Bathroom Project

At some point in the history of my house, someone had built the pantry/coat closet off the kitchen. It had exposed wiring for the light (should be in a conduit), and the vent for the kitchen heat came up through the middle of the floor making the closet somewhat useless.

One of the first projects I did when I purchased the house was to stack the washer and dryer and build a laundry closet that would allow me to tuck the washer and dryer away. This also gave me the opportunity to build a coat closet next to the front door. I really didn't have a need for the closet, and I never really used it effectively anyway.

My house is just under 1100 square feet, and it only had a single bathroom upstairs. Having a single bathroom makes it difficult to have friends and family over. You don't really want people running upstairs to have to go to the bathroom. Since my garage project was nearing a close and I needed to do a bunch of painting, I figured it was time to correct the problem and build a second bathroom for the first floor.

The first thing I had to do was rip out the existing closet so I had a blank canvas. The entire thing goes, including the drywall from the ceiling so I could run some wires (giving me access to do some much needed kitchen wiring too). Pulling off the drywall on the back wall revealed tongue and groove which I opted to keep, which means I also left some of the existing drywall so that things were at somewhat the same depth.

The real work begins now. I opted to install another pocket door because this is going to be a tiny bathroom and there's no room to have a door swing into the room, and having the door swing out wouldn't work well either.

The exiting switch gets removed (along with all the wire so there's no phantom wires hanging out to confuse me, or others. The old switches were to a ceiling fan and the dining room light. The ceiling fan is being removed and the dining room light is moved. A new switch for the dining room light is then wired into the new wall (along with the last switch for the 4-way mudroom light).

I wasn't sure if a bath fan is required, but everything seemed to point to the fact that code requires it. I don't have an exterior wall, and there is living space directly above this room, so the vent snakes down to the basement and I'll vent it out from there.

I've also cut a hole in the hole for the new vent that will go in the wall, and the existing floor is cut away to reveal the original tongue and groove sub-floor.

Now that the floor is out of the way I can see the big hole for the vent that was cut, some missing/broken boards, and I discover that there isn't a lot of support for that sub-floor in the corner.

I nail a few 2x4s in under the floor to give me a bit more meat to nail to, then I replace the offending boards with new boards.

After sleeping on it, I realized that I rushed to fix the issues the night before (I wanted to fill in the hole to keep pets from being too curious). The house has 24" on center floor joists which are far too wide. The correct fix is to add some additional support.

So I pulled up some of my work from the night before, add a new 2x8 under the floor.

Although it may have not been necessary, I opted to lay down an additional piece of 1/2" plywood for some additional support. I really don't want to have some flex and end up with tiles popping off or grout cracking

Although I decided to keep the tongue and groove wall, it wasn't square (or straight). I took measurements every foot and added some shims to try to level out the area where I would be attaching drywall.

Once the drywall was up, I realized that I was pretty successful in squaring up the wall. I also realized that some of my nails weren't nailed flush and ended up with a few holes in my drywall where they poked through.

The pocket door is hung to check that everything is level (a bit of an adjustment was needed). Then the rest of the drywall goes up.

The back side is left open because I hired a professional plumber to run water and drains to the bathroom. I'm too far away from the main stack, so a wet vent and valve is required for the setup, and I also wanted to have my drains set up for some future projects.

I finished the drywall and painted a coat of primer on the walls, then the cement board goes down. A friend suggested using a straight board to lay the first line of tile which worked well. Once the thinset dries, I fill in the gaps with grout.

The existing flooring was popping when I'd walk in it because I had removed many of the nails earlier. I drilled some pilot holes and used some screws to hold the ends down. Everything is then covered with a transition strip that has been stained and polyurethaned.

Paint goes on the walls, lights and switches are installed, and I begin installing my tiny sink before the plumber arrives. After the plumber does his work I install the toilet base and baseboard trim.

Found a funky mirror at Homegoods. Painted and hung the door one last time. Installed some artwork I had to finish the project up.