Dec 30, 2013

Walling In

FYI, holidays and guest bathroom renos don't mix.  Don't get me wrong, our company over the holidays has been very accommodating about the state of the bathroom (THANK YOU!!), but it sure has slowed us down having what feels like a non-stop cycle of parties, shopping, and overnight guests for the past few weeks!

But, we do have progress to report!

Near the beginning of the month, we managed to get the tub in and one wall of greenboard up.

So satisfying to see a tub there!

Then up went the greenboard over the rest of the exposed studs.  Luckily, Steve is a master at joining drywall cleanly.  I credit his brief stint working construction in the mid-2000s and his OCD about exacting measurements (elementary school bulletin boards will never be his thing but he can hang pictures and drywall like nobody's business).  Next came the cement board along all sides of the tub.

Greenboard done and some cement board on the long edge of the tub.

We hemmed and hawed about how far long the lip of the tub we wanted the cement board to run, since that's what the tile will be adhered to.  Did we want it just to the outside edges of the tub?  Did we want to run it a little further out than the tub?  Maybe down to the floor for a little extra tile detail?  In the end we decided that flush with the edge of the tub would give us a cleaner look for such a small bathroom (and save us a teeny bit of cash on tile).

Cement board installed!

The only obstacle left was what to do about the "outie" pipe.  Remember, this one?

Face palm.

Steve cut notches to allow for it in the greenboard and cement board, but that still didn't solve the problem of how to keep that pipe (and our drywall!) protected from getting banged up or wet.

Extreme outie.

After lots of discussion, we decided it would be best to build a small alcove around it; something that we'd tile over just like the rest of the cement board, something that would make a handy place to stash something like a bottle of shampoo when you're showering.  So here's what Steve came up with.

Outie be gone!

Our hope is that it will look like a design decision once everything's tiled... instead of a weird little bump-out meant to protect an improperly jointed pipe.  :)

Looks like we did it on purpose, right??

Pretty nice handiwork on Steve's part!  I am so excited because this means...  we are finally ready to start tiling!!

Protected and ready for some bling!

Our plan is to take the faucet kit you see languishing in the tub as well as some extra "just in case" cement board back to the hardware store and pick up our tile and tiling supplies on New Year's Day.  Apparently trying my hand at tiling sounds like a fun way to spend my birthday.  :)  Crossing my fingers I'll have some pictures to share late this week of our progress!

Just got here?  Catch up on the whole she-bang by following the links below:

(1) Getting estimates and why we decided to DIY
(2) Demoing the old acrylic tub and surround
(3) Phase One of getting the new tub in place
(4) Phase Two of getting the new tub in place

Dec 6, 2013

Tub Thumping (Again)

So.  The greenboard's up.  The stringer's up.  What next?  Well, taking the toilet out is what's next.

Toilet's gotta go.

Just for fun, here's what the opposite end of our bathroom looked like once the toilet came out.

Keeping it classy.

Next up?  Bring in the tub and fit it into place.  Except we ran into a few hiccups.  First we realized that the only way the tub was going to get in was if we squared the tub up, laid it on the floor, and slid it into place.  Our difficulty here was with mathematics.  We originally thought we could bring the tub in, set it on an end, and swing it down onto the floor.  But after we tried it, our brains fuzzily recalled Algebra class and all of that Pythagorean Theorem junk and we realized that math meant swinging the tub down from an end just wouldn't work in our just-wide-enough-for-a-tub bathroom.  Which meant we had to remove more drywall and some trim around the door in order for the tub to sit flush on the floor.  Then we were able to get the tub in!  Except that we ran into our next hiccup: the stringer was hung too high.  We realized this was just a goof on our parts, but we had to pull the tub part way back out to move the stringer lower.  Once the stringer was moved to the proper height, we slid the tub back in, only to realize the overflow and drain pipe from our old surround did not fit the new tub.  So our tub spent a night like this, until we could go get a new drain and overflow and get back to it.

The hazards of Do-It-Yourself.

After a trip to Lowe's, I managed to catch this great photo opp of the drain (oh, and Steve) once we knew the new drain would fit.


Steve then removed the drain from the floor and attached it to the tub, and we slid the tub in yet again.


Finally!  The tub fit, the drain was attached, and we were totally exhausted from moving that dang tub in and out so much.

By the way, we are feeling very fortunate to have purchased an Americast tub from American Standard.  It's much quieter than the super-cheap enameled steel models we looked at, and about a third the weight of the lightest cast iron tub we looked at.  So although it wasn't a total snap to move the tub in and out of place so many times, it definitely could have been worse (and heavier and louder).  Plus it's supposed to hold heat really well- bonus.

Next up will be cement board and drywall, but until then we're giving Steve's arms a break and letting all of our patience stores refill.

Just dropped by?  You can catch up on the whole story here:

Getting estimates and why we decided to DIY
Demoing the old acrylic tub and surround
Phase One of getting the new tub in place

Dec 4, 2013

Tub Thumping

Yes, that is a throwback to this terrible song from Chumbawamba.  Seriously, what were we thinking??

When we last talked, we had a big gaping hole in our guest bathroom where the cracked acrylic tub/shower surround one was.

With a Steve getting the dust out with a Shop Vac.

Since then, we've made an even bigger mess, but we are moving forward with this project!!  Our first step was to insulate the pipe that provides water to the icemaker in our fridge.  We hoped that this would minimize mold regrowth, since it appears that condensation on this pipe may have contributed to the mold we found when we took out the tub/shower.

When I say "we" insulated the pipe, obviously I mean Steve insulated the pipe.

Next came batt insulation, to cut down on noise coming from the bathroom to our hallway and kitchen.  We were very happy to come by this for free- my parents had an extra roll stored in their barn that they donated to us.  Once all the insulation was in, we installed greenboard drywall.  Normally we would have just plunked the tub in, but because of the odd dimensions of the surround we removed, our tub was about half an inch narrower than the space between where our vinyl flooring ended and the far wall.  The greenboard is meant for damp areas (like bathrooms), so we used that to add the half inch thickness we needed for the tub to be secured against the studs without leaving a big gap between the outer tub edge and our vinyl flooring.

Steve and this framing hammer have grown very close over the last week or so.

We knew we'd run into one area of difficulty with the greenboard, courtesy of whoever plumbed this joint:

Yes, that's an outie.

Obviously the plumber wasn't very well versed in belly buttons.  The studs clearly allow for an innie, but this joint is an outie.  Steve cut away a small section of greenboard, and then used this tricky contraption to lever it up and into place so he could nail it to the studs without disturbing the outie pipe joint while I stood around and took pictures.


Once he was done installing the greenboard, up went the stringer for the long edge of the tub to rest on, and then we were done for the night.

Strung.  Oh, and see the joint sticking out of the notch in the greenboard?

All that work and there's not even a tub in there yet!!  This is always the point at which I wonder to myself "What have we done??" so I'm trying to remind myself that it gets worse before it gets better.  And remind myself about why we chose to DIY this project in the first place.