Guest Bathroom Remodel Part 4: More Demo and Decisions

Well It’s been a busy week. I don’t get a ton of time to work on the bathroom on weekdays between work, dinner and Baz’s bedtime. I usually get about an hour in each evening. This is why the plan all along has been for the bulk of the work to be completed during the week of Thanksgiving, since I’ll be off all week. That said, I have been able to get quite a bit done this week, so I feel like I’m positioning myself well to get this done. 

Tub surround stripped down to studs.
Rotary Hammer and 10×2.5″ chisel bit FTW!

After finishing up the demo in the tub surround, I started working on the floor. First up was the Cove base. At first I was gonna just try to pry them away with a scraper and a hammer. Then I decided that this was dumb since I already got my new toy, a Makita Rotory Hammer, with a 10×2.5″ chisel bit, that I planned to use on the floor tiles. This thing is awesome! I took one hit on each of the Cove base tiles. I chewed up some sheetrock in a few spots, but that would have happened no matter what. I was done with all of it in like 2 minutes. 

Stripped baseboards and subfloor. That drywall in the corner is getting replaced with backer board.

Next up I went to work on the floor. As you can see in the above pic, I did some of it while I was doing the Cove base. The stuff around the toilet and tub came up super easy due to prior water exposure. Some of the edge tiles even pulled up when I was pulling the Cove away, cuz the caulk was the only thing attached. That’s where the easy part ended. Once I moved away from that area, the tile was really glued down. I had to put in some serious work to get the rest out. 

Action shot!

The first two nights I worked on it, I probably only got about 25 tiles out. I was sore, and somewhat concerned about digging into the subfloor. This morning I went to work on it, and was still having trouble. I finally got my technique down and was able to power through each tile in one or two punches. 

Can’t wait to remove all of that grossness.

I pulled up everything except the tiles just under/around the toilet, and under the vanity. I’ll get those out once I remove them. I’m trying to hold off on pulling the toilet and sink for as long as I can, since it will be a minimum of 3 or 4 days once I start the floor due to the various layers needing time to set/cure. Considering I also have plumbing work and drywall that needs to happen first, it will likely be a full week.

Looking much better than I expected.

Aside from the actual work, I spent A LOT of time researching and buying various things this week. The big one being a new vanity. I never would have thought this would have been such a difficult decision. We looked at hundreds of them. Many looking exactly the same, but with varying features and quality. I really wanted to keep it under $1000, but they were all MDF garbage. If I’m gonna spend that much money on something, I want quality, and therefore, I’m willing to spend more to get it. So I did. After days of looking at these things till my eyes were crossed, I asked Stephanie what she thought of one, and ordered it. I was tired of agonizing over a few hundred dollars for something that in the end, is going to add a lot of value to this space. 

At first I was all about the Carrara Marble. It’s beautiful, and readily available. However, I got to thinking about two boys using this space, and the mess they are going to make, and the stains that even water will make on marble, so I decided we had to go quartz instead. I’m not trying to be in there resealing a counter every 6 months! So anyhow, this is what we got. It should be here next Monday. Gonna try and slip the delivery guys some cash to bring it upstairs. It’s 350lbs not counting the mirrors! And no, the counter and sinks do not come out. If they won’t do it, I’m gonna rent one of those stair climber dolly’s to get that bastard up there. 

Vanity set.

Got the faucets order as well, didn’t expect them to be as expensive as they are! All the other faucets I’ve replaced were $50 – $75, with the exception of the kitchen which was about $120. The cheapest of any brand name widespread faucets are like $75, and brushed nickel is usually at least $25 more. I scored a killer deal on a pair of Delta Windmere’s for $118 a piece. 

The tub has also been a major pain in the ass for me. I thought it would be easy to just pick a cheap tub and roll with it. I research everything I buy, so I read a lot of reviews and ratings. It’s mind boggling that there can be such a divide on something as simple as a tub. Normally I can discount the bad reviews if there are a ton of good ones. However, the bad one’s are mostly legit, and mostly due to getting damaged goods, or the tubs being prone to cracks/chips. It’s too stressful, so I’m just gonna crawl back into my hole and roll the dice on a cheap name brand model.

So that’s the recap. As soon as I get the tub/plumbing out of the way, I can get the backer boards up in the tub surround and start tiling there. Not sure if that’s gonna happen this week or not though.