My Ensuite Bathroom Reno- Project #2

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Weedygarden

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I did a sketch. I'm hoping it will inspire me to start working on the floor again when it's not cold as f***. It keeps getting colder than it ever used to get here. It was in the 40s Monday morning when I went to the doctor's office around 8:30am.
As for my sketch, I think I'll go with plan 1 bc I think an extra cleanout would complicate things when I can snake from the tub drain if need be..

I'm thinking of building my own space saver bc the one I got from Walmart is absolute garbage & fell apart before I could even put it up. Doors wouldn't stay on. I think I will take the magnetic clasp for the doors & re-use it in the new unit. I may even use the metal pins as dowels for something.

My latest sketch (I eliminated the vacuum breaker thing bc my handheld sprayer comes with a built-in one). I added an overflow to the tub, did some shading, fixed the tub spout to not look like a duck bill, fixed the toilet to look a little better, & added a custom space saver design. I don't need an overly tall one bc I'm only 5'5" and I have short arms to go with my inordinately short torso.
View attachment 52837
Forty degrees is not that cold here. We can put on more layers, longer pants, socks, jackets, hats, mittens or gloves. I feel cold here when the wind is blowing and it is maybe 32 degrees or below. Below zero is really cold. I experienced -50 actual one Christmas when I lived in North Dakota. (-200 wind chill)
 

zannej

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Weedygarden, I spent almost 10 years on tropical islands where it never got below 70 and for the past 15 years or so back here, it rarely got below 50. The humidity is high though so it feels colder than the 40s. It was in the 30s this morning.
 

zannej

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I've talked to my friend and since my arm/shoulder are borked & not getting any better, he's agreed to come help with pouring and spreading more of the leveling mix to see if we can get it leveled & smooth enough to put floor down and be able to put the toilet down. He was worried that the stuff would chip away, but that stuff is solid when the additive is used. I need to work out with my friend what would be a good day & time to work on it.
 

zannej

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So, I've been thinking about the electrical for this bathroom. I will need to repair or replace the vent/light/heater in the ceiling. I intend to replace the triple toggle switch (in a 1 gang box) with triple rocker switches. I need to figure out if the current switch is 20amp and if the heater/vent needs 20amps. I suspect it does because I don't think 15a would be enough. GFCI near the sink looks like it's 15a, which is fine since I'm low maintenance and don't use a hair dryer or any fancy hair stuff. My brother has more beauty products than I do.

I've been told that because different sized wires heat at different rates it is bad to tie different awg ones directly together. So I probably should not run 12awg from a switch to a light that has 14awg wires. But I'm wondering if I can run 12awg to the switch and then 14awg from the switch to the light.

Could I tap in to the power from the GFCI outlet to power the rocker switch that connects to the vanity light? (I want a separate vanity light switch since I only plan to turn it on when I need it and don't want it turning on with the main light). I will use LED bulbs in the vanity light (don't know if that makes any difference). I do plan to replace the existing GFCI outlet with a brand new one as the existing one is very old. I also need to figure out the best way to ground things. I believe the only wires for most (if not all) of my outlets and switches are hot and neutral. I've heard having metal boxes can help with grounding, but only if there is an actual path to the ground. I don't even know if my house has a grounding rod. I've been told that any wires going to the breaker have to be together in the same sleeve or something-- I believe they can be wrapped together in electrical tape, but am not certain.
Would it be better to have the switch above the GFCI or next to it? Or does that depend on stud locations in the wall?
1627598720744.png

I do know that I can't just run individual lines from each outlet to the ground-- they have to go back to the box and then to a grounding rod.

I know that it is not safe nor wise to DIY electrical so I will be bringing in a professional for it, but I want to know how things can and should be run. I like to know how things work and why for my own edification. I also like to be able to spot when something is done wrong.

Wiring on my house was a DIY job from previous owners so it's a mess.
1627598806266.png
I *think* DR = Dave's Room (my brother's room).
No clue what RS and RN are.
I need a better picture that shows all of the labels but I don't know if they are accurate anymore because some stuff had to be changed after my father died & we had the new AC installed. I remember the installer saying that our stove was somehow wired through our AC and that he changed it. I don't know if he changed the labels in the box though.
 
