up on the wall so I could grab a photo.  See, plain white tile, just as I said.  We didn't rent a tile cutter this weekend, as he wants a full weekend to be able to cut the floor and wall tiles, but he's putting as much up as he can without the cut pieces.  Much to his horror, I made asked him to stop after he had one box up. It's clearly not all going to get done this weekend so there's no point in pushing it. He's worked a lot of hours the last few months and he's work until midnight if I didn't say something!

But look, it's tile!!






And here is where we stopped!  Love, love LOVE the simplicity of the white subway tiles. The old square tiles screamed 80's to me so this will update the bathroom nicely. Hopefully it will remain a classic! The plan for tomorrow is to finish as much wall tile as possible, and if we're really lucky, lay some of the floor tiles as well. Which means purchasing the underlay for the floor. Then we hope to rent a tile saw next weekend, and finish it up.

Still to do:
Tile the floor
Build the vanity
Buy a vanity top
Install new lighting
Re-install the toilet
Install new towel bars
:))

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Demo Day 2 & 3

We managed to get a little work done last Sunday, but I hadn't had a chance to post any updates.  Behold, the vapor barrier replaced:
Yes, all the black yuckiness (blogger doesn't like this word...but it works for me!) has been removed and you can see the tape from the clear vapor barrier.  As I mentioned previously, the vapor barrier was the only thing that protected the hardy board that is on the outside of our home, so we didn't want to skip this in our repair work.

As you can see, there is almost no support under that window!!  The window is cauked into place, but really, I'm so thankful we found out about the damage before we really had a problem on our hands - you know, like the window falling out of the wall and the wall coming down...maybe over imagining on my part, but definitely a possibility.



Ahhhh, much better!

The pink studs make it really easy to see them.  We used all the boards we bought, and now I have no worries that the window will come crashing down.  We filled the space that opened to the attic as well.  You can't actually get to the bathroom from the attic, and once it's tiled, it serves no purpose.  So The Builder sealed it up.

Side note - my daughter is thrilled to know there's pink studs in the wall, even though she knows they won't be seen.  She cracks me up!

We need to put in the insulation and figure out if we need another layer of vapor barrier.  The Builder is concerned about breathing holes so the new isolation doesn't get worried.  More on that in another post.

I knew this wasn't going to photograph well, but this is the best i could get.  Floor tile!!!

I mentioned we had to rip out the tile around the tub and subsequently found out that the existing tile was laid over the builder grade linoleum, leaving us no choice but to rip it all out and start over.  So I've been looking for the right tile for about a week now.  And this is it!  

It's hard to see, but this is almost a tweed pattern on the tile.  It looks fabulous with the wall color (that we're not changing) and to seal the deal, it's on clearance and cost a fraction of things that I liked a lot less. Bonus!!  It has a hint of the wall color in the tile which is perfect.  We had to go to 2 different Lowes to get enough, but it cost me less than $100 to replace the tile.  The underlayment is another $85, so about $200 to replace the floor.  Really, not a bad deal since we're not going plain jane on this! And with new baseboards painted in a crisp white, I think it's going to look good with the shower curtain we have that again, I'm not replacing (...I don't think...sshhh).

And here it is stripped!

Our original thought was to replace the bathroom vanity with a double sink.  Unfortunately, I only have 48" for my vanity, and most double vanities are 60".  The Builder could do something custom (and we're still debating on doing that) but it would mean little sinks and no room to put things on the counter.  I don't think that would work well for us.  We found a vanity at Lowe's that we both love, but it's pricey and heavy. Reviews show it to be 273 lbs. - and we'd have to get that up two flights of stairs.  We can go cheaper, but I don't like the choices as much, so we may still end up building a vanity.  Anna White has one (of course!!) that I think would look great, and after reviewing the plans, The Builder said it would be fairly simple to build.  We just have to see if the cost would be comparable to buying one.  We shall see on that one.

We spent the rest of day 3 hauling out the debris (remember the two flight of stairs!).  The toilet and tub will go back in once the flooring is done.  We bought the plywood to replace the sub-floor in the tub area, but The Builder worked again this past Saturday, so that isn't finished yet.  He may have a rain out day on Monday, and if so, I suspect quite a bit of progress might get done!

To do still:  put in the new insulation, install the cement board, replace the sub floor, re-tile, buy/build a new vanity, tile the shower, replace the shower fixtures, replace the light fixture.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Demo - Day 1

The Builder and I have both been working crazy hours, and so the renovation of our guest bathroom had been put on hold.  This weekend he had two days off and wanted to make some progress (we're still wanting it done by Christmas!).  And so he started removing the tile so we could replace the cement board.  

You know those home decorating shows where they always find more problems than anticipated?  Yeah, that seems to be the story of my life.  Upon taking down the first portion of tile from the back wall, we discovered the 2x4's were completely rotted out.  
Those black and disintegrated things?  Those are the wall studs.  Almost nothing was holding the window up!!!  Also the insulation was completely rotted out as well.  Fun times.  So we made a morning run to Home Depot to pick up a few supplies:

The Builder estimates we'll need about eight 2x4's, so we bought 10 to be safe.  New insulation.  Gloves. Cement Board.  And a reciprocating saw, which he claimed to need.  And really, what's a home improvement project if you can't buy a new tool or two?  Yeah, so we got that too.

The bright pink 2x4 studs?  Those are treated lumber, and lower in cost.  Since they'll be hidden by drywall, we went for the cost savings.  

The demolition process it self has been quite...interesting...





Tearing it all apart...
                                                                                                                                                                 
The tile in the shower? They used linoleum glue to adhere the tile. Yes, the same glue that the linoleum floor (that's under the tile you see in this photo) has. NOT intended for shower tile!! We literally pulled this chunk of the wall off with no effort.

The only thing that saved the hardy siding on the outside of the house from getting destroyed was the vapor barrier.  We continue to be amazed at the shortcuts we find that builder take here in TX. This tile was not part of the renovation the previous owners did to the home. It's original. Yes, it makes me nervous to think about things that we can't see!

A little more on that...
Speaking of things we couldn't see. The tile floor. We needed to remove the bathtub to replace the 2x4's so we had to cut back the drywall and remove some of the floor tile to  pull it out without damaging it (I'd like to not have to buy a new tub, thank you very much). What we discovered was that there used to be a builders grade linoleum floor in the bathroom. Instead of removing it and laying new tile, someone laid a thin layer of cement board over it, then tiled over that. That's why the moldings were covered up and narrow. We also discovered that the sub floor around the tub was weak and spongy.  Considering how much water was leaking, we weren't really surprised. So now we're going to rip out all the tile, replace the sub floor, and re-do the floor the way it should have been done.






So the tub and shower are out!  Next up is replacing the 2x4's first.  Then we'll have to remove all the tile, replace the sub floor, install the cement board on the walls, replace the drywall, re-tile the shower (all the way to the ceiling), and re-tile the floor. We're also going to take out the old medicine cabinet, update the lighting and bath fixtures in the shower, and if I'm really lucky, replace the vanity and make it a double sink.

I'd love to say that this is a two weekend project - but it most definitely is not!  My hope is that over the long Thanksgiving weekend, while I am out completing my Black Friday shopping and Christmas decorating, we'll manage to get the first half of the list completed.  And maybe, just maybe, it will be done in time for Christmas!