The Bathroom II: Plaster’s Revenge – Part I

When we first moved into the house, we had to have the toilet replaced upstairs so it would be usable by our four year old, and in the process, tiles were torn out and needed a fix. So, we embarked on our first remodel, and were thus introduced to the use of plaster to repair walls in the house. While we were satisfied at the time with the work we did, we’ve come a long way in removal of wallpaper, repair of plaster, and painting in other spaces of the house.

In the intervening years, the ceiling began peeling due to all the excessive moisture in the room. We also didn’t have a fan in there, so moisture tended to hang around, which wasn’t ideal for a space like that. With the remaining time left during my Winter Break, and the availability of our fathers around the holidays, we figured it was best to pull the trigger and go ahead and get it done while it was chillier outside, in the event we had to be without a shower for a few nights (spoiler alert: we were…).

On December 28th, we had a 12 sq. yd. dumpster delivered where we could put all the products of our destruction from the room. Last time, we stashed the tiles and leftover plaster behind the garage, and I ended up hauling it out to the curb each week until it was finally gone, so this time, we did our best to get rid of it all at once.

Mark had visited a few weeks earlier to check out the room and pull a few patches of trim so we could get a handle on what everything would entail. We planned to have Mark and Diana come out and stay in a hotel here in town for a few nights while they helped with drywall, and I had my Dad come out the day before to get the wiring done for a new power outlet and a new ceiling light+fan.

Before Dad could arrive, I had to get the demolition done. I spent Monday and Tuesday tearing out the long wall by the door, and then focused on getting the wall by the window down, followed by the ceiling. I did my best to keep the shower and toilet covered so they would be usable for as long as we could, but that only continued for another day. Our progress slowed down on Tuesday quite a bit, mostly because the ceiling took me some time to work around while not damaging things. We went ahead and pulled the toilet out and the old vanity, the latter of which we put out by the curb (it was gone by the next morning, so hopefully it found a new home).

Another thing: before Dad came, I had to pull up all the insulation from above the bathroom and, believe you me, it was the absolute worst!! Thank God we have a billion masks around here (for obvious reasons…), ’cause if I wasn’t wearing one, I would have inhaled all kinds of dust while pulling up insulation. But yeah, I think I ended up with 7 or 8 trash bags full of insulation by the time we were done with demolition, including from the outer walls in the bathroom itself.

Dad came by on Wednesday as planned and, as became the theme of the entire ordeal, things went slower than we wanted to. I went to the store a few times to get electrical boxes and Romex wire, while Dad took some measurements and figured out how to get the fan wired the way we wanted to the light switch. We had two switches first and expanded to three: one for the vanity light, one for the light/fain, and one for the nightlight built in to the fan. We also only had one electrical box in the room, so we daisy-chained it up and over to drop it down between the toilet and the new vanity (that we didn’t have yet…).

A note on that: we ordered a lot of the stuff to be delivered by Lowe’s, but weather got in the way and the delivery was delayed from Tuesday to Wednesday. It didn’t end up being a huge deal, but it was one more thing for me to pay attention to, distracting me from other aspects of the project. Brooke ordered drywall, trim, the vanity, and some other odds and ends, so that saved us the need to get the stuff ourselves (and rent/borrow a truck to do so with…). We picked up the vinyl floor we wanted from Menard’s the weekend prior, strapping it to the roof of the Outback. Worked out alright!

Anyway, demolition took three days. We had a few small bits to finish up on Thursday, but by the time Mark and Diana rolled in Thursday morning, we were pretty much ready for them!

But for that…we’ll wait for Part II… 🙂

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