Downstairs Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the first rooms we decided to renovate.  (We started with 3 rooms when we first moved in).  This room isn’t changing much, but needed insulation and to be renovated in general.  We did decide to lower the window a bit so it looks more even from the outside.  We are leaving the original bathtub but putting up tile on the walls instead of a shower surround.  The rest of the bathroom will be tiled up 4′ high and a new toilet and vanity with sconces will be installed when completed.

Here is the before picture and here is the current progress picture (where we are now).  Farther below you will find a journal of the progress we made with pictures (chronologically):

The Original Room Current Progress: Almost done!
Before Demo

Thursday April 16, 2009.

Once we decided to go with spray foam insulation we realized we couldn’t renovate room by room. So we decided to do the 2 rooms and 1 bathroom that are on the left side of the house all at once.

The bathroom was the last of the 3 rooms to be demolished, we did the demo on Thursday April 16, 2009, in doing so we realized what bad shape the studs in the walls and the floor were in. The floor boards were rotting from water leaking (it is a bathroom).
Demolition complete:Demo CompleteOriginal Insulation in ceiling
So after demo was complete, we got a new subfloor down and started re-framing the walls.
New Wall Framed and Tub in

Framing continues, we reframed the wall that includes the doorway to the bathroom.
Ryan just finished:
Bathroom doorway and wall.
A closeup of the door framing:
Bathroom doorway framing.

Sunday May 31, 2009.
Reinforced the ceiling supports in the bathroom ceiling.

Sunday, June 6, 2009.
Ryan installs the ceiling supports.
New celing supports in bathroom

Saturday-Sunday June 20-21,2009.
The new plumbing has been started.
The sink and toilet Pex water lines and drains:
Sink and Toilet Pex and drains.
The shower view:
Shower and plumbing vent.
Pex in the basement – running to the bathroom:
Pex in basement for bathroom

August 8-9, 2009

Ryan installed the bathroom window this weekend.  We had the siding stripped off already, but we had to take out the old window, reframe the new one lower and then install it.

new bathroom window

October 12, 2009
Getting ready for insulation we had to get the ceiling fan wired up.

October 17-18, 2009
Aimee and Jason came out this weekend to help finish up some plumbing stuff before insulation (venting). Ryan made a soffit cover for the bathroom fan/vent and then installed the bathroom vent.
We installed a moulding over the bathroom window on the outside. It has a different window cap than the other windows but since it’s a different shape/type we thought a moulding would add to the look.

soffit cover ryan made

jason working on the plumbing vent pipes

vent pipes all done

moulding on bathroom window

soffit and bathroom window cap

bathroom fan/vent installed

October 19, 2009
Insulation! The spray foam insulation was sprayed in today! Here is what the bathroom looks like after insulation. It sure is quieter in here!


insulation just when it finished

insulation in ceiling

December 19, 2009
Not much to be done in the bathroom between insulation and drywall. I’m sure we did some electrical wiring but since we hadn’t planned on drywalling the bathroom walls, just the ceiling it wasn’t much. Dad came out to help drywall in December and here’s a picture of the bathroom ceiling all done.

drywall up on ceiling

December 28, 2009-January 1, 2010
We took a week off after xmas to work on the house. A lot of focus was on taping and spackling the tvroom but we also managed to work on the bathroom. We’re installing cement board in the shower area and on the walls 3′ up (width of a hardibacker board). So we started with the exterior wall hardibacker. We also installed the boxes for sconces above the vanity (after we bought the sconces since we weren’t sure what type of light we wanted).

boxes for sconces

first piece of hardibacker

ryan installing more hardibacker

we were cutting with a hand tool - it was slow work!

January 23-24, 2010
This weekend we started putting the insulation in the bathroom walls for soundproofing. We’re going with safetouch (no fiberglass) – it’s expensive but since we didn’t need that much and there are small cavities to “stuff” we decided it was a good choice for this project. We also started putting the Hardibacker up on the right side wall.

safe touch insulation in the walls - sound proofing

Progress on hardibacker

February 6-7, 2010
More hardibacker going up – it’s almost finished at this point. We also ordered the tile for the bathroom – man was that expensive but we both love it and since this is our downstairs bathroom it’s the one that most people will see.

right wall done

top of right wall

February 13-14, 2010
And the hardibacker is about done – we have 3 small pieces in the window to install still but the wall pieces are now done so the drywall can be put up. Plus the insulation in all but the doorway wall is now complete.

Left side wall hardibacker done

February 17, 2010
The tile has arrived! Ryan picked it up after work and it will sit in the “gym” until Ryan’s dad can come out to help us tile and until the bathroom is ready to be tiled 🙂

bathroom tile!

