Bathroom Remodel: Tips for Planning
LESLIE: Bill in Arkansas is remodeling a bathroom. How can we help?
BILL: We have a two-story house with one bathroom. And we’re trying to take the approach of remodeling the bathroom ourselves and trying to figure the best order of things to be able to do it without inconveniencing our neighbors (Tom laughs) and friends too much for using their shower or facility.
TOM: Yeah. Boy, that’s a risky project, huh; redoing the only bathroom you have in the house. Yeah.
BILL: (laughing) Yeah, we’re a little trepidacious regarding that.
LESLIE: I mean you can really take things down – I mean are you taking things down to the studs and retiling and rewallboarding and …
BILL: That’s what we’re wanting to do. Basically, when they remodeled the house before we bought it, the bathroom had some plywood and threw carpet over top of it. And of course, that’s the last thing you want in the bathroom. (chuckling) So, we know we want to pretty much start from there up. And it’s an old clawfoot tub and we want to keep that, but obviously it’s going to have to come out. And whether we can tile half the floor, get the bathtub part of it and then connect the – that’s what we’re not sure whether we’d be able to do and have a good finish where it looks professional.
TOM: Well, the first thing is that you need to kind of work this room from the bottom up. So I would start by exposing the subfloor right now and seeing what kind of condition it’s in. If it’s in solid condition you can tile over that.
LESLIE: And obviously I would keep the floor under the tub until the last.
TOM: Yeah, absolutely. But if you have a continuous surface that’s nice and flat, then that’s a good thing. Now, in terms of the walls, are you going to go down to the studs?
BILL: Well, since we have the claw foot tub/shower combination with the hanging, old-time …
BILL: … shower curtain, we’ve debated whether we truly are going to need to go ahead and put up our backer board and tile everything or whether we just want to go ahead and use one of the more resistance …
LESLIE: Wallboards that are covered with like a fiberglass; like a Dens Armor.
TOM: Yeah, you know, you could use Dens Armor …
TOM: … from Georgia-Pacific as a backer board on that fiberglass face. And they also have a Dens Armor tile backer that’s not organic so it’s not going to grow any mold. So I think you could possibly go on top of that.
TOM: And that takes care of that.
Now, you know, in terms of the toilet itself, that’s actually not so difficult to take out, tile and then put back within a fairly short period of time. Then the last thing is the sink. And if you’re going to have to not be able to use the sink, just arrange that you don’t have (inaudible) …
LESLIE: The sink and the tub out of commission at the same time.
TOM: (overlapping voices) At the same time, exactly. So you could use one or the other.
BILL: And the sink’s a little easier to – bottom line, we could brush our teeth down in the kitchen. (Bill laughs)
TOM: Well, that’s right. Yep, and you know, you could do a sponge bath if you had to. (chuckling)
LESLIE: (chuckling) Even if it’s just for a day.
BILL: Oh, it is one of those big double sinks so, hey, that’s … (chuckling)
TOM: There you go. (chuckling) Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
BILL: Thank you.