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Modding Modding a bathroom - update - 24.08.2011 - tub finished ++

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Journeyer, 10 Aug 2011.

  1. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    This project began a couple of weeks ago when we were given a new bathtub by my father-in-law, but it had been a long time coming. The missus has eczema and as such can really benefit from baths in water saturated with mineral salts from time to time, and the twins are rapidly outgrowing their little plastic tub which doubles as a carrier for dirty clothing. So we've been in need of a bathtub for quite some time.

    As we bought this house and moved in we had the upstairs bathroom refurbished by professionals as it was a disaster area, and it had to be rebuilt from top to bottom - including new and upgraded plumbing. However, this being an old house, the bathroom was not quite big enough to fit a bathtub and all the other bits and pieces we wanted to include in our primary bathroom, so we've only got showers - until now.

    The downstairs bathroom has primarily served as a guest bathroom - it's even smaller than the one upstairs, and there's really not much flexibility in terms of refurbishing it. We could knock down the wall to the room right next to it, and thus ending up with a luxurious and big bathroom, but doing that would rob us of a guestroom so we opted not to. Instead, my father-in-law gifted us a smallish tub (150x70x41cm) which will fit nicely with room to spare. Also, this time, I'm doing all the work myself.

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    I spent last saturday stripping out the room but I left the wetroom plates in place as these were the only plates on the walls. I had hoped there were MDF plates underneath, but no. So, I will be tiling directly onto the wetroom plates, which should be fine.

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    After stripping out the room I cleaned every surface and covered it in primer. After letting the primer sit to dry out for about and hour I applied the first coating of waterproofing membrane - nasty and sticky foul-smelling glob. All corners were reinforced using overlapping strips of fibre cloth which were double coated with waterproofing membrane. After leaving this to dry out for about 15 hours I applied another coating of membrane to the floors and all corners - I will be taking no chances when waterproofing. Obviously I then had to leave it for another 15 hours.

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    Monday afternoon and tuesday afternoon has been spent tiling two walls, and I have currently no pictures of this process (mostly because I am reluctant to handle my camera with cement all over my hands), but I will take some pictures of the finished walls later this evening. One thing became horribly apparent however; old houses have walls that are not neccessarily completely level anymore, nor are they neccessarily completely vertical. This made tiling them problematic, and add to that the fixes implemented by the less-handy-than-he-fancies-himself previous owner, and you can imagine the moments of "WTF?" that I ran into. I have done the best that I can with what I had to work with, and thus far the missus has been pleased with the progress. More pics will follow.
     
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2011
  2. MazzaB

    MazzaB What's a Dremel?

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    It's not just old houses that have wonky walls - my experience is that new builds usually do too. My builder tells me it's common, as most builders are not perfectionists! (he reckons he is so that's alright then......)
     
  3. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    Hahaha, point well and truly taken. It does make tiling walls properly somewhat of a gamble though. Luckily I 've been able to hide the worst resulting irregularities behind where the toilet and the tub will be, so I think we're good. I have tiled quite a few surfaces during my time, but this has by far been the hardest tiling project I've taken upon myself.
     
  4. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    The house (Apartment block) was built in 2005. It's made from concrete elements, but still isn't completely straight. A few months ago I put in some sliding doors in my bedroom, and the floor tilts enough to make one of the doors slide open.

    You will always see tiles that doesn't match 100% if you start looking around. Nobody will ever notice if you don't get it 100% straight.



    BTW; shouldn't there be reinforcement grommets for the membrane around the pipework and the drain as well? (Especially the drain)
     
  5. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    There are reinforcing grommets around the pipes and the drains, I just forgot to mention them. I'll show an example later. Now though, the tiling must continue. For precision cutting I use my dremel clone with a diamond cutting disk - made cutting the hole for the vent a breeze. ;)
     
  6. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    Aha. Then everything should be in order. :thumb:


    Yeah, cutting tiles is one of the things Dremels are good at.
     
  7. DJ101010

    DJ101010 What's a Dremel?

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    This looks like quite a project! My wife and I are buying are first house and the bathroom is terrible. We will be having to do quite a bit of work on the house before we move in. Good luck with your remodel!
     
