Disclaimer: we aren't professionals

Thanks for reading our silly little blog! As the disclaimer says, we aren't professionals in either blogging or house stuff, but we try. This is mostly to let our friends and family know what we've destroyed so far in the house. We post irregularly and usually forget to take pictures, so thanks for your patience, and please feel free to comment with your thoughts and suggestions!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

RIP, yellow bathroom tile, or: the second bathroom gets the hammer

Let's do some more catching up, shall we? This time it's about the bathroom just off of our living room. This was a sad bathroom, with a sad vanity, short toilet, and cracked yellow tile around a cast iron tub that had seen better days. The window was all rotten, just like in the master, and we quickly covered it with plastic to try to prevent more immediate damage. The sad part is that we used this bathroom full time before the master bathroom was renovated.

Our plans for this bathroom are to gut it and rebuild it with a shower pan instead of a tub. We will close off the closet, whose door we couldn't open without banging it into the door to the living room. We won't mess with the load-bearing wall running down the center of the house, but we will open up the closet on the laundry side to make that entryway more open. Eventually, maybe our laundry machine won't be crooked, and we will be able to open the washer and dryer doors all the way! Such luxury, one can only dream...

Anyway, let's jump ahead to the demo. We had a couple of friends come over to do the sledgehammering of the bath tub. They removed the window and just threw debris out on the deck. Apparently it was a lot of fun; I think I was in Virginia for my grandmother's 80th birthday, so I missed out.

Here is what we found:
A shakily attached shower next to a cast iron vent. We knew the vent was there; it's coming out and will be replaced with nice lightweight PVC. Oh and that stud is not attached to anything at the bottom... it's just hanging. Awesome.

The closet had already been painted and set up with wire shelves when we moved in. It was a shame to remove them, but they had to go so we could wall up the closet. Beer was an important part of the demolition process for Chris.
After removing the rotted studs below the window, Chris rebuilt the frame so we could put in a fixed vinyl window with frosted panes for privacy. We had done the same in the master bathroom; it's always nice to have experience.
This window was for new construction, since we had completely removed the molding and rebuilt the studs. When we replaced the windows in the living room, we used plain old replacement windows. We used a giant suction cup handle to hold it in place and adjust for square. 
Then we screwed into the studs from the outside, after sealing with the tape you see in the photo and generous amounts of silicone caulk. Unfortunately, there was still a gap in the window where brick molding used to be. We quickly trimmed out the window to prevent bugs and other bad things from getting inside, and to keep the air conditioning inside. 
Now back to what we found inside the walls. This wall is the one shared by the kitchen eating area. You can see the various workarounds that the previous renovators used to make the pipes fit. Basically it was a mess.
And this wiring looks totally safe and legit! 

Luckily, in the process of demolition, nobody got electrocuted, or spiked by a rogue nail, or dropped a sledgehammer on their foot. 

Since these pictures were taken, we:
  • Replaced rotten studs (from a roof leak that we fixed years ago)
  • Rewired the electrical outlets, wired for a fan, two overhead lights, and a sconce by the mirror. 
  • Painted the ceiling white. So glad we didn't have to replace that...
  • Moved plumbing when necessary; just small shifts, nothing major. Chris might say differently because he's the one who did all the plumbing work. 
  • Repaired the sub-floor and put down Hardibacker. We will float cork click-lock over it. 
  • Put cement-board in the shower and sealed it with RedGard waterproofing membrane. 
  • Started tiling with white subway tile in a traditional brick pattern. We are using AcrylPro premixed ceramic tile adhesive. Some premixed mortars cannot be used over RedGard, but AcrylPro can. We checked the spec sheets. 
  • Put up sheetrock and have almost finished mudding it. 
We are making great progress, and the end is definitely in sight! We have plans to put up faux board and batten, a la Young House Love here. I do have pictures of our progress as of yesterday, and I will post those shortly. 

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