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zannej

Ensuite #2 for bedroom #3 renovation (work-in-progress)

zannej
7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago
We purchased this home in the mid 1980s but it was built in the 40s or earlier. It came with 3 bedrooms and 2 ensuite bathrooms (with tub/shower combos) and one guest bath that is only large enough for children. The two ensuites both had carpet. It was beige carpet that was already stained and we didn't have the time or $ to rectify that for many years. We spent nearly 10 years overseas (during which time we had tenants from hell who did over $70k worth of damage and haven't paid one cent for it-- our lawyer said they would burn the house down and kill our livestock/pets if we tried to sue them). Because the plumbing was messed up by the tenants, the sewage kept backing up and, unbeknownst to us, broke the wax seals on the toilets so they were leaking into the subfloor.
Wen the linoleum in Ensuite #2 started bubbling up and the floor got softer, I realized we had a problem. We took the toilet off and found that there was carpet underneath it. The wood subfloor was the consistency of mud and was absolutely disgusting. There is also carpet underneath the vanity and it became saturated with sewage. I was unable to remove it without breaking the plumbing for the lavatory so I put a face panel underneath the toekick and sealed it up.
My father was the handy one with more building experience and knowledge. He was helping me but he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in March 2009. I did manage to chisel out the ruined floor panel but the project got put on hold for a few years but I decided that I need to finish it and began working on it again.
Sadly, I did not get any photos of the carpet, old toilet, or even the linoleum before it was messed up.
Photo #1 shows the carpet under where the toilet sat. The torn linoleum is visible.
#2 shows the carpet pad after the carpet was removed. The linoleum was pried up and you can see that some of it stuck to the wood.
#3 shows when I removed the carpet pad. The wood underneath was like mud.
#4 shows after I shoveled out the mud-like wood.

After taking out the board, I bought a cheap tube of lipstick (I don't own any makeup) and spread it on the toilet flange (after cleaning the old wax ring off). I then took an old cardboard packing box and (after cutting a few notches to allow it to slide to the wall) pressed it down to transfer the mark for a template. I also marked where the water supply line was and cut a hole for that.
Then I took some luan and taped the template to it. I took it outside and used a jigsaw (I know, wrong saw for the job-- circular saw would have worked better but the one I had was too heavy for me to hold with one hand) to cut the luan. I drilled and then cut the hole for the flange slightly larger to allow for expansion and contraction. It fit like a glove. I secured it with decking screws every few inches along the perimeter.
(continued in next post)

Comments (77)

  • zannej
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    Ooh, I discovered if I pin something to my Ideabook, if I paste the url it includes the picture in the post!
  • zannej
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    With this new knowledge of being able to get images to link, I'm going to try to see how many I can fit.
    There were four tub/shower surrounds to which I took a liking for various reasons, but none of them had everything I was looking for.

    The first one had a nice glossy finish and a long shelf on the back.
    Aqua Glass Interlocking Seam 59-in W x 29-1/2-in D x 60-in H High Gloss White Po · More Info


    The second had nice glossy curved corner shelves.
    Aqua Glass Avondale 60-in W x 32-in D x 58-in H High Gloss White Polystyrene Bat · More Info


    The third had a nice glossy finish, diamond tile pattern, 6 shelves near corners, and a somewhat long lower shelf on the back. I felt that, while the corner-ish shelves looked neat, they wasted space, and they weren't really in the corners. The shelf was not as long as I'd wanted.
    Aqua Glass Vero 60-in W x 32-in D x 58-in H High Gloss White Polystyrene Bathtub · More Info


    The fourth had a nice curvy design on the back wall, but, other than the lower shelf, it didn't serve much of a purpose as nothing could be set on it. I think it is pretty though. It also had some nice shelves on the side walls, although I think on one side, it might interfere with the fixtures (not sure though). The part I kept from it was the top part that juts in to the shower.
    ASB 60 in. x 32 in. Aspiration Bathtub Wall Set in White · More Info


    I did a Frankenstein job in GIMP and slapped some of them together to make the final image.
    zannej's bathroom ideas · More Info
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  • suzanne_m
    7 years ago
    They are pretty. Nice job on making your perfect one! The image you did look as a photo of a real tub surrounds you could buy on internet. What price would you sell it? :)

    Does it matter if the depth of the surrounds is 32 or 29.5 in.?
    zannej thanked suzanne_m
  • zannej
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    Thanks! It's not quite perfect. I think I would want a shelf or two on the left wall as well, but I wasn't sure of the best spot for it that wouldn't ruin the look. I would also need to get actual measurements and check to see how things felt when standing inside of one that size-- to know if the shelves were in the right place. If the back shelf is too high or too low it might get in the way of elbows or hands when moving around to wash. I think I did the lowest shelf a little too low to be useful-- unless it was for stuff that would be accessed while just taking a bath.

    I wish the 3D printers out there could use whatever material we wanted to make stuff and that they were more easily affordable. I've heard of some really awesome stuff being made with 3D printers. I'm fairly certain there aren't any in my entire state though. It would be awesome to be able to design stuff and print it out.

    It would probably have to be at least 32" or else it wouldn't go all the way to the edge of the tub and there would just be a gap-- which would look ugly. If it were a little wider than the tub then the edges could be trimmed off or covered with some trim.

