What would you do with this bathroom? Pics included

Swiss_Chard_FanaticMarch 15, 2014

(Sorry, the pic is misleading, the toilet and sink have been reinstalled already, and grout has been put in; this pic is an earlier one)

DH and I want to remodel our bathroom in 1-3 months and we aren't sure what to do; we are new to this. This is our first home. We do, however, know what our goals are with this project:

- We want to maximize the amount of storage space in the bathroom while still having it feel as spacious as possible. It is a small bathroom but it doesn't have to feel cramped. There is a pre-existing floor-to-ceiling cabinet that is in excellent shape and just needs repainting and new hardware.

- Our budget is about $500. We will be doing all the labor ourselves. We have enough tile that we got for free to do the stall.

- We want to install a vanity to replace the stand-alone sink. We have a depth of only 13" to work with for this.

- We want this remodel to last for a long time and we want to do it right so that the climate in which we live (hot, humid over 70% of the year) doesn't wreck havoc on our bathroom.

- I want to replace the medicine cabinet mirror with just a mirror hung on the wall because I don't like how small and vertically misaligned the current mirror is. We cannot install a bigger medicine cabinet mirror because the wall studs are so close together.

Remodeling and other changes that has already been done:
1. New subflooring, tile and grout in floors
2. Some new paneling installed to replace damaged old paneling (this was pretty cheap)
3. Installed new light fixture ($60)
4. Installed medicine cabinet with mirror ($100)
5. Replaced toilet seat and lid with new ones ($20)
6. Installed towel rack ($30)
7. Installed curved shower rod for more space in stall, and new shower liner ($55)

But there's a lot we are clueless about. For example, what to do outside the stall? Do we put sheetrock in? Do we need a special sheetrock to prevent mold growth and rot? If not sheetrock, then what?

So what would you do with this bathroom? More pics coming in next post(s).

This post was edited by Swiss_Chard_Fanatic on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 14:29

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More pics coming.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 2:11PM
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More pics coming. You can see that the paneling seems to be at an angle to the mirror. This is because our bathroom doesn't have 90 degree angles; the house is old and and nothing is even.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 2:13PM
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Final pic for now.

This post was edited by Swiss_Chard_Fanatic on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 14:15

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 2:14PM
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I'm confused - when you say stall are you talking about tiling the tub surround to make it a tub/shower or are you removing the tub and creating a shower?

You can always continue the tile half way up the wall to create wainscoting.. Or you can just stop at your tub or shower. If you just stop, make sure you have a few inches of tile past the shower curb or tub apron to protect the wall from splashing.

Folks typically use green board in the bathroom for dry areas. For wet areas, you will need to use cement backer board like Hardiboard, Durrock, etc. Use a paint on moisture barrier like RedGuard (Home Depot), Aquadefense (Lowes) or Hydroban (tile distributor or online) under the tile.

You can build recessed shelves between the studs for storage.

Go to www.houzz.com and look at baths for ideas. There are a lot of high end architect/decorator baths, but don't let them keep you from finding the normal folks baths. You can do searches such as pedestal slink, small bathroom, alcove bathtub, etc Look at all of the pictures associated with the main tag picture to see the rest of the bathroom. Also look at powder room photos to get ideas for small vanities.

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 14:34

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 2:29PM
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I'm likely using incorrect terminology because I'm a newbie and have never done a remodel before, so I'm not sure what thing are called. By stall I just mean the tub area where we will be taking showers. We never take a bath. If it were up to me, I'd remove the bathtub altogether because it's stained permanently in places and I hate that. But it's not cheap and DH is always afraid that when major things like that are removed he may find rotted wood or other complications underneath that require more work and $$$ to fix, so he prefers not to get too deep into things if he can avoid it...

Thanks for the advice about the backerboard; this was helpful.

Sorry about the 18" thing; I was still editing my post. It's actually just 13" that we have to work with because the wall is only 13" deep into the bathroom. So far, the only vanities I have found that will work are ones that have a cutout for the sink because the sink is going to extend out from the cabinet. And yes we definitely want a sink with wider ledges so that we have more space to use.

