Category Archives: Bathroom

A Horrible Placeholder

In order to have a final electrical inspection we need to have a vanity fixture in the conservatory bathroom the over the spot where the vanity will be.

I guess we won't be putting cabinet recessed between the studs over the sink.

The electric wire for the vanity light is right next to a dryer exhaust pipe which prohibits installation of an electric box.

The fixture must be a strip light because it’s impossible to put an electrical box in that spot.

The area for the conservatory bathroom vanity is still in need of a fixture which is the only issue holding up the final electrical inspection.

The area for the conservatory bathroom vanity is still in need of a fixture which is the only issue holding up the final electrical inspection.

I have never been a fan of strip lights but we bought the cheapest one ($11) Lowes sells. (Home Depot prices started at $15.)

This 18-inch fixture is supposed to have globe bulbs which are not included.

This 18-inch fixture is supposed to have globe bulbs which are not included.

First Charlie hooked all the wires together with wire nuts matching same color wires coming from the wall to those on the fixture.

The light should hang on the two screws.

The light should hang on the two screws.

Then he tried to hang the fixture on screws and it just wouldn’t happen.  That’s when I read the directions. (I know, girl stuff.)

Since there is not a box in which to stash the wires we pulled them through to the front of the back plate which was screwed tight to the wall.

Since there is not a box in which to stash the wires we pulled them through to the front of the back plate which was screwed tight to the wall.

Following the instructions we took the thing apart, rewired it, hung the back plate on the screws, and attached the front plate with the trim cups.

The fixture actually calls for globe bulbs but we didn't spring for them.

The fixture actually calls for globe bulbs but we didn’t spring for them.

When we flipped the switch only one light bulb worked but that’s because 2 of them were faulty.

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.

I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.

Now isn’t that about the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen. I hope it passes inspection.

What cheap and tawdry decisions have you made?

 

 

A Drywall Trick

It may not be tricky to you but I would never have thought of this special cut to allow a pipe to protrude through drywall without actually piecing the area.

The drywall for the bottom of the wall needed to slip over the knee wall and let the water supply pipe for the toilet protrude through a small hole (on the left of the photo).

The drywall for the bottom of the wall needed to slip over the knee wall and let the water supply pipe for the toilet protrude through a small hole (on the left of the photo).

It appears that the sheet rock was somehow maneuvered so it could slide over the pipe with just one straight cut.

The one cut in the drywall will be patched behind the toilet.

The one cut in the drywall behind the toilet will be patched.

But the real truth is that the drywall was scored on the back to create a triangular door so the entire piece could slide down over both the knee wall and the pipe.

Can you see both the genius and the simplicity?

Can you see both the genius and the simplicity?

Special thanks for our friend “wid skeelz” who taught us another small item to keep in our bag of tricks.

Just the knee walls remain to be drywalled.

Just the knee walls remain to be drywalled.

Thanks to our diligence the drywall that was delivered in the middle of February is almost finished in the middle of August. Stop laughing.

Have you got a little trick that makes life easier?

Hardiebacker is Heavy

Our friend came over to give Charlie a hand putting Hardiebacker in the new showers.

The master bathroom shower.

The master bathroom shower is about 7′-6″ long by 3′-6″ wide.

We had had delivered 4 by 8 sheets of Hardiebacker which are much, much heavier than traditional drywall but are the go-to product for wet areas that are going to be tiled which is why we’re using it in the master shower and the conservatory shower.

The shower in the conservatory bathroom is about 6' long by 4 ' wide.

The shower in the conservatory bathroom is about 6′ long by 4 ‘ wide.

The greenboard ceiling was already installed when the first sheet was marked to go on the window wall of the shower.

DryWallBathroom

Out friend forgot his grinder (and of course we don’t have one) so he cut the 24-inch circle for the window with a circular saw. (Circular saws are not meant to cut circles; the name derives from the shape of the blade.)

On the first try to install the sheet was flipped and so did not exactly line up. After turning it around the round hole matched up with the window.

On the first try to install the Hardiebacker in the master shower, the sheet was flipped and so did not exactly line up. After turning it around the round hole matched up with the window.

With no help from yours truly they muscled the piece onto the wall and held it up with special 1-1/4 inch Hardiebacker screws which come with their own special square drill bit.

Master shower

Master shower – from the photo above you can see how two people could easily fit in the master shower.

They worked on the master bathroom cutting and installing all but the small easy pieces which Charlie felt he could do by himself.

This last wall wasn't crucial because only covering the insulation is necessary to have finished before inspection. But we're on it.

This last wall wasn’t crucial because only covering the insulation is necessary to have finished before inspection. But we’re on it.

I wanted to make sure our friend did not leave before cutting the porthole piece for the conservatory bathroom since I was pretty sure we would not be able to do it.   He makes everything look easy and knows some tricks for making things work that we would never think of. He’s a humble guy though. When we mention what a building genius he is (and we mention it a lot because we’re in awe) he comes right back with “let me show you my scales on the piano”. (Charlie is a professional pianist and even I know my fingerpower exercises.) Touché! 

Conservatory shower -- the showers look similar but are different in size and orientation.

Conservatory shower — the showers look similar but are different in size and orientation.

Enough frivolity.

The conservatory shower is on the ground floor.

The conservatory shower is on the ground floor.

