the huntrods zone - personal

Bathroom Renovation, August 2015

You can click on any small image to see an enlarged photo.


Before (sort of) 2015-08-17

As with the kitchen reno, I didn't take a clear 'before' picture before I started tearing stuff apart. This photo is just after I removed the trim pieces from the front and sides of the upper bathroom vanity.

bathroom reno 2015

After 2015-08-27

bathroom reno 2015

Starting out 2015-08-16

Today I started the main bathroom renovation by removing front trim piece, side trim and t.p. holder from cabinet. Then I cleaned the area under front trim piece and filled holes and divots with solvent-based plastic wood.

I went to disconnect the faucets, but found the shutoff valves frozen open. I went to Home Hardware and purchased four ball valve shutoffs (two for here, two for the lower bathroom) plus a set for the laundry room (washer). I turned off the house water and then replaced all the valves.

I also removed trap and disconnected faucets. Finally, I found and loosened the clips holding the sink in place, and verified that it would come out OK.


Cabinet preparation & Tile purchase 2015-08-17

Today we went to Tile City and purchased tile (porcelain, marble look, 24 x 12, 8 pieces). Once back at home, I remembered to take the "before" photo of the bathroom (oops, the trim piece was removed).

I then removed the sink, removed 4 screws from the formica countertop and removed the countertop. It turned out to be surprisingly easy. After that I started sanding the filler where trim was.

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Cabinet preparation 2015-08-18

Using some cardboard strips, I fitted them to the rectangular sink cutout template, then fitted the template over the opening. Even though the opening was circular and much smaller than the template cutout, I was able to test fit the sink. I then traced the pattern onto the plywood countertop.

I removed the taps and drain from the old sink, cleaned out the drain, then disassembled the drain and taps and cleaned everything with vinegar.

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Cabinet preparation 2015-08-19

Today I began by cutting the sink pattern into the countertop. I cut a small piece of plywood to fit missing arc at the front of the sink opening using my band saw. I sanded the fill piece, then glued and clamped it in place. I cut a strip of thinner plywood to underpin the cutout, then glued and clamped that in place.

I cut a 3/4in thick plywood rectangle (about 8" x 13") to fit a cutout in cabinet base that used to be part of a laundry chute. I fitted the piece, then cut scrap to make cleats to attach it. I then attached the cleats and the fill piece with 1 1/4in deck screws and drywall screws. Finally, I filled the gaps and levelled the area with filler.

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Tile cutting 2015-08-20

Today I started by sanding the front of the cabinet where trim was and sanded the 8x13 cutout area inside the cabinet.

I started cutting tile to length by measuring my cuts, then marking then with a framing square and red sharpie. After verifying the measurement, I applied green 1" masking tape to the side NOT to cut. After again verifying the measurement, I cut tiles with my Ridgid tile saw. I cut 4 tiles this way. Then I measured the width of both sides and cut two side tiles from the fourth shortened tile. That gave me three full width tiles plus two narrow end pieces (5 3/8" and 3 5/8"). I measured the sink gap at 19 1/4in, then cut one tile to that measurement (sharpie then tape as before). Using this tile, I cut thin pieces for the front and back of the sink (around 2" and 3"), and trimmed the remaining piece to 5 5/8" for the backsplash. Finally I set the tile saw fence at 5 5/8" and cut one full tile into four (4) backsplash tiles. I cut one of these tiles to match the counter end piece widths (5 3/8" and 3 5/8"). Last, I marked a 5 5/8" center in the 19" backsplash tile and cut the ends off. I cut the center section to create a fancy diamond pattern. Finally, I cleaned the tile saw.

One of the neat ideas I had for the tile saw was noticing that the little water pump that lubricates and cools the blade does not like running in the 'tile water'. It's meant to sit in the plastic tray and recirculate the water. However, once the water gets gunky, the pump can clog. I decided to take the pump out of the tray and set it in it's own large bucket of clean water. I also opened the drain plug and routed the drain into another bucket, allowing me to cut all the tiles today without having to worry about changing the water, nor about the operation of the little pump (which worked perfectly all day).