Recessed shelves sounds like a good plan; I'll talk with hubby about it. And I'll check out houzz too. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 2:39PM
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It would be a shame to put new tile around an old stained bathtub. Are you sure you can't swing for a new tub? Or an acrylic shower pan? There are lots of places to find regular sized alcove bathtubs - craigslist, surplus stores, Habitat for Humanity, etc.

Also, if there was rot under the tub I would sure want to know so that I could clean it out. If you put a new tub surround on top of old rotted mildewed stuff, that would be the same as putting a new dental filling on top of decayed tooth. Yuck!

You may look for a wall mounted sink instead of a vanity. Some of the online stores such as www.build.com have specifications links, or you can go to the manufacturer's website to look at specifications.

Think out of the box - a nice piece of furniture or stand with a vessel sink on top. Look at the Kohler countertop sinks and order online for best prices. Or find a better pedestal sink - don't forget to check craigslist. You can always use your current pedestal sink until you have the money for a new one.

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 15:30

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 3:20PM
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Best advise I have for a newbie is to do things right. Having to redo them is a waste of time and even more money than it would have been the first time.

Definitely check the wall behind if you suspect any rot or water damage. Just closing it up and ignoring it is the best way to have a small problem become a bigger one. You don't want to put tile on a wall that may not hold it up until you are ready to move on or replace. You also don't want to leave rotting wood as an invitation to termites or other pests.

If there is anything, it will be less of a problem if you deal with it now than if you are forced to do it later -- and life has a way of throwing those things at you when they are least convenient (guests, kids, you name it.), but you may find tat things are okay -- in which case, you buy peace of mind. That's a great investment too.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 5:14PM
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I just finished doing some cleaning around the house and had time to think. Yes, the best thing to do is to take things slow and do your remodeling as you can afford it.

Try to make a game out of getting the best design and bang for your buck. A lot of folks on this forum spend time planning their remodels and scour craigslist, ebay and online sales for best prices. Fixtures do not have to come from the same manufacturer - you can even mix your shower components. Folks do like their designs to flow even eclectic designs.

Don't forget shopping craigslist and discount stores for tile too, especially if you want to add some trim to the tile that you already have. And toilets too. A lot of folks buy things for their remodel, change their mind, and then sell it. Or they buy a new house and immediately remove the builder spec items. Even doorknobs, cabinetware, etc. Contractors have items left over - for example there are 3 Kohler handicap showers - bars and seat - retail over $3000 each - on my local craigslist for $800.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 6:02PM
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If you are saying you only have 13" from front to back for a vanity, you would have to have one custom made. That is much narrower than stock vanities.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 9:03PM
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As far as the fixtures go, since you are trying to do this on a budget, give them a good cleaning, and if stains don't remove, check into having them reglazed and change out the faucets.

But, if you even suspect there might be rotten wood, which creates mold, GUT!! What is your health worth in $?

This post was edited by canuckplayer on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 22:42

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 10:37PM
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I am remodeling 2 baths on a moderate budget. I want these baths to last a long time and to handle my aging in place too. I have been doing a lot of research this past year and have studied the pros and cons with the focus of getting the best design and quality bang for my buck. Bathrooms cost way more than other rooms in the house to remodel, except for kitchens. The ideas that I am sharing are similar to what I am doing in my small second bathroom.

If this was my bathroom and I was not really a bath person, then I would install the Kohler Villager cast iron bathtub. It is available at Home Depot for around $400. It has a low side that makes stepping over to take a shower and leaning over to bathe kids very easy. It is cast iron and will last your lifetime. Just don't drop any thing heavy or sharp on it or it will chip. Porcelain on cast iron is easy to clean and will handle harsh chemicals compared to acrylic. The cast iron will stand up to dog toenails too.

I would tile a wainscoting around the room. I would find a pretty mosaic tile to use as an accent. I would build very useful tile niches with the mosaic in the tub walls and above the sink.

I would build a shelf above the toilet that is totally or partially recessed in the wall to prevent it from projecting too far out in the room. Or build another tile niche.

I would find a pedestal sink on craigslist.

I would replace the shower trim (the outside part) on the current shower rough in valve. I would find a nice faucet when I had the money and after I spent some time studying styles and models because you can make a huge design statement by your faucet. There are so many brands and designs that are not carried by the big box stores. Do not buy faucets from Home Depot or Lowes because even though they look the same, they are inferior quality to meet a certain price point. Buy your faucets from a plumbing store or online, even ebay.

