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Home Improvement ideas, help, DIYs, and show room. Got a home improvement project you need help with or want to share. Post your project now!

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Old 08-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #1
Tb151
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Half Bathroom Renovation

Great idea with this sub forum!

Here is a writeup I did for DIY Chatroom a month or so ago, it was a fun project.


I thought I would show off a bit of the work I've done on my first real renovation project ever. We purchased our house about a year and half ago and knew we were going to be doing several projects like this because the majority of the finishes are builder grade, and just kinda boring.

This is the first major interior project and our first time doing any sort of remodeling.

The goal of the job was to give the room a updated and clean feel, see if we can actually do this work, and not spend a fortune on it. We started with a vanity from Lowes which we were pleasantly surprised with. We shopped all over and it seemed it was either Lowes/HD or something like $2k for a single vanity. We liked this one's clean lines so we went with it. We then matched it with a nice faucet which worked with our other brushed fixtures. After that we ordered the most expensive thing, the toilet from a home supply site. I was totally sold on Toto by a high end bathroom store and after doing research, decided to splurge and spend the $500 on it. We then scored a great deal on Travertine tile from a local store which gave them to us for $4.00 a sq ft which was less than half their cost. They had them in stock for a while and recently "re"found them.

For those amongst us with ADD, the cliffs are that we watched a ton of youtube videos, read the diychatroom forums and watched a ton of home television and went for it, and somehow it turned out pretty good.

So my wife and I took some before pics but I don't have them right now. Just picture the cheapest vanity/sink/faucet combo possible.*The first step was to take the vanity and toilet out. *Once that was completed, it was time to start the real demo and rip out the tile and backer material.



To do this it essentially took a pry bar, hammer, and a ton of backbreaking labor. The tiles were mounted on that backer board thats basically just a mesh of pebbles. I forget the name but it makes a hell of a mess. The demo stuff took just a few hours and luckily the subfloor looked great so we didn't need to touch it. Our house is only 10 years old so that was the expectation.

The next step was ripping out the baseboard molding and repairing the walls for paint. We picked a brown for the upper half of the room and decided to do white walls and several moldings for the lower half.



While doing that we also put in a new backer board and chose Hardibacker.



I chose it because the new Travertine was thicker than the previous tile and I wanted a strong board to support it while being thin. Now the tile lines up perfectly with the hardwood floors in the hallway. We also used a layer of thin set between the Hardibacker and subfloor.



The next step was laying out the tiles and picking a pattern. I like the brick style pattern so we went with it. This step took the longest since we wanted to lay them out so that we had a lot of full tiles, no super narrow ones, and the tiles around the toilet flange and vents would be sturdy. After a few days of thinking about it I fired up the wet saw and we did a dry fit.



This next pic shows Sarah laying the tile. She was much better at this part than I was, although I was needed when tiles needed to be pressed down hard in places to even them out. Dryfitting worked well and the tiles went in without much drama.



This pic shows the floors all done, and I'm dry fitting the vanity and toilet to make sure the plumbing lines will all work. I could write a whole thing about the Toto, but the system it uses is amazing. Its easy as heck to install and gives you 2 additional inches of room in from of the toilet.



Thats the Unifit adapter for Toto. The wax ring mounts to the underside of that, and then attached onto the flange bolts. Then you need to drill 4 holes into the tiles for the other screws and I did that using a diamond bit. I was a bit freaked about messing up the tile but it worked with no issues.

So I installed the toilet that day and it worked amazingly. The next day was baseboard molding day and as I started putting them in, I noticed a few drops of water by the toilet. After further inspection, DOH! The tank is cracked!



So I uninstalled it and went and picked up another from a local store, FW Webb.

The we installed the baseboard. I have to say it was very easy, and used the 45 degree method rather than coping. Along with that we installed a chair rail molding which separates the white lower with the brown upper half of the room. I used my neighbors finishing nail gun and compressor to speed that up and then we caulked it and were done.



Next was the vanity. Of course the pipes didn't line up. This pic shows them lined up but really they were off when it was in the proper position. After tons of research I just decided to buy a flexible tailpipe extension and it worked like a charm.



Getting the plumber putty in all of the right places was crucial to keeping the sink setup totally dry, and I was anal as hell about that.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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So yesterday we nailed up the final molding pieces. These are still not painted and caulked yet, and that will be done this weekend. The caulk makes a huge difference. After that and some more paint, decorations, and putting back the towel and toilet paper holders, and new window treatments, we will be done!!




The total cost of materials was around $1400 and I think we did a pretty good job considering it was our first ever project. Any feedback, thought or questions are welcome!
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:39 AM   #3
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Great job! Looks good.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:05 AM   #4
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Very nice!

Check the flexible tailpiece adapter on your P-Trap. Not a big deal, but a lot of places it isn't up to code.

The toto toilet is interesting, never seen that. Hell of a lot easier than digging the trap out and converting from a 14/12" rough in to a 10"

I like it (if it seals properly)

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Getting the plumber putty in all of the right places was crucial to keeping the sink setup totally dry, and I was anal as hell about that.
Where did you put plumbers putty? Not in the trap connections I hope. They should all be compression threads with rings (no tape or putty)
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I agree with JonJon.

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
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Let us know how it handles that morning-after-Thanksgiving monster dump, and then we can pass judgement.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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Awesome project. I'm wanting to redo my bathroom's sink and lighting along with some other small things. Hopefully it is somthing I can attack in the next couple months. Thanks for the write up!
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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Looks really good. I'm liking this sub-forum already.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casino is no lie View Post
Great job! Looks good.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonJon View Post
Very nice!

Check the flexible tailpiece adapter on your P-Trap. Not a big deal, but a lot of places it isn't up to code.

The toto toilet is interesting, never seen that. Hell of a lot easier than digging the trap out and converting from a 14/12" rough in to a 10"

I like it (if it seals properly)


Where did you put plumbers putty? Not in the trap connections I hope. They should all be compression threads with rings (no tape or putty)
Thanks JonJon! Your threads over the years definitely played a role in making me realize I could do this stuff. The flexible tailpiece adapter may not be up to code but it would be fixed prior to selling. Functionally speaking, I was off by about half an inch so its not really even flexed.

The Toto toilet is simply amazing. The wax ring is pressed onto that adapter and then pressed onto the flange. In addition to the two flange bolts, you drill 4 holes into the tile to secure the "Unifit" adapter. It's rock solid and you can remove the toilet for painting etc without removing the wax ring. You can also get those adapters in several sizes and because of the way its constructed, they all give you at least an inch more leg room than normal toilets.

I mentioned the plumbers putty because it needs to be used liberally when installing the drain to the sink etc. I did push some into the threads of the tailpipe as well to stop any and all water. It was recommended by a lot of plumbers, and is done in addition to the compression rings.


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Let us know how it handles that morning-after-Thanksgiving monster dump, and then we can pass judgement.
I can't say enough about this toilet. My previous was a builder grade POS. I was shopping at a high end bath store for a vanity and told them i needed a place to put my plunger. She then commenced to school me on toilets and why I should never need one. Toto flushes like no other toilet, they have totally different systems. I've abused this thing and its been perfect.

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Awesome project. I'm wanting to redo my bathroom's sink and lighting along with some other small things. Hopefully it is somthing I can attack in the next couple months. Thanks for the write up!
No problem, its doable for sure, just need to watch a ton of youtube videos and read a lot of forums!

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Looks really good. I'm liking this sub-forum already.
Thanks! and yeah, it's a great addition for us fanatics
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:08 PM   #9
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Looks good! I've been thinking about doing something similar for a while now. It's the backbreaking labor part that makes me rethink it. Lol!

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