Emergency Bathroom repair (Long)

loves2cook4sixJune 6, 2012

Hi folks

I'm an "un"regular/regular over on the cooking forum and received tons of advice from the kitchens forum when we remodeled our kitchen a few years ago. I am cross posting this on the remodeling and kitchen forums as well to get as much help as I can so thanks for your patience.

We were away on vacation for three weeks and came home to a leaky toilet in our master bath. The water damage extends from the floor of the bathroom where the subfloor buckled thus cracking the tiles, down into the ceiling and walls of the first floor under the bathroom and further down into the wall of the basement bathroom.

Our insurance company has sent a water mitigation company out and they are in the process of removing tile in the bathroom, drywall in the bathroom and from the walls and ceilings in the rest of the house that were damaged. They also had to take out our "new" floor under the wet walls on the first floor.

It looks like we will need a new floor for the entire first floor of our house.

I am here for advice. I wasn't planning a bathroom remodel as I actually liked my bathroom 0:). It looks like we will need to retile the entire bathroom as the floor tiles go up the tub surround and up the entire walls of the shower.

I really, really, really don't want this to end up costing us more than the insurance payout but on the other hand this is an opportunity to update the bathroom a little. The only change I would like to make, is to possibly put in a bigger soaking tub as the one we have is a little small and shallow. I think the bigger tub will fit in the same space as there was a fairly large surround.

The old tile was grey but I am thinking of going a very light cream or beige now to match with the rest of our house which is warm colors but the fixtures will stay white. Also we will stain the old cabinets which were pickled pink!!! oak a dark brown color and get a new counter, faucets and sinks which will be on our expense.

What I really need from this forum is advice on what to look out for as they remove and dry up the water and then as we reconstruct the bathroom especially as I have not had enough time to do lots of research.

Then while the ceiling is open in the dining room under the bathroom, I am going to see if dh will let me put in some lighting which we've been talking about for the last oh 10 years or so. The thing is that this room is now used as a dining room by us but it is farther from the kitchen than the living room and so new owners, if we ever sell, would most likely not use it as a dining room but as a living room. What lights should we install? Recessed, chandelier, other?

Finally, I am going to need advice on the floor. We have an engineered wood laminate floor that runs through most of the first floor and the ENTIRE floor is going to need to be replaced. Which actually is not a bad thing because it seems we were ripped off and have had tons of problems with water damage from even as little liquid as a spilled drink which was wiped up immediately. So now I get to choose a new floor and I don't want the same problems. We do however need to choose something that can flow from one room to the next and function well without getting damaged from spills. Advice?

If you've read this epic post - THANK YOU! and i will really appreciate all the help.

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I know you! Having recovered from my kitchen, I would like to redo my master bath but have been held up on trying to find a way to improve the shower. I stop over here on occasion to see if I can find inspiration. So sorry you have all this to deal with.

I think your ideas are good. Making the bath blend with the rest of the house is good, just keep in mind that it doesn't have to match if you want a little different personality. The larger tub adn less surround sounds good too. The lighint issue is hard to picture, but I don't think you can go wrong with a modest number of recessed lights and a chandelier in the center. The box for the chandelier could house a ceiling fan or different type of fixture down the road. Make sure they are on different switches and you will provide a lot of lighting options.

I have an engineered wood floor that has been down 6-8 months now. We ran it through the kitchen also where DH drips at the sink and have it at the back door where kids and dogs come in after being in the pool. We had a party where I was surprised at the number of kids who came in dripping. The water wiped right up -- no damage and I was actually glad we didn't still have our tile, because even with the texture, that much water would have had someone on slipping and falling on it. Mine is Bella Cera, but it is marketed under different names in other areas. They did a floating installation but I watched them put glue along all the edges, so that may help seal the edges. There used to be a thread on HGTV that had a series of photos of what appeared to be my same flooring under the Palmetto Road name. Mine is Bella Cera Amalfi Coast by Southern Floors. I can't find that now, but here is a photo from their website that was one of those on HGTV. I'd have taken the house with the floors, but I like them in mine too. ;-)

I can't recommend cork from the stuff we ordered but did not install. I wanted it and would have loved it if it had been something that would clean. What we laid down to check the color with the hardwood was a very different color from the sample, but the real killer was that the floor dust that got on it when we had it down wouldn't clean with anything dry and both the recommended Bona cleaner and a barely damp microfiber cloth created a haze on the finish. Didn't look like anything we could live with so we put the wood down throughout. It's holding up great.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 1:14PM
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I am not an expert, but I have done two bathroom remodels and a laundry room remodel. The laundry room was actually prompted by an unfortunate main sewage stack leak (small) that ruined the floor. Because our leak was slow over time (behind a wall), our insurance company would not pay for any repairs claiming it was a "maintenance issue". You know, because we all regularly open our drywall to check on our plumbing to make certain nothing is leaking.

In any case, I had a company come out to do the water damage cleanup. We had very minimal mold, though I ended up removing significant drywall and an entire layer of underlayment that was all ruined. The disaster cleanup company removed some of the subfloor under a wall and applied appropriate cleaning product to kill off any mold or bacteria. I was not impressed with their "cleanup" as they did not completely remove the underlayment under non-supporting walls, but they removed as much as they could.

Ultimately I would recommend making certain that the treatment company is thoroughly removing damaged material, using any appropriate cleaning products to make certain the remaining material (such as joists or subfloor) are free of mold and mildew, thoroughly drying the area before repairs, and making certain the remaining structure is completely solid before rebuilding. Whatever rebuilding is done in your bathroom should be solid work: appropriate waterproofing in the shower and tub area, good underlayment under tile (I highly recommend Ditra).

Someone I know recently had nearly complete water damage in their basement and were struggling with what the insurance company would pay to replace. For example, some of their matched bedroom set (master bedroom in the basement) was ruined, but the insurance company would only pay for the damaged pieces regardless of the set being matching. So you need to find out exactly what the insurance company is covering in your bathroom. Will they cover complete tile replacement if only the floor is damaged?

I'm sorry that you came home to such a disaster. I hope things work out for you and you're happy with the result. If you have any specific questions about how your bathroom should be rebuilt or what materials to use, I hope you'll come back with your questions. This forum is incredibly helpful and I've learned so much from the experiences shared here.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 1:57PM
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Prickly pear is right -- do make sure all damage material is removed and you get everything dry as quickly and completely as possible before anything else happens. Doesn't sound like your situation should be including any mold problems now, and you don't want to start any by sealing up damp moisture. Make sure you know what they will pay for and how much they are going to pay for it so that you don't decide to do some upgrades and then get hit covering more than you expected.

Do you have records or samples, photos of what you had? They might help you make a case for what is needed to give you replacement value.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 3:06PM
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