    I'm still trying to locate a good shower caddy. The one I liked (that looked better in person than online) apparently rusts very quickly. There were two very similar ones from the same set.

    InterDesign Rain Shower Caddy · More Info
    Which is the smaller one.

    and
    InterDesign Rain Wide Shower Caddy, Clear · More Info


    Both had the rust comments and were said to be too close to the showerhead for taller bottles.

    I may have to sacrifice looks and go with something like a wire coated in plastic like the one in the ugly bathroom.
    http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/24082798/thumbs/Ugly-Bathroom
  • zannej
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    I went to the AquaGlass site to make a suggestion and discovered that they have discontinued ALL of their products. :-(
  • suzanne_m
    6 years ago
    That is disappointing :(
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    bubbasgma, It was at http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/9855136/thumbs/zannej-s-bathroom-ideas
    Yeah, projects are slow-going around here. Life keeps throwing lemons our way and things interfere. Like trees falling on the barn and pickup truck and then some medical issues. It seems we fix one thing and two more things break. So any progress at all makes me happy.

    Meanwhile, I'm probably having some pipe dreams here (pun intended) but I started looking at options for showerheads. Initially I was thinking of just keeping the one I have, but then I saw some of the options out there:

    The Posi-Temp lever won't work if I decide to go with a Moentrol (which has more options- it allows for control of temperature AND water pressure). They do make the Kingsley ones for Moentrol though. They now use the a different escutcheon which has a snowflake etched on one side for cold and a sun on the other. It is the standard one for Monticello and Kinsley Moen fixtures. I can't tell the difference between the Kingsley tub spout and the Monticello one but they are different part numbers. The Monticello used to have an option to have a porcelain handle but it was discontinued. I think the parts can still be purchased though. I found them on amazon.
    zannej's bathroom & laundry room ideas · More Info

    Here is the Monticello one with porcelain handle
    Moen M3808 Monticello Diverter Tub Spout, Chrome · More Info


    The one that will work is part 95602 (for the handle hub) and a separate lever that screws into it.
    Moen Product Reviews and Ratings - One Handle - Moen T3129CPC from eFaucets · More Info

    I've heard that lever can fall off and break if unscrewed though. Not sure how durable it is.

    I think this might be the current escutcheon for the levers
    Moen 97466 Monticello Large Replacement Lever Handle Insert in Porcelain & Chrom · More Info


    In terms of showerheads, I liked this one because it raises the showerhead up and out a bit.
    https://www.houzz.com/photos/8-wall-mount-rainfall-showerhead-with-s-type-offset-shower-arm-with-escutcheon-phvw-vp~9515960

    I liked the shower arm from the Moen Waterhill collection. I mostly like the flange for the arm.
    Moen 94986 Chrome Plated Escutcheon · More Info


    The escutcheon and lever for that one are pretty too, but the tub spout is odd

    Instead of the waterhill showerhead (which is pretty expensive) there's this:
    Moen Waterhill Rainfall Shower Arm and Flange Kit - S113 · More Info

    or
    Waterhill chrome posi-temp® tub/shower · More Info

    Possibly
    Vitalize chrome one-function 7" diameter spray head rainshower showerhead · More Info


    Straying from Moen there is a very cool rainshower/handheld combo from Zoe Industries called Atlantis 6.
    Isabel chrome one-function 7" diameter spray head rainshower showerhead · More Info

    The arm would raise the showerhead about 10 inches and it has the handheld shower to boot.
    I would use it with a Moen escutcheon for the arm though
    Moen chrome one-function 5-7/8" diameter spray head moenflo xlt showerhead · More Info


    I'm still trying to decide which valve trim I like better. Kingsley
    Atlantis 6 Chrome Rain Shower to Handheld Shower Head · More Info


    or Monticello
    Moen AT2199 Shower Arm Flange, Chrome · More Info


    I sort of like the look of the Kingsley better.

    I do like just the flange on this one though
    MOEN Kingsley 1-Handle Moentrol Valve Trim Kit in Chrome (Valve Not Included) · More Info


    Oh, almost forgot to show my shower rod (this one I *do* actually have already)
    MOEN Monticello 1-Handle Valve Trim Kit in Chrome (Valve Not Included) · More Info

    (or at least something similar).

    I'm seriously pondering getting
    Brizo RP37079 Shower Arm and Flange, Chrome · More Info
    (which holds 10lbs)
    or
    InterDesign York Spring Tension Rod, Polished/White · More Info
    which holds 15lbs to hold the shower caddy (instead of hanging it on the shower arm). That is assuming I don't just have a makeshift thing where I stick bins on the wall with suction cups. I found some plastic coated wire baskets and suction cups at the Dollar Tree. I could probably create my own shower caddy. It probably wouldn't be very pretty though.

