Man, time really flies by. I’m about to start another bathroom remodel project, so I guess I should close out this one! As many of my friends know, I got super frustrated at the end of this one and just kinda walked away from it for a while. I’ll add details below, but where did I last leave off? Tiling the tub.
I got a lot accomplished this week. The last post I ended with just finishing setting the floor tiles. I ended up not doing grout until Tuesday night, because I got a late start on Monday, and by the time I got the floor cleaned up, it was already 10:00pm. Anyhow, Monday night, I went in and removed all of the spacers, and kicked off all of the leveling caps. All but a couple snapped cleanly at the base (under the tile) as they should. I knew that a couple of them were not going to budge due to excess mortar in between the tiles. I just hit them with my multi-tool using a carbide grit grout removal blade (more on that below).
It’s been a busy few days since the last update. I continued working on cleaning up those walls outside of the alcove through Thursday morning. I kept building up anywhere that there were low spots and trying to feather out the high spots. Unfortunately,my last coat of joint compound must have gotten too much air when mixing, because it developed a lot of bubbles as it was setting. Some of them really bad. So I knew that I was going to have to touch these up after sanding, as they leave pits behind.
Can I just start by stating that everything takes longer than you imagine it will take? Even some of the most simple tasks in this project have taken me much longer than anticipated, because there’s always something. That said, things are looking up. Tiling is about to commence! But first, let’s talk mud again >:( …
This is going to be a long post… I’d like to make it clear that these things are never as smooth as you imagine it will be. All the DIY blogs like to make it sound like their project went smoothly and was done in no time. The reality is that there are always curve balls and setbacks. So if you’re thinking of going down this road, it’s something you need to be prepared for. While it sucks having this bathroom out of commission for longer than I wanted, we are lucky enough to have others in the house, so it’s only a minor inconvenience for Jax to have to use the downstairs bathroom.
Well I’m a week late on this update, because not much actually happened until late last week. The plumber was here last Wednesday, but couldn’t finish everything due to late start, and having to leave early for another appointment. He planned to return early the next morning to finish things up. That morning however, we got hit with a freak snow storm with around 5 inches dumped on untreated roads. I was heading out of town on Friday, so I couldn’t get him back out until Monday morning. I was bummed, because not only had I lost 2 evenings of working that week, but I had also planned to get to work in there as soon as I got home on Sunday morning. I was able to get to grinding the old mortar off the subfloor at least.
I did the last of the major demo last night/early this morning, removing the toilet, vanity, drywall behind the vanity, and last remaining tiles. The plumber will be installing the new tub and converting the sink plumbing from single to double today/tomorrow. Aside from grinding the remaining mortar from the subfloor (I may replace it though), a few more small areas where I need to replace drywall, and the threshold (which I still haven’t decide what I’m doing with), I am done with demo.
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.
After meeting with my plumber to discuss the potential work I want him to do, and a couple of days trying to decide what the new plan would look like, I firmed up a few details late last week and put in my order for all of the tiling materials. Not a lot changed there, just the additional floor space where the vanity was, which actually only covered about 6 Sq Ft. So I added another 8 or 9 mosaic sheets and another dozen or so pieces of Cove base. For the mortar, I ended up just keeping it simple (albeit more expensive), and I’m going to use the same stuff for the floor and walls. I decided on Mapei Ultraflex 2, which is a high end polymer infused mortar. It can be used on just about any type of underlayment and tile under 15 inches.
Update: I was getting ready to post this last night, was just trying to decide on mortar for the floor. I went up to take a peak under the floor register to see what the subfloor looked like, and I was shocked to find that the donkeys who laid the tile, just troweled some sort of adhesive right on top of the plywood subfloors, rather than a proper underlayment. This changes everything. There’s no chance of me cleanly removing this and shoring it up properly with the vanity in place. I most likely want to pull the tub too, in order to really get this crap out. In a perfect world, I can scrape this shit down to clean plywood, then continue my plan of laying thinset->1/4″ cement fiber board->thinset->tile. Worst case, I have to rip out the subfloor completely and redo it properly.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted anything on this blog, but I decided that it would be a good idea to document the progress of our first major remodel attempt. Not sure how many posts this will be, but I plan to break them up into pages with a specific set of info, so they don’t just ramble. So let’s start with the current state, and why I’m doing this.