  8. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    As promised, an update following yesterday and tuesday's work.
    I have completed the first two walls, and the third wall is about 95% completed - there's still a corner to do that I did not get to do yesterday for reasons that will become obvious.

    Here is the best picture I could take that shows you a hint of the reinforcing grommets surrounding the water pipes as well as the drains. The membrane is much thicker on the floor however so the grommets around the drains are invisible. Oh, and that 3M mask is indispensable when cutting tiles - the dust is so fine that it sticks to everything, and it goes everywhere. Obviously I showered yesterday after I had called it a day, but I still have ceramic dust in my hair.

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    So, the first two walls have been tiled.
    The first wall was done monday evening, and the second wall tuesday evening. I am fairly consistent in being able to complete one wall an evening, so work is progressing nicely. Here you can also see the hole I had to cut into one tile in order to accomodate the ventilation fan which will be placed there.

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    Pictured below is the second wall that I did, and it is the wall that gave me the most headaches thus far. Thankfully the lower part of this wall will be mostly obscured by the toilet and the bathtub which I will build an enclosure for.

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    Anyhow, yesterday i attacked the third wall and started out by cutting holes to accomodate the water pipes for the tub/shower faucet. Then I leveled a piece of wood and used it as a starting point to tile the wall - as I have done with all walls so far. Still I encounter irregularities...

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    Add a couple of hours of work, and this is where we're at.

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    Only this small portion of the wall remains to be done, and I could not have at it yesterday as it had gotten too late to start being noisy by cutting tiles. I need to cut a round hole crossing two tiles in order to accomodate the junction box. However, in a few ways this was a good thing as I now have a few more hours to plan the layout of lamps - not to mention what kind of lamps to get.

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    Furthermore, it now seems like I may have to get another bag of tile cement, and possibly one more box of white glossy tile. I did not miscalculate the dimensions, but I did not predict the amount of breakage I've run into nor did I predict the number of tiles I would have to cut. So, considering the fact that the enclosure for the tub will need to have one surface tiled, I may need one more box. I will find out come saturday as I hope to be able to mount the tub then. I aim to finish tiling the walls and the floor as well as doing all the grouting and cleanup friday.
     
    Last edited: 11 Aug 2011
  9. TaRkA DaHl

    TaRkA DaHl Modder

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    My suggestion would be to buy two boxes of tiles just in case.

    As I did a similar thing last year, and was starting to run very low on tiles, went to buy another box and they had discontinued them :eek:

    Had to finish off the bathroomn without breaking a single tile, only had two to spare.
     
  10. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    Wow, that's cutting it pretty damn close. :thumb:
    You speak wise words though, I will get two more boxes just to be safe.
     
  11. TaRkA DaHl

    TaRkA DaHl Modder

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    I was literally bricking it, if I broke too many I would have run out and been completely stuffed.

    Just keep the receipt and return them if not needed, or maybe keep a couple in the loft in case someone managed to break one!
     
  12. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    I see what you mean by the walls not being straight. :eeek:

    It looks good so far, though. :thumb:


    And yeah, definitely keep a few tiles as spares. Not only is it nice to have spares, it also have a preventive effect. If you have spares you will never break a single tile. If you don't have spares, one will definitively break 2 days after the store/factory have run out of last tiles of that type.
     
  13. JPicasso

    JPicasso What's a Dremel?

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    Not to be "that guy" but you're going to want to clean the thinset off those tiles asap, especially on the sides, if your grout is a different color. I speak from experience with NOT cleaning them off and sorely wishing I had.

    (How's that for a first post :"you're doing it wrong" :) )

    Seriously though, nice work. This is going to look fantastic when you're done.
     
  14. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    Exactly!
    There's about a 1cm deviation from ceiling to floor.
    The walls are now done, and I had a slight setback as a result from a mishap and the slip of a tool. Will elaborate tomorrow along with some updated pics.

    Edit: This was meant to be a reply to Smilodon's post, but I posted it from my phone and for some reason it did not show JPicasso's post at the time.
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2011
  15. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    As previously stated I had hoped to finish the walls and the floor last night.
    Unfortunately, due to a slight mishap, I had to apply another thick layer of membrane as I tore the membrane already laid down. So I spread out the last of the goop I had in the box I bought, and then settled in for a 15 hour wait.

