Friday, December 28, 2012

Master Bath - Part 1

I've been away from the blog for a while, but you can be sure that I'm still working on the master bathroom.  The wall between the bedroom and the master bath was an exterior wall until the addition was built about 30 years ago.  The shear bracing is in the way of our door location.
  We used a router and chisels to cut a channel for the new brace.
The new header was made from our old cellar stairs.  Waste not, want not.
I scraped off the glitter popcorn ceiling and screwed in the drywall.  The edge along the exterior wall turned out to be totally unsupported.  I also added a can light over the shower and a bath fan.

The addition was never plumbed so Luke and I had to add drains, a vent stack and supply lines for the new bathroom.  We spent Christmas morning putting in a sewer line and tying it into the existing plumbing.  We're just about done with the plumbing, all we need to do is connect the bath tub drains to the new sewer lines.
I removed the foil-faced R-11 from the exterior walls and used it for sound-proofing between the bathroom and bedrooms.  The exterior walls have been re-insulated with R-13.
The bathroom is now plumbed, wired and ready for real progress.  I'm always glad when this phase is over and I can feel like I'm making some real progress.  Tomorrow we'll install the bathtub and then I can start working on the walls.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Start of the Master Bathroom

It seems like I just finished building the main bathroom.  Actually I did just finish building the main bathroom yesterday and already I find myself immersed in another bathroom project.  This time I'm working on the master bath.  Why?  Because it is easier to tackle small projects alone and since Luke is still working on his thesis I am unwilling to try something big, like the kitchen.  So let's start with the master bathroom story.

When we bought the house the only bathroom was the main bath on the 1st floor.  It served all four of the bedrooms and was tolerable for six months until we built the basement bathroom.  We then gutted and rebuilt the main bathroom but always planned to add a separate master bath.  In order to carve out some space for the master bath we shifted the bedrooms on the west side of the house and took back some space for the master bath (similar to option 1)

The master bathroom is not huge, it's only 5'x9'6" so I'm trying to make it feel open and spa-like. 
 On the plus side it has a window.  This is the seventh bathroom we've built in the course of three homes and it's the first to have natural lighting, not that I'm home during the day to get pictures of that.

Last week we drove to Helena and bought a stack of materials for the master bathroom. We stored everything in the living room for the weekend.  I may have watched a movie in the bathtub.
 In order to contain the mess I moved everything into the master bedroom and put up plastic over our missing wall and closet doors.

So far the only progress I've made in the bathroom is replacing the insulation.  I've got a lot of work to do but fortunately I have some time off for the holidays.  We'll see if I can build this bathroom a little faster than the last one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Main Bathroom Before and After

Last year my version of improving the bathroom was to go from this
 To this:
It was July of 2011, five weeks before we would move into our "new" home and I was happy with a new toilet and floor, as long as the bathroom was functional.  Now it's December of 2012 and function is no longer the goal.  Instead I want a nice bathroom that won't have people opting to use our back yard instead.  And after a month of working on the bathroom I think we've reached that point.  I love looking at before and after photos because it reminds me of just how far we have come:
Before:  We had five layers of flooring with mold growing between each layer and a massive hump in the floor.
After: A floor I'm not afraid to walk on barefoot

Before: The old vanity was covering in mold, dead mice and candle wax.  I won't even talk about that toilet.
 After:New vanity picked up at a yard sale

I was thrilled to realize that the paint color I used in the back bedrooms also worked in the bathroom.   Now that the bathroom is done I will be starting my next project.  I'll be posting pictures in the next few days.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Main Bathroom - Almost Done

The bathroom is really starting to come together.  I'm pretty good at visualizing what the finished product will look like but it's still fun to see it actually start to look like a finished room.  After painting the bathroom and hallway I put down thinset and hardibacker so I've got a sturdy base to tile over.
I also prepped all the tile.  I always shuffle my tile so any color variations between boxes are spread across the entire tiled surface.  In this case I had twice as much tile as I needed so I was able to cull the amber-toned tiles and use just the more neutral colors.  Tip - Plastic peanut butter jars are excellent for storing tile spacers.
The following evening the floor ready for tile.  I opted for a diamond pattern in the hopes it would visually elongate the small space.  Because the bathroom does not have a single 90 degree corner I arbitrarily decided the edge of the tub was straight and based my pattern off of it.  Five hours later I had a finished floor.
I'll be grouting tonight.  I'm not a fan of actually doing the grout work because it always leaves my hands blistered and peeling, but I love how it blends all the pieces of tile into a cohesive floor.  Since it makes the floor look so finished I won't be posting any more photos until the bathroom is done.  I'm a little behind schedule but it should be completed this weekend.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Main Bathroom Progress

The bathroom has been moving at a snail's pace.  I'm starting to really hate working alone but it looks like that is not likely to change any time soon.  When I last posted the tub was in place and I was finally ready to start taping the drywall.
I had hoped to finish all the mudding and taping over the weekend but then I was hit with project spiral.  It started with the doorway.  I had to widen the door opening to 36" to get the tub in, then framed it down to 30" for the new 28" door.  So I had to patch around the doorway and fix some damage on the wall.
And since I was already working on the hallway, I might as well fix the other end of the L-shaped hallway.
But it didn't make sense to fix the wall only to tear it apart again when we put in the linen closet.  So I had to figure out exactly where the new linen closet would be and cut out the doorway.
So the drywall ended up taking a lot more time than originally intended.  By Thursday I was finally able to primer the walls and get a real feel for how much more spacious the bathroom and hallways would feel without the smurf blue and barbie pink colors.
 So much better
I'll be painting tonight and tiling this weekend.  Hopefully I will have some finished bathroom photos next week.

Monday, December 03, 2012

My New Project

Ten months ago something wonderful happened.  We finished the basement bathroom.  After six months in the house I could finally take a shower with my eyes open and touch the floors or walls without the urge to spray my skin with Lysol.
So for the last nine months our only bathroom has been in the basement.  We are currently living in the guest room which means that we have to walk to the opposite end of the house, go down a flight of stairs then back across to house again to reach the bathroom.  It's not bad as a short term solution but after nearly a year of this arrangement I'm ready to have a bathroom on the main floor of the house again.  After moving some walls this summer the main floor is framed for two bathrooms:
 A 48 sq ft master bath:

And a 38 sq ft main bath

I gutted the main bathroom over memorial day and Luke and I moved the plumbing wall.
 Ever since then it has been used as storage but now I am finally ready to do something with it.  The prep work has not been exciting or photogenic.  This was our lovely ceiling.  When the bathroom was "remodeled" during the 70's someone glued paneling to the sheetrock.  I tore down the paneling but it really made a mess of the sheetrock.
I put up a second layer of sheetrock to cover the old ceiling.  This allows me to have a mold-resistant ceiling that exceeds fire code.  It was the first time I've ever hung a ceiling alone and I did it without a panel lift.  It did not go smoothly but it worked.
 Getting the tub in was not fun.  A one piece unit is much more difficult to install than a tub and three piece surround, but since this will be the kid* bathroom we wanted something leakproof and easy to clean.
 *We don't have kids but since we have four bedrooms and live near a school we are assuming that future owners will have kids and try to plan our house accordingly.

Why does the new mold and mildew resistant sheetrock have to be the color of an oxygen-deprived smurf?  It's going to take a lot of primer to cover that blue. 

Now that the tub is finally in I can start work on taping and tile work.  I'm looking forward to getting this bathroom done so I can finally take a bath!