    When there was a big sale at Lowes I got:
    Gatco 5285 Franciscan Single Robe Hook, Chrome · More Info


    Gatco 1265AC Victorian Style Wall Hook with Chrome Finish · More Info


    Gatco Franciscan 18 in. Towel Bar in Polished Chrome and Porcelain · More Info


    I got an extender for the toilet paper holder so it can hold Mega rolls.
  • suzanne_m
    6 years ago
    Thank you bubbasgma.

    zannej, I know at one point you mentioned about how to add an image in a discussion. I know how to add it when the image is already in Houzz. But how do you do it when the image you want to post is initially anywhere on internet?
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    To add an image from somewhere else on the internet you copy the url of the image and then click Attach Images. It will open it up as if to view files on your computer. Instead of actually uploading it, you just paste the url in place of the filename. It will make the image show up at the bottom. I don't know if there is a way to get it to be in the middle of a discussion though.
  • suzanne_m
    6 years ago
    I don't understand your explanation. Let say I take the example of the Moen Monticello. Where did you take the image: from amazon.com or from Houzz? If you took it from amazon.com, how did you move it to Houzz?

    You say that you don't know how to get it in the middle of a discussion but I see it in your comment of 4 hours ago.
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    suzanne_m, the links in the middle of the discussion are linked to specific things on my Ideabook from Houzz. Basically while in my "bathroom ideas" idea book I clicked the "Add Photo or File" icon and then "Add photo from website". Then I pasted the url from amazon and if an image actually showed up, I selected it and then copied the description from amazon and pasted it in the description text box on Houzz. Sometimes I added some notes and then posted it. From there, when I view my ideabook I click on the specific image and it pops up a window to view a larger version. This changes the address in the address bar to the direct link to that item in the ideabook. I copy the url and paste it in to the discussion.

    Now, sometimes amazon (and other sites) have a thing where if you mouseover the image on their site it pops up a little window to show the zoomed in portion of where your cursor is hovering. In this case, Houzz will often not detect that there is actually an image on the page and it will not let you link to it. So I either have to click the image to get the popup for the larger one and copy the url (if it is not a flash applet and will let me retrieve the url) or I have to save the image to my computer and select the option to Upload a File or Photo and upload it (or just put a direct link to the image in the filename bar). Then I paste the description and add the url to link back to the listing on the page. That way is a bit more annoying, but it works.

    If I just click the Attach Images option when posting, it does not give me an option to link to the image within the post, but it will attach it at the end. If I just link to something in my ideabook, I can paste the url anywhere within the discussion and the link will be added but the image will automatically be shown at the bottom of the post. (I haven't been able to put just the image directly in the middle-- if it does show the image in the middle, then I must have different viewing settings bc it doesn't show up for me that way).

    Ps. when I view my Ideabook I select the option to view image thumbnails rather than to view it as an article.
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    Ok, First step, if the image is already in your idea book, you click on the image and it pulls up a window that covers the screen and has the url of that particular item in the ideabook
    How To.. · More Info


    If the item is not already in the ideabook you need to upload it by clicking the button
    How To.. · More Info


    The url that you paste will be converted to the title of the Ideabook after you click "Submit".
    How To.. · More Info


    And the images that were linked will be at the bottom of the post.
  • suzanne_m
    6 years ago
    Thanks a lot zannej for all this explanation. When I have time later, I will try it.
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    No problem. I created an Ideabook with an explanation. I'm not sure how clear it is though.
    http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/24568171/thumbs/How-To-Upload-from-URL-and-Link-to-Ideabook-within-a-post
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Oops. I was wrong about which items I got. My towel ring and bar were from Style Selections and the shower rod was Zenith.
    Stock photo of towel ring
    zannej's bathroom ideas · More Info

    My photo of towel ring in box
    zannej's bathroom ideas · More Info

    My photo of shower rod in box
    zannej's bathroom ideas · More Info

    You can see a little glimpse of me in the mirror. LOL.
    Amazon.com's photo of the shower rod
    zannej's bathroom ideas · More Info

    My photo of the towel bar in box
    zannej's bathroom ideas · More Info

    I have not found that one online anywhere.
    I also can't seem to locate where I put the toilet roll holder. I know its around somewhere.

    Meanwhile, I saw a cool tub surround by Maax at a lumber surplus place
    Here is the sketch the company showed of it:
    White Decora Fan Style Tub Wall · More Info


    And the stock photo they show of it
    Maax® 63" Decora Tub Wall Kit at Menards · More Info


    And the photo I took of it in the store
    zannej's bathroom ideas · More Info

    Its much shinier in person. It is at an odd angle because it was up high on a shelf. One of the employees got a chuckle because some of their signs were up high so far that I had trouble reading them (I need my glasses prescription updated). So the guy slid one of the price list things down the pole so I could see it better. They told me that shower wall kit could be used with different tubs. I'm still missing the corner shelves in that one. I didn't see any Maax enclosures that had the type of corner shelves that I like.
  • suzanne_m
    6 years ago
    Nice findings zannej. When taking a photo in front of a mirror, it is hard to avoid taking a photo of ourselves. Now I can tell all houzzers that your first name is Suzanne but the name Sue has an history of being lazy as in Lazy Suzanne ... since your are not lazy, you have the right to call yourself zanne :)
    zannej thanked suzanne_m
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    LOL! I actually am rather lazy at times. Mostly because I have chronic fatigue. But I do have a lazy susan built into one of my kitchen cabinets.
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    So, I discovered that my lavatory (sink) is plumbed incorrectly.
    zannej's bathroom ideas · More Info