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zannej

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I've decided that once I get more of the leveling mix poured out to fill in some deeper cavities on either side of where the toilet sits, I'm going to put down the foam insulation barrier I have under the vinyl sheet and put down 1/4" luan (rated as floor underlayment). The foam will keep floors warmer & provide a bit of a buffer for the texture of the leveling mix. I'll have to use masonry bits to get through. Then I can put down the vinyl sheet. I will have to remove the old closet flange and install an offset flange because the existing one is too close to the wall (it's about 11-5/8" instead of 12"). I forgot to mark measurements for how deep the area for the door is-- it's about 29-3/4" or so. Three sheets of plywood should cover the room if I run them perpendicular to the sheets underneath-- which will stagger joints and make for better support.

I can use some 3" or 4" PVC pipe to raise the flange up and make a platform for my toilet out of two boards stacked on top of each other with a hole cut for the drain. I figure a 2x12 (to give a little extra wiggle room) and two 1x6s next to one another (since I can't find 1x12s for a decent price).

I might add the riser at a later date when I'm ready to work on the drains and vents for the other bathroom as well.

The pex pipes are run to the shutoffs but I need to pull out the old copper supply lines and replace them with the supply lines that are on the way from Amazon. I *think* my friend may have accidentally reversed hot & cold lines though so I might need to pull the sharkbites off and switch them. Worst case we can just cross the lines over for now though.
 

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Did you solve the wiring riddle? Dad and I built this house in '74, neither of us being electricians, not sure if I had a drivers licence yet. It's a weak area for dad. I remember a guy came and helped with the wiring, he worked for the phone company, not an electrician either.

Now I have the skill set to do it right. I rewired much of my house in '18. It was mess! None of it made sense, obviously done by folks who didn't know what they were doing. I tried adding one circuit at a time at first. But I ended up ripping most of the wires and breakers from the breaker box and starting over. At least now I know it's done correctly.

There was a big issue with grounds. Most of the very old outlets in the house were made for a 2 wire connection, not 3 wire. So I had to replace those, had run new wire etc.

That was another issue, some rooms only had one outlet. I added 10 total, 5 in my kitchen.

I'm still not done, I still need 4 connection outlets in a couple rooms.
 
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Neb

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Did you solve the wiring riddle? Dad and I built this house in '74, neither of us being electricians, not sure if I had a drivers licence yet. It's a weak area for dad. I remember a guy came and helped with the wiring, he worked for the phone company, not an electrician either.

Now I have the skill set to do it right. I rewired much of my house in '18. It was mess! None of it made sense, obviously done by folks who didn't know what they were doing. I tried adding one circuit at a time at first. But I ended up ripping most of the wires and breakers from the breaker box and starting over. At least now I know it's done correctly.

There was a big issue with grounds. Most of the very old outlets in the house were made for a 2 wire connection, not 3 wire. So I had to replace those.

That was another issue, some rooms only had one outlet. I added 10 total, 5 in my kitchen.

I'm still not done, I still need 4 connection outlets in a couple rooms.
My place had terrible wiring when I bought. I got a copy og the national electrical code to try and fix it right.

Issues

1
The place had a 4 fuse service entrance intended for knob and tube. A fuse box had been added using connections labeled "tap" which was unprotected bad bad bad.

2
An addition to the front of the house was built over the service entrance so the meter was inside the basement.

3
A fuse box in the back basement had been added by pulling an outlet intended for and electric range and the cord for said range was plugged into the outlet to feed the fuse box. When found that I yelled upstairs to The Princess that I was killing power to the back of the house and proceeded to unplug the back of the house!

4
While rewiring using a drop light to work I noticed the air was filled with a fine dust. Latter I noticed the brand name of the old wire.
Techbestos

The only wire left from when I bought the place is the 3 conductor used for the 2 way switches controlling the light at the top of the stairs.

Ben
 

zannej

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To clarify, I think my friend reversed the hot and cold for my lavatory when he put the lines down. Ideally I'd like to swap them, but worst case I can just cross the fill lines over.

My shower will have a Delta Multichoice valve and Delta Lahara trim.

Never did get the electrical sorted *yet*. I believe nothing is grounded properly. I don't think we even have a grounding rod. Wish I could ask my dad about it, however, I did find a sketch of the house with the outlets marked and some notations, but I need a magnifying glass and /or reading glasses to make it out.