March 7, 2010
Drywall is up. We spent the day finishing up the bathroom walls. Some reframing of the doorway (so we can have the door swing in instead of out like it originally did). Then we put the drywall up.

Bathroom right side wall

Left side wall

Bathroom doorway wall

March 20, 2010
Plumbing hooked up and tested for leaks – no leaks! Jason and Aimee came out this weekend (with mom and dad too) and Jason finished up the bathroom plumbing. The drain is all hooked in to the original system and the water is hooked up to our new mainfold!

new manifold for plumbing

New drains from bathroom connected up

Sunday March 21, 2010
After everyone left I pulled out the spackle tools and went at it. First I had to tighten all the screws and double screw the ceiling (ugg) then I got the bathroom all taped. This mold resistant fiberglass tape is great, it’s self adhesive so I was able to attach it all and then do a skim coat over it.

Tape applied - this stuff is great

And all spackled up

Monday March 22, 2010
After work I got the first coat of spackle on the bathroom walls and ceiling.

Bathroom with one coat

Tuesday March 23, 2010
After work I got the second coat of spackle on the bathroom walls and ceiling (only 1 side of corners was done).

Bathroom coat number 2

Wednesday March 24, 2010
After work I got the final coat of spackle on the bathroom walls and ceiling (second side of corners).

last coat of spackle done!

ready for sanding

Thursday March 25, 2010
It was a late night (9:30pm – 12am) but I got the bathroom walls sanded and primed after work! There are some small touchups I want to do but that’s no big deal and we’re ready for tiling!

bathroom sanded and primed!

the other side

Friday March 26, 2010
Ryan’s Dad came out this weekend to help us tile the bathroom, and by help “us” I mean he did 98% of the tiling and Ryan cut the tiles. I mostly watched 🙂 Friday after work we got started right away. First came the shower, specifically the window in the shower first.

Saturday March 27, 2010
When we got up on Saturday, Mark had been working for a couple of hours already. The shower tiling was coming right along. By lunch time the shower was almost complete.

Tiling the shower side wall

Up to the window

Lunch time progress

Wall tiles started while Ryan was cutting for the shower

After lunch it was back to the shower – and it was finished up very quickly. Then on to the wall tiles.

The last shower tiles going in

Ryan worked on one wall while Mark on the other

Mark's side

By dinner the walls were about halfway done so we went out for a bite to eat.

Left side wall at dinner time

Right side wall at dinner time

When the dark tile was complete Mark started in on the decorative pattern across the top. Here is the detail laid out.

The detail for the decoration

Tiling away

The right wall progress on saturday night

The left wall progress saturday night

Before bed Ryan cut some floor tile in half so the floor could be started in the morning without delay.

Sunday March 28, 2010
When we woke up Sunday morning Mark had already finished the wall details and gotten a good start on the floor tile. By the time I got back from home depot around 10:30 he was finishing up what could be done for the day. Part of the floor was really un-level so we bought some self leveler which needs to dry over night before the rest of the floor could be tiled. Here is the progress for sunday.

Floor progress

Wall detail finished

Right side wall done

Around the corner


Wednesday March 31, 2010
After work Ryan taught me how to grout and I got the area where the toilet will go grouted. We probably won’t install the toilet right away but at least we’re prepared in case we do. The grout just needs to be sealed in a few days.

started grouting

Friday April 2, 2010
My Dad came out a day early for easter weekend and he and ryan installed a door frame for the bathroom. We went with the smallest door we had available (so it would swing in instead of out like before). The latch needed some work but Dad tinkered with it all weekend and even got that working!

bathroom door (definitely needs to be stripped)

Saturday April 10, 2010
I stripped down the trim for the bathroom in preparation for the next day when we plan on putting up the rest of the wall tile. It took 4 hours but I got one side, the top and 2 rosette’s done. The other side piece was done by Maribeth when she was out visiting last month.

Trim for the bathroom all stripped down

Sunday April 11, 2010

We started out the day getting the trim up in the bathroom – I got it sanded down and Ryan put it up.

Ryan installing new plinth blocks

Putting up the trim I stripped down

The left side trim up

Once the trim was up Ryan started tiling. He had to do all the tiling himself so it was up and down to/from the basement to cut the tiles 🙂 While he did this I primed the gym and started stripping the bathroom door.

Tiling up the wall on the right

The right side done in time for a lunch break

Tiling up the left side

The wall tile complete! And the door I started to strip.

Sunday May 16, 2010
Finally we hooked up the electrical to the bathroom. Everything seems to work except for the CFL candelabra bulbs. A regular bulb works in the socket for the fan/light so it’s not the wiring, we’ll have to get some regular candelabra bulbs soon.
We also grouted the bathroom, 2 walls of the shower are done and the wall tile is all done.