    It has an S-trap and no vent. It should have the P-trap and then go horizontally into the wall and then have a vertical part with one branch going down to the soil pipe and the other going up to meet with the vent stack.
  • suzanne_m
    6 years ago
    It is nice that you find the problems and with time, you will get things fixed and your house will work better for you. It is just sad that it costs money and effort to fix things. Otherwise it is satisfying when one problem is off the list. You should be proud of what you have accomplished so far.
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago
    Thanks. I'm trying to figure out how to fix this one. In most states I could change out the second bend and replace it with something hooked to an Air Admittance Valve-- but those are not allowed in my state.
    Additionally, for that size pipe, I will probably only have 3 to 5 feet distance allowed from the P-trap to the vent.
    It's supposed to look more like this:
    Install a Vanity Sink · More Info

    The vent has to be attached before or at the spot the pipe drops vertically to the soil pipe.
    I now wish that I had been able to pull the vanity out because I might have to pull the wall panel off. I don' really want to have to cut it around the vanity, but I may have to. I wish I could replace the countertop and sink, but that is not something that is necessary.
    I can probably take an exacto knife and score around the vanity to be able to pull the wall panel off without having to break it entirely. I'll have to do a cutout for the soil pipe inside the vanity. Then I will have to figure out if I can route it up into the attic without hitting a joist and either link it to the existing vent outside or if I will just punch a hole in the exterior wall and run it up the exterior wall and around the soffit in the same manner as the other vent.
    I really hate the idea of having to cut through exterior wall, but it may be necessary to get this vented properly. It's too far to be able to route it to the one that goes out through the roof. It's probably over 50ft and that would mean the incline would raise the vent pipe a foot and a half. And it would probably run in to the ductwork for the air conditioner.
    I'm going to have to find a day to climb under and get pictures and map out the plumbing under the house as well as go up into the attic and map out the existing wiring, ductwork, and any plumbing vents.
    I think I need a hazmat suit for those crawls... For the attic I'll need a good LED head lamp flashlight and a machete in case I run into any snakes.
    If there is any insulation up there I bet it has been inundated with mice. It will probably all need to be replaced.
    And I'm going to have to fix vents for the 3 existing sinks plus the ones I want to add. I'm still trying to get some info from some plumbers online in terms of what is ok for the routing of the plumbing and what parts I need to hook things up.
    It is good to accomplish things, but it sucks that these things were not done right in the first place.
  • suzanne_m
    6 years ago
    That one seems no fun to fix :(
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    I just need to stay positive and keep some goals in mind so I will move forward.
  • apple_pie_order
    6 years ago
    A coverall suit would be very practical for attic crawl-arounds and other work. Also, you might consider a cheap digital camera with flash for photos so that your "good" camera doesn't get dusty or dinged up. It might be worth hauling a collapsible lightweight tripod, too, if you are only going up there once to take photos of vents and such.

    The old plumbing is not inspirational, shall we say.

    What's the house history? Any outside photos?
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    apple_pie_order, thank you. I have little LED lanterns and stuff that I can carry or light. My S3 has a very good protective case so I could use it.

    From what I understand of the history of the place, it used to be a peanut farm at one point and there was a smokehouse on the property for smoking meat. The structure for that is gone. At some point the original house burned down and a new one was built. The air-conditioning repair guy said that his aunt and uncle owned the property back in the 40s. It was originally a single bedroom home with the tiny bathroom, the kitchen, and the living room. I don't know if the walk-in pantry is something that was there or that was added later. The northern part of the kitchen had a large wood stove.

    Over the years, two more bedrooms and bathrooms were added on the west side and a large greatroom was added on the east side.

    The kitchen layout was changed when we moved in. The wood stove was removed and put in the workshop (but was stolen by our tenants).

    I don't know how much of the original home was changed before we bought it. I do know that a lot of the craftsmanship was very shoddy. Cheapest materials possible were used. Things are not to code and there is no insulation in exterior walls. Some of the doorframes were not even secured properly and were just floating.

    I do know that the toilet in this ensuite was originally where the vanity is now. Before I sealed it off, I could see where the toilet flange used to be underneath. I think the carpet might have been original which would explain why the toilet was put down on top of carpet.

    Several years ago we replaced the part of the porch that the tenants destroyed (it was completely gone so we had to replace it with concrete), had all new vinyl siding put on, and replaced the cheap black tar-shingle roof with blue metal roof.

    We also had to replace our front doorframe because the tenants broke it when they broke into the house after we moved back (they never gave the keys back so we had the locks changed and they wanted to see what they could steal-- this was months after they were evicted and they had already removed all of their belongings-- and some of ours as well).

    I'll have to work on getting some more pictures later. I may make an ideabook for it.

    Right now I'm waiting for my skin to clear up. I'm on antibiotics and skin cream that I have to use once per week. The doctor said absolutely no going under the house until its completely gone. He thinks whatever it is that infected my skin is something that came from under the house.

    When we first bought the house I used to actually play under it all the time. I loved crawling around and finding weird stuff-- I found a nice blue and white porcelain plate and bowl set once. I was considerably smaller back then though. We've had the home since about 86 or 87.
  • apple_pie_order
    6 years ago
    Farmhouse for a peanut farm, now that is a first on Houzz, I bet.

