Putting Together the Bathroom Basics

Ok – so we’ve got the dirty stuff out of the way – we’ve removed the plaster and wood lathe – and got rid of the blown in insulation too. So now’s the time to make something out of this bathroom.

I’ve gotta start impressing the wife or I’ll be spending more time here at the ‘hobby house’ than I already do now. It may be called the ‘dog house’ before long.

A place to sit down.

Here I have the toilet alcove dry walled and walls primed. We’ll do-dad this up with some wainscoting coming up.

And the cabinet next to the shower – I decided to open up the top of this cabinet and extend the depth all the way to the other side – opening up into the kitchen. There is tons of space up there – so I wanted  keep it in case my wife buys 100 rolls of toilet paper.

Let’s add some heat!

Here is the layout for the Suntouch electric in-floor heat. Suntouch has no EMF emissions – it’s the only in-floor heat that has been independently tested – so I felt good about using this product. I used foamcore boards taped to the wall as a spacer and sealant for the self leveling floor compound.

Here is the self leveling floor material installed. I used Ardex Liquid Backerboard. After a lot of research, I thought this would be the best product for embedding the heat mat. It sets up quick and then I just cut the foamcore flush with the floor.

A time for tile.

I must say that I fudged on this project – yep – I was busy with my business and thought that I’ll just hire this tile job out. I just bought a fancy 700.00 tile saw – so I promised myself to at least use it before the project is over – maybe the next bathroom. The results by the pro were so – so. I would do it a little differently, but it worked out. Here is the start of the tile shower. The wall tile is an 18″ X 18″ porcelain tile that looks very much like a very light silver travertine. It was supposed to be shiny on the walls and matte on the floors – but the tile guy got it reversed. See? Told you it was so-so. I did use the schluter kerdi membrane over concrete board. I also used a tile niche from Tile Redi.

Put a rug on it!

I wanted to keep some of the vintage flavor in the space – after all, this is a 1930 home. So I have a marble inset rug from the Tile Shop in Louisville, Ky. The border is a black granite tile. This is to be in front of the invisible bathtub. These tiles were also 18″ X 18″ porcelain – like the shower only shiny. Since the floor is now shiny (and possibly slippery), this texture will come in handy. As you know Safety First!

Here’s the sink wall

Another test fit of the medicine cab. I’ve got the door made and ordered the beveled mirror. I made a 3/8″ inset door to keep with the vintage feel of the room. All the pieces are in place for finishing. Well, maybe not – we’ll see.

Here we are starting to trim the shower area. Because of the way I built the shower, there are possible problems with water and trim. So all of the trim around the shower and the baseboards around the whole bathroom are Azek pvc. It is used on exterior trim (which I am also using outside). This stuff works great and is the best of any of the PVC trims in my opinion. It paints really well if you use a 100% acrylic paint. So when all is finished, you can’t tell the difference from the rest of the wood trim.

Window trim and more

So I decided to wainscot the bath – what’s a couple extra weeks?. So I needed to integrate the window and cabinet trims to make everything look like it was really planned. Of course I don’t ‘do’ planning – it’s freestyle all the way baby! Also, in the top left corner of this picture and the last one you can see that lame trim I put up there on the top of the shower opening  – it’s gotta go. All the bead board is 3/8″ ply and all wood was primed on all sides to keep the dimensions stable in a space that can be prone to moisture. All rails and stiles are made from furniture grade poplar and rabbeted to accept the bead board paneling.

More trim

Here we bring the wainscot into the toilet alcove and get the door frame hung.

Freestylin’ has consequences.

Ok, things were going pretty well – no changes mid-course. But no – it never quite goes by the script. I had a ‘great’ idea when I got to the sink wall that would require a little ‘modification’. So I got out my saw and made a hole in my brand new drywall.

No one said this was gonna be easy.

Stay tuned.


5 thoughts on “Putting Together the Bathroom Basics

  1. Victoria – yep -I was more than irritated. But assessing the installer – I just wanted to get him out of there. The tile took months to get and the surface from matte to shiny wasn’t that great – He wore gloves and couldn’t tell the difference. He just didn’t have the attention to detail us obsessive types require. Thanks for the compliment – I’ll find a bath tub to put in there sooner or later.

  2. we are friends! you can easily make your own tile “rug” for shower bottom or wherever. i find it a great way to stretch a finite amount of tile to use in a bigger space.

    • You are right friend Leemalrich – I think my post was a little unclear. I used a 12″ X 12″ basket weave mosaic tile for the rug inset with some thin strips of black granite for the border. The link goes to the tile at the tile shop. I’m going to use some similar designs for the upstairs bath…I think.

  3. I got side-tracked last week with our son’s daycare closing. FINALLY got around to posting about our bathroom. Would love your feedback! Stop by and take a look at what I have to work with…

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