We’re almost ready for the inspector.

What is it you do better than anyone else? Ah, yes, there is something.

Burning the (Almost) Midnight Oil

On Friday evening Charlie and our friend who is an expert in all the building trades came over to install the Hardie backer in the master bathroom shower. They started by putting up greenboard on the ceiling. (Our greenboard is purple.)

First they took measurments.

First they took measurments.

The bathroom had already been plumbed and insulated.

Liquid nails was applied to the studs then the drywall was screwed in place.

Liquid nails was applied to the studs then the drywall was screwed in place.

I had to make the decision whether or not I was going to put tile on the ceiling. No — I might tile all the way up the wall in the shower but I’m not tiling the ceiling so even in the shower there was greenboard on the ceiling.

In the shower stall there are 2 recessed lights and the shower head hanging from the ceiling.

In the shower stall there are 2 recessed lights and the shower head hanging from the ceiling.

The men muscled 4 expertly cut pieces onto the ceiling which completed that part of the project. I took pictures and prepared dinner.

Now that the ceiling is finished the project should move along more quickly.

Now that the ceiling is finished the project should move along more quickly.

That was enough for a Friday night. Today we’ll work on the rest of the greenboard on the walls of the bathroom then next week our friend is coming back for a lesson in Hardie backer.

Where do you draw the line at DIY? Have you ever drywalled?

The Results of Yesterday’s Excitement

Yesterday two men showed up at The Glade to install the shower pans for our zero-threshold showers using the Schluter-KERDI System. (I have not been paid nor perked to mention this product.)

Schluter shower pan

Schluter shower pan

First they removed the 2 by 4 in the doorways.

The 2 by 4 on the floor was removed to allow a zero-threshold shower pan installation.

The 2 by 4 on the floor in the master bathroom was removed to allow a zero-threshold shower pan installation.

Then they removed the two-piece drains

Removing the 2-piece drain

Removing the 2-piece drain

and replaced them with once piece drains.

One-piece drain

One-piece drain

They laid in the preformed rigid foam shower pan and filled in the sides with dry pack mortar.

Dry set mortar on the sides of the shower base hold it in place.

Dry set mortar on the sides of the shower base hold it in place.

The pans are in both the conservatory bathroom (1st photo of the post) and the master bathroom (below).

The bathroom floor needs to be raised to the level of the shower pan.

The bathroom floor needs to be raised to the level of the shower pan.

Hardie backer will be installed in the showers on the walls and benches(a DIY project). After everything is dry-walled and inspected, the shower floors and part of the walls will be covered with KERDI waterproofing membrane. (Hopefully we don’t need the bathrooms finished to get a final occupancy permit.)

What are you working on step-by-step?

Today’s Excitement

Back here I explained how I wanted zero threshold showers in the two new bathrooms.

The master bathroom shower.

The master bathroom shower.

After checking around I found out that a local contractor/tiler has experience in this installation.

The 2 by 4 that divides the conservatory shower from the rest of the bathroom will be removed.

The 2 by 4 that divides the conservatory shower floor from the rest of the bathroom will be removed.

This morning is scheduled for the installation. I hope to have photos soon of just what lies under a curbless shower.

Standing on the shower seat of the conservatory bathroom looking toward the entrance.

Standing on the shower seat of the conservatory bathroom looking toward the entrance.

In the mean time I’ve called a highly recommended handyman to see if he can come and give Charlie a hand in hanging the Hardie backer in the showers and finishing all the drywall.

We need to finish installing all the greenboard (the purple stuff) and Hardie backer

We need to finish installing all the greenboard (the purple stuff) and Hardie backer (behind it).

And while I’m talking about waiting for workmen, one of the igniters on our new stove has stopped clicking/working.

Our most used burner on the left front no longer ignites with its electronic ignition.

Our most used burner on the left front no longer ignites with its electronic ignition.

I have called a local appliance repair company recommended by Frigidaire for their warranty work. Can’t wait to see how that turns out. (Sorry for the sarcasm.)

Nothing but fun here.

What’s fun in your neighborhood?

 

 

Shower Pans – Zero Entry

Honestly, you’d think I’d invented the concept myself — zero threshold showers (AKA curbless shower).

Love the zero-threshold shower.  I would want more glass in the surround.

Love the zero-threshold shower. I would want more glass in the surround.

Source

From the very beginning of the renovation I talked about the concept of universal design hoping someone in the planning or building stage would make allowances for it.

So simple and elegant.

So simple and elegant.

Source

It seems my contractor who is a plumber and his partner who is an excellent tiler really did not have experience with showers without physical barriers. Through a local plumbing company who did this repair I have the name of a man who specializes in putting in shower pans, especially the no-threshold type.

From their website the Schluter shower system allows for a no barrier floor.

From their website the Schluter shower system allows for a no barrier floor.

He came out on July 4th to look at the projects — conservatory shower and master bathroom shower — and quoted two shower pans with one piece drains for under $3000. That sounds reasonable to me.

We have a knee wall in both showers so the final appearance might be something akin to this one.

We have a knee wall in both showers so the final appearance might be something akin to this one.

Source

Once the pans are in (hopefully at the end of July) we can put the Hardie backer on the walls and get the renovation inspected for the final time.

What must-have would you require in a newly built or a renovated space?