    Hope your infection clears up soon. There are some areas, clearly, that should be left undisturbed.

    I look forward to seeing more photos. The a/c man may have family photos showing what it was like in the 1940's. During a renovation, it is useful to have photos of every wall in every room, the ceiling and the floors. It helps to show progress, for one thing.
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    That is a good suggestion. I wish I had more "before" photos. The AC guy is tough to get in touch with. I always get an answering machine and he sends his son out to do the work now. The son doesn't want to come out because the last time he was out there was a horrible smell in the hallway. We later found out that a venomous snake had crawled in to the cavity under the air conditioner and died. It was inside the area that circulates air in the house and stinking things up. But it was stuck to some duct tape and we didn't see it until we opened the wall up to patch up the holes in the floor.
    I am hoping to get in touch with the guy and see if he can install our water softener (he does plumbing and electrical as well as air con).
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    I lucked out yesterday. I randomly decided to check on a lamp I'd been eyeing
    Country - Cottage Derby Collection 20 3/4" Wide Chrome Bathroom Light Fixture · More Info


    It had been down to $99.99 from $149.99, but the price was still too steep. I just so happened to catch it on the last day of the sale for $49.95 and ordered it.
  • apple_pie_order
    6 years ago
    Good find, zannej. How's it all coming along?
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    It's been at a standstill since I realized I need some sort of lath down on the floor for the new mix. The old mix didn't need that, but the new mix does-- at least for the wood parts. I'm wondering if I can just use some old chickenwire. Also, the person who was supposed to help me kept putting off coming over and helping and when he did come over, his wife texted him every two seconds to nag him. She quit her job so he had to go out and get another job so he has two jobs and doesn't have time to come help. So it looks like I'm going to have to fly solo on the rest of it. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to block the closet flange and hole for the water supply line. I saw a video where it looked like someone used aluminum foil but I'm not sure what it was.
  • apple_pie_order
    6 years ago
    Chickenwire is a lot like the metal used in some concrete floors. I wouldn't use wood lathe unless that's what is recommended on the underlayment mix package.

    Maybe your friend and his wife will both come out one day. Cookies and lemonade, dinner in the crockpot, make it social?

    I'm impressed at how much work you have done already. Summer is a good time to lay vinyl flooring because it will be softer when warm. The pattern you picked up is simple and classic. New flooring makes a room look new, not to mention it's far easier to keep clean.

    Any new ideas on a tub surround?
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    I've never even heard of wood lath. LOL. The floor is plywood/luan and the mix specified plastic or metal lath. I have some leftover chickenwire from a project so I can probably use that. I think I only need it over the wood parts and I put it over the primer-- which is going to be fun putting on the failed self-level job. LOL.

    My friend and his wife have come out a few times. The wife always wants to leave before much can get done though. The last time he came out it was to help move some furniture and there wasn't time to do the flooring before he had to get back home.

    I'm still trying to find a good tub surround but its challenging. I need something that will work with my cast iron tub. I want a 3-piece or 5 piece unit with corner shelves and some other long shelves. I've seen pictures of the ones with corner shelves, but I don't know where those kits are sold as I haven't found any of them online. I went to Home Depot a couple of weeks ago and they didn't have any tubs, showers, or surrounds in the store at all. They moved stuff around so stuff is harder to find and its rather disorganized. I'll have to check out Lowes again sometime. I'm still trying to find some good vinyl plank that looks like oak wood for the kitchen and laundry room. I want the stuff that clicks together rather than the peel and stick stuff because it would be hell to get the floor clean enough for peel and stick-- especially with all of the cats.

    The initial project started when this was supposed to be our "forever home" but it looks like we'll probably be moving sometime within the next 5 years-- if we can find an affordable place. So I'm debating just leaving the current decor up on a lot of things and then decorating the bathroom in the next home the way I want. Of course, I can put up the stuff I like for now and then take it down and put the old stuff back up later.

    The linoleum-- well, vinyl sheet-- is already cut and laid in to the room. I was hoping it would be final but the self-leveling crud was too messed up. I wish I could find a way to smooth it down instead of having to pour the new leveling mix-- but nothing I tried seemed to work. It really does improve the look of the room. It makes it look brighter and feel larger.

    Terminology can be interesting. Vinyl sheet is often called linoleum. In the floor-laying business they refer to vinyl sheet and linoleum as "rug". I know Linoleum is actually organic and has color throughout and I think it has linseed and stuff in it. Vinyl is obviously using all sorts of non-organic chemicals. Don't mind my digressing. My brain is wandering today. I've been trying to replace my broken garbage disposal but I can't get the old one removed. There is a metal ring which is supposed to be rotated using some sturdy screwdrivers, but its rusted in place and won't budge. I'm tempted to take a hammer to it to see if I can tap it loose a little.
  • apple_pie_order
    6 years ago
    The new fresh self leveling stuff should work just fine. Try a test with the chickenwire in an old cardboard box or something.

    Do you have any Liquid Wrench for the garbage disposal ring? A generous squirt, give it the light taps recommended, let it sit for a while, like it says on the label. Often works for me.

