Full Episodes of Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford

Today’s Bath Renovation, Part 2

By: Danny Lipford

Our complete renovation of two dated bathrooms moves into high gear as we complete all the finishing touches, including:

  • Put in crown and other moldings.
  • Install composite vanity countertops and sinks.
  • Tile walls in a horizontal mosaic tile pattern.
  • Install ultra-quiet bathroom vent fans.
  • Lay travertine stone tile on the floor.
  • Install whirlpool tub and faucet.
  • Put in toilets.
  • Install towel warming rack.
  • Add hinged glass door to walk-in shower.
  • Install bathroom and hall light fixtures.

Read episode article to find out more.

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Danny Lipford: This week is the second and final show on the renovation of Today’s Bath.

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: We’re right in the middle of a two part renovation called Today’s Bath, it involves the renovation and updating of two different bathrooms, one being a very small master bathroom that was in this area and then on the other side of the wall even a smaller bathroom that was kind of the guest bathroom and we’re making them a lot larger by encroaching into this area which was once the master bedroom.

Now, by taking up this space we were able to create this very nice custom walk-in shower than a very long vanity, two different sinks, and this cozy little niche for the whirlpool tub.

Also the existing guest bathroom’s a lot larger, a lot more functional and we had enough space left over by encroaching into this bedroom to create a very nice walk- in closet.

Now, to replace this bedroom, a future project will involve building a master bedroom right off the back of the house, but this week we’re going to finish this one up.

Bathroom renovation of any kind is a lot of work but when you’re doing two bathrooms at the same time, kind of doubles up the effort. Now, we’re lucky that no one’s living here because these are the only two bathrooms in the house.

Now, we’ve gotten a lot of work done on this project but there’s a lot more to be done before we can show you everything complete, but let me give a glimpse of how we got to this point.

We started this project with a very dated, very pink master bathroom, a small bland poorly designed guest bath, and a good sized wide open bedroom to expand them into.

Our designer, Cheryl Kees Clendenon, looked at all of the rooms and met with us to discuss how to get the most out of what we had to work with while creating an attractive comfortable space.

She and her team came up with a plan that added space and functionality to the guest bath while leaving plenty of room for a walk-in closet and a large, luxurious master bath with a custom shower and whirlpool tub.

That’s when our crew really went to work demolition the old, ugly, pink bath the blah, brown guest bath and the walls of the bedroom.

This house is built on a concrete slab so we had to do a good bit of jackhammer work so we could reroute all of the plumbing lines for the new layout. Then we could begin framing the new walls to define the renovated spaces.

We basically gutted and rebuilt about a quarter of this house so it was quite a job, and as soon as the framing was done the plumbers and electrician went to work preparing for the installation of all of the plumbing and electrical fixtures.

On a bath project like this the subcontractors really have to work together because some of these walls are so full of wire and pipe, there’s no room left over at all. All of that handy work was covered up when the drywall was installed over the open stud walls.

The finishing process came next and it was a little tricky in some areas like the nice curved arch over the tub alcove. We got our first coat of paint on all of the walls and ceilings and soon we were ready for the trim detail.

The walk in closet got a completely new organizational system designed especially for that space and each of the bathrooms got a great new cherry finished vanity. The new interior doors and relocated windows went in place and soon the decorative molding was going up in all of these cases.

We even got our composite countertops installed on the two bathroom vanities before things slowed down a little bit, it’s a good thing too because the tile setter was next on the sight and he had plenty of work ahead of him.

Tim, our tile man, has gotten a great start on installing the stone on the floor of our master bathroom and before he runs us out of here, let me show you some of the materials he’s using.

First of all for the floor is a half inch thick 18×18 inch travertine stone, boy this is real popular these days and has kind of a variation in color from dark to light so you can have a little fun with that when you’re installing it on any area of a bathroom.

Now to change it up a little bit when we get over to the shower we’ll be using this material on the floor of the shower and if you had to put all these little individual pieces in it would take forever, but since it’s on a mat like this it goes a lot quicker. But this stuff is fairly expensive so when you use this for say a shower or use this a lot for backsplashes in kitchens it will run up the cost a little bit.

