OT: DIY Bathroom Remodel advice

huskypantz

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I'm strongly considering remodeling my bathroom myself and looking for a little advice. I have a 5ishx7ish bathroom plus tub cutout. I'm looking to remove the tub, tile (cement slab floor), toilet, vanity and mirror/vanity fixture. Tub would be converted to a standup shower that would likely have a fully tiled stall and an installed base. I have done a handful of projects that include some electrical (replacing fixtures), plumbing (garbage disposals and a new sink with pipe extensions) and tiling(backsplash and partial bathroom floor repair) but nothing to this extent. I have a friend who owns a countertop store so I'll likely get a remnant vanity top at cost. I would imagine that I will need to move my tub drain to line up with the base, and have a family member plumber who can help with that. I'm going to go ahead and buy a tile wet saw as if this goes well I'm going to retile my entire lower level. I am working on costs right now. Regardless of the total cost, one of my issues is that I would likely not be able to find someone reputable in my area willing to do a small bathroom job. I brought a contractor (from my town) in for a remodel estimate on my other bathroom a couple of years ago and he did not even bother responding with a quote - these are small money and not worth their effort. I plan on stripping the bath area down to the studs. There is no reason we can't go without this bath for several weeks if not a couple of months. I am a little concerned with how I'll dispose of the vanity/toilet/tub. Any advice/tips from the DIY crew who have taken on a similar project?
 

SubbaBub

Your stupidity is ruining my country.
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Ask your local town facebook group. You will get several recommendations. There are plenty of contractors willing to do this.

Bonus tip. Take a 5 gal bucket of thinset and pour it under your shower pan. It won't sag.

Bonus bonus tip: if you demo yourself, rent a dumpster.
 

BParkDog

I will see number 5.
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I'm strongly considering remodeling my bathroom myself and looking for a little advice. I have a 5ishx7ish bathroom plus tub cutout. I'm looking to remove the tub, tile (cement slab floor), toilet, vanity and mirror/vanity fixture. Tub would be converted to a standup shower that would likely have a fully tiled stall and an installed base. I have done a handful of projects that include some electrical (replacing fixtures), plumbing (garbage disposals and a new sink with pipe extensions) and tiling(backsplash and partial bathroom floor repair) but nothing to this extent. I have a friend who owns a countertop store so I'll likely get a remnant vanity top at cost. I would imagine that I will need to move my tub drain to line up with the base, and have a family member plumber who can help with that. I'm going to go ahead and buy a tile wet saw as if this goes well I'm going to retile my entire lower level. I am working on costs right now. Regardless of the total cost, one of my issues is that I would likely not be able to find someone reputable in my area willing to do a small bathroom job. I brought a contractor (from my town) in for a remodel estimate on my other bathroom a couple of years ago and he did not even bother responding with a quote - these are small money and not worth their effort. I plan on stripping the bath area down to the studs. There is no reason we can't go without this bath for several weeks if not a couple of months. I am a little concerned with how I'll dispose of the vanity/toilet/tub. Any advice/tips from the DIY crew who have taken on a similar project?
I've done many tiling jobs and multiple remodels of various rooms/commercial structures, including bathrooms.
1st, if you have the time and inclination, I strongly recommend that you take on the job. Yeah, it won't be perfect. Yeah, a pro would do a better job. But, for me at least, you'll get tremendous satisfaction every time you walk in that bathroom, pretty much forever. Also, you'll save a lot of money, gain experience, and moot the possibility that you have a contractor issue.
My experience with contractors are that the good ones are worth a high premium. They are out there. They tend to be very busy, and very backlogged. In today's world of banana-republic printed money for everybody, they are getting scarcer.
A good % of contractors, particularly the young ones, are headaches waiting to happen. I won't say anything else about that, other than to do your due diligence before hiring anybody to touch your house.

