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April 2008
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Guest Bath 1

The Guest Bath Project is moving along. There were a couple of things that were a little weird. First up was the tile. They drywalled and then added concrete tile backerboard. Weird as usually you do one or the other.

Builders usually spec these houses down to the last nail and screw. There was a lot of extra labor involved in doing it this way.

Shower wall opening showing backer over drywall with chickenwire mesh.
I used a 4” grinder with a diamond blade to cut the tile and board into chunks to get it out of here. This is the most time effective strategy, but has the down side of being really dirty. They used spray foam on the exterior wall to insulate. After 35 years, you can see the cracks in the foam. One other interesting bit is that it is brittle and disintegrates to the touch.

Tile demo

The Framing

Having gotten that mess out of the way removing the rest of the drywall, we are down to the skeleton. The wet wall is 2×6”, which we will insulate as well as the rest of the bathroom walls. The outside wall is 2×4” laid flat and attached with cut nails. The window being off center is a result of some bad design. The outside of the house has a pleasing balanced look, but as you can see the balance is gone inside.

Shower demo done

Tile Mystery Surprise

Here is a closeup of the wetwall and tub. See that gap? The tub is 60”, and the rough opening is 61” This explains the tile mystery. They had to put the concrete board on this wall to overcome that framing gap. To make the bullnose tile detail come out they had to put concrete board on the other two walls, and get deep bullnose tiles to finish the ends. There was enough room with the plumbing stubs to move this wall in an inch, but they didn’t and this was the result. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise…

Framing surprise. Tub is shorter than framing. Part of the reason for the backer board over the drywall
The Fix

The plumber showed up and replaced the old shower valve and moved the supply lines for the new toilet and pedestal sink.

So I furred out the wall with 1×2 strips, and will cover the entire area with green board. The shower area will be tiled from the tub to the ceiling.

1x firring strips to correct elevation problem

I mentioned that I am not fond Surprises. But this is what makes remodeling interesting.

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