    Yes, our local usage is "lineoleum" when referring to sheet vinyl, too. I'd recommend sheet vinyl over click-together stuff in a laundry room or bathroom because it's water tight and has no little cracks to accumulate cat hair and dust. Light-medium colors are better, IMHO, you can see what is on them!

    Maybe Lowe's will have a good bath surround that you can order. Sometimes good enough is good enough. Perfect is the enemy of finished.
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    We don't have Liquid Wrench. I'll have to see if we have some WD-40 somewhere. It's probably about the same thing. I'm wondering if I can just yank the garbage disposal off of the ring because it actually turns but the ring won't. If I can remove the garbage disposal, then I can get to the screws. I have a cordless screwdriver to remove those, although my friend still has my Black & Decker Matrix.

    The vinyl plank stuff can fit fairly tightly together and doesn't have visible cracks. I've tried sheet vinyl in the laundry room and it ripped, but we did get some really cheap thin stuff. The vinyl plank came recommended as being water resistant and more tear resistant. We would put a moisture barrier underneath of course. It's going to also be the mud-room of sorts so there will be a lot of traffic with stuff being dragged on the floor. It needs to be sturdy.

    You're right about the good enough for the surround. I had to go with good enough for my bathroom floor. I had wanted a specific Congoleum Ultima rug but ended up with one that I didn't even like because it was inexpensive but good quality. It actually looks fairly decent now that its in there.
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    Turns out my wrench was enough to pry that sucker loose. Then I couldn't find the snap ring but a fellow on the plumbingforums told me to push the bottom ring up to find it. It took some light tapping with a hammer and some brute force and then I had to pry that thing off, but I finally got it disconnected. Now I get to clean things up and try to install the new model soon. Well, as soon as my brother gets back with the voltage tester so I don't have to go shutting off things at the circuit breaker.
  • zannej
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    The new snap ring bent when I was installing the garbage disposal unit and I had to order a new one. Still waiting on it to arrive. The old snap ring is too rusted to re-use.
    Anyway, I decided to play around with some crappy sketching of my bathroom. Here is a very out-of-proportion sketch showing my lavatory, vanity, and mirror.
    ZanneJ's Ensuite · More Info


    Then I have the sketch of some proposed changes.
    ZanneJ's Ensuite · More Info


    Since I don't have the wiring setup to hardwire it, I would convert it to plug in and hide the cord behind a board and then behind some corner molding and have it come out under a side shelf to plug in.
    ZanneJ's Ensuite · More Info


    I just need to figure out how to do the conversion properly. I wish I could get in to my attic and figure out how to run wire through there. I'd have to measure to see how far I'd have to run the wire and figure out if I needed some sort of sleeve to protect the wire.
  • zannej
    Original Author
    5 years ago

    So, life has been getting in the way again. Haven't made any progress other than to get the doors put on the vanity. Had a lot of other things to fix inside and outside of the house. I'm hoping to motivate myself to make some progress though.

  • zannej
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Wow, it has been a loong time since I last updated. So, last year my best friend was in a serious car accident and nearly died. He broke his arm, wrist, and hand, in multiple places and had head trauma. His hearing and vision in left eye are now diminished. He hasn't fully recovered yet, but he's back to work and can use his hand again, but it just isn't as strong anymore. He was going to start helping me with stuff but his house caught fire (due to his wife's stupidity-- well, now she's his ex) and is no longer inhabitable. So, he's been living in a trailer that he's trying to fix up. His transmission in his car just went out last week so he had to fix it. He's like a little brother to me and doesn't have many people in his life that he can rely on-- most people take advantage of him or just aren't in a position to help. His grandparents were the most supportive but didn't have the ability to help out. So, my family stepped up to help him out-- driving him to doctor's appointments, loaning him money, buying furniture, taking him to the ER when he had kidney stones, taking his kid to the doctor, and providing emotional support. He's the kind of guy that would give someone the shirt off his back and if he was in better financial state he would be buying stuff for us. But, since he's not, he's going to help with projects around the house when he has the time. Unfortunately, the past two years have been rough for all of us.

    On January 1 of this year the 300 year old oak tree in the center of my driveway decided to keel over and die-- taking out the car port, vehicles, a gate, some of the fence, and dinged the roof on the porch. We had just sold the tractor a few days before so it was spared from being crushed. The guy who bought it came and cleared the tree branches for us and has been helping to mow the lawn and keep the weeds back (he's really a sweet man). A couple weeks after I was in a car accident (someone ran a red light when I was going through an intersection and T-boned me). It led to a back injury that was debilitating for quite awhile. So, I've been recovering from that.

    I had a few pets get very ill and die last month (but while they were alive they needed constant care). I'm just hoping the rest of the year will be kinder.

    The one good thing is that I've been consulting with some plumber friends online and they have been giving me advice on how to fix my plumbing. AAVs are no longer banned for use in this state, so I could probably just use them to fix the S-traps for the sinks.

    If things calm down enough, I'll try to work on my bathroom sometime this week or next week. Probably won't make too much progress since I can't physically do as much anymore. I did get some nail guns and a portable compressor so I won't need to hammer nails anymore.