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Laying countertop tile 2015-08-21

I started the day by sanding the backsplash. I then applied a dilute weldbond (1:6) solution (as per the weldbond instructions) to the cabinet plywood and the backsplash.

I mixed up 10lb of Mapei Ultraflex-2 cement in 1.1L water as per the instructions. The cabinet is approx. 22 x 66 in or 10.5 sq.ft. which is about perfect coverage for this amount of cement. The sink opening will reduce the actual cement required. Based on tiles cut, the tiled area is about 8 sq. ft. or a bit less.

After the cement was ready, I applied a base coat to then counter, then the notch coat, then back buttered a tile and set it in place. As each tile was set, I confirmed the alignment front and side as well as levelness with my 4ft. level. Over the course of the job, there were some discrepancies between tiles in places but well within tolerances.

After the cement had set for a short time, I applied additional cement to the front and side edges wherever there was a gap. This is not for appearance as the edges will be covered by the sink or the wooden trim piece, but it does finish the edges nicely.

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The remaining cement (one yogurt tub's worth) was set aside to create a little "sand castle".

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Shopping, counter trim and drains 2015-08-22

First thing in the morning, we went to Nanaimo Rona to purchase Mapei Ultracolor Plus grout (the quicker setting and curing grout) in a "Sand" color (closest to General's "Fawn"). We also purchased another small tub of Ultramastic Eco for the backsplash. We tried to purchased a hemlock trim piece for counter edge and some PL400 to glue it in place but found neither. So then we went to Home Hardware in Ladysmith and again no hemlock, but we did find the 'caulking gun' size of PL Premium (for less than the smaller tube!!!) as well as a really nice plastic mitre box. Finally we drove to Duncan Home Depot to buy the hemlock casing (7/16 by 2 1/4 by 16 ft, cut by me into 2 x 8ft lengths). We also bought a 6ft piece of 1 1/2 ABS pipe for the drain reworking.

After we got home, I measured and rough cut the casing to length - 66in and 2 x 23 in for the upper bathroom, plus 48in and 22 in for the lower bathroom (next reno). I cut notches in the side pieces to fit tile cutouts done in a past reno where older trim was located, then used green tape to dry fit the casing to obtain exact final size. Finally, I cut and fitted the trim, then coated the back with diuted weldbond. I applied the PL premium in a zig-zag bead down the center of the casing, then pressed the trim into place. Assured of the fit, I tacked the casing with my air brad nailer - first the sides, then the front piece. It looks really good. I then coated the entire casing with dilute weldbond as per Fred to resist the grout.

Finally I cut the ABS drain pipe just behind the trap, and test fit the new trap to ensure proper alignment with the new sink. I measured and cut a 6in piece of ABS pipe for the riser from trap to sink tailpiece, and then tested the sink installation and drain fitting. Once I was sure the fit was good, I cleaned the pipe and fittings and glued them in place.

Tomorrow the grout for the counter tile.

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Counter grout & backsplash 2015-08-23

Started today by preparing 1lb. (454 g) of grout for the counter. Applied the grout using a ziplok as a 'cake decorator' bag, then smoothed with my epoxy grout trowel (hard rubber). Let set for 30 min, then cleaned up with a sponge and two buckets of water. Thanks to the grout trowel, almost no cleanup required.

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The grout instructions indicate Ultracolor Plus sets for use in 3 hours, so after 3 hours I started preparing to install the backsplash. I started by measuring and cutting the brass trim. It didn't cut well with a hacksaw, so moved to my metal chop saw. Cut 3 pieces to approximate length, then tested the fit and did final cuts with 45deg bevel for joints. I applied the trim, first with end tiles and tape (to fit), then used staple gun to hold the trim. Once the trim was in place, I applied mastic and then started with the two end tiles, working towards the center. Finally I applied the diamond pattern in the center. Used cardboard pieces to space the tiles off the counter and trim, then matched the grout lines for horizontal spacing. Used 2mm spacers to get the diamond and triangles in the center 'just right'. Since the backsplash is porcelain tile, the mastic will take more time (2 days approx.) to dry before I can grout (so 8-25-ish).

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Last thing today I painted the leftover cement 'castle' red. Soon it will be garden art.

