Jun 3, 2014

Master Bath Demo Begins

We got a huge amount completed on the master bath renovation this weekend. The contractor is coming this month to re-tile, and we have some plumbing to do before he starts, so we thought it would be best to get the demolition done as soon as possible.

As a refresher, this is what the bathroom looked like before. While it is the master bath, it's a tiny little thing and difficult to take pictures of.

Within months of moving in (5 years ago), the drywall around the shower door began to crumble and the framing started to rust. It just got worse and worse as more water damage happened. There were huge chunks of drywall falling out and it was impossible to clean the rust and hard water stains from the tiles and door. One of the first things we did when we moved in was install a water softener, but after 10 years of hard water pounding on it, the damage has been done.

We haven't exactly been speedy on getting this project underway. In fact, I think it was 10 months ago when I first mentioned our plans for the room. We then thought about the tile for a few months more before actually buying it. We didn't buy the tile I showed you nearly a year ago, but something very similar. The pattern for the shower floor is going to be much more interesting, and the wall tiles are larger than the original ones.

The search for a contractor was a bigger chore than it should have been. What is with people not following up with an estimate, or not even returning your call in the first place? Does every job have to be in a mansion to make it worthwhile?

Well, we now have a highly-recommended contractor on board and a start date (about two weeks from now). We told him we would do the demo ourselves to save some money. And because that's the most fun part, isn't it? We're also going to have to reroute some plumbing to install the floating vanity, and we need to change out the shower fixtures a bit. You see how the pipes for the sink come out of the floor? We need to move them up onto the wall.

We had no idea what we were going to find once everything was taken back to the studs, so we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

Once the vanity and toilet were removed we got down to tearing out the shower. Prepare for some nasty photos, it's going to get dirty in here.

We removed the door and started taking apart the door frame. I finally got the chance to use my Dremel Multi-Max (yay!) with the grout blade. Tom said it sounded like an angry beaver when it was cutting. There's video, but it's all out of focus so I won't subject you to that. Judging by how easily the tiles around the door came off, I'm surprised the shower didn't fall in on us a long time ago. Everything underneath was completely rotted.

I was in charge of removing the shower tiles while Tom took care of the floor. I'm going to pat myself on the back here with the amount of work I got done. I even pulled down the backer board myself. And I having the aching muscles to prove it. Plus a few cuts on my legs because I started out wearing shorts. I know, I know, I should have had long pants on from the beginning, but it was hot! Eventually I didn't care how hot it was, I was tired of having blood drip down my shins. There'll be no skirt-wearing for me this week.

After Tom removed the tile floor, he took down the wall that divides the shower from the rest of the room. We're going to have sliding glass doors that run the width of the room so it isn't needed. It was wonderful to see how much light we're going to have in there when it's done. No more showering in a dark cave!

The ceiling above the shower was lower than in the rest of the room. We were hoping that it was just empty space up there and that we could raise it up to the same level as the main room. When we tore off the tile and drywall we were met with cross beams and insulation. But when we pulled the plastic back (and the insulation fell down) we saw that it was insulation all the way up. So we are going to be able to raise the beams up, put new insulation in, and have an even ceiling all the way across.

By the end of the day we had the room completely stripped to the studs and the plywood floor. Everything seems to be in good condition, none of the leaking water went below the floor tiles.

This is getting so exciting now! It finally feels real. What also feels real is all of Tom's stuff in "my" bathroom for the next month. Thank goodness we're on different schedules in the morning so we aren't running into each other.

We're meeting with the contractor tomorrow night to go over all the details and then my part is done. Tom's the plumber, I just do the heavy lifting.


Check out these links for the rest of the process -

Bathroom Reno - Plumbing and Insulation

Bathroom Reno - Shower Installation

Bathroom Reno - Tiling

Bathroom Reno - Reveal!

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