Regarding your project - don't underestimate the time. There are almost always issues that you can't see when you start. Virtually all are solvable, given time, patience, and, sometimes, funding. If you're thinking 2 weeks, working every day 4-8 hours, then that is probably about right. If you are nights and weekends, then 2 weeks will go by very fast.

With YouTube, you can find a video on virtually anything. If you have a buddy or a relative, great. If you don't, or you want to do it yourself, there is a video for everything. If there's not, DM me and I'll point you in the right direction.

Tiling is awesome. I've tiled a lot. I've done all of it with a 120$ home cheapo wet tile saw. It gets the job done, and with very good results. It's messy. You can rent/buy better saws and tile breakers (no water). Tiling is all about the prep. If the wall/floor is prepped right, and you focus on keeping your trowel at the correct angle when you spread, then it's very difficult to screw up the job. Even my first job looked decent to a non-tile pro. My last job (so far), was on an old, uneven floor and . . . it came out pretty nice.

DM me with any questions, pics, and so on.
 
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I am no expert here but spent enough money having bathrooms redone. The only thing I can contribute is be careful ripping out the tub if it's the only one in the house. My builder and realtor have both told me a tub is a necessity if/when you sell because anyone with young kids will need/want one.
 
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Live in VA. Don't do what my idiot contractor did. He did a good job removing a Jacuzzi tub and putting in a standing shower, but he also completely covered the AC/Heating vents when he put the new floor in.
 
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This is the right time of year for this project as other than snow removal you can devote your time to it. Agree about the need for a tub for future home sale if this is your only bathroom with a tub. Having the family member to help with drain hookup etc. is a nice ace in the hole. Otherwise I would think you could get a plumber to do new tub install and hookup if you have everything ripped out as it is a half day job for them. I say go for it. You can rent small dumpsters for disposal or cut up an old fiberglass tub with a sawzall and short blade, knock down the vanity. I still go to the dump so I handle debris that way. Get all the water out of the toilet (after you have cleaned it) with a sponge and put it in a large plastic garbage bag before you take it outside for disposal. Good luck huskypantz
 

tdrink

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I am a master carpenter with over 30 years of remodeling experience. I have done many bathrooms. They are by far the hardest room in a house to deal with. The tracking through the house, inability to have more than one person in the room, color matching fixtures/tile, issues with fixtures, etc. They are time consuming and can drag on. Most of the plumbers I know don’t want to get involved if the home is historic or there is much in the way of problem solving. And I know many contractors who wont touch bathroom remodels and many who shouldn’t. There are a lot of details to bring together.

If you do it yourself, don't rush. Put time into working through details like adding blocking wherever you will have a grab bar or toilet paper holder. Try to test the shower pan before closing in the walls. Your tub likely had a 1-1/2” drain line and it should be 2” for shower, so you will probably be doing some plumbing. Try to line up everything ahead of time, but if elements aren’t working as envisioned take time to work through the design.

Take pictures of your open walls. D014D1B3-6F2F-4F54-AD82-3B63604FC104.jpeg
 
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Regarding your project - don't underestimate the time. There are almost always issues that you can't see when you start. Virtually all are solvable, given time, patience, and, sometimes, funding
After doing home reno projects for many years I’ve come to the conclusion they always take 2x as long as I thought and cost 2x as planned. Even knowing this 2x rule, it happens every time
 

huskypantz

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After doing home reno projects for many years I’ve come to the conclusion they always take 2x as long as I thought and cost 2x as planned. Even knowing this 2x rule, it happens every time
I built a treehouse (10x12) for the kids this past summer. Started out with a $1000 budget, just added the swings as phase two and I went over $2000. The real killer was the lumber shortages last year - yellow fir and PT in general were tough to get. I ended up buying a lot of lumber from a local shop that had a 50% markup over Home Depot, that alone was $300-500 in overrun.