Now to break it up a little bit on the shower once that’s used on the pan itself then we’ll go up about half way using the travertine but instead of using full pieces, Tim will be cutting it right in half for a 9×18 size, now that’ll go up half way.

Then we’ll have this little pencil rail right on top of that, almost acts like a little chair rail that you may have in your dining room. Then above that we’ll go back to the finger cushion tile to finish out the bathroom, now we’ll also use the finger cushion tile around the backsplash as you see here.

He’s completed most of that and what will really look cool is this, you can see he’s gotten a start here and this will continue all the way around the archway and really he has a challenge here to wrap the tile back up against this and terminate right at this point.

Well he has a lot of work to do in here and he’s trying something just a little bit different in the guest bathroom.

Here we’re using a porcelain tile in a modular fashion, which is a variety of different sizes all working together. Now the sizes we’re using here, 8×8, 16×24, and 16×16 really does add a lot of interest to a floor like this. Now you can tell that the ceramic is playing a big part in the overall look of both of these bathrooms and Tim, our tile man, is going to make it look great.

Installing any tile on a diagonal requires more cutting than usual and that takes more time, but it’s especially important to consider that factor when you’re dealing with travertine because this stuff can’t be scored in a snap on a simple tile cutter, it has to be cut on a wet saw, that means more trips outside.

Another thing that’s different about travertine is that the grout lines are almost non-existent compared to the same size tile in another material so each bag of grout goes a little further. While Tim wraps up the floor 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: Every spring I would take my window screens out of winter storage and be surprised how dusty and dirty they were. And like most homeowner’s I’d take a hose and rinse them off but I was never satisfied with the result.

The screens always looked dingy and dirty. So a couple of years ago I discovered a technique that works great for cleaning any window screen.

It consists of a kiddy pool filled with water and a little liquid detergent, and if you can’t find a kiddy pool large enough to accommodate your screens you can always build a screen pool out of a 2×4 draped in plastic.

But the technique is basically the same, you set the screen in and let it soak for a minute or two, then you take a really soft bristled brush, this has synthetic bristles, they are made of polyester, and you use it to just very gently scrub both sides of the screen.

And you want to do the screen and the frame and you’ll notice that the dirt comes right off with just a few seconds of work. And of course flip it over you want to make sure you do both sides.
And once you feel the screen is nice and clean and the frame. Just take it out, drain it for a second, then rinse it off with a hose.

Danny Lipford: Boy, that should look great once that’s installed. Hey we’re back out on our Today’s Bath renovation and we’re at the point where most of our ceramic tile is all complete.

We also have our painting well underway, painters put one coat on all of the walls and ceiling. And we’re very close to having our electrician out to put in all of the plugs, the switches, the light fixtures, and to trim out our exhaust fans that we have in both bathrooms.

You know exhaust fans are a very important element of any bathroom because it’s important to adequately move all of the moisture out of the bathroom and not just into the attic but all the way to the outside. That’ll make your bath last a lot longer and will prevent any chance of any mold or mildew growth.

Now these are a little different fans, not all fans are created the same because I’ve been in a lot of bathrooms where the fan was so loud, and that’s really aggravating. These are not only a very ultra silent fan, but they also have another very unique feature.

One of the biggest problems with bath vent fans is that people often forget to turn them on before they use the shower. And those who do remember to turn them on usually forget to go back and turn them off when the steam has cleared the room.

These units from Broan will automatically sense and increase in humidity in the room and turn themselves on, they will also turn themselves off after a predetermined amount of time so that you don’t waste energy.

In addition to the fans the electricians have to finish the trim out of all the other devices like the switches, lights, and outlets. We also need to trim out the plumbing, but first Tim, our tile man, has to wrap up all of his work on the shower and the tub surround.

Because the travertine tiles are so heavy, each row has to support the one above it until the adhesive dries. The design that Cheryl worked out here is really creating a cool look, but it is taking a far amount of time.

