Let me just start by saying…this went VERY well! I’m nervous to take each step for fear of the unknown. I had a bunch of extra materials incase I had to rip out the sub floor and rebuild…but I didnt! And I as able to screw down a brand new toilet flange without any modifications. I was afraid that I was going to end up having to make an emergency call to a plumber, but nope! Piece of cake. Turns out – installing a new toilet was the easiest step in the whole process!
This is where I left off:
I had removed the linoleum and half of the top layer of sub floor. I couldn’t finish until I was ready to commit! The toilet had to come out and since it’s our only one, as soon as it was out…I had to move fast! The toilet came out on Sunday morning and it was go time!
You can see in the photo below where the repairs had been made for the old water damage. It was nice to find. The inspectors said it had been repaired but never said how. I was afraid that the top layer was just put over the damage, but instead the damaged ship laps were replaced. Made my job easier!
Once I screwed down the floor down the the joists for extra security, I laid the cement board down. You lay thin set mortar down on the sub floor and then lay the cement board, then screw it in. But mixing the mortar means that there is a time clock!
I did the tiling in 2 parts. I got about halfway done by Sunday night and then took a dinner break. Lucy was gone, so a dinner out was a definite YES! Plus I could use their facilities. 2 birds with 1 stone! I ran out of time Sunday night, so did the final tile laying Monday morning.
It’s really quite amazing how much better the job looks with grout. It just gives the tiles such a crisp clean look. Very rewarding.
And after waiting an hour, we put the toilet back in! I was amazed how well it went, I thought at the least there would be some rocking since nothing is straight. In the how to videos they talk about using shims to level the toilet. We didn’t even need that. Once screwed down, there was no rocking, no leaking. We turned the water on, and the bowl just filled. Just seemed to work perfectly! I’ll be honest…I’m always a bit skeptical of new installation adventures.Then the next day was finishing the trim and caulk.
I have a love hate relationship with caulking. It’s amazing what it can do for crooked old houses. Take the photo below for example. I cut the trim at 45 degree angles. Then when in place, either they don’t add up to 90 degrees, or the corner isn’t 90 degrees…trick question – neither are 90 degrees. And the wall doesn’t meet the floor at 90 degrees.But with a little caulk, you’d never know. But it’s sticky and gets all over. I kept wiping with a clean rag, then it would get from the rag to the floor, to my hands, to my feet, and on the walls. It was most maddening part of the whole job!After the caulking I had to wait a few days for it to dry. Then I painted the trim, then waited a few days, and repainted/touched up the walls.
The total project was 2 weeks long, and of that only 2 days was actually tiling. The rest was touch ups and waiting, and touch ups and waiting!
I guess I didn’t mention. I used a cararra marble threshold between the tile and the hardwood floors. I still need to put a small piece of wood in where I had to cut out rotted wood, but I love the marble touch. I love the look of cararra, but couldn’t afford to do the whole floor of tub walls in it, so the threshold seemed like the perfect affordable $10 choice.
So just for the sake of before and afters…
Here is the bathroom when we first moved in:
I feel like I am on a project spree. I think it’s kitchen time! We have a lot coming up this fall, so it might be tough squeezing it in. We’ll see…I’ll keep you posted!