6D36FD34-84FC-4F3C-8D11-9D64AC9197D5.jpeg
 

huskypantz

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I am a master carpenter with over 30 years of remodeling experience. I have done many bathrooms. They are by far the hardest room in a house to deal with. The tracking through the house, inability to have more than one person in the room, color matching fixtures/tile, issues with fixtures, etc. They are time consuming and can drag on. Most of the plumbers I know don’t want to get involved if the home is historic or there is much in the way of problem solving. And I know many contractors who wont touch bathroom remodels and many who shouldn’t. There are a lot of details to bring together.

If you do it yourself, don't rush. Put time into working through details like adding blocking wherever you will have a grab bar or toilet paper holder. Try to test the shower pan before closing in the walls. Your tub likely had a 1-1/2” drain line and it should be 2” for shower, so you will probably be doing some plumbing. Try to line up everything ahead of time, but if elements aren’t working as envisioned take time to work through the design.

Take pictures of your open walls.View attachment 63072
That shower looks great. I happen to have a cabinet inlaid into a wall as well, the one in the photo is much more eloquent than mine so I may have to cheat off that or something similar. My hope is not to gut the entire bathroom - just the tub area, which still scares me a little. I'll take your advice on taking photos and updating the drain line. I also have water hammer in the tub pipes, which I can finally fix with the walls opened up. Is there a rule/formula for cost of materials/tools - ie grout, sealant, PVC piping etc? I have about $3500 in known costs - tile, vanity, fixtures, shower/vanity hardware, paint, shower base and door, mirror, toilet. I estimated $800 between materials and a wet saw.
 

dvegas

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I am no expert here but spent enough money having bathrooms redone. The only thing I can contribute is be careful ripping out the tub if it's the only one in the house. My builder and realtor have both told me a tub is a necessity if/when you sell because anyone with young kids will need/want one.
yes, that drove off many potential buyers the value of my ex's house. The $50k renovation to convert two tubs to large stall showers cost her at least another $50k in resale. And the pictures I took of the unsheetrocked (open) walls when my home was built 20 years ago have been invaluable when doing electrical, plumbing and HVAC work since.
Take pictures of your open walls.
 

tdrink

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That shower looks great. I happen to have a cabinet inlaid into a wall as well, the one in the photo is much more eloquent than mine so I may have to cheat off that or something similar. My hope is not to gut the entire bathroom - just the tub area, which still scares me a little. I'll take your advice on taking photos and updating the drain line. I also have water hammer in the tub pipes, which I can finally fix with the walls opened up. Is there a rule/formula for cost of materials/tools - ie grout, sealant, PVC piping etc? I have about $3500 in known costs - tile, vanity, fixtures, shower/vanity hardware, paint, shower base and door, mirror, toilet. I estimated $800 between materials and a wet saw.

$800 is probably about right including tile backer for shower and a mid sized wet saw.
16CC1311-87C3-4EFE-9D88-D106F0C7500C.jpeg
 
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I built a treehouse (10x12) for the kids this past summer. Started out with a $1000 budget, just added the swings as phase two and I went over $2000. The real killer was the lumber shortages last year - yellow fir and PT in general were tough to get. I ended up buying a lot of lumber from a local shop that had a 50% markup over Home Depot, that alone was $300-500 in overrun.

View attachment 63075
Well done. Just need a tv and you could use to watch march madness
 
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Grew up in the trades (father was a mechanical contractor) before leaving for a desk job a few years ago. Also completely gutted and remodeled both my bathrooms during covid, so advice is coming from a past professional who is now a homeowner.

Plan everything out ahead of time, and fixtures you are buying, get them and open them before you even touch a wall. Yes you always run into the unexpected in old houses, but the more you can plan the better.

For disposing of stuff I’d honestly get a dumpster. One bathroom I did dump trips, the other I got the dumpster. Its work the money and can take all the tile, toilet, vanity, tub etc...

When you build the shower enclosure watch every youtube video possible on sealing the floor, preferable with a liner. You’ll have massive issues if you don’t do this.

Tile saws are worth the money. Figure they’re one day of labor for a tile guy and one from Harbor Freight is good enough for a home owner to do a few small projects.