Frodo, I'll do a dry fit of the toilet to make sure the base fits. I know the base part has 1-5/8" distance from the back to the wall and am not sure how far the tank hangs over the back. Whole toilet is 28" deep or so.
 

Frodo

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If you are g
To clarify, I think my friend reversed the hot and cold for my lavatory when he put the lines down. Ideally I'd like to swap them, but worst case I can just cross the fill lines over.

My shower will have a Delta Multichoice valve and Delta Lahara trim.

Never did get the electrical sorted *yet*. I believe nothing is grounded properly. I don't think we even have a grounding rod. Wish I could ask my dad about it, however, I did find a sketch of the house with the outlets marked and some notations, but I need a magnifying glass and /or reading glasses to make it out.

Frodo, I'll do a dry fit of the toilet to make sure the base fits. I know the base part has 1-5/8" distance from the back to the wall and am not sure how far the tank hangs over the back. Whole toilet is 28" deep or so.
If you put the terlet on a base, the base needs to be tight against the back wall and caulked.
the bottom needs to be sealed [caulked to the floor]
this is a sanitary issue
typically, the base is installed and the base board follows around the base
 

Peanut

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Mine wasn't the first old structure I've rewired. I found that for me... I had to sit down and sketch the entire wiring lay out of the old wiring... Every detail even it I have to run continuity checks.

Then I sketch out entire house the way I wanted it to be. Afterwards I'd sit and study the 2 drawings for a couple days. Next would come a 3rd drawing, the final version. Doing it this way allows me to get away from a "piecemeal" approach (room by room), and wire the whole structure as a single unit. This greatly simplifies the entire lay out. And makes it easier to physically run the wiring.

About old wiring. I don't like re-using "high use" segments of wire. Like the wire/outlet that feeds the refrigerator. Over 30 years that wire will carry more electricity than any other circuit in the house. I replace all high use lines. It might a porch light you've left on 30yrs, a fridge, a freezer, a well pump or the outlet granny plugs her electric heater into every winter, any high use line. Or the grounds! I replace all of those.

The problem with high use lines... Copper and aluminium are used as household wiring because of naturally occurring free electrons in these elements. They make good electrical conductors. Over decades of continuous use the number of free electrons in a single wire goes down. This increases the natural resistance in the wire. The wire itself begins to act as a load in the circuit with a voltage drop, much bigger than most would guess. Resistance in the wire also produces heat, which begins to break down the insulation around the wire... Now you have a fire hazard! Yes, electrical wire "wears out" over time.

I replace it! If I'm already rewiring or adding circuits to a 200amp service, that's the best time to go ahead and replace old lines that are most likely to become a fire hazard.
 
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Frodo

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wiring a house is pretty simple if you keep it simple
terminology i use is the wire from the meter to the room. is called a home run
typical 200 amp breaker box has 20 spaces for 40 circuits
a 220 breaker uses 2 spaces a single pole uses 1 space
range, hvac, dryer will use 6 spaces
kitchen , fridge, dishwasher, lights, gfi plugs 5 spaces
3 bedrooms 3 spaces
hall an bathroom 1 for each 2 bath 2 spaces
garage and outdoor lighting 1 space
that is 17 spaces out of 20 for the panel,
wiring
run a home run from breaker to light switch each room
daisy chain from that switch to each plug

home run to hvacv, range, fridge,dishwasher
home run to kitchen light switch
gfi breaker to kitchen outlets
gfi breaker to bathrooms
gfi breaker to garage outlets and any outside outlets
 

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I have the code for wiring and understand the "short-cuts" that are common when wiring a house.
I choose to wire each room on separate circuits, One for the outlets and another for lights. I then add high use or dedicated outlets on separate breakers. I use the next larger AWG wire size to limit voltage drop below what is code accepted. It takes more wire and more runs but I can kill the lights in one room without affecting other areas. I can use a drop light if the lights are out to work on the outlets and run a temporary extension cord from an adjacent room to run a power tool if the outlets are off. It takes a larger breaker box but overall It is easier to live with and troubleshoot in the future.
 

