Full Episodes of Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford

Today’s Bath Renovation, Part 1

By: Danny Lipford

In the first of our two-part bathroom remodeling project, we:

  • Gut a cramped, dated bathroom.
  • Remove walls to enlarging it.
  • Rough in the plumbing and wiring.
  • Hang and finish the drywall, including an arch over the tub.
  • Install the bathroom vanity.
  • Add a walk-in closet.

Read episode article to find out more.

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Danny Lipford: This is the before picture of an extensive renovation we’re calling Today’s Bath, wait till you see it when it’s done.

Announcer: Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford, the voice of home improvement, with projects, tips and ideas to help you improve your home.

Danny Lipford: Bathroom remodeling is a project that many homeowners are considering these days and it’s a great investment because it adds so much value to your home.

Well this week and next week we’re gonna really dig down into bathroom renovation on a project we’re calling Today’s Bath. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to work with a bathroom designer, the importance of picking out the right fixtures, and decorative elements that really can help make for a really nice looking bathroom.

And also we’ll look at the importance of natural light and ventilation and just about everything you need to know. Now this particular bathroom we’re gonna completely remove all of the walls and expand this wall into this room to make the bathroom a lot larger.

We’ll also have enough room to create a nice little walk in closet, that’s something that a lot of people have on their list. And we’re gonna correct a problem that’s been around for about 50 years, about as old as this house, and that’s to remove this wall and move it over a little bit to get a nice sizeable hallway.

We’re even gonna tackle the bathroom at the end of the hall to modernize it and make it a lot more useful. Now if you think you’ll ever do any kind of bathroom renovation then get ready with a notebook.

I can’t wait to get started on our Today’s Bath project, it’s gonna make such a difference in the overall look of this house as well as the look and function of the bathrooms themselves.

Now to make sure everything turns out just right we’ve enlisted the help of a talented and very experienced bathroom designer named Cheryl Kees Clendenon and she’s in the bathroom taking a look at the beautiful pink bathroom.

Cheryl as a bath designer I’m sure you’ve seen some fairly ugly bathrooms, this one really needs some help.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon: This one has seen better days. It has seen better days.

Danny Lipford: Now what we want to achieve with this overall bathroom renovation is to take the two bathrooms that we have, this which is fairly small
for a master bathroom these days, and the guest bath that’s on the other side of this wall and basically update both of the rooms, expand them a little bit, introduce a few elements that will be real fun.

So that’s kind of our challenge but to make it a little easier we’ve decided to eliminate this bedroom and give that space to you for your design to encroach in to here, create a nice walk-in closet.

Then later on we’re gonna be building an addition out back for the master bedroom, so we’ll need to allow in the design a doorway going out. But this should give you enough room to work with.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon: Ok, yes it definitely does, this is good space to work with. Now let me ask you a couple of questions, one we’re talking about a tub-shower separately.

Danny Lipford: Yeah, I would want the separate tub and shower I know that in some bathrooms these days people are staying with just the large shower but we want both, the large shower as well as the nice tub.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon: We can jazz the shower up a little bit, make it a little more custom.

Danny Lipford: Yeah, the multi heads I think would be something that would be real appealing and also, just an overall spacious feel to the bathroom and we can even increase the height of the ceiling if we want to.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon: Ok that’s wonderful.

Danny Lipford: We have enough room up here that we can go up and also we’re on a concrete slab but we’re prepared to do any trenching necessary to relocate any of the fixtures.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon: And the windows, we can relocate these windows, or do new windows if we need to?

Danny Lipford: Yeah they’re fairly new windows and budget wise we’d like to keep them in place if possible but I know that can tie your hands a little bit on the design.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon: Yeah.

Danny Lipford: So feel free to move those around or eliminate or even add some really nice feature windows, because I know natural light’s so important.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon: Natural light’s very important, especially for women, maybe not so much for men, but for women natural light is very important, I think it gets overlooked sometimes.

The other thing I think maybe that gets overlooked is taking a bath right like this that’s small, and the typical bath that I see everyday, and it’s trying to enlarge for the family because it is the only family bath.

And also make it look very nice because it’s the powder bath and that is where people entertain as opposed to the master bath and I’m not thinking that anybody’s entertaining in their.

Danny Lipford: Right.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon: We can make, if you’re ok with that, we can take some of this space and allocate towards that if it works out.

