In addition to the basement door, we went ahead and replaced the windows in the basement as well. They were pretty much rotted out and weren’t doing anything for security. In fact, I was able to pull the bars off one of the windows with a simple tug and they fell right off.
Well… as it turns out things are never “finished”. I believe there will always be some little small detail that nags me and I have on the “TO DO” list to make it better.
But for now, I feel like it is ready to be shown off.
I know I never posted final pics of the bathroom… but I will get to that.
First up is a security enhancement. The basement door.
A 4 year old probably could have kicked this old door in. The door knob and deadbolt were connected to a piece of trim that was face nailed to the framing. So no, it wasn’t going to keep anyone out, despite the old bent bars over the windows.
To replace it, we bought a steel door with a foam core. Everything was going great until I tried to fit it in the hole. Not only was it really tight on the sides, but it was 1/2 inch too tall. Of course they couldn’t build the door opening to the standard height… Anyways, I decided to trim 1/2 inch off the top of the door frame rather than trying to deal with removing the sweep or trying to cut the metal door. I also replaced the framing around the cement block with pressure treated lumber. I installed it and then… it wouldn’t close. It was getting late, so I slammed it real hard and called it a night.
The next day I undid everything, chipped away at the mortar that was built up around the cement block and re-installed it all over again. So a 2 hour job turned into 2 days.
It might have taken a while, but it’s way more secure now and we’ll be able to keep out any 4 year olds.
Another week has gone by and a little bit more work was finished. This was the first time I’ve use a router (unsupervised) in order to make the trim around the window. I was going for a craftsman style trim based on pictures the wife found online.
The grouting is finally complete, along with initial painting and crown moulding.
For the grout, I decided to use Spectralock epoxy grout, since it is supposed to never stain or mildew. What I didn’t expect was how much of a pain this was going to be and how much it was going to cost. I started by buying 2 standard kits from Lowes at approximately $50. This didn’t even get me through the tub surround. Next I purchased a commercial unit for approximately $90 which equals roughly 4 kits from Lowes and finished the floor.
For the paint, we went with “Celtic Gray”. It’s pretty bright, but I think it looks pretty good.
The wife and I spent the 3 day weekend (President’s Day) slaving over the tiles. Inevitably things took at least 3 times longer to finish than we planned. However, we’re pretty happy with the results.
The only really bad part about the process is that I didn’t count the floor tiles that were shipped to us. The bathroom floor is 8 by 4 feet, so 32 square feet of tile is needed. I ordered 36 to leave ensure there was extra, but as you can see from the pictures, it didn’t quite make it. An extra 6 square feet is in the mail as we speak, so hopefully it will be finished soon. I don’t know if they didn’t send us the right amount, or if we wasted a bunch on cut pieces.
Next up… grouting, painting, trim work, and some others before we can use it!
We’ve finally got the drywall hanging in the walls. I say “we” since the wife helped. Getting the ceiling up is not a one person job, so even though it was a bit cramped with 2 people and large sheets of drywall in the bathroom, I greatly appreciated the help.
The walls and ceiling are covered with 1/2 inch drywall and the bathroom surround is covered with 1/2 inch cement board. I used a Dewalt rotary cut out tool for getting around the electrical, plumbing, and window/wall openings.
This is the book I’ve been referencing when putting up the drywall:
OK… the weekend is finally here to start putting the final layers on this bathroom. We’ll start with hard-board in the shower area and 1/2 inch drywall everywhere else.
It’s been a while since I posted, and I’ve made a little bit of progress. My big plan over the holidays was to work really hard on the bathroom and make some serious progress. Instead I relaxed and ate a lot of food.
Since my last post:
- Finished plumbing including the new shower valve
- Installed the tub
- Insulated (exterior walls for temperature and some interior walls for sound)
- Finished the rough in electrical
When I was framing the floor for the bathroom, I had a lot of questions about what needed to be done. This book answered all of them for me.
For example, it told me what size floor joists to use, what type of subfloor and underlayment to get, and also things like how close the nails and screws should be when installing the flooring. There are all sorts of rules that need to be followed, and while they aren’t complicated, it’s nice to have them in an easy to understand format.