Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Amateurs at work: project #​1 bathroom renovation

The first renovation project we delved into was the basement bathroom. It was the first room to "fall apart." What fell apart was the sink plumbing. You're probably saying "sink plumbing can easily be changed for a few dollars, no need to renovate the whole bathroom." You're right. BUT, the sink cabinet was really dingy and used. Also the shower drain had been clogged since the bathroom was renovated in the late 1970s. During the previous renovation, cement fell in the drain so the shower wasn't usable. Funny isn't it??

So we tore the bathroom apart. Not really sure of how to put it back together!!! With help from my father and youtube (lots of great how-to videos) we were able to put it back together.

Before I show you the renovation process let me show you two examples of what the bathroom looked like (since I don't have a before picture).

1. The toilet, sink and shower were in one non-partitioned room. Very convenient for those who wish to poop on the bowl and shower at the same time. Image from poop report.
2. The tile in our bathroom looked similar to this one but with some flowery tiles sporadically placed.
Image from Ugly House Photos

Here are some images of the renovation process:
The walls of blue flowery tiles were completely removed. On the other side of the cinder block wall is our garage.

This is the exterior wall. The black liner is the 1964 version of insulation. 
Amateur mistake #​1: We weren't thinking about insulation at the time so we did not add to it. Big mistake! The heater works overtime in winter.

Tony jack hammering the cement so as to change the  clogged shower plumbing. 
Amateur mistake #​2: We first tried breaking the cement with a small sledge hammer. Such amateurs!!
In this image you can see the old floor tiles. They were actually very nice, but we raised the bathroom floor since it was 6 inches lower than the rest of the basement floor which made for as very odd step.

Rotting plumbing. This was completely changed.

Heavy, very heavy!
Amateur mistake #​3: We didn't get a dumpster so we ended up filling about 40 cardboard boxes of trash and it took two weeks to get all the boxes out of the garage.

The floor was raised to a more even level with the rest of the basement using cement.

We used cement board on the shower walls because it's mold resistant. Highly recommended.
 Tony hard at work as he muds and sands the walls. We used moisture resistant drywall. Highly recommended.

In tomorrow's blog I'll cover the finishings chosen for the bathroom (tile, shower, sink, etc.). See you then!



  1. wow! that's determination! good luck with the rest of the bathroom reno!! The pretty gets to start soon!

  2. Good for you for doing this on your own. I love Montreal, look forward to reading more about your home.

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