A before picture. While the grout got settled I hooked up the electric to the bathroom. Lights finally 🙂

We started on the shower. Here the right wall is done.

We took turns grouting and cleaning off the excess.

2 walls of the shower done!

Right wall finished

Had to grout the decorative part with my finger - notice I'm using my left hand on this side... my right index finger was bleeding by this point!

Scary picture - that's a lot of cleanup ahead - more sore fingers...

All done!

Saturday May 22, 2010
Another weekend home to work on the house means I can finish grouting the bathroom. Ryan had to work this weekend but I managed on my own. First up I finished grouting the last wall of the shower.

Last shower wall grouted

Once I finished that I up decided to seal the grout on one of the walls. I did 2 coats and it looks good so I assume I did it right 🙂

Left wall - grout sealed

I finished up the evening by grouting the floor so all grout is now done.

Floor grouted!

Also today I touched up the primer on the walls/ceiling so they’re ready for paint tomorrow and I sanded the trim so it’s ready for primer.

Sunday May 23, 2010

Before lunch I got a coat of paint on both the ceiling and the walls in the bathroom.  Originally we had decided on 2 different colors but they were too close to each other to look good together so I decided to use the ceiling color on the walls as well.  We used a mold/mildew resistant paint for the bathroom.

Bathroom ceiling painted

Bathroom walls painted

Later I got the trim around the door frame primed.

Bathroom trim primed!

And then I ended the evening by getting the final coat of paint on the walls and ceiling:

Walls/ceiling painting done!

Tuesday May 25, 2010
After work I got the first coat of paint on the bathroom trim, the color we are using for all our trim is called Linen White and we’re using an oil based paint.

First coat of paint!

Wednesday May 26, 2010
After work I painted the final coat on the trim (hopefully final coat). I gave it a light sanding before painting so it’s nice and smooth.

Trim painted!

I also installed the overhead light fixture since the ceiling is now finished.

Bathroom light installed.

Thursday May 27, 2010
After work I got the sconce lights in the bathroom installed. I installed them “up-side down” because I like them facing up but we may change them. I do prefer not seeing the CFL bulbs and the light is softer this way.

Sconce lights installed

Monday May 31, 2010
Before lunch I got the paint in the bathroom touched up to hide the scuff marks from installing the lights. Then I installed the real light switches and plates, finally I caulked the last joints around the tile.

GFI outlet installed with new light switches and a motion detector for the fan.

After lunch I got the tile sealed finally!

Tile sealed

Saturday June 12, 2010
Aimee and Jason came out this weekend to help us finish up the bathroom. Saturday Jason and Ryan got the shower fixtures installed, the toilet installed and the sink installed except for the drain.

Ryan installing the shower fixtures

Toilet hooked up

It works!

Sink water hookups

New shower!

Aimee and I worked on stripping the bathroom door, we got one side almost completely done.

Aimee working on the door

Sunday June 13, 2010
In the morning Jason finished hooking up the sink drain and Ryan installed the towel bars.

Sink drain all hooked up

New bathroom sink!

Towel rod

Bathroom - almost done!

Aimee and I finished up stripping the paint off the door. Later I got the rest of the door sanded and some wood filler on any holes.

Bathroom door all stripped down

July 11, 2010

Finally the bathroom mirror is up! Last night as a last minute project Ryan hung the mirror.  The bathroom is just waiting for it’s door and some touch up painting now!

bathroom mirror hung

July 11, 2010

Then we finally added the little bit we needed to the bottom of the bathroom door so it doesn’t have a big gap at the bottom.

Bottom of the door patched

And after much wood filling and sanding during the day (and more sanding, and more sanding), I finally ended the day with some priming!

Bathroom door - one side primed

July 25, 2010

The bathroom door is hung!

Finally a bathroom door hung.

It still needs some touch ups (had to plane off one corner – which is very familiar since we had to do the same for our exterior door).  And we have to put in a door lockset or a tiny handle on the current lockset.  But the door functions which is a huge improvement.

August 26, 2010

While I was gone tonight Ryan was very busy!  We now have a door knob on both sides of the bathroom door!  This was no easy feat – a larger lockset needed to be installed which meant mortising out a spot for that larger lockset.
It’s not completed – we need to patch up the old holes and repaint that section but the door knob works!  And there’s room to grab it on the outside!

Door knob!

It fits with the door closed!

This was a huge surprise and with a few touchups to paint the bathroom will soon be crossed off the list completely!

What’s left:

Repair the crack in the wall – need to reinforce the drywall by the lightswitch and repair quickly
Touch up paint the door (must fill the hole in the door)

That’s it – we’re on the home stretch for the bathroom now!

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