Friday, September 27, 2013

Bathroom Plans

As we’re constructing things in the bathroom, I’ve been really having to make choices on what will be going in there since we have to plan for everything to make sure we rough-in walls and plumbing and electrical in the right places.  It’s totally fun, of course, but a little nerve-wracking since these choices will be pretty permanent – bathroom stuff is expensive and not easy to change out! :)

I’ve been using an Amazon Wishlist to gather all the different items I’m finding.  It’s nice because you can use the universal wishlist button to find things from other sites, and Amazon will also tell you if it’s available on their site as well. The Invisible Hand plug-in is amazing for this project, too, because it’s helping me shop for the best price with minimal effort.

So, here goes. Here’s what I’ve picked so far.

We’re so far sticking with this vanity from the Home Depot.  The sink isn’t as deep as I’d like, but it’s the same depth as our sink now, so I know it will be fine, and coupled with a nice faucet, I think it will work out really well. We’ll have two of these vanities with some sort of drawer unit in between.

martha stewart vanity

For above the vanities, I bought these recessed medicine cabinets from Lowe’s. I love that they have mirrors on the inside as well! They’re nice and large! I wanted a larger version, but Brian’s stepdad made me worry that cutting out too many studs might compromise the drywall and shelves in our closet on the other side. If I feel like I need more mirror space, I know I can creatively hang another one in between the vanities or something.

kohler medicine cabinet

Right now, these are my first choice for above-the-vanity light fixtures. :) I just like them. But I’ve found a few similar ones just in case these don’t work out for some reason.

allen roth light fixture

In our master bath, we’re going to have a nice big shower with two showerheads and a handheld shower.  I ordered this unit from Lowe’s.  It looked pretty sturdy in the store, so I’m curious to see how well our installation will go. :)

sterling shower unit

We love Delta shower fixtures because you can control the temperature separately from the flow – meaning you can set your favorite temp and then not mess with it when you turn the shower on or off…so it’s always ready to go for you! I love it so much. We’ve had these kind of showers for years and won’t go back!

delta leland shower trim

(Note, when you get a Delta shower fixture, you have to buy the valve separately.)

At our last place, our plumber recommended Toto toilets to us and they’re amazing! I know it’s weird to talk about a toilet, but seriously, these toilets are amazing.  They have a larger flush valve than most toilets meaning they rarely get clogged, and they use less water!

toto drake toilets

We’re deciding between an elongated bowl and a round bowl. Haha, do you have any thoughts? Grandpa says he likes the elongated. :)

I chose these bath fans from Menards because they have a light (it uses 2 bulbs – and mini CFLs fit!) and they’ve got a pretty high CFM and are pretty quiet. And they’re pretty, of course. :)

riazzi bath fan

I’m still looking for sink faucets – but they’re not a top priority currently, and it will just come down to them being the right dimensions to make the best use of our sinks…and the right price of course!

So far, almost all of the plumbing and electrical is roughed in! Woohoo! I can’t wait to actually be able to start installing these fun things!  And to pick a paint color…

What have you been up to this week?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bathroom Demolition

So last week, we got the bathroom demolished :) and began working on construction (which of course goes much more slowly!).  Here’s a little re-cap of the demo.

bathroom before

Here’s where we started. Our goals were to take out the hardwood floors (originally, we weren’t sure what we were doing with the flooring in there and we built that wall on the left side of the picture on top of the existing floors) and to take out some of the drywall on the exterior walls so we could put in new insulation.  That stuff would pave the way for the new plumbing and electrical work we’d have to do. We also realized we’d have to move some of the heat ducts.

Taking down drywall looked like this:

taking drywall downtaking drywall down

Then we got to work removing the floors. Like I said, the wall on the left was built on top of the existing hardwood, so we needed something that would cut the wood right against the wall – which a regular circular saw won’t do.  Luckily, I watch a lot of This Old House and I discovered that there is something called a toekick saw designed exactly for this purpose. (Really, it’s to cut flooring out from next to the toekick on kitchen cabinets.)

We bought ours at Harbor Freight Tools – our favorite place for inexpensive tools that we amateurs really won’t be using too often.

toekick saw from Harbor Freight

Here’s the toekick saw in action.  Look how it cut right next to the wall – and you could guide the saw against the wall to make a perfectly straight cut.

toekick saw in actiontoekick saw in action

Then we got to work pulling out all the floor boards which were nailed in.

taking up the hardwood floors

The subfloors underneath were only 1/2” (I wish they were 5/8” for strength) and weren’t put in in the smartest fashion (lots of corners and seams meeting in bad places) so it seemed a little weak.  But we decided that since we were putting concrete backerboard down, it’d be okay, so we didn’t replace the subfloor. We also decided that under key areas like the toilet and shower drains, we’d go down in the basement and add some 2x4 supports.

Here’s a bad picture that shows the concrete backerboard floor. :)

concrete backerboard floor

Lastly, but certainly not least, we ended up deciding that taking down the ceiling drywall (and having to re-drywall it later) would be better in the long run since we want to install so many things up there! Speakers :), heat lamps, lights, and exhaust fans. Doing all that work would certainly be easier with full access to the ceiling – and not having to climb into our attic with its super shallow hip roof.

But it resulted in this mess!

taking down the ceiling!taking down the ceiling!

Luckily, Grandpa and Brian’s stepdad are amazing and did all that nasty work as well as cleaning it all up!!

So that, I think is the demo in a nutshell. I’ll be posting the cool finishes that we’re (hopefully) installing and of course, about the construction as it goes along.

What have you been up to this week?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Making Way for a New Bathroom

Late post today…because I have been cleaning out the part of our old third bedroom that is (hopefully) soon to become our master bathroom!

Until very recently, it looked like this…it was even worse at times!


It served as a total junk room – full of packing boxes and Christmas things and just as a general home for things I didn’t know what to do with or want to deal with! :)

But as of now, it looks like this!


Not bad, eh?

There is a LOT of work to do in here! Plumbing, of course, but we’ll also be taking out the current hardwood floors and laying new subfloor and maybe/hopefully some sort of floor-warming system underneath whatever floors we choose.  We’ll be re-insulating the outer walls and re-directing the vents in some way or another. We also have to re-do some electrical work that we already did a few years ago since in that time the bathroom layout plans have changed.

Just for fun…we’re considering using these vanities from Home Depot:

martha stewart vanity

And that seems to be the main thing I know right now :) I’m not even sure what color I’d like to paint the room. :)  I’ve started looking up some plumbing fixtures online (we like Delta showers because you can change the temperature independently of the on/off/flow…so you can pick a temp you like and keep it there! I’ll post more about that as I find our fixtures) and started looking into flooring and medicine cabinets and whatnot.  The finishes are so fun in a bathroom, but of course, so so much of the work is electrical and plumbing. I want really good exhaust fans if possible! The humidity in bathrooms seems to wreak havoc on anything inside of it!

Hopefully we’ll make quicker progress in the bathroom than on most of our projects :) so stay tuned. :)

What have you been up to this week? Any advice on exhaust fans?

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