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Ottawa Home Improvement Projects

Bathroom Renovations Part 1 – Issue#8

Bathroom Renovations: Type 1 – Face Lift.

There are two types of bathroom renovations either a face life or a total make over. The face lift consists of doing the basic changes such as upgrading the toilet, vanity, fixtures, floor, tiling and freshening up the paint.  This is a great way to increase the value of your home on a modest budget. The other type of bathroom renovation is the total make over which involves a complete tear out. This is highly recommended when there are other issues involved.  Such as, in many older bathrooms leaking has occurred.  You can determine this by a telltale signs which can be seen when there are deteriorating bathroom tiles, discoloration at the base of the toilet where flooring comes up against it. Buckling or bowing of wall panels in and around the tub or shower walls etc.  Leaking causes rot in the wood member behind and more often than not causes mold to grow as well. Mold is an extremely unhealthy substance which can affect the health of the occupant in a negative way.

Bathroom Renovation: Type 2 – Total Make Over

The complete tear out: The first thing we need to do is come up with a proper floor plan including description of all plumbing fixtures with appropriate measurements. Once the plan is established we go to the next step.  Which is to, take everything out of the bathroom right down to the rough framing.  This means shutting off the water. Removing wall fixtures one by one, including old tiles, drywall, insulation and anything needed to be removed right down to the exterior wall if any section has been compromised.  Once everything has been removed and rotted members have been replaced and any new framing installed including proper blocking for towel bars, fixtures, shower rods etc. Insulation and proper vapour barrier is then installed on all outer walls and ceiling as required.  Then the rough plumbing work is completed according to the plumbing code standards. After all the plumbing work is completed the water and waste pipes are tested for water tightness. At this point, an electrician will have completed his rough in work as well for any receptacles, switches and or fixtures. The new drywall is then installed on all the walls and ceiling ready to be taped and sanded three coats. Concrete board installation is recommended behind all tiled areas at showers and tubs for more durable backing.  Depending on the type of flooring being installed additional layers of sub-floor may be required.  ¼” underlay stapled down works well for a cushion floor. For tile, a minimum 1 1/8” ply wood floor thickness is recommended.  Tiles on the floor are installed in a mortar bed with an approximate grout size of 1/8” using sanded grout between the joints.  Wall tiles on the other hand are installed with a maximum grout size of 1/8” with un-sanded grout. Stay tuned as we talk about painting, finishing and installing your choice of fixtures in the Total make over for part 2.

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