For your entertainment... my DIY bathroom rehab!
We own a 100 year old brick two-flat on the NW side of Chicago. This is a very common building around here: two 3 bedroom apartments with the same layout, including the standard 5'x8' bathroom. Super solid and heavy construction - It was built back when they built stuff to last, not like today. Builders from back then would roll over in their grave if they could see how houses are built today; I know, I've had a couple... Anyway, some DIYers in the early 70's befouled, err, rehabbed the bathroom which resulted in this delightful abomination:
Nice, eh? Nothing says "DIY" quite like a drop tile ceiling and a garage fluorescent light fixture in a bathroom.
We dealt with it for a couple years, mainly since I was taking my sweet time with the monster project of rehabbing the kitchen and one bedroom on the first floor, while we lived upstairs.
After the kitchen was done, we moved downstairs to enjoy it and started using the bathroom on the first floor. I eventually noticed a couple of the tiles were loose on the window sill/shelf area in the shower. I temporarily sealed off the window area with plastic and duct tape until I was ready to poke around in there (we had an exchange student living with us until September.) So in early October I pulled out the questionable tiles, and found wood and drywall with a clearly *not* impervious ton of thinset on top of it. The drywall and wood had of course turned to mush. So once I started pulling on the thread... you know how that goes.
Floor to ceiling lizard scale tile, glued on to drywall. Sweet!
Can you say, water damage?
Nice hack job soffit over the tub.
My hope was to just tear down the old drywall and put new drywall over the old plaster; tearing that stuff down is horribly messy.
But, echoes of my dad's voice in my head from all those times I helped him rebuild his houses were in my head... "Do it right the first time!" So I went ahead and took it all out. Note the faux subway tiles. They just cut the shape of tiles right into the plaster.
I wish I could have at least saved the original porcelain mosaic tile. I love how that looks.
Unfortunately, the previous DIYers had ruined that idea for me in a couple places, and I was sure water had leaked through those areas, so it was time to gut down to the planks / joists. That was fun. I estimated a good 1100 lbs of concrete there - 2 inches thick!
The subfloor planks ended up being in remarkably good shape. With the exception of the wood around the drains, it was all very solid. I opted not to remove the planks (mistake! But more on that later), other than the sections that needed replacement.
While I had the walls open though, I figured it was a good opportunity to replace the 100 year old plumbing. Having seen the inside of the feed and waste pipes from the kitchen rehab, I thought, "better safe than sorry" and pulled all the metal in the wall and replace it with copper and PVC. (The PVC in this picture are for the kitchen.)
They don't make 'em like this anymore! (well, maybe still in China.)
More in the next post...