Danny Lipford: I think that would be perfect and that makes a lot of sense because it needs to look good but also function well for the family that ends up buying this house, because this house has been vacant for several months.

Once this house is complete it’ll certainly make it more appealing, so what else do you need in order to move forward with the design.

Cheryl Kees Clendenon: I think I need to take a few more measurements and I think I’ve got all the questions answered that I need to know. This is sort of like a puzzle for me and I will try to cut it up in different ways and present you with several options like I would with any client.

Then we’ll talk about the pros and cons of each one and then decide on which direction is best suited for the budget, best suited for the needs of the family, and that sort of thing.

Danny Lipford: Cheryl goes right to work with her assistant Stacy to create a design that will work for our bath. They discuss all of the options to get the very best use of this space as well as the look they want to achieve before Cheryl begins working out everything on her computer.

Now creating the design this way allows her to look at the details of each elevation and she can quickly view a variety of different perspectives. The perspectives give us a good indication of the look and feel of the space.

The floorplan is the road map we need to begin the construction. Now first we’ll widen the hall by about 6 inches and use some of the old bedroom as a walk-in closet. In the guest bath we’ll add a couple of feet to the room and turn the door 90 degrees to make it more functional.

Now this still leaves us with plenty of space for a great master bath complete with a custom shower in the corner, a whirlpool in it’s own little alcove, and a double vanity along the outside wall.

Now while Cheryl and Stacy are making decisions about all the fixtures we need for the bath, Scott and Tim go to work on the demolition. This 50 year old bathroom isn’t just ugly, it’s well built and it takes some effort to gut the entire place.

Because all of the walls and the ceilings are being replaced, everything goes, but the framing of the walls that carry a load. All of the fixtures are moving so the guys also get quite a workout on the jackhammer while they’re creating all the trenches we need for the new plumbing.

Now it’s rare for us to have enough space to build all of the walls we need on the floor inside but we’ve opened up a pretty big area here. Hey while the framing continues here why don’t you check out this week’s Simple Solution.

Announcer: It’s time for this week’s Simple Solution from home repair expert Joe Truini.

Joe Truini: Now most people know that if you’re going to bury a wooden post in the ground you should support it in concrete, what you might not realize is over time a wooden post can actually shrink and pull away from the concrete and become loose.

So to prevent that from happening here I’ve taken several large nails and driven them around all 4 sides of the post, as you can see I then bent them in different directions.

Now what this will do is act like a reinforcing bar in a concrete slab because even if the post shrinks the nails will tie the post to the concrete and keep it stable. So what you wanna do is first of all make sure you use galvanized nails as I did here, or stainless steel nails, otherwise the nails will just rust and rot away.

Then set it in the ground and pour the concrete right up to the level of the grass and slop it away, then temporarily brace the post till the concrete cures. Now in this case I’m setting a mailbox post, but this tip can be used for decks, fences, or gates.

Danny Lipford: We’re back out on our Today’s Bath renovation where we’re taking two separate existing bathrooms and an existing bedroom and kinda reallocating the space to create a spacious guest bath and a good sized master bath, and of course the all important walk-in closet.

Now at this point we have most of the framing completed, Scott and Tim are doing a little bit more to really raise the ceiling up a little bit to make it feel even larger than it actually is.

Now if you’re going through a renovation like this in your own house at this point you better have confidence in the contractor you’ve selected. Now you can easily find a good contractor by calling the homebuilders association, and make sure that you choose a remodeling contractor that routinely does residential bath renovation, that’s very important.

Also check with some friends and acquaintances on good experiences they’ve had with remodeling contractors and then take your time to choose the right one because when you have a situation like this with trenches all over the floor, or holes in the middle of your house, you wanna make sure that the guy knows what he’s doing.

Now that contractor will have a team of subcontractors that work with him, including a plumber, electrician, and a heating and cooling contractor, that’s the team that’s about to take over this job.

The plumber’s already at work and it’s a good thing because he has a big job ahead of him. The existing supply lines beneath the slab have to be rerouted up into the new walls and the PVC drain lines also have to be installed.

Now the placement of the shower valves is critical because there’s so many of them in this custom shower set up and they’ll have a big effect on how well the new owners enjoy this new custom shower.

