DIY Master Bathroom Renovation - Part II

Home. Part II.

This is post is part of a multi-part series on how we demolished our master bathroom and re-built it ourselves with quality materials and great design.
  1. DIY Master Bathroom Renovation - The Demolition
  2. DIY Master Bathroom Renovation - The Build Up
  3. DIY Master Bathroom Renovation - The Finishing Touches
  4. DIY Master Bathroom Renovation - The Final Product

When we last left you, we showed you pictures of the demo job in Part I.  Looking at those pictures make it really hard for one to imagine what the final product would look like, but we promise, it looks awesome!

Warning, it gets a little technical here.  This is all of the boring stuff that vitally important to have a great looking and durable bathroom.  Stick around, because the pictures in Part III will be worth it!

Note, do not be afraid of a project of this size.  It's entirely doable for a regular DIYer.  Take your time and if it looks bad, do it over!  We sure did - more than once.

Here’s a high level breakdown of the tasks for our renovation:

Demolition – Remove vanity, sink, mirrors, drywall, toilet, floor tile, subfloor (it was damaged).  This was by far the most difficult part.  We tried to salvage the subfloor, but the tile was fixed to the subfloor with an adhesive which made removal without subfloor damage nearly impossible.  Plus, some of the subfloor had minor water damage.  As Mike Holmes would say, "we're going to Make It Right."

Subfloor replacement – This required building additional reinforcement perpendicular to the joists in place.  The subfloor needed to be entirely removed, up to the perimeter of the bathroom and bathtub, but wasn’t cut evenly on a joist.  Hard to explain without pictures, but there were none taken at the time.  At this point, the room looked like a war zone.  We had to put down two layers of subfloor due to joist deflection.  Without it, the floor would flex just enough to cause problems for the tile in the future.

New double layer subfloor in place

Decoupling membrane – You may have seen a product called Schluter-Ditra by Schluter-Systems on the show Holmes on Homes.  It’s this waffle looking orange thing that is applied to subfloor.  In a nutshell, it helps prevent or eliminate grout line cracks and cracked tiled.  It does this by de-coupling the subfloor from the tile.

 Schluter-Ditra tile underlayment

Greenboard - We replaced all of the damaged drywall with mold resistant green board.  The most difficult part is taping and smoothing out the joints with sandpaper.  For a novice, that took the longest to get perfect.

Hardibacker Cement Board - This product was used for the walls in the shower area.  Most folks just apply tile right on top of this stuff, but it's not truly waterproof.  Using Hardibacker was not necessary in the shower since we were using the Schluter-KERDI described below.   Only the most anal people go this route.

Schluter-KERDI - This product is also by Schluter-Systems.  It's basically a waterproofing membrane that the tile adheres to.  It's applied to the walls using a layer of thinset (the tile mix stuff) and will make your walls 100% waterproof.  We put this on top of the cement board, and wasn't necessary.  You can apply it to drywall or greenboard and have waterproof walls.

If you stuck around through all of that, awesome!  Do not be afraid of this level of renovation.  In the next post we will detail the costs of the materials and show you what tile we picked out and where to buy it.  Stay tuned!

<3 mk and jeff

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