Here are a few pictures of the Kohler Villager bathtub - it fits in both contemporary and traditional designs.

Traditional Bathroom by Acworth Kitchen & Bath Designers VV Contracting, Inc

Contemporary Bathroom by Austin Architects & Designers Merzbau Design Collective

Contemporary Bathroom by Rehoboth Beach Home Builders Echelon Custom Homes

Traditional Bathroom by New York Kitchen & Bath Designers Klein Kitchen and Bath

Beach Style Bathroom by Savannah Interior Designers & Decorators Joel Snayd

Traditional Bathroom by Sleepy Hollow Architects & Designers ALL Design

Niche ideas

Traditional Bathroom by Santa Cruz Design-Build Firms R.A.D. Design-Build

Modern Bathroom by Seal Beach Interior Designers & Decorators van zee design interiors

Eclectic Bathroom by Decatur Kitchen & Bath Designers Renewal Design-Build

Modern Bathroom by Melbourne Home Builders Orbit Homes

Shelf above toilet

Traditional Bathroom by San Rafael Design-Build Firms Wilkinson Design+Construction

Traditional Bathroom by Cherry Hill Tile, Stone & Countertops StoneMar Natural Stone Company LLC

Contemporary Bathroom by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators Design Vidal

Traditional Bathroom by Dallas Design-Build Firms CB Construction Company

Traditional Bathroom by Bakersfield Kitchen & Bath Designers Blue River Cabinetry

Contemporary Bathroom by Wellesley Kitchen & Bath Designers Divine Kitchens LLC

Contemporary Bathroom by Sacramento Architects & Designers Debbie R. Gualco

Traditional Bathroom by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Amoroso Design

Eclectic Bathroom by Pensacola Interior Designers & Decorators In Detail Interiors

Traditional Bathroom by Houston Interior Designers & Decorators K Two Designs, Inc.

Traditional Bathroom by Los Angeles Interior Designers & Decorators Georgette Westerman Interiors

Contemporary Bathroom by Brooklyn Architects & Designers Ben Herzog

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Tue, Mar 18, 14 at 10:40

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 11:54AM
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i didn't understand why your vanity can only be 13" deep. How wide can it be?
The problem is that a 13" deep vanity/sink is going to be more than your 500.00 budget unless you can somehow repurpose a cabinet or shelves, or find an old IKEA bathroom vanity.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 12:53PM
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>find an old IKEA bathroom vanity.

I'm pretty sure that even the lillangen vanities were 15".

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 1:15PM
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We are also remodeling -- mainly b/c the valve in our shower/tub was leaking and the steel tub was corroded all around the drain (resurfacing would not have been a good use of our money).

My opinion is that a small vanity cabinet is pretty useless, so if I were in your shoes I'd keep the pedestal sink, be ever-so-grateful for the floor to ceiling cab you already have in there, and put the money toward something else. Seriously, the only things I stored in our "small" vanity (which is 36" wide and 18" deep) were cleaning supplies. It has two narrow drawers (maybe 6 or 8" wide?) on one side, they pretty much held useless junk that doesn't even need to be in the bathroom. I bought my kids a hand-held mirror that won't even fit in those stupid drawers. The interior of the cabinet is taken up by the sink and the plumbing, so a lot of the space isn't useable anyway.

A pedestal sink takes up much less room, visually, so it can make a tiny room feel larger...but that is my personal bias perhaps. I do like the look of pedestal sinks -- and how they force you to keep junk to a minimum and off the edges :-) My sister-in-law has a GIANT (to me) vanity w/looooong counter. I bet it's 8-10' long. The ENTIRE surface is covered with product. I can't believe it...there is no way she uses or needs it all. One time I was visiting and asked to borrow sunscreen for my face. We went to that counter and she picked out several things that she said she had tried but didn't work out and I could have them all if I liked any of them!

For our remodel, I'm keeping the vanity because I couldn't find anything markedly better that wasn't under $200 - $300. It's getting a new finish :-)

As for replacing your mirrored medicine cab w/a mirror, have you considered trying to re-align the cabinet? Maybe it just needs a little adjustment, or better framing in the wall. I think recessed medicine cabinets are handy in a bathroom, especially one that doesn't have much counter space.