Meanwhile the electricians are busy running wire overhead to supply power to the dozens of new boxes for outlets, switches, fans, and lights. And before the subs get too far ahead of him, Scott finishes up all the framing of our great looking arched alcove for the tub.

Our plumber has finished all of his work, our electrician is through, now we need our heating and cooling contractor to make it out to the job and run all of the duct work into the different rooms.

He’s also responsible for venting all of our exhaust fans and we’re going to put a vent pipe and go all the way to the outside because you’re relying on these exhaust fans to remove the moisture from your bathroom, you don’t wanna dump it into the attic, which can cause problems with mold or mildew, it needs to be vented all the way to the outside.

Boy you really need a lot of cooperation between electricians and plumbers when they’re dealing in a situation like we have here, this is the outside wall that has the large window we’re putting in it and this is where the two vanities will be located.

And look at the menagerie of wires and pipes with water lines, vent lines, drain lines, and a lot of electrical work all coexisting in this relatively tight space. Now to make sure all of this is being done properly brings up the importance of having everything inspected by the local building officials, they’ll ensure that everything is done to code which is basically the standard that everything should be done.

Now we have a few more things to do around here but we’re getting close to hanging drywall.

Outside the bricks are going back up around the window openings that had to be moved. The HVAC guys get the exhaust fans routed to an exhaust turbine that’s already on the roof of the house, and the insulation goes in to begin closing in the space.

With a bath space like we have here it’s a great idea to insulate every wall, including the interior ones to prevent sound transfer as much as for the energy efficiency. Once the drywall hangers are done covering up all of the studs the finishers can go to work to cover up all of the joints.

Now Mark is gluing a special flexible corner bead around our arched opening to the tub area before he begins mudding the joints. The details are important here because a feature like this arch only works if the lines are clean and crisp.

Mark our drywall finisher did a really nice job on the little lazy eyebrow arch that will kinda frame up this area that later will have our tub sitting right in the middle of it. Now we’ll have to build a little platform, cut a hole in order to position the tub but this should really look nice and some shelving on either side, nice little focal point for this master bathroom.

Now we’re about to get started on that but also we’re about to install all of the doors throughout the bathroom and the closet area. But before we can get to that we’re going to have to have the last window that we’re putting in in place.

Now about a year ago this house had all brand new replacement windows, vinyl replacement windows installed, and so to match up the existing windows we had that company, Simonton, match exactly what we had before with the second window.

And this should really be nice with having the vanity here, a vanity here, and a window right in the middle, you can’t have too much natural light. Now after this is complete we can get to our trim work around the windows, all of our cabinets and all the other finishing touches for this bathroom, but first check this out.

Announcer: Let’s join Danny at the home center to check out this week’s best new product, brought to you by the Home Depot.

Danny Lipford: Weeds are an annoyance for everyone, once you’ve gone through all your landscape beds and eliminated the weeds you wanna make sure they don’t come back.

Now this often means applying a herbicide between weeding and mulching which adds time and money. But this new mulch with weed stop from Viggero bypasses that step because it already contains a pre-emergent herbicide that combats weeds so you don’t have to buy a separate herbicide.

And while regular mulch stops weeds from growing through the mulch, this one goes beyond that and stops weed seeds that are blown in by the wind or dropped on top of the mulch by birds.

It’s priced at a little under $5 for a 2 cubic foot bag, which is almost half of what rubber mulch is and it’s comparable to other premium mulches. Now this one will last about 4 months and it works in a lot of applications, but there’s one important thing you need to remember, it should not be used around any edible, or food producing plants.

Our Today’s Bath renovation is really running smoothly and the bathroom certainly is a lot larger than it was because we used some space where we eliminated an existing bedroom to enlarge this room as well as to create a space for a little hallway that’ll eventually lead to a sizeable master bedroom and we had enough space left over for this space that’ll end up being a very nice custom closet.

But right now it’s just an empty space but when we complete it it’ll have nice hanging space, it’ll have shelving cubicles, pull out drawers, all of that. It’s really important that you spend some time thinking of the design of a closet so that it really can utilize every single bit of the space.

We have this little alcove area that’s part of the closet, we’re gonna make sure that that’s being utilized properly, and we had a little bit of help on the design for this closet.

We used Closet Maid’s online design service and they designed a great layout, which is being installed for us by the Home Depot home services. This is a great way to maximize a closet space because you can take advantage of a professional design service for a fraction of what you might pay otherwise.

