Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bathroom Reno: The Reconstruction Begins

We left off yesterday with a totally destroyed 91 year old half bathroom.  We slept like rocks, and then it was off to Home Depot to pick up some supplies that we couldn't have predicted we would have needed.  I went to pick up some flat 1x6 and profiled trim to fix the baseboard while my husband got a little more shut eye.

While I was there, I picked up some finishing nails and actually had to purchase chair rail to find something tall and wide enough to replace the missing molding.  If you remember, the wall area looked like this when we were done with the demolition:

You can see the missing baseboard and the missing molding in the photo above.  We don't have a compound miter saw, so we had to improvise with the tools required to cut the molding at a 45 degree angle.  We used a jigsaw & eyeballed it.  Luckily there was caulk and wood glue to fill in any gaps.... or at least that's what we thought.

Three of the walls proved to be fairly simple to fix, even the place where the flat board was missing.  We did have to chisel out a bit of baseboard that was below the plywood floor to slip in the new flat board, but that wasn't our biggest issue - it was the 4th wall, the one behind the toilet, the one that we haven't completely finalized yet.  The plaster on all walls ended about 1/4" below the molding.  In most places this wasn't an issue, but on the 4th wall, the lath was about 1-1/2" away from the face of the plaster.  Here is a photo using my finger as a guide:

Please notice that you can't see my first knuckle.  That's how far away the wall was, and because the chair molding that we got was actually 1/4" shorter than the molding that was there, there would be nothing to support the new molding with.  There was also nothing to nail it into.

So what we planned on doing was nailing the trim to the flat board beneath it, then just caulking the joint.  Again, on three walls, this worked perfectly.  The fourth wall was NOT pretty, and still is only partially fixed.  What we will eventually do is to place a thin board along the wall and paint it to match the wall so that any larger gaps will be covered.

So it took a while to get the old wood chiseled, the new wood cut, the molding cut at an angle with the wrong tools, and nailing straight down with a large hammer on profiled wood.  In fact it took us the whole day, when you include caulking and adding wood glue.   Here is the photo after the new baseboards were installed.

We added caulking in the floor holes, patched messed up plaster and even installed the light fixture with the rest of that day. The next day was a Monday, so we only had a few hours after work to do some work. So we threw down thin set, and put the Hardie Board into place, screwing it down at 8" on center.  Here is a photo of the Hardie Board in place:

We had to buy a fancy bit for the jigsaw to cut the holes in the Hardie Board, as it is a cementitious material.  Just a little heads up, cutting circles is difficult.  Turns out that the can of french fried onions on our shelf was the exact same diameter as the waste pipe, so that's what we used to draw the circle.  Then Matt cut a straight line in the board down to the circle and slowly cut out a circle.  He had to take a second pass to make it a little wider, but it fit perfectly.

Matt was busy the next few days, so I painted the baseboards, primed and painted the walls, and finished with any wall repairs.  See the gap in the back wall in the photo above, most of that was able to be patched, some wasn't, but it's behind the toilet, so any "patch" has been delayed.

So that was the beginning of putting things back together.  Next step:  Tiling.... another post that is not to be missed.  Hopefully it will be full of little tips to help you to get through it better than we did!!

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