Bathroom Remodeling Project

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Sometime around a millennium ago or so it seems July 4, 2006 to be exact, yours truly Bill aka Mickey Porter decided to tackle our main bathroom for a total make over.  Besides, those TV Do- it-Yourself shows make it looks so easy!  I must truly confess that I just about bit off more than I could chew having minimal available power tools coupled with limited experience in this area of construction.  There was also a mishap in transporting several sheets of drywall on a bright sunny day and got caught in a sudden thunderstorm with my pull trailer uncovered which destroyed the drywall and had to make an extra trip to replace them. 

It did not take too long to realize older houses are no longer square, level or plumb which are critical elements to properly install a bathtub, shower surround, vanity and tile.  An older home such as ours does not meet current construction codes especially the plumbing and electrical components and a few self-help books most certainly got a good workout during this project!  Over the years, all but one plumbing fixture and all the galvanized steel drain lines has been replaced.

Inserted a few pix of the demolition phase.  I lost my hard drive that contained all the pixs taken and no back up taken but found these pixs I sent out in an email short story.

The old cast iron tub was “stick built” into the walls/partition and a large hammer and reciprocating saw was used to break the tub into a manageable unit for one person, (me) to remove from the bathroom.  The bathroom door is only 27 inches in width and not conducive to widen to 36 inches therefore a single piece tub/shower surround was out of the question.  The walls were stripped down to the studs and had to be reinforced for additional support for the shower surround.  The cast iron vent line with the steel wool and melted lead joints definitely was off plumb but it was and will be hidden in the wall.  The entire bathroom floor was removed down to the sub floor and had to be shimmed in several places prior to installing the exterior 5/8 inch plywood to get as level as possible.  I glued and screwed the plywood to the sub floor and then applied a 1/8 inch layer of Laticrete thin set mortar using a 1/4 inch notched trowel and screwed down 1/4 inch thick Hardibacker.  A final layer of 3/32 inch thin set mortar was applied using a smaller v notched trowel and either 3/16 or 1/14 inch thick 12 inch square tile was installed.    

Pix below is an overkill of bracing added: 

Grab bars are installed in the shower and for the commode.  I also installed a hand held shower head mounted for usage when sitting on the shower stool/chair…since my bride’s stroke; those ADA features just mentioned have really been used to the utmost!

Tongue and groove bead board was used to replace the original imitation tile paneling and stained it to match the oak vanity and medicine cabinet.  I kept it at the original height of 48 inches otherwise I would have had to remove all the wall board or do some serious patch work which is no job for an amateur like me.  I glued the bead board onto the original drywall and used a finish nail gun to secure it in place while the glue dried.

The toughest carpentry work was cutting a matching 45 degree angle to the bead board on the partition between the tub/shower and commode area.  A table saw would just about be mandatory however I did not have a table saw and used a jig saw and router. To make matters worse, the partition was originally over 1 inch out of square and had to be build it up before installing the bead board and the wall was over 3/8 inch out of plumb and I could not open the tongue and groove joints up between the bead boards to make it come out right because the nail gun closed the joints back up, therefore, a 3/8 inch taper had to be sawn into one of the 45 degree angles over the 48 inch length of the bead board.  The usage of a table saw with a taper jig on site would have taken only a few minutes and it took me probably half a day of fitting the four forty-five (45) degree joints by hand to get it to look right!  I installed a two part chair rail molding trim to cap off the tongue and groove bead board which added a nice touch.

Other pix showing the porcelain tile which you can’t see the light blue and beige color in them and the ceiling was painted light beige and the walls were painted a light blue to match the tile.  I picked a lot of peoples brains for this project and pleased with the results.

I also added a Ground Default receptacle to the vanity for a hair dryer and also added a ceiling exhaust/light fixture combination.

My bride has not been physically able to get any new décor for the walls and will “spruce” it up when she is able.  I have to slice a piece of marble for the transition threshold between the bathroom tile to the carpet and that will complete this project.  The only outside expense was 290 dollars for the plumbing work that I did not feel comfortable doing!

My neighbor Johnny Hildreth, now deceased and his son Allen did the plumbing for me and he only charged me what the materials cost him at wholesale .  His labor charge was next to nothing but he would not take any extra money for his time.  That was the way he was and I will never forget his kindness and generosity.  My bride suffered her stroke in September of 2006 while the finish was drying on the bead board and molding trim in the bathroom and had only the painting to do to complete this project.  Pix below of Bill and Joyce Porter and Pat and Johnny Hildreth taken at the Hildreth's 50th wedding anniversary party at the Wingate University, December 2008:

Below pix of Johnny Hildreth in his yard:

Dragging my feet on this project would not have been feasible if we did not have a bath and half down stairs plus a half bath topside.  Later, I will add up the materials and see what the total cost for this project was, however I added some power tools like a compound miter saw, drill press, air finish nailer, tile wet saw and a few router bits and the tools necessary to put up the dry wall.

A few mistakes were made along the way but consider this project a Success.  Not too bad for an amateur!

PS  Our Son, Bill, Jr. took time off from his Naval Job in San Diego, CA to be with me for a week at the onset of my bride's stroke and it was a real comfort to have him here during my time of need.  Pix of Bill on May 2, 2008 at his retirement ceremony party in San Diego, California:

Written in September 2006 and web published by Bill aka Mickey on 07-02-13.

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Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Open this link of Bible Verses About Salvation, King James Version Bible (KJV).

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”


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