These guys really know their stuff and all the closet components go together so quickly, what a relief not to have to worry about this important space. Well it’s not an empty space anymore and it only took the guys less than a day to complete all of the cabinetry in this closet.

Now the design of the cabinets are pretty cool, I like the adjustable shelves so that if the homeowners move in and need to tweak something a little bit they won’t even have to break out a screw driver with the way this is designed.

The glass doors are great, and even glass in the front of some of the drawers, just think of how convenient that would be to be able to see what you have in the different drawers. Now if you’re designing a closet yourself you need to think about just how much space you need to allot for some of the longer clothes you have like dresses or long coats.

Here we have about a 30 inch rod that’s allotted for that, then over here we have two different sets of double rods with the lower rod being about 3 and a half feet off the floor and the upper rod around 7 feet. So this’ll be real convenient for just regular clothes to hang up. Now we’re pretty much complete with everything in this closet, now we need to concentrate on the cabinets and the doors in the bathrooms.

The installation of the door units begins to make this feel like legitimate living space and these warm cherry finished cabinets from Merillat should bring it to life. The master bath set up includes a mix of doors and drawers for maximum flexibility and the staggered layout of the guest bath vanity adds an interesting focal point to that space.

Meanwhile the molded urethane trim starts going in, this stuff is perfect for a bath because moisture has no effect on it at all and it really looks good in this new space.

As soon as we completed the installation of the cabinets we covered everything up with this corrugated cardboard to prevent any damage from taking place with all the other workmen that have to come in.

Now the guys are in the process of installing the crown molding here in the master bathroom and that’s really the last bit of trim work we have to do is in this room. In addition to the crown we have some baseboards that we’ll be installing and of course trimming out all of the windows.

After that we’ll be able to turn it over to one very important person that has a lot of work to do on this job, and that’s our tile contractor and when we come back we’ll look at the start of the tile work as well as kinda take you back a few weeks and show you how we got to this point.

Announcer: Let’s head outside for Around the Yard with lawn and garden expert Trisha Craven Worley. Brought to you by TimberTech Composite Decking.

Trisha Craven Worley: I’m admiring the old brick in this area of the patio that we recently redid. It was damaged by a storm and as you can see it’s all mortared in concrete.

Now concrete, which is certainly used for a lot of patios and in, in this instance for the mortar it needs to be sealed. But before you seal it you want to let it cure for about 30 days.

Now the rest of the patio here is done in a flagstone and this has been down for about 70 years, but doesn’t it look new? That’s because it was just recently cleaned.

Now we cleaned it with a muriatic acid which is highly corrosive so you want to be really really careful when you use it and follow the instructions. But after that it is important to seal the patio, and we’re going to do that with a clear sealer.

Regardless of what kind of product you use it’s generally a porous product whether it’s some kind of stone, concrete, or brick, so you’ll always want to make sure that you’ve sealed it properly. And this is something that I choose to do about every 2 to 5 years on my patio to keep it looking the best it possibly can.

Danny Lipford: Now this is the guy that has a lot of work to do on this project, this is Tim our tile man, he’s already started on our tub back splash and our tub deck.

After all of this is complete we can get the plumber to put or tub in place and then he can go ahead and complete the front skirt part of it. In addition to that we have ceramic going on all of the floor and large custom shower in the back, so there’s a lot of work left to be done on this project but a lot has already been accomplished.

We started by tearing apart the old dated bathrooms in this home so that we could take in the master bedroom to grab enough space for our new design. We built new walls, moved almost every plumbing fixture in the house and even moved a few windows, but the new space is well on its way with new cabinets, tile work, and a cool closet.

This custom shower’s gonna be great and all the tile, you’ll see it all next week as well as countertops, plumbing fixtures, and a lot of very unique decorative features that are going in Today’s Bath, hope to see you then, I’m Danny Lipford.

We’ve had a lot of help on our Today’s Bath project from some very special partners they include Broan NuTone, Eljer, Jason International, Merillat Cabinets, Simonton Windows, and The Home Depot Home Services.

Announcer: For more on the Today’s Bath project, pick up a copy of Kitchens & Bath magazine, a Woman’s Day Special Interest Publication, on sale at your newsstand now.

If you’d like to purchase a videotape or DVD copy of this week’s show, visit our website at dannylipford.com or call us at 1-800-946-4420.



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