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Basement tile & Cabinet painting 2015-08-24

We took the old bathroom countertop to Habitat, except they don't take countertops with holes (sink) in them. So it went into the dumpster. Next we went to Tile City (just across the street) and returned the two unused counter tiles, then bought five (5) shiny black 12 x 24 tiles for the lower bathroom counter as well as a piece of 1/2in by 8ft black tile trim.

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When we arrived home I pulled out the cardboard & plastic spacers as the mastic has had sufficient time to dry (it takes longer with porcelain tile) so the tiles should not move now.

I removed the cabinet doors and hardware, marking everything for reassembly after painting. I then masked the counter frame in preparation for final sanding and painting, including the inside of the cabinet under the sink.

After lunch I sanded the cabinet frame and did some final filling. Then I masked off all the areas where I don't want paint (floor, wall, edges, etc.). I then painted the cabinet with it's first coat of cabinet white, including the interior cabinet base where the patch had been installed. Even with just one coat, it looks pretty sharp!

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After supper I gave the cabinets a second coat of cabinet white.

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Cabinet painting 2015-08-25

I started the day by sanding the removed cabinet doors, then filling dings etc. in the side and back.

We then went to Home Hardware Ladysmith to pick up another can of cabinet white paint plus other supplies (fine brushes, frog tape, sandpaper roll, white silicone caulk).

After lunch I sanded filled areas of the cabinet doors, then filled dings etc. in the fronts. Once sanded and cleaned, I painted the first coat of cabinet white onto the back and edges of the doors. While that was drying, I returned to the bathroom and used frog tape to mask off the top of the counter, then painted the top of the wood trim. Again with frog tape for edges, I gave the vanity top another coat of white and touched up any bits that needed touching up. I was able to give the trim two coats of paint while doing the touch-ups, so removed all the frog tape when I was done. I then returned downstairs to give the door backs and edges a second coat of paint.

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Cabinet door painting & sink installation 2015-08-26

First thing I gave the cabinet doors a coat of paint on the outside. I sealed and painted some trim in the bathroom, then gave the doors a second coat of paint.

After measuring 1lb of grout and the required water, I prepared the grout for the backsplash as per the directions. Once ready, I grouted the backsplash, again using the Ziploc bac as a 'cake decorator' bag to pipe the grout into the joints. After smoothing with the hard rubber grout tool, I waited 30min and then cleaned up the backsplash using a sponge and two buckets of water, again as per directions. It looks great.

One cabinet door had a ridge of paint on one side, so I sanded that down then re-painted that door. After all doors had dried for about an hour, I gave them a third coat of paint. Once they have dried overnight I'll reinstall them.

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In the afternoon, I verified the sink placement then taped the opening for location and caulking purposes. Using some clear silicone to create a water tight seal as the tap trim piece is hard plastic, I attached the taps to the sink, verified alignment and tightened the keeper nuts.

After supper, I fastened the tail piece to the sink, then attached the stopper and control rod. Finally I attached the supply lines and verified everything was secure. I laid a bead of white silicone caulk around the sink opening and gently lowered the sink in place. After verifying the sink alignment, I smoothed the caulk with a wet finger and removed the tape. It wasn't as great a job as I hoped, but I've always had difficulty smoothing caulk. Still, it looks pretty good. Last think was to connect the supply lines, check for leaks (none so far), then fill the sink and again check for leaks. So far, so good and the sink is holding water. There is a small leak under the sink; it appears to be coming from the main trap connection. I will monitor.

Last thing in the evening, I cleaned the screws and hinges for the doors and then installed the hinges to the cabinets. I also installed the drawer pulls and the cabinet magnetic catches.

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Door installation & final touches 2015-08-27

As soon as I got up I installed the magnetic catch plates on the cupboard doors, then installed the doors on the hinges. The type of hidden hinge used in this cabinet makes re-installation a breeze; no adjustment required as the center screw 'locks' the alignment in after initial installation. I then applied grout sealer to the backsplash and gave the counter a second coat. After final pictures, the bathroom reno is DONE.

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Main Bathroom Reno 2015-08-28

I applied a second coat of grout sealer on the backsplash this morning, completing the reno.


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