Monday, July 22, 2013

Bathroom Update

Two weekends later, one of those spent tiling, I just about have the bathroom project done. One of the things that I fixed was the ceiling which you can see in the above picture. The sink in the upstairs bathroom had been leaking for some time before we moved in and that water had soaked and stained the drywall ceiling. Leaks happen, especially when you have plumbing in the ceiling and the bathroom ceiling has all kinds of plumbing so the chances of it happening in the future are probably pretty high. It is a lot of work to hang, mud and paint drywall ever time that happens so I was looking for a better solution. What you see it what I hope is that solution. I found a system of ceiling tiles that installs directly to the bottom of the first floor joists but yet the tiles can easily be popped out and replaced as needed. So if a leak should happen and damage one of those tiles made from PVC, if I can't just clean the tile up, I can pop out the damaged ones and replace them. The system involved putting a perimeter track all around the room and then screwing a series of track every 24" across the ceiling. I then snap in some connecting links that span the tracks and rock back and forth allowing my to install the tiles. Once I have two rows installed, there is another plastic piece that snaps into the tracks and holds all the tiles firmly in place. It went up pretty easily and although I'm not crazy about the look compared to drywall, it looks decent and doesn't eat up anymore ceiling space than the drywall did.

Back when I stripped down the bathroom, I removed the toilet only to discover that the sealing flange embedded in concrete was broken in several places where the tank bolts are inserted. I contemplated several ways to correct this problem. One involved breaking out the concrete, replacing the flange and repouring. Another involved buying a flange that installs over the top and requires me to drill and screw it into the concrete requiring me to find a hammer drill somewhere. The third idea I found online involved a flange found in big box stores that fits down inside the old pipe and then with some set screws, tightens up a rubber seal which keeps it held in place. Unfortunately, they only make that for 4" pipe and I have 3" pipe. In the end after I discovered the discrepancy in pipe sizing, I settled on a fourth option which involved carefully placing the bolts in the flange where there was good plastic remaining and carefully tightening the tank bolts so not to break it out anymore of the flange. It worked and will probably get me buy until the next time I have reason to remove the toilet. Fortunately, the flange mostly sees compressive forces from the people sitting on it and it is backed by concrete. It there was any tension forces involved in its use, I doubt it would hold much.

When I first started this project, we were going to get a new vanity top to put on the vanity. The old vanity base was in good shape and had natural wood finish so I figured a coat of paint would spruce it up and make it more modern in design. Most of the bases found in home improvement stores were not made from solid wood and were poorly constructed. In the end, my wife and I couldn't decide on a vanity top for a bathroom that neither of us would use very often so we punted it and I cleaned up the old one so that it looks almost brand new. I bought a new modern fixture for it and reinstalled it. I must say on hindsight, I think I will now being all plumbing projects by removing the counter top first. It allowed me to easily repair the valves and do all the resoldering from above where I had plenty of light and room. It also allowed me to install all the sink hardware while the countertop was standing on end which meant I didn't have to try to get too big of wrenches in too small of places. By the time I set the vanity top in place, I only had to tighten too fittings onto threads already wrapped in Teflon tape. I never once had to try and wedge the upper half of my body underneath the sink. After that experience, I won't procrastinate so much when it comes to plumbing projects.

Another project you can see in the photo above is that there are now two switches and an outlet instead of the one switch and outlet I had before. Since I was replacing the worn out ceiling fan with a working one that also has a light, I added another switch while the ceiling was open allowing me to fish the wire down to the outlet. I ended up running two wires so that the light will come on with the pendant lights already there and the fan will come on with the separate switch. That project went smoothly up until the point that I was ready to install the light assembly onto the fan body. There was a large ding in the metal and the glass portion had been shattered. Fortunately I was able to call the manufacturer of the fan and they are shipping me a replacement part free of charge right away.

This last picture just shows the linen closet portion of the bathroom that I don't think I've previously shown. I pulled out all the shelving and repainted it along with replacing the ceiling of it which had been damaged by a leaking vent stack that I blogged about last fall. I put the ceiling tiles in there too so if it should happen again, I can replace them easily.

So other than installing the light assembly on the exhaust fan when it arrives, I still have to sand and paint the closet and bathroom doors along with the vanity doors. The latter doors have the same hardware that was on my old kitchen cabinets before I redid them over the winter so I was able to get more of the hinges to replace them. The large doors on the closet and bathroom entrance are full of runs from previous horrid paint jobs so I want to sand them down first. I can't believe people can live with stuff that looks that badly. I also admit that perhaps I am just too anal about stuff like that too and the problem may reside on my end. Which ever the case, I sleep better knowing it is done right. Finally, I still have to do some caulking around the sink and shower.

Next, I will tackled the hallway outside the bathroom connecting it to the bedroom that I did previous to this project. It also needs the same ceiling system installed and a fresh paint job but other than that, it should go pretty quickly. After that, I will probably turn my attention to the family room at the opposite end of the hallway as the bathroom and bedroom. It needs quite a bit of work but fortunately, I have the time and hopefully the aptitude to do it.


Bone said...

Looks great to me, Ed! Before you know it, you'll be living in the shower and making a delicious radish rose, a la Kramer.

Pearl said...


I love that floor.


edifice rex said...

Looks great! Yeah, dropped ceilings are awful handy when you have plumbing and such above and they look okay; clean and neat.
We agree on much when it comes to craftsmanship and DIY stuff. My brother and sister offered (sorta) to help me paint my house when it was time. I appreciated the offer but I kinda squirmed out of it. I've seen how they painted theirs and I would have just ended up repainting everything. And yes, I know I'm OC. haha!

Ed said...

Bone - I think I'm closer to Jerry on that issue!

Pearl - Thanks.

Edifice Rex - It is good to know that there are others out there like me.

Leigh said...

It's really coming along. I love your color scheme. And don't you just love the internet for ideas?

Anonymous said...

Looken very good, looking very good indeedy.
I like that the washstand basin and it's top surface in one piece.
On the ceiling, that's used almost totally in offices here. They clip them rod suspended tracks and sorta push em in. Then there's a decorative trim which I also think is an extra locking device.
It's odd really, but you'd imaging what and why they are used in office/business situations would hold in the domestic. But in truth it seems not to translate. But just how easy will it be for you to access those utility pipes if somewhat goes awry.
It's a bit like the use of steel beams. We rarely will see those in the domestic. But you can seriously cross distances with those even cantilever floors too. Plus, they save a fortune since you can easy design and have made beforehand and simply clip em in much that same way you've done there.

sage said...

Very nice work!

Anonymous said...

You know those hook things to keep up the shower curtain. There is only one company doing those and the fellow who owns it has a big house on Barbados. It's the ideal business. Something everyone wants/needs. Is so cheap to make, but has an enormous range in profit margin that before it hits negative he will have obliterated any new entrant to the market.