    Still, I did manage to finish tiling the walls, as the pictures below will demonstrate.
    My first attempt at cutting the hole for the junction box here resulted in a broken tile. As you can see the hole crosses two tiles, and the top one I cut without incident. But, when I had almost completed cutting out the hole in the lower tile it suddenly snapped and broke in half leaving me having to start over. No biggie, but still irritating.

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    In the end though, I managed to complete all walls.

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    And as I started cleaning all the debris from the floor is when I had my most major accident of the evening. That's when I tore the membrane, and much swearing ensued. I was good and ready to tile the floor as well, and I would have gotten it done, but no. Fortune favors the bold the man said - not last night. Oh well, I'll get to it tonight though.

    Unfortunately I did not take pictures of the tear as I was more concerned with covering it up again.

    I also installed the ventilation tube to the vent, and it only requires minor adjustments in order to fit perfectly. Excellent. The fan, however is another story. As you can see, the hole for the vent sits quite close to the wall on one side, and that's a problem as it will interfere with the frame for the fan. I have popped the fan's cover off and inspected it, and it seems I can safely cut it down to size though I will have to move some wires and electronics away from that portion of the cover. This will be the perfect moment to try out my new bandsaw. :D

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    So that's what I got done yesterday.
    Expect another update tomorrow as I will have the floor finished by then.
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2011
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  16. jrs77

    jrs77 Modder

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    Wait a minute....

    Did you apply the new tiles ontop of the old ones? Really?

    I seriously don't wanna sound like a teacher there, but that's not how it's done usually ^^
     
  17. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    I don't think that's tiles. It's basically waterproof plywood sheets with a coating (made to look like tiles). No need to tear them down just to put up new ones. :)


    Either way, there isn't any problem with tiling over old tiles as long as they are straight, and have no water damage. The only drawback with doing that is that the room gets ever so slightly smaller, and water piper may become too short. If none of that is a problem, then it should be OK. :)
     
  18. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    This.

    Or, Jrs77, you know, you would get the same info from reading the thread... ;)
     
  19. MiNiMaL_FuSS

    MiNiMaL_FuSS ƬӇЄƦЄ ƁЄ ƇƠƜƧ ӇЄƦЄ.

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    Nice work, I did our bathroom recently will post up some pics for ya.

    The only thing I regret is not tiling the side-panel of the bath, may still go back and do it at some point.
     
  20. Journeyer

    Journeyer Minimodder

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    Oh I completely missed your post - for some reason it seems to have appeared hours after I posted my update.

    However, yes, I too have learned the hard way the importance of cleaning the tiles as quickly as possible on earlier projects. But, I have had a go at cleaning some of the tiles, and the excess cement breaks away quite easily, so I don't worry about it for now. The tiles are not textured but have a completely glossy surface, so there's really not much there for the cement to cling to. I think it will be fine. Also, as for the grout, I do have a special grout cleaning/scraping tool, which will simplify the process greatly.

    Excellent first post though. :thumb:

    Please do.
    The only thing I am regretting now is not having a bigger bathroom to play with, but it has been interesting to see what I can accomplish in such a small space as this. I made a SketchUp mockup before I got started to see how I could make everything fit together, and it does. It is a small space, and as such it will get tight - let's call it "cosy" - but there will be room to move about. And more importantly; my family will finally have a bathtub. :D

    As for the promised update of the night...
    Well, I did get a good bit of work done today, and I have started the floor. But, as the twins were ... cranky ... on the road home from kindergarden, and because traffic was murder, I did not make a stop at my tiling supply store of choice. Instead I took a chance that I had enough cement left to get the floor done. I did not. I had enough cement to complete about two thirds of the floor, and since I do not want to show it off in such a state, I will wait until tomorrow. Then I'll go pick up another 20kg bag of cement and some top sealant, and later tomorrow night I will post an update hopefully showing the completed floor and walls - all fully cleaned and grouted. Sunday I hope to be able to seal the corners with silicone and mount the tub. We shall see.
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2011

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