  • zannej
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    Things have continued to be crazy. I had some health complications from the accident that have persisted and made life difficult. I was anemic and exhausted and now have to take medication. I also twisted my ankle and fell a couple weeks ago so I'm having trouble with that. Three more of my pets died-- the vet here is not very competent. I'm very bad at procrastinating. I also can't remember if I mentioned that I discovered the floor joist under my tub's drain was notched for the drain. Not a single fixture in the entire house is vented properly and I'm probably going to have to gut everything. I've been working on a plan for how to route the plumbing but my friend who was in the accident has developed a bone spur in his neck (due to the vertebrate fracturing) and can't do as much anymore. I can't bend or lift well anymore so I may have to hire someone to do the plumbing work. I had a little bit of money that I was going to use for it but I loaned it to my brother so he could buy a truck that wasn't a piece of junk and I'm waiting for him to pay me back. I'm still having fatigue issues, but I'm trying to get myself motivated to work on things.

    I did get the toilet paper holder and I'm working on the layout for the plumbing vents for the two bathroom groups (mine and the one with the ugly green).

  • zannej
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    I've lost 5 pets thus far this year. The last two were poisoned (either by local hunters or by my former tenants). I'm still having health issues. My unlucky friend just lost his father (the one that my former tenant tried to murder years ago). I do have some new friends that can help with things when they aren't busy and I have to pay them (not bc they are greedy, but because they need the $), but they are often busy and I'm about to go on a trip out-of-state. Still having health issues related to the car accident & probably need surgery, but can't afford it or the downtime/recovery since I am now a full-time caregiver. I did begin some demo on my old guest bathroom (in the [Laundry Room/Bathroom design dilemma[(https://www.houzz.com/discussions/need-help-with-awkward-laundry-room-bathroom-floor-plan-dsvw-vd~536570) that I posted.

    I can't remember if I mentioned it, but the plumbing code for my state was reverted to IPC 2012 so AAVs are allowed again. I'm thinking of putting an AAV inside of a vented wall box for my bathroom (as a temporary solution).

    I discovered that my shower plumbing is accessible from the hall closet-- it's almost all PVC/CPVC.

  • miss lindsey (She/Her)
    2 years ago

    I have to ask, I can't resist. Who looked after your livestock for six years while you were overseas? That's quite a commitment!

  • zannej
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    lindsey, part of the agreement with the tenants was that in exchange for having extremely low rent payments, the tenants were supposed to care for the livestock. The head tenant was best friends with the chief of police and we wrongly thought we could trust him. Unfortunately, we couldn't. We were told they sold most of our livestock & those they didn't sell were neglected & died. There were rumors that their nephew came over and shot all of our cats. When we got back, only 2 of our animals were still alive (one horse and one cow). We only expected to be gone a short time but the government wouldn't let us return home due to an oversight we were kept overseas longer than was supposed to be legally allowed. I think they liked to ride the horse and the cow kept giving birth and they sold her calves for $.
    If we could do it over again, we never would have left our livestock with them.
    It seems someone in the area still harbors a grudge because another one of our dogs was poisoned.

    Meanwhile, I'm recovering from another accident-- fell down some stairs outside the post office & twisted both ankles. I sprained the left one (which I'd previously broken years ago) and tore a tendon in the right one. I'm able to walk already but not for long periods of time and I can't jump, kick, skip, or run. On the upsdide, I knew where the compression bandages were in the store and helped a less fortunate lady to find ones for her ankle and knee. I took better care of my ankles this time & got some good instructions from my doctor.

  • zannej
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Just lost my oldest cat. I'd taken him to the vet but he was so afraid of going to the vet that he had a panic attack and a seizure. They were afraid to take blood or run tests in case it caused him to panic & die. He took a turn for the worse on the weekend when the vet was closed. I did my best to take care of him & in the end had to just be there for him and try to comfort him when he passed. He died in my arms. I wish I could have done more for him, but he wasn't alone and he's no longer suffering.

    I still need to bury him.

    On a side note, I've had an idea about installing a vanity light in my bathroom. Initially I wanted to have a plug that would go in to the GFCI outlet, but after studying wiring more, I realized that if I open up the walls, I could use the GFCI outlet as a junction. I currently have a single gang box. I want to replace it with a 2-gang and add a rocker switch for the light. I've examined wiring diagrams on how to do it. If it is not already a junction for the adjacent room, it should be fairly simple.

    I got the materials to make a mirror with bullseye plinths, so I might take the mirror that I was gong to put in my bathroom and put it in the guest bathroom instead and build one for mine, but then use it as the door to a medicine cabinet that I plan to make. It won't be very deep, but I'll have to see how far it sticks out so I can decide if I need to bump the vanity light out more-- although, if I set the vanity light higher, it might not be a problem. I'm going to need to redo the top molding-- maybe put in some real crown molding instead of the raw wood strips that are up. And the ceiling tiles are really ugly. I'm seriously thinking of covering my ceiling with luan & gluing vinyl floor tiles to it. Either that or I can put some beadboard on the ceiling.

  • apple_pie_order
    2 years ago

    Sorry about your oldest cat and the loss of your other pets.

    Do you have any current photos?

    Some people find it useful to make a good long list of what needs doing room by room, then mark items as easy, medium, hard, "needs help", and "needs pro". Just making a list is an accomplishment when you are under the weather.