That highlights the importance of checking on installation costs when you’re choosing materials for a bath project because if we weren’t prepared for the extra work Tim had to do here we might get quite a shock when we opened his bill later on.

Behind Tim the plumber goes to work to finalize the installation of all of the plumbing fixtures which also takes a little bit of time because there are so many to trim out. You don’t want to rush through this because a leak at this point could really create a mess.

That’s especially true with a whirlpool that sits in a cradle like this, a leak here could really be a problem to fix. Now, when you’re selecting a tub, several things to consider, first of all the size of the tub that you may want.

This one is a 66-inch tub because we have plenty of room here in the master bathroom, in the guest bathroom we were a little bit more restricted in space so we went with a 60-inch tub which is a fairly standard size for most bathrooms.

Now, you might be surprised when you start looking for tubs at how many bells and whistles there are. This acrylic tub from Jason International not only has air and whirlpool hydrotherapy but also a chromotherapy lighting system.

The controls allow you to set up a perfect environment for relaxation. It even has pulsating jets in the neck pillow, now that’s pretty cool.

When you’re choosing you’re new toilet for your bathroom renovation you don’t have quite as many bells and whistles to consider but here’s a few things to think about. First of all you want the look of the toilet to match the look of your bathroom, here this classic looks works perfect for our bathroom.

Now, this is a two-piece toilet, one piece being the tank, the other piece being the bowl. There’s another option that’s a lot more contemporary looking called a one-piece toilet. Now also a lot of homeowners are realizing that the toilet’s a little more comfortable if it’s a little taller, this one 17 inches off the floor.

Now several years ago it was required that all toilet manufacturers have toilets that use only 1.6 gallons, well that didn’t always work. Let me show you how Eljer approaches this situation to make it work.

Right down in the bottom there’s a three-inch flush valve, 7 square inches of water surface, and when you flush it, it really makes that 1.6 gallons far more effective to take care of flushing. Now we’re moving along on our Today’s Bath, stay with us.

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: If you’re tired of the remulching hassle out in your yard, this best new product may be for you. This colored rubber landscape mulch is made from recycled tire chips and makes a great alternative to replenishing and replacing the typical Cyprus or pine wood mulches, or even pea gravel and lava rocks, that some people have in their landscape beds.

It’s called rubber stuff mulch and they say that it’s permanent because it doesn’t decompose, blow away, or float away in a heavy rainfall. So when everyone else in the neighborhood is spending time and money mulching again the mulch in your yard will look great.

It also comes in a variety of colors like rustic red, bright blue, Cyprus brown, and black and white. It’s nontoxic and safe for both pets and plants but you’ll pay a little more upfront for this mulch, this 26 pound bag is somewhere around $10.

So that’s in the neighborhood of 3 times more expensive than traditional mulch but the real value is that because it stays put you’ll only buy it once.

The idea our designer had to use different size tiles on our shower walls sounded pretty good but now that it’s all been installed it looks great here in the master shower of our Today’s Bath project. Now why would you want to completely cover all this up with obscure glass?

That’s why we chose this clear glass so that we could benefit from the natural light from our window that’s just adjacent to the showers as well as our artificial light to flood this shower with light. It’s really turned out great.

Now, we decided to use a frameless shower door that’s a little more expensive than a framed type door, it’s a little heavier, and this particular one it’s a little taller than most shower doors. So we really had to kind of beef up the wall here to support this heavy door.

We also had to think about this several weeks ago because after all of the tile was installed we had our glass man measure everything, because you can’t cut this, you can’t adjust it once it’s out on the project. So once they were completely finished with manufacturing it, they installed it and it turned out great.

Here’s another little amenity we added to our Today’s Bath and that’s a heated towel rod. Now I’m seeing a lot of these because they’re getting cheaper and cheaper and it’s really nice to, when you start to take shower to turn on the switch, have your towel here, and when you get out of the shower it’s a nice warm towel meeting you.

