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October 31, 2010 / Mark

Half Bath – Part 1

As we said before, we have some pretty fun plans for the half bathroom. When we moved in, we agreed that the decor in the half bath was… not what we wanted. We looked at a bunch of options to improve it, from putting down a wood floor to re-tiling the whole thing with stony pebbles and earthy tiles. We ended up settling on tiling the floor, putting up beadboard on the lower half of the wall, painting upper half and replacing the toilet and sink.

This is how the bathroom looked before we got started:


A few weeks ago, we took all the tile off the walls. That was the easy part, they just popped off with a tap of a hammer and chisel. We found some interesting things hiding behind the wall too! Check out the newspaper from 1961.

The next step was to get the sink and toilet out. The sink didn’t have any shut-off valves on the water lines, and I mistakenly picked up 1/4-turn valves that were one size too big, oops! With the water still off in the house, I had to make a quick trip to the hardware store to get what I needed.  Once I had the water lines buttoned up, the bathroom sat as it was for another week, waiting for time and motivation to tackle the floor.

We’re lucky to have some very helpful friends. Chris came over to help us remove the tile from the floor, which was a very noisy and dusty experience. We ended up using a pneumatic hammer to blast the tile off, while trying to be careful of the concrete that the tile was set on. At the time, I figured we could just leave the concrete in place and set the new tile down on top of it, even though it would be pretty tall, and the back corner behind the toilet was cracking a little bit.

Then fast forward one more week to yesterday, Jeremy and Erin came over to help us cut and place the tile. We ended up deciding that the concrete should come out, which meant more demolition! At least it was much easier and faster than taking the tiles out. We brought it down to the sub-floor, cleaned everything up and put down Hardiebacker for the tile to set on. I had recently picked up a Ryobi cordless impact wrench, which was an amazing tool for putting screws through the concrete backer board and into the wood subfloor. It was a piece of cake compared to using a normal electric screwdriver! After almost 11 hours of hard work and two food breaks later, here is what the bathroom looks like now:

Once the thinset cures, it’s time for grout and sealant, then we can start working on the walls!

Many thanks to Chris, Jeremy & Erin for all their help on this project!


One Comment

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  1. p. exley / Nov 2 2010 10:38 am

    i like the brick design !

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