The true start of the remodelling of my home’s “1” bathroom (as opposed to the “½” bathroom, which also needs a floor-to-ceiling refurbishment) began this month. Earlier this year, I spent an inordinately large amount of time sleuthing my way through wallpaper removal in this room. Now, the real work began, in earnest, with a big fit and a raggedy start.
The room, aside from the primed upper wall and few other patches of white provided by fixtures, was an explosion of yellow, what one might imagine as the remnants of a cataclysmic event involving Big Bird. Correcting that eyesore was not the main objective for this day, however. Measurements had been made for a new tub and shower with surround. This was going to be involved, as it turned out. On inspection, it was found that the wood underneath the tub area had been victimized by water leaks over the last 80 years, to the dangerous point of nearly giving way under the weight of the massive cast iron tub. Before any new fixtures could be installed, the floor needed replacement, and the underlying foundation and joists needed partial rebuilding.
The foundation and floor replacement and tub removal took place on a Sunday. All day. 7:00 a.m. through to nearly 9:00 p.m.
That blue wall. Ugh. There had previously been a plastic surround crazy-glued over the blueness. The surround was in six parts and at least 40 years old. Even if they weren’t manufacturing plastic tub surrounds 40 years ago, this one was definitely showing that degree of aging. It could only be removed in shards, which created a hazard – the slicing of gashes in hands and arms – that I hadn’t anticipated. When the jagged, moldy, fractured surround was completely removed, the wall was the wholly unappetizing color of alien baby vomit flavored with chocolate squiggles.
It also turned out that the walls surrounding the tub were finished after the tub had been placed in the bathing alcove. And, the tub was wedged about three inches below the level of the bathroom floor, on a slanted concrete pad. Removing the tub was an ugly job which involved cutting away part of the plaster wall (fine plaster dust on everything!). Once the tub and the lower portion of the plaster wall behind it were removed, it was apparent that several of the wall studs had been rotted away with decades of water seepage.
The galvanized pipes behind the tub were old, though not nearly as old as the tub itself. There were no pipe-bursting mishaps, thankfully.
Once we constructed an inversely slanted wooden platform to insert atop the slanted concrete pad, and once it was fastened into place, it was time to repair the wall lumber and create a flush wall surface with sheet rock.
All in all, a labor-intensive full day of dirty work. Next up, bring on the new tub and shower!