I came across these when looking for something for storage, do you think this type of storage might work under the medicine cabinet?

small sliding door cabinet

It is available in different lengths, or maybe just attach some shelving to the wall and put nice storage baskets/bins on the shelves. A great way to add storage to a small room is to utilize your vertical space; the studs being close together is an asset b/c you will have more options for attaching the shelves!

I agree that if there are possible issues w/rot etc, it's better to go ahead and address those. We were lucky, after the old tub came out there were not any issues. We had the Kohler Villager tub installed, and it is higher quality than our old steel tub. I can't say that this is my favorite tub ever, but it's a great value and a good compromise.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 2:03PM
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Thanks for all those helpful pics and ideas. That gives me a lot to think about. I really, really like your tile wainscoting idea too. Do you think that tiling is something that me and DH can do, as newbies who have never tiled anything in our lives? DH watched as a friend tiled our floors, but the friend is a pro. If we shouldn't do it we can probably get the friend to do it, or pay him to do it, for us.

Does the tile for the wainscoting need to match the floor tile? What if we can't find the exact tile to match?

This little fact might make a huge change in plans. Our bathroom has at least one wall that is solid 2x4s instead of just studs. If I had to guess, I would say that 3 of the walls are this way. Fortunately, the wall where the mirror hangs is the one with studs (I believe). But to really know for sure, we'd have to rip out the panel first.


The wall is only 13" deep but what I had in mind was a vanity where the sink sticks out from the cabinets, so the cabinets would be 13" in depth and the sink of course would be deeper than that. I've attached a picture that shows the idea.

<img data-gwi="1408355" src="http://st.houzz.com/fimgs/45b163b404175ad5_2196-w240-h190-b1-p0--home-design.jpg" width="240" height="190" class="img-unavailable"/>
    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 2:08PM
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So let me understand this, so far, you have retiled the floor, and added some accessories to pretty the bathroom up but you didn't tackle the big important stuff - what's behind the walls.

Given the condition of the bathroom from your photos, I would have gutted the place to the studs before I bought towel racks.

Can I assume that while you and your DH are doing things yourselves, you aren't exactly very experienced DIYers?

What is on the walls? Is it that plastic laminate? Is that what you're calling "panels"?

I'm not trying to be harsh, and if you want to spend $500 on a custom vanity and a new mirror, go for it, but if you ignore any underlying problems, you are just putting lipstick on a pig.

I'm a serious DIYer, and we do every project in our 130yr old house on the tightest of shoestring budgets and pay cash for everything, and it was our very first house and it needed much work, and we had to learn everything, so I get that, but if you lack the skills to do things correctly, then live with them until you either have the money to pay for someone with skills or you have acquired the skills. Otherwise you're just wasting your money.

Seriously, I'm happy to answer questions and help but you're starting with the wrong problems.

As far as a 13 in vanity, there are some of those narrow vanity bases that have the sinks that protrude over them that are in your budget range check Home Depot or Lowes for inexpensive versions - I'll see if I can find a photo what I'm thinking of:

Here's an inexpensive traditional looking set.

Here's something much more modern:

Hope it helps!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 2:25PM
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I laughed out loud when I read "lipstick on a pig" because those are the exact words I used to describe the effect of installing the new mirror medicine cabinet in the wall.

This has been a whole-house remodel. We were going to do more work on the place before moving in but our sheetrock guy went way way way beyond the deadline and our 1-year lease was just about up where we were living before, so we really had no choice but to move in and remodel as we go.

DH and I came to an agreement about the bathroom: we would make it usable for now and then remodel the bathroom in 1-3 months. I want to strip everything out of the bathroom and put in new walls and ceiling and tub and then put the new fixtures back in.

I'm not exactly sure what it is that is on the walls. DH was calling it paneling but it's already warping and bending and the water that has gotten behind it hasn't dried and isn't going to dry...DH didn't caulk it up before we used the shower...he says the wall behind it, which is made of "treated" 2x4's, will be fine for the 1-3 months until the remodel. I have no idea if he's right...

