Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Just Another Hole In the Wall

Back when I started this project, I had planned on tearing out all the drywall and starting over. But as I got into the project, several things changed my mind. Most of the drywall wasn't in too bad of shape and didn't show any signs of moisture damage which I have seen a lot in drywalled bathrooms. What imperfections there were I thought I could patch. Because it is the dead of winter and there isn't any real good way to dispose of the drywall, the best solution and most economical was to purchase two large plastic barrels that I could dispose of the drywall into and then just haul to the dump. I figured if I just tore out the bare minimum around the shower, I could limit myself to two tip fees which was significantly less than renting a dumpster. So after pulling out the shower and reframing around it, I patched up the drywall here and there and called it good.

I finally decided that before I got too far along, I should open up the wall where I am going to install a flush mount medicine cabinet and mirror to further give the illusion of more space. I measured very carefully, cut very carefully so not to damage any of my recent patch work and pulled out the insulation only to see what you see above. Dang!

What you see is the sink vent pipe going right through where the cabinet is to go. Oddly enough, I figured that since there was a light above the opening that I would have to do some rewiring to route it around the space but it turned out not to be in the way at all. I'm not sure why I didn't assume there would be a vent pipe behind the sink. I think most of it was because of the vent stack just five feet over that I had to frame around for the shower made me slip into amnesia about the possibility. I briefly thought about trying to replumb the vent pipe in the three and a half inch slot or even just put a patch in place and buy a surface mount medicine cabinet after all but I decided both were as much work as the alternative. So I tore out that section of wall and after making a trip to the store for some ABS pipe and glue, I got it replumbed as shown below. The benefit of all this was that reframing the rough opening for the medicine cabinet was a lot easier without the drywall blocking my way.

I did have to go buy another sheet of drywall but that stuff is dirt cheap so it definitely was worth it. I patched in the new piece of drywall and using my router and an old flush trim bit, I professionally cut the opening back in place making things a heck of a lot easier.

On a side note, Ron had commented awhile back about things he has found in walls while fixing up his house in my post about the old Mountain Dew cans I found in my walls. I have found lots of stuff over the years but most was worthless and old stuff with a few tools that I could use. (On a side note to this side note, I've left my share of tools in walls inadvertently over the years too.) Well when I was removing the vanity below this opening, I found something I never would have expected to find. I found a pair of rather large pink panties. I don't think I want to guess how they ended up there.


Ron said...

Ha! I've never found anything like that!

That did remind me of finding an antique razor in the wall when I enlarged our old bathroom, though.

It is only a few inches, but I think the flush mount really makes a small bathroom look bigger. I had to notch a 2x6 to make it work here (in a non-load-bearing wall, of course), but it was worth it.

Ed said...

Ron - Everyplace I've been that had one, I've liked it. I've always wanted to do this even at our old house but never have. Mostly because the one we had was still in good shape and I was afraid of doing something like this in a bathroom that didn't need remodeling.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's a sweet job. I'm a bit mystified as to why you need a vent on a sink. Is it to rod it in case it becomes clogged with hair and general gunk. The other thing I'm confused with is the nest of wires that would be on the left of the shower on the back wall. There's a terminal but nothing to correspond inside the shower itself, that I can see anyway.

warren said...

Your drywalling looks better than mine! Well done!

Ed said...

Vince - Vents are required by code in these parts. Mostly they prevent backflow of water due to atmospheric pressure and also prevent gurgling noises as your water recedes back down the pipes. As for the wires in the back of the shower, the ones on the right are light switches in the living room and the ones on the left are for floor outlets also in the living room which is why you don't see anything for them in the bathroom. They will be covered up when I get ready to tile the shower.

Warren - I can see why you needed glasses. You should have been wearing them when inspecting my drywall pictures! I struggle with drywall.