Frodo

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I have the code for wiring and understand the "short-cuts" that are common when wiring a house.
I choose to wire each room on separate circuits, One for the outlets and another for lights. I then add high use or dedicated outlets on separate breakers. I use the next larger AWG wire size to limit voltage drop below what is code accepted. It takes more wire and more runs but I can kill the lights in one room without affecting other areas. I can use a drop light if the lights are out to work on the outlets and run a temporary extension cord from an adjacent room to run a power tool if the outlets are off. It takes a larger breaker box but overall It is easier to live with and troubleshoot in the future.
My BIL is an electrician These are his words concerning the yellow Romex 14 gauge
Shits damn good for tying a ladder on the rack of your truck , thats about it
 

zannej

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I like the idea of separate rooms on separate circuits. I don't like 14 gauge, I'd rather run 12gauge just in case. Costs more, but I figure it's better for higher voltage stuff. 14 is fine for low voltage things, but I don't have much low voltage stuff in my house. I'm going to show the diagrams to my friend and have him use testers and we will go through and try to figure out which switches & outlets go to which breaker and then figure out why so many of them are not working. I suspect degraded wires now that its been mentioned. Renovations happened in the 70s and I don't think any new electrical (other than the front closet) has been run. I believe Dad reversed some of the wires though. Gonna get my friend some electricians gloves (he already has the grounded boots) and make sure he has the right screwdrivers for electrical when we do testing. He is a certified electrician & he's wired his own house as well as other people's houses. He mostly does cars, computers, and arcade games. I do have a book on electrical.

Frodo, do you think the Toto Drake would fit with baseboard behind it if the wall (with no baseboard) is only 11-5/8"? Not terribly thick baseboard- maybe 1/4" thick. Worst case I could use that very low profile glue up stuff behind the toilet. I plan to water seal and paint the base, put caulk under & around the closet flange, and caulk around the entire thing. The vinyl sheet I'm putting down is modified looselay (so it gets perimeter tape). I'm getting those hinged flanges that you can open up to slip around pipes. I may take some PVC couplings, carefully cut them in half or split them so they can wrap around the pipe to hold the shutoffs up a little bit, and then glue or tape them shut.

I watched some videos on prepping a floor for vinyl sheet. Saw an interesting "trick" about caulking but am not sure it's a good idea. They said to push out the bead of caulk then spray lightly with a 50/50 mix of water and dish soap so that when you run your finger through the caulk to spread it, it won't stick to the floor or higher than you want it to on the wall. I also saw they were saying to use staples to put down luan over the plywood if the plywood is messy. $25 a sheet though. I'd need 2-1/2" sheets for my bathroom and about the same for Mom's. 6 sheets to be on the safe side. I will test the strength of my pneumatic staple gun on a scrap piece to make sure it doesn't shoot all the way through. I doubt it will go through the leveling stuff though-- that stuff is hard as hell.

I wonder how hard it would be to remove all of the defunct metal pipe under the house. It gets in the way when I try to crawl under there.

Another question-- about plumbing vents. There are some trees somewhat near where I'm going to have one of the vents-- can I put some sort of screen on top (the type to keep birds & rodents out)? Like this thing?
Also, for the closet flanges that say they are either 3" or 4"-- will just regular pipe fit in or out or would a 4" hub fit on the outside? Trying to figure out what type of closet bend to get. I found this 5-1/2" tall closet flange that might make it easier to extend the length of the pipe.
I also need to find some sort of shower surround to stick back up around my existing tub and patch a big scrape on my tub. I really don't want to pull the cast iron monster out.


I really appreciate all the feedback. Even just discussing it makes me happy. My friends and family are sick of my babbling about all this. LOL.
 

zannej

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I forgot to mention that I'm going to be adding beadboard wainscoting directly behind the toilet so that will bump the wall out even more-- but, I will do a dry fit with the toilet base with beadboard and other stuff in place before I decide whether or not I need to move the flange forward. Is there enough wiggle room at all to bump a flange forward a teeny bit from the base to the pipe where it comes out of the floor & is surrounded by floor leveling concrete? Or would I need to chisel away the concrete part?

