Order of Bathroom Remodel/Rebuild?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by ironspider, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. ironspider

    ironspider Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Michigan
    Greetings all,

    My wife and I decided to remodel our bathroom and have just finished our demolition. Basically, we took the old metal-mesh/concrete/tiled walls down and pulled up the floors as well.

    So, at this point we have the wall studs and subfloor (1x6 planks) showing and have removed all the fixtures (bathtub, vanities, toilet).

    So I have been scouring my books and websites and such but I haven't found a solid agreed-upon order of how to reconstruct the bathroom--basically I need the order of operations of rebuilding so I don't make any stupid workflow mistakes!

    We will be using subway tile in the shower/tub alcove and some greenboard i in the other areas of the bathroom. The ceiling is intact and we won't be messing with that. We plan on using 12"x12" slate tiles on the floor

    I found this list on a website and was wondering if this is the correct order (is anything missing as well!)?:

    1. DEMOLITION
    2. ROUGH CARPENTRY
    3. PLUMBING ROUGH IN
    4. ELECTRICAL
    5. INSULATION
    6. DRYWALL HANGING
    7. DRYWALL FINISH
    8. TILEWORK
    9. CABNITRY
    10. FLOORING
    11. FIXTURES (TUB, TOILET, SINK)

    We have completed step 1 and 2. I'm good on step 3 and we are not messing with the electric so step 4 is covered.

    Also, in regards to step 5, do I want to put insulation on the interior walls or just the one outside wall? And I read one thread that said I should wrap the new tub in insulation. If that is correct do I just use an unfaced fiberglass insulation and wrap it around the tub with twine (that's how it appeared to be in the other article I read). And if so is there an R value I should use?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    Insulation around the tub can help if it is say a whirlpool or air tub, as it would both help hold the heat and potentially quiet it down a little, but isn't required.

    For stone tile, you need at least 1/2" ply installed on top of the planks, and, it is unlikely your joists are stiff enough for stone without some work, so you may need to take up the planks to strengthen them. If you take the planks up, you need TWO layers of ply to replace it, properly installed for stone. There are some really nice slate lookalike porcelain tile that are a lot less of a pain and do not require the joist stiffness of stone. There's a good deflection calculator at www.johnbridge.com, where they can help you with tile issues. Greenboard is no longer code, and is not a great choice. Use cbu in the tub/shower area, and regular drywall elsewhere unless your local codes still require greenboard (it's no longer in any of the national codes, but your area may not have upgraded). Greenboard isn't as strong as drywall, and never was all that useful. Once you put screw holes into it, it's not much better than drywall and it costs more!

    You need to usually put the tub in first. I'd tile and finish that so you dont' have to carry thinset and stuff over a nicely finished tile floor. Then I'd do the floor. Some install the vanity first...it might not be a bad idea to install the tile first, then set the vanity. In case you decide to change it, with tile underneath there, you won't have to worry about trying to find ways to patch it, or restrict your replacement vanity choices.

    You should have the toilet flange sitting on top of the finished floor. If the walls were thicker than drywall might be, you may find your flange is going to be further than the 12" from the finished wall. This is okay, but means you'll have a bigger gap behind it than 'standard'.
  3. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    If you have the room down to the studs, why would you NOT do this stuff now? Has either been updated in the last 30 years in the bathroom? Do you have a 20A bath circuit?

    Just pointing out that you may want to make sure you won't regret not doing anything in step 3 or 4.
  4. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    Ditto to everything above. I re-ordered your list, added a couple items, etc:

    1. DEMOLITION
    2. ROUGH CARPENTRY
    3. PLUMBING ROUGH IN
    4. ELECTRICAL
    5. INSULATION
    6. FIXTURES (TUB)
    7. PROTECTION FOR TUB
    8. TILEWORK
    9. DRYWALL HANGING
    10. DRYWALL FINISH (INCL. PAINTING)
    11. FLOORING
    12. CABINETRY
    13. FIXTURES (SINK & tOILET)
    14. TOWEL BARS, ETC
    15. PAINT TOUCH-UPS
    16. CAULKING.

    That's my sequence, anyways.
  5. ironspider

    ironspider Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Michigan
    Sorry should have been more clear -- I'm not messing with any of that stuff because we did add a 20AMP circuit when we realized we had no GFCI outlet in there at all.

    The vanity supply pipes are in good shape and I do plan on replacing the supply lines to the tub/shower once we make the final decision on our tub/shower faucet.
  6. ironspider

    ironspider Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Michigan
    Jim,

    Do you think the stiffening is necessary? I ask only because when I was taking the flooring up it was the heaviest crap I have ever held in my life. It appeared to be some sort of paper over the planks and then wire mesh and then like 1-2" of solid cement with ceramic tiles set into that.

    Man, are slate tiles that much heavier than the old stuff I pulled up? Because a 12"x12" chunk of that stuff was heavy as heck!

    Or is it the cumulative effect of adding plywood, hardiboard and slate tiles that makes it heavier than what was down previously?

    Thanks!

    -john
  7. Howard Emerson

    Howard Emerson I teach guitar:You call that a job?

    Messages:
    173
    Location:
    Huntington Station, NY
    Hi John,
    What you pulled up was a mud floor over wire mesh over tar paper. The thickness will vary because the mud is 'floated' over the existing wood floor boards and joists, which are almost never flat or level.

    If you're not going to have a mud job done again, then beware: Not only do you need a minimum thickness of plywood/Hardibacker properly fastened to the existing floor boards, but you may very well have problems getting the tiles to lay flat/level if there are any dips or bumps over the finished subfloor.

    This is the reason I went over my existing bathroom floor instead of ripping up the old ones: They were solid as a rock! All I had to do was reset the toilet flange, which is easy when you're dealing with a lead bend.

    You can, of course, use a self leveling flooring compound, something like Ardex makes, but there are still minimum requirements for the total thickness of the subfloor prior to applying it. It can be spread from a feather edge to about an 1" without adding an aggregate.

    You just need to cover any holes where it might leak through while it's setting, which it does rather quickly.

    Best of luck with the renovation!

    Howard
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    A mudbed is very forgiving with a tiled floor, plywood isn't. A mudbed essentially floats as a monolithic layer holding the tile isolated from the movement of the subflooring. You need to verify the stiffness (deflection ratings) of your joists. Deflection can give you grief in two places, along the joists and in between them. WIth the planks and 1/2" ply, you would be okay in between the joists for either stone or ceramic, but there's no way to tell if they are strong enough without measuring them. A tiled floor needs L/360, stone needs L/720, or twice as stiff since natural stone is laced with imprefections that are unpredictable. An old house may not have enough strength to replace with tile over ply without a mudbed to isolate the tile from the movement of the floor.
  9. BS

    BS New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Central Ohio
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