Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Once all the demolition was done, it was time to move on to rebuilding the bathroom. Despite being excited that the worst was behind me, the thought of all the steps ahead of me was overwhelming.

Before I started framing, we had to make sure the main drain and vent pipe were in the right place and were located out of the way of where I wanted to place my framing.

The worst of the plumbing work was cutting through the existing cast iron vent pipe and replacing a section with new PVC pipe. We had to replace the section because we needed to change how the venting was routed so that we could place the bathtub closer to the exterior wall. In the original configuration, the venting happened on the left side, but with the new pipe in place, we would connect the vents on the right so we could hide the pipes in the wall and not lose any space on the exterior/window wall. Rerouting the plumbing this way should gain 8-9″ overall.

Once the main drain was in place, I moved on to framing the bath and shower area. I started with the easiest wall – the exterior wall. To give us as much room as possible, I installed the 2x4s on their flat side so the wall would only come out 1 1/2″ from the brick. Using tapcon screws, I screws the 2x4s into the brick and then insulated using foil board and spray foam.

We dragged the kids to our favourite bathroom stores. The kids were mostly decent, but Elliott had a stomach bug so spent most of the time on the floor of each store. Our day was cut short, but we managed to find a bathtub and toilet that we liked.

Before we installed the tub, we installed a new subfloor and insulated the wall with Rockwool.

Installing the bathtub was not easy without access from below, but luckily we had a small area in front of the tub that gave us some room to work. Getting the tub level was also harder than I expected.

Once everything was installed and the pipe glue had dried, we tested the tub by filling it and draining it. Emptying a bathtub full of water when you’re not entirely sure if everything is bonded correctly is incredibly stressful.

My kids thoroughly enjoyed turning the bathtub box into a playhouse until recycling day.

Luckily I only really had two walls to frame: the exterior window wall, which was relatively simple, and the long party wall. The party wall was complicated because in addition to having nothing to work with (the wall had absolutely no framing before), I had to make sure that all of my framing was in the right spot for everything that was to come – my vanity, all the plumbing, a niche in the shower, and a custom shelf I would eventually build.

Once all the framing was done, Alex then ran electrical wires through the walls and ceiling for our lights and plugs.

We also drilled through the brick to install the vent. We got my dad to drill the hole because neither of us have the strength or patience to make a 4″ hole through two layers of brick.

With everything we needed in the walls, it was time to close up the room with some drywall!

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