Remodeling a Master Bathroom | Part 1





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Published on Jan 31, 2019

We partnered with Lowe's again, but this time we're remodeling our master bathroom! In part 1 of this 2-part series, we are planning, demolishing, and roughing in the plumbing and electrical.
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The bathroom in our house, like the mudroom, hasn't been updated since it was built in 1983. Normally, that wouldn't be a problem, to update it, you could just add some new fixtures and paint the walls. But this bathroom has a funky layout. There are two showers and when you walk into the room, you look straight at the toilet (and anyone who may be on it). So rather than just updating the cosmetics, I've decided to completely remodel the bathroom by changing and simplifying the layout as well as doing some much needed beautification.

This plan involves removing the dedicated stand-up shower at one end of the room and transferring the toilet to its more discrete location. The shower/tub combo that is also in the room will be replaced with a more modern, tile and glass shower. And in the awkwardly-large space that the toilet once occupied will house a soaking tub.

Moving these fixtures also means moving drains and supply lines from under the floor. I am quite fortunate that I have access to these lines from my basement shop. So I had to reroute and replace some of the drain lines to accommodate the new toilet position, switching around the shower, and adding the tub. While the room was gutted, I also wanted to add some new lighting and a new vent fan. It's going to be a lot of work, but we're going to tackle it one piece at a time.

Demolition can be the most daunting and/or the most fun part of any remodel. Most homeowners have a natural affinity to smashing holes in their walls, which is completely understandable. But in our case, there are very few elements in this room that need to stay. I poked around before the hammer fell and discovered that one wall scheduled for removal was housing some crucial vent lines and water supply lines that go to the second floor. I am very happy that I figured that out early so I didn't unintentionally ruin something else in the house.

After that, It was time to break things. We carefully removed the vanity and counter-top that will eventually be reinstalled, Ginny smashed some unnecessary walls, and Josh ripped out a bunch of drywall. Most shower/tub inserts have a lip that is covered up by drywall, so don't worry about being careful not to ruin the walls, it's easier to just replace the sheetrock where necessary later.

Once the inserts were removed and the toilet was taken out, I ripped up the linoleum floor and removed the ugly wallpaper. I patched any holes in the walls that were staying, but other than that, we had a clean slate.

I cut out the old toilet drain pipe (it wasn't disgusting), the old shower drain, and the old shower/tub drain and started from scratch. This was a lot of measuring, cutting, and gluing in fittings, but they all finally lined up with the holes in the floor.

Disclaimer* if you aren't totally confident in your electrical abilities, hire an electrician!

I ran new lines to two boxes above thew vanity for new sconce lighting and also went up into the attic and ran new boxes for three more ceiling lights. Two pendant lights would hag above the toilet and the tub, and I added a moisture-rated, recessed light above the shower. I also rigged up a new light switch and exhaust fan.

Again, we'd like to thank Lowe's for sponsoring this project and check out Part 2 of the Bathroom Remodel.


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