DH and I are both newbies and have very little experience with DIY projects. Trust me, if it were 100% up to me, I would have rented for a few more months while stripping and gutting more things out, but DH wanted to move in ASAP. DH and I have had some bumps in the road and some friction regarding this and I got called a princess more than once for wanting things to be done right before move-in. But he's had to give up all his off days and time off from work for months to work on this house and get it ready for move-in so it hasn't been easy so he's like "what do you expect from me?"

This post was edited by Swiss_Chard_Fanatic on Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 15:45

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 3:44PM
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You do make some good points about the visual space when going with the pedestal sink vs vanity cabinets. I'll think about that.

Regarding the mirrored medicine cabinet: it cannot move either left or right because there are wall studs immediately to the left and to the right of it so the only way it can move is up or down. The fact is that it will never be able to align vertically with any sink we put in there. So in my mind it's got to go.

The storage under the medicine cabinet that you linked me to simply looks too "trailery" for my taste. But the concept is a good one. I'm thinking of a tiled indentation into the wall as mentioned by a previous poster.

The issue of wood rot kind of scares me. DH's opinion about wood rot seems to be that if we don't disturb it and just "leave it alone" it won't spread or cause any problems...but I'm not sure if he's right. That's why he's scared to rip things about--he believes he will find more wood rot and then have to rip out more structural things and replace them. But I tend to think that if you cross your fingers and hope it's not there, while it is there, it could get worse and create more problems later on.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 3:56PM
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Our friend is a pest guy, and he said that wood rot DOES spread. I think that he said there's a fungus that plays a role.

I can understand the friction of wanting it done right vs wanting it done; my DH and I go through that with remodeling. We're soon going to begin tiling, and that will definitely be stressful. We're doing the floor, the entire bath enclosure to the ceiling, and 4' up the walls - it will be nice when it's done, easy to clean up after the 9 yo and 5 yo boys.

Which reminds me, even if you do not try to tile the walls, I highly recommend at least tiling behind the toilet. Ugh, my kids do not always have great aim and cleaning that area has been disgusting. Having tile will, I hope, make a huge difference.

I adore that little sliding cabinet, it reminds me of something in the apartment I rented when I was in college. I thought it was so useful and cute! Of course, that one probably dated to the 1960's LOL! But if it's not your thing I can understand ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Dry rot on Wikipedia

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 4:18PM
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It looks like you have FRP - fiberglass reinforced plastic - panels on your walls and around the shower. They should be installed with the recommended trim pieces and silicone caulk. I have been looking into using these to convert my garage into a dog kennel. They are used in food service and commercial interior environments.

Food for thought - your DH wants to cut corners which is not good. Maybe he is not really cut out for remodeling or is tired.

I would be concerned about moisture damage behind your tub walls. If it were me, knowing that DH was not going to caulk, I would get my tush in that tub with a caulk gun and get busy. Caulking is very easy, there are even youtube videos out there.

I suggest that you really research how to install sheetrock and cement backer board. How to install a tub and reconnect the plumbing. How to tile and grout. There is a lot of information on this forum if you search for hydroban or hydro ban and Redguard and kerdi. Mongoct and bill Vincent have great threads on the topic. Redguard is available at Home Depot and is cheaper. Mongct has 2 great threads on plumbing fixtures. If you go to the Terry Love plumbing forum, there is a great thread on getting a Kohler cast iron Villager bathtub in place. There are both good and lame videos on youtube. Get to Home Depot and actually look at the building materials and tools and start getting familiar with them and their prices. Draw your bathroom out on graph paper with the exact measurements so you can actually get a feel for the room. Even if you hire the work out, you still need to know how to direct the work to get the best finished product. But you will find more women on this forum who hire out the cement board and sheetrock work and do the tile work themselves - that is what I'm doing.

As for the medicine cabinet, when you redo the walls, you can cut out the studs and build an opening with a header like a window for the medicine cabinet, and other recessed openings such as niches.

Save your money and start learning and planning this remodel. Start itemizing the material costs - cbu, thinset, Redguard, cbu tape, sheetrock tape, sheetrock mud, grout, tile, paint, tools, etc if you think you can do some of the work yourself. If not, get 3 quotes for the tub/plumbing and the framing/cbu/sheetrock and the tile work - whatever part you and DH think you don't want to tackle. You may need more money to replace rotted wood. $500 is just decorating chump change. Plan the remodel in stages - tub and tub surround first, the rest later. Also plan on getting at least the bathtub and tub walls completed quickly so you can use it. Tear out the ceiling too. Bathrooms take a lot of detailed work and more money than other rooms.

