Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mid-Century Ranch Bathroom Remodel: Framing and Sheetrock

These projects always take longer than you think. Our first problem arose when we installed our bath and it happened to be about an inch and a half too short. Since it's probably not a real good idea to have large gaps in between your tub and the walls, we had to nail furring strips to all of the framing to reconcile the difference. Problem solved.

Next, the shower and bath faucets that we ordered from lightinthebox.com (never again) took 3 weeks to be shipped. They were then seized at customs and held for several days somewhere in Germany. The helpful staff at lightinthebox told me to call the German customs office to see if I could speed up the process. Ridiculous. We had been holding off on sheetrocking until the mixing valve arrived so we could modify the plumbing. Meanwhile, we framed in the shower niche and reinforced some other areas in which stuff would be hung. We added the new outlet and finished all our electrical work...and we were still waiting. 

When it FINALLY arrived, we tore open the boxes only to find that the shower head was chipped. Guh. There was no way we were about to send it back seeing as it would delay the project weeks. Instead, we began the process of adapting our 50+ year old plumbing to a modern system. Ha. Twenty trips to home depot later we had all the right parts and put together the plumbing. We mounted the new shower pipe a foot higher so my 6'2" husband will actually be able to stand underneath it.  Then, the big test. While Eric turned the water back on I chewed off all my nails in anticipation, waiting to hear a leak....and...the silence was golden. It felt like the first time something had actually gone right. 

the tub is in!

framing in the shower niche

hardiebacker installed on floor

It barely looked like anything had been done at this point, but it was a very happy day when we were ready to install the insulation and visqueen barrier over the framing and get ready for sheetrocking! We had installed greenboard (mold/moisture resistant sheetrock) in our powder room. Messy but pretty easy to work with. However, we decided to use hardiebacker (cement board) around the shower which is a.) ridiculously heavy and b.) ridiculously impossible to cut although it claims to be "score and snap." This stuff was a NIGHTMARE to work with but will be worth it in the long run. Once the cement board was up, we test fitted the shower arm just to find it, very noticeably, drooped. We had to UN-INSTALL the cement board to fix the pipe. While Eric was fixing it, he accidentally hit the faucet, causing water to shoot out in all directions and soak the bathroom....and us. Wonderful. We sopped up all the water, made sure the pipes weren't leaking and reinstalled the cement board.

insulation and visqueen membrane installed

hardiebacker and sheetrock installed on the walls

starting to look like a room again! 
And...we're finally ready for mudding and taping! Yahoo. Unfortunately, this meant that we spent the next week covered in a fine layer of white dust from all the sanding. Not a fun stage. Especially when you don't have a shower to clean up. Hose showers work too...they're just not nearly as pleasant...especially in October. After the final sanding we inspected the walls to make sure there were no visible seams, nail holes or any other imperfections. We slapped on 2 coats of primer and voila...ready for paint!! 

three layers of joint compound and hours of sanding FINALLY done!

two coats of primer dry!  ready for paint!
More to come...

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