  • apple_pie_order
    2 years ago

    Another comment on postponing work on the house while recovering: sometimes all we can do is to keep up with cooking and cleaning. When there's extra time and energy, sorting out our tools (or just the junk drawer) and decluttering the house and yard can make things look and feel a lot better. YMWV.

  • zannej
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Right now I can't get good photos because the place is a mess and I need to do a lot of cleaning.

  • apple_pie_order
    2 years ago

    @zannej: when you are ready, you may want to start a new post in "Design Dilemma" instead of "Before and After". Posts in Design Dilemma are seen by more people and often get more responses.

    zannej thanked apple_pie_order
  • zannej
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Good idea. Although, I think for the most part I know what I want to do. One of the cabinet doors I put on has fallen off, so I have to figure out what is wrong with the screws or if there was a problem with the holes. I'm thinking of changing the white hinges out for chrome because chrome looks better, but then chrome might be harder to clean. I'll have to see. I wish I could figure out what model my vent-a-lite is. I think it is Broan brand but it is very old and the fan motor and heater have gone out in it.

    I've noticed that in the older parts of my house, there is shiplap on the ceiling. I'm wondering if there is shiplap under the fugly ceiling tiles in my bathroom. I'd rather look at painted shiplap than those ugly tiles.

  • zannej
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I made a little progress working on the floor leveling but still have more work to do. I've been procrastinating a lot & taking care of other issues that came up-- plumbing repairs & such in other areas of the house. I still need to finish leveling the floor & getting it smooth enough to lay the floor in. The bottom of the wall panels peeled off when I removed the painter's tape so I'm going to use beadboard, chair molding, and base molding (which I've already purchased). I have corner blocks so I don't have to miter cut.

    I've decided to replace the crappy glue-up wall stuff that is falling down around my tub with a Delta surround that should fit over the tub. I will also get a Delta Lahara valve & trim for the controls & a Moen handheld showerhead. I need to figure out where I put my shower curtain hooks so I can modify them to stay on. I will probably need a new shower curtain because I think my old one got ripped. I'm seriously thinking of refinishing the tub but I think that would be a lot of work & it takes about 3 days for the finish to cure. I may just patch the scraped part on the tub & leave it at that.

    I need to stop with the procrastinating and get this done.

    MOEN Attract 6-Spray Hand Shower and Shower Head Combo Kit with Magnetix in Chro · More Info



    Delta Faucet Lahara 17 Series Dual-Function Shower Trim Kit with 5-Spray Touch-C · More Info


  • zannej
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    I have the valve but still need the trim for it. I will be using PEX. I also have the copper & sharkbites for a tub spout. I still need to get around to finishing the floor but life has been absolutely crazy & I've been helping my friend fix up his house. I sanded, stained, & poly'd all of his cabinets, helped him install new flooring, helped him install his countertops, helped him install his sink, helped him install a new tub & toilet. I found many of the fixtures for him so he now has a decent kitchen & bathroom. I've got a truck with good gas mileage so I've hauled a lot of stuff for him.

    I'm debating whether or not to replace my tub. I will absolutely need to change the drain as it turns out the morons cut all the way through the floor joist underneath it. I will need to make a box to reinforce the joist (well, my friend will have to bc I've put on weight due to hypothyroid & can't fit under there anymore). May have to see if the plumber can do some of the work though.

    I will try to remove a couple wall panels in my room carefully. If they get messed up I can patch them & paint them. I need to take a look at what I believe is a vent in the wall. Plumbing has to be gutted & I will need to add vents to the fixtures (as none of them are properly vented). I'm thinking I can vent the lavatory out the side wall. It will look ugly on the outside, but I don't care- the house already looks bad there anyway.

    If possible, I might link the lav drain in to the plumbing already in the wall & have it run up through the roof (if the pipe isn't just cut off inside the wall). I need to remember to post diagrams of the plumbing later.

  • zannej
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I'm still having health issues. We got hit with two consecutive hurricanes and had no power for quite awhile after each one. My thyroid doesn't want to cooperate so I've had low energy. Had a Covid scare but turns out it's a sinus infection. My body doesn't want to cooperate. The friend that had been helping me had a stroke so I'd been taking him to doctor appointments and helping him out instead of working on my own stuff. Still trying to get the energy and get my body to cooperate enough to at least finish the floor. Some of the baseboard trim and stuff I bought got broken. A lot of my tools are over at my friend's house.

    I decided to go with the Moen Engage showerhead instead because it has higher gpm. Already purchased it.

    Got a ToiletMaster Lift jack that makes removing and installing toilets much easier. Once you remove the bolts, it slides under the old toilet, you jack it up, roll it out of the way, set it down on something, repair/change seal, raise it back up and put it back in place (you can leave it lifted if it won't be for an extended period of time). If you're replacing the toilet you roll the old one out & set it down, jack up the new one and roll it in place. It comes with guide sticks to help line it up while lowering.

    Once I get over this sinus infection I'm hoping to get more done.


    Moen MAGNETIX 26013 COMBO 2.5-GPM CHROME 6-Spray Rain Handheld Shower - - Amazon · More Info