Tile spacers are worth their weight in gold if you’re tiling for the first time.

Buy good fixtures. I bought a house with crappy ones and was always changing flush valves, o-rings and things like that.

The shorter you plan on staying in your house, the more generic you should go. Resale is something to think about.


Feel free to ask anything I haven’t hit on.
 
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I own a tile installation company. The only way we remodel showers now is by using the Schluter System. No more mud jobs, cement boards with plumbing liner. The system is guaranteed for life and is totally waterproof.

There are many videos you can Google. Take my word ( been doing this for 30 years). If you are a little handy and have patience, this is the way to go
 

huskypantz

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Well done. Just need a tv and you could use to watch march madness
thanks - to the right of the treehouse is my firepit and adirondack chairs and to the right of that is my shed. I've been contemplating a setup to project games on the shed wall that we can watch from the firepit. I may have to make that happen!
 

huskypantz

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Grew up in the trades (father was a mechanical contractor) before leaving for a desk job a few years ago. Also completely gutted and remodeled both my bathrooms during covid, so advice is coming from a past professional who is now a homeowner.

Plan everything out ahead of time, and fixtures you are buying, get them and open them before you even touch a wall. Yes you always run into the unexpected in old houses, but the more you can plan the better.

For disposing of stuff I’d honestly get a dumpster. One bathroom I did dump trips, the other I got the dumpster. Its work the money and can take all the tile, toilet, vanity, tub etc...

When you build the shower enclosure watch every youtube video possible on sealing the floor, preferable with a liner. You’ll have massive issues if you don’t do this.

Tile saws are worth the money. Figure they’re one day of labor for a tile guy and one from Harbor Freight is good enough for a home owner to do a few small projects.

Tile spacers are worth their weight in gold if you’re tiling for the first time.

Buy good fixtures. I bought a house with crappy ones and was always changing flush valves, o-rings and things like that.

The shorter you plan on staying in your house, the more generic you should go. Resale is something to think about.


Feel free to ask anything I haven’t hit on.
thank you, how much did you spend on the dumpster?
 

huskypantz

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I own a tile installation company. The only way we remodel showers now is by using the Schluter System. No more mud jobs, cement boards with plumbing liner. The system is guaranteed for life and is totally waterproof.

There are many videos you can Google. Take my word ( been doing this for 30 years). If you are a little handy and have patience, this is the way to go
Definitely checking this one out, thanks.
 

tdrink

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Grew up in the trades (father was a mechanical contractor) before leaving for a desk job a few years ago. Also completely gutted and remodeled both my bathrooms during covid, so advice is coming from a past professional who is now a homeowner.

Plan everything out ahead of time, and fixtures you are buying, get them and open them before you even touch a wall. Yes you always run into the unexpected in old houses, but the more you can plan the better.

For disposing of stuff I’d honestly get a dumpster. One bathroom I did dump trips, the other I got the dumpster. Its work the money and can take all the tile, toilet, vanity, tub etc...

When you build the shower enclosure watch every youtube video possible on sealing the floor, preferable with a liner. You’ll have massive issues if you don’t do this.

Tile saws are worth the money. Figure they’re one day of labor for a tile guy and one from Harbor Freight is good enough for a home owner to do a few small projects.

Tile spacers are worth their weight in gold if you’re tiling for the first time.

Buy good fixtures. I bought a house with crappy ones and was always changing flush valves, o-rings and things like that.

The shorter you plan on staying in your house, the more generic you should go. Resale is something to think about.


Feel free to ask anything I haven’t hit on.
What on earth would make you give up the dream life of a trade worker? (insert sarcasm emoji)
 
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Keep in mind the glass shower door will be pricey also. I recommend A&W glass out of west haven if your in that area of the state. Anthony and his family are awesome people
 
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thank you, how much did you spend on the dumpster?
$400 but I got a bigger one than needed and took the opportunity to do a large cleaning through the rest of the house.

If you call around you can probably get one for a little under $300 that will be enough for the remodel.
 

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