Now there’s another little idea that we implemented in our walk-in closet that should work just right. Our walk-in closet is completely finished right down to the carpet on the floor and all of the shelves have been wiped clean of construction dust. This closet’s ready for someone to move in.

Now, for our lighting in this closet we have four different recessed lights evenly distributed around the room but one of these lights is a little bit different than the rest. It’s this one, it has an exhaust fan built into it. Now why would you want an exhaust fan in a closet, well a lot of people like to air dry their sweaters.

So you can hang your sweater here with the exhaust fan providing that exchange of air, it’ll dry more quickly and you’ll eliminate a lot of the musty smells that can come along with a closet like this. And I don’t know about you but my wife won’t even let me keep my running shoes in my walk-in closet that would solve that problem.

Now these lights work out pretty well but I love the lights in the hallway. One of my favorite ways to light up a hallway is to use wall sconces. We had one originally at that end of the hallway, we changed it to a new fixture, bought a couple extras, matched them in here.

And now we have a nice even light all the way down the hallway to the guest bath. It made such a difference us moving the door from this wall over to this wall of this guest bath. It gives a lot more room for not only a sizeable whirlpool tub but plenty of cabinets, many more than you normally see in a guest bathroom.

We also offset the cabinets on either side and put a little piece of fluted molding to add a little bit of interest. Countertops look great, solid surface, no seams visible anywhere and the countertop guys did a great job in sealing up the backsplash not only here, where the countertop meets the backsplash, but also against the wall, because if you allow moisture to get into those areas it can really cause you some problems.

Hey I’m really proud of this bathroom renovation and we’ll give you the grand tour right after this.

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: Mulch is a great weed deterrent but contrary to popular belief it doesn’t kill the weeds. First you have to kill them yourself either by extracting them or by using some kind of weed killer.

But once you’ve done that it really is very effective. Now when you do put your mulch down and there are certainly a variety of different kinds, you want to make sure that you’re putting it at the right depth. Now a finer mulch such as this, this is a wood bark but it’s a finer grade, you want to put that about maybe 2 to 3 inches.

Now a denser kind of mulch, such as woodchips, bark, and even straw, you might go 3 to 4, possibly even 5 inches. Make sure that you don’t put it too close to trunks of trees or shrubs because it can attract pests.

Also with those heavier mulches they have a tendency to leach nitrogen from the soil so make sure that you spend a little bit of time giving it a nitrogen rich fertilizer or supplement before you put that mulch down. Also remember that you’ll need to renew these every now and then.

Danny Lipford: Our Today’s Bath project is completely finished and we’ve made a significant difference in this home starting right here at the hallway. We made it a lot wider and a lot more useful. The old hallway was narrow and lead straight into the guest bath at the other end.

That bath was dated and not very functional at all. By moving the guest bath entrance 90 degrees to the left, we made this space more functional and the new vanity, flooring, and fixtures have really updated the look. We were even able to add a fully functional five-foot whirlpool tub to this bathroom.

We created a new hallway that will access a future bedroom addition so we could use the space from the old bedroom for a great master closet, which was designed to accommodate a completely new closet system, certainly a far cry from the closet that was here before.

The old master bath was really a pink nightmare with very little space to enjoy it even if you were colorblind. The new master bath by contrast has been transformed into a tranquil retreat. The space we’ve added allowed us to create a peaceful little alcove for the whirlpool tub complete with a wonderful tile treatment on the surround.

Every bathroom needs a shower and this is a great one. The multiple shower heads will create a comfortable shower experience and the frameless glass doors will allow a fabulous view of the elegant tile surround. By adding a new window we flooded the bath with natural light, which helps to highlight the beautiful 9-foot double vanity along the outer wall.

It’s hard to believe this is a 50-year-old house but you can see with a well thought out design, careful selection of all the materials and plumbing fixtures, a little bit of time, and oh yeah a little bit of money you can completely change the look and feel of not only a bathroom like this but the entire house.

Hey I’m glad you were able to see our Today’s Bath renovation.

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 & Baths, 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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