No, the tile on the walls does not have to match the floor. Folks do like to use a tile that has end pieces with beveled edges in the collection to finish the very top of the wall. Anything goes these days based on personal style = that's where browsing Houzz is great for getting inspired. I would use the same tile around the whole bathroom including the shower. I have 16 year old stone looking tile on my floors and I cam going with Daltile white 3x6 and 6x6 ceramic tile from Home Depot. I can cut it with a manual tile saw and run back to Home Depot for more pieces, or return leftovers.

I still don't understand why you have to have a 13 inch deep vanity if the sink is going to protrude past 13 inches. Why can't the vanity be deeper than 13 inches. You will have to build one to get the maximum storage for your space. this is when having a picture of your floorplan with the exact measurements would be helpful. The forum could give you some good advice on the size and placement.

I still think a wide pedestal sink is your best bet. Have you looked at the Kohler pedestal sinks - the models come in a variety of widths. There is not much storage in small retail vanities. To really maximize the storage, you really need to have a custom vanity made. Check out cabinet shops in your area because the prices are really not that bad - especially if you pick it up and install it yourself.

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Mon, Mar 17, 14 at 18:46

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 5:30PM
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The problem with wood rot is this: if you don't uncover it and fix what's causing it, it will not go away, and it will spread. We bought a house where a leaky toilet had not been fixed for years, and instead covered over by additional layers of flooring. We had to replace everything down to the floor joists, and the rot had spread 12-18" in all directions.

OTOH, you may not have rot. So pull out the ugly tub, pull the stuff off the walls, make sure everything's dry, tight, and constructed properly, then make it pretty on the outside. Much better to take the time to do this than down the road end up in the middle of a shower falling through the rotted joists into the basement.

You can buy an inexpensive enameled steel tub for $200.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 7:17PM
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"DH's opinion about wood rot seems to be that if we don't disturb it and just "leave it alone" it won't spread or cause any problems."
You also stated that you both knew water was getting behind and there is no caulking.

Your DH is 100% wrong! It will cause problems! It will spread and could cause major health problems!! Wood rot causes mold, compromises the structural integrity, and creates a buffet for insects.

Before you try to "pretty up" this space, make it safe. It won't matter what you put on the tub surround if it ends up falling into the tub.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 10:49PM
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This has been a whole-house remodel. We were going to do more work on the place before moving in but our sheetrock guy went way way way beyond the deadline and our 1-year lease was just about up where we were living before, so we really had no choice but to move in and remodel as we go.

One thing I've learned - learn to live with stuff. No one without a very big wallet can do a whole house renovation in just a few months. Take it slow. For one thing, you'll learn your house - why did they build THAT that way? Sometimes you need to live with a house before you understand it.

The Renovation mantra is you can have it CHEAP, you can have it FAST, or you can have it DONE WELL. Pick two. Around here, we chose DIY - cheap and done right. And yes, it takes forever but a lot of that is because we're perfectionists.

I've seen quick & dirty - it's not good.

What we did was first, learn like crazy - read home improvement magazines and how to books - especially things like old copies of Old House Journal - hit the library. Watch home improvement shows - you don't want to become those people on Renovation Realities. We call it the Disaster show. Get a mentor. Ask lots of questions. Research on the internet.

Then be patient. Do one room at a time - not the whole house. start with something easy - bathrooms and kitchens are not the kindergarten level. Yes, many things are probably out of your skill set and you need to hire things like electrical and probably plumbing, and obviously structural.

For the record, I've been working on our house for 20yrs. 130yrs old, 2 stories plus a basement - about 3500sqft. We've worked room by room -so far 3 bedrooms, the living room, and a library done. Basement finished. Plaster restored. Whole house rewired (except the kitchen zone). Whole house re-plumbed, both supply & DWV. Currently we're doing the bathroom and laundry in the basement.

You can do the whole house, but you need to know what you're doing or you'll just waste money and make things worse.

Hope that bathroom isn't on a 2nd floor - a bathtub filled with a person or 2 and water is heavy - hate to have it drop to the 1st floor (or basement) because someone didn't want to see if the rot/structural damage was really there!