I wonder how much of the wiring was updated in the 70s and how much of it was original to the addition in the late 40s and if any is original to the house when it was first built in the 20s or 30s. The wire going to the water heater looks like it's aluminium. I'd love to replace that with something better. But, we don't have drywall- we have flimsy wood paneling so getting the panels off without breaking might be tricky. I wonder if drywall tape and mud will take to wood panels. LOL.
 

bamadeb48

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I want to take out my tub, step up and just put a shower stall but can’t afford it, I’m afraid as I get older I’ll end up falling. I live in a mobile home.
 

zannej

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In my mother's bathroom we are replacing her tub with a shower-- but mostly because the old tub/shower is a one piece ugly green fiberglass unit & the floor of it is cracked. We're going to be putting in grab bars for hers. I'm tempted to add at least one grab bar for mine since I'm not as steady on my feet as I get older. I figure when I'm working on the walls I can put my own backer boards in.

Does anyone know of a type of direct-to-stud shower surrounds that can fit around non-specific tubs? I wish the Delta 6-shelf style one like my friend got could work with my existing tub, but I don't know if the tub has a flange. I don't care for the tub that comes with it-- too slippery and bows out (curved) so it's harder to step into. Worst case I suppose I can get a glue-up and put up some sort of waterproof cementboard behind it. I do want something with shelves. My old glue-up one is falling apart & the shelves have turned yellow/orange after 30+ years of the iron sediment in the water.
 

zannej

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I've decided I want to put blocking in the wall in case I want to add grab bars in the future. I figure it's good practice to be prepared ahead of time. I can put up 2x10s between the studs using hidden flange joist hangers for pieces where I can't screw from the other side and screwing through those I can secure middle pieces. Center of board would be ~36" from tub floor. I can use the same method in Mom's bathroom.

Since I don't know what sort of walls I will be putting up for the shower in here I will wait to decide if I want prefab walls with plywood backers. I think for my shower a single 16" grab bar on the side or rear of the shower should help (so I can hold on to something while washing individual legs/feet) without slipping.

As I mentioned with the other bathroom, I will have a vapor barrier over the studs.
1638743809906.png
The pink is insulation. Probably not needed for an interior wall, but it wouldn't hurt. I suppose I should have used this picture for the other thread. LOL.
 

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zannej

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Thanks, Frodo!

Since I'm adding the toilet platform, should I just cut the pipe flush with the top of the platform instead of the floor? Then put flange in and secure with brass screws to the platform? I plan to use extra long screws to attach the platform to the floor but screws will be hidden under the toilet and caulked & painted over.

Internet is sucking right now. I'm trying to load the price of the 4" diameter 2' long pipe but I think it was around $21. But, that with a regular flange could work to get past the joists. Finally got some pages to load but not seeing a flush fit flange. Now stuff is giving errors on loading because my internet is throttled. Edit: Lowes finally loaded and the pipe is around $13 but I still haven't seen the flush flange thing.
 

zannej

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I confirmed that somehow my friend reversed the hot and cold lines when running them. He wants to just leave them but it bugs me so I want to switch them. He doesn't understand why it bugs me so much. LOL. He's going to hook up the supply lines for me so I'm going to have him pop the shutoffs and I'll go under and swap the pipes. He won't have to get under the house. Need to put towels down to catch water and make sure water is shutoff before doing it though.

@Frodo, is this closet flange OK? I watched a video on the installation and the rubber collar gets moved up to make the fit more secure and there should be enough wiggle room to adjust flange rotation to make sure it is right. I'm worried that if it is solvent welded it might have more of a chance of getting messed up. But, I can always set the flange in the 4" PVC pipe before connecting the elbows & other fittings if that kind isn't right. I've seen some people say the stainless steel flanges are better but others say they rust/corrode and bend.

Looks like OD for 4" sch40 pipe is 4.5" so I'll have to make sure I have a big enough hole cutter. Would 4.5" exactly be fine or should I go slightly larger. I need to look in the workshop for the cutting tools and see if we have one. If not, I'll see what options are online.
 

zannej

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Friend said we can use a reciprocating saw instead of a 4.5" hole saw. Just need to drill some holes in various spots (particularly the middle) cut some lines from the center to the edge of the hole, and then come back with the saw to cut the pieces off. For other holes (for smaller pipes-- like 1.5") I want a hole saw though. Need something to fit a 3/8" max chuck. My drill can't fit bits larger than that.
 

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