Oh and you don't have to destroy that tub - you can remove it carefully and reuse it if the budget requires. That's what we're doing with the basement bathroom.

Always ;-)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 11:57PM
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Everyone has excellent advise I hope you heed the words of caution. BTW I think I read above that your DH stated that the studs are treated wood. I doubt that, I don't think treated wood is safe to use to build a house. It is used to build decks, wood that will contact soil. There are toxic chemicals in treated wood that I would doubt would be safe to use in the walls.

Drywall is very easy. It can be done. I did it in my first bathroom remodel 2012-13. With the labor help of my DH and DS we lifted the panels into place. I measured and cut, they hung.

I educated myself, as Anna suggests you do. I read read read. Practically everything I know, I learned on GW ;) Read and ask questions over on the "Remodel Forum" too. Mongoct is so helpful and knowledgable!!!

In my current bathroom, I used fiberglass faced sheetrock. It has a fiberglass paper facing with the typical plaster like material of typical sheetrock inside. Its a bit more expensive but you aren't doing a whole house in it. I used "setting type" joint compound. The joint compound in the bucket is "drying type". The setting type will not re-wet if it gets wet. Durabond is a brand of setting type. In my current bathroom, I hired the sheetrock installation instead of doing it myself (as I did in the first bath). I specified fiberglass faced drywall, durabond joint compound, and a skim coat of the durabond to acheive a level 5 finish. I painted the walls. I am not a great painter but it is something I can do and am happy to do things I can do to save cost. The reason for the fiberglass sheetrock product is to help prevent mold from getting a hold on the walls. Mold likes paper, which is on typical sheetrock facing. It doesn't like the fiberglass, from what I've been told. The drying type joint compound can't rewet in the moist environment of the bathroom, though the paint will protect too. It might be overkill but it is what I did.

On my old walls there was mold growing on the textured ceiling, because the fan didn't work the best. I would try keeping it in check but it would grow back. When the fan was replaced it solved the problem. Should have done that years ago. But know it is all torn out and new.

To keep moisture down, you need a good fan that is sized properly for your space. You need makeup air so the moist air can exhaust and be replaced by air coming in from the hall or where ever. If you don't have a nice gap under your door, you will need to trim it, or leave the door cracked. Put your fan on a timer so that it remains running 30 minutes following a shower. This will provide the best results with getting the moisture out of the room.

Got to go, good luck.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 7:57AM
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One way to browse Houzz for bathrooms your size and configuration is to look at the "other photos in project" for second, guest, or kid bathrooms. The master bathroom usually gets the main billing for the portfolio. There are a lot of bathrooms where the vanity, toilet, and bathtub are all on the same wall like your bathroom. There is a huge number of photos on Houzz. I can quickly spend hours on the website. Houzz has replaced expensive magazines for me.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 10:57AM
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Still don't get the 13" depth with respect to wall depth. An IKEA wall-mounted cabinet is between 16 and around 19" (Lillangen or Godmorgon) [the Fullen is a little over 13"]
Wouldn't something like that work?

If that doesn't work, here's an IKEA hack in which they used 12" uppers and IKEA sink. You'd skip the cabinets left and right. Link below with material cost..

Previous suggestion:
>find an old IKEA bathroom vanity.

> I'm pretty sure that even the lillangen vanities were 15".

I was referring to the old IKEA vanities that had a narrow cabinet and the sink then sticking out more, like the one Swisschard posted above.

Here is a link that might be useful: IKEA hack 12

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:25AM
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From further discussions with DH it looks like we will be ripping out those hideous white panel things and replacing them with tile and some form of sheetrock in a few months.

I did notice something else though. In considering the option of a bigger pedestal sink, I noticed that the piping going to and from the sink is spread out and it looks like there isn't a pedestal wide enough to cover all the piping. In order to cover all the piping, we would have to rip out one or two tiles from the floor, move the piping, and reinstall tile and grout in that spot. I don't think hubby would be too excited about this...

It might be a possibility to cover most of it and have one pipe sticking out, if it can somehow be covered up so it wasn't so ugly...I guess? Hmmm...

Regarding those bump-out sinks, that is definitely something I'm considering as well. Considering a lot of things right now.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 5:50PM
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