Condo Blues: remodel




Showing posts with label remodel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label remodel. Show all posts

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Ten Things You Need to Know to Level and Repair an Uneven Floor

After  I replaced the moldy wood subfloor in my master bathroom, I checked it with a torpedo level (a torpedo level looks like this,) declared it level, and promptly passed out in bed from exhaustion. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) The next day, I double checked the new subfloor with the correct tool for the job, a large I-beam level (an I-beam level looks like this.)

The new wood subfloor is not level.

There are a few random areas where the floor isn’t flat, mainly where some of the seams of plywood sheets meet - a pretty common thing when you are replacing a subfloor (especially if it is the first time you’ve removed and replaced a subfloor.)

You can’t lay tile on an uneven floor. Well, you could, but the grout and tile will eventually crack and break in those areas and you’ll curse the day you were born when you have to rip everything out (probably) and do what you should have done in the first place. Fix the uneven wood subfloor with a self leveling underlayment coating for floors.

how to fix an uneven sloping floor

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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Master Bathroom Renovation: I Replaced the Subfloor!

Removing and replacing the entire master bathroom subfloor is a job that I haven’t been looking forward to and is the reason why we put the renovation off for so long. Everything hinges on the subflooring is cut perfectly to size and level.  Once I removed the old moldy subfloor, I realized that there wasn’t anything to screw the new flooring to around the edges of the room. I can’t leave it this way or the new floor could slope over time and we’d have to start the process all over again. Trust me, once is more than enough! 

how to replace subflooring
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 I  nicked a couple of joists when I was cut the floor to remove it  with my circular saw by accident. This might create a weak spot where the flooring could squeak, crack, or sag or it might not because the cuts are not too deep. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

How to Remove a Damaged or Moldy Subfloor

On Master Bathroom Demo Day I found black mold on a chunk of the wall and on several areas of the subfloor.

 

how to remove and replace subflooring
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After removing the damaged drywall, the next step in the process is to remove the bathroom subflooring, check for  mold or water damage, have it treated if necessary (and crossing my fingers I don’t,) and replace the subflooring. 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

How to Hang a Hook on a Hollow Core Door

I want to add a robe hook to my guest bathroom.  The logical place to hang it is on the bathroom door.

Unfortunately it, like all of the doors in my condo is a hollow core door. Can you hang towel bars and hooks on a hollow core door?

Yes you can!

The secret to hanging towel bars and hooks on hollow door without them crashing to the ground is all in the type of wall anchor you use – in this case Molly Bolts!

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Sunday, April 26, 2020

How to Build Recessed Bathroom Storage Shelves

I never liked the cheap plastic medicine cabinets that came with my condo. I was even more perturbed when I removed the medicine cabinet to paint the walls and found the hole and framing for the cabinet less than square - to put it mildly.

 I figure I better replace it and poked around window shopping while I was searching and pricing every thing else I needed for the guest bathroom remodel.

Have you ever priced medicine cabinets?

Be prepared for some sticker shock. Even the cheaply made medicine cabinets like the one I have are a couple of hundred bucks. The medicine cabinets  made from actual wood are even more expensive while still lacking style. That’s more that I wanted to pay for a medicine cabinet in a second bathroom we don’t use often.

I really don’t need a medicine cabinet with a mirror door because there is a mirror hanging over the sink.  Actually I really don’t need a door either because the way it was installed, the current medicine cabinet door smacks into the bathroom vanity light if we’re not careful. Open bathroom storage shelves are the only answer.

how to replace a medicine cabinet with recessed shelves in a bathroom
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I stood in the guest bathroom staring at the wall and trying to visualize how to turn the medicine cabinet hole into an open storage niche as pretty yet affordable as possible when I realized I was standing on my answer – use leftover tile from the bathroom floor!

Monday, March 30, 2020

How to Caulk Around a Toilet

After tiling the guest bathroom and replacing the boring builder molding with something a little more interesting, It is time to make this bathroom look and function like a bathroom by installing a working toilet – a luxury we haven’t had in quite a while since the builder toilet went on strike.


I went with a Watersense rated Delta Faucet Company toilet (you can find similar toilets here.)  (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) I had such a good experience installing one in my powder room because every single thing you need to install the toilet comes in the box down to a screwdriver and the Watersense rating means it is water efficient (I think of it as the Energy Star rating for plumbing) without the hit or miss of not quite flushing everything that needs to be flushed like a duel flush toilet. 

the easy way to caulk a toilet and bathtub
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But before I can completely cross Install New Toilet off my punch list, I need to caulk around it (and also along the new tile next to the bathtub. Fortunately, you caulk around a bathtub the same way you caulk a toilet. Let’s do this!

Why Should I Caulk Around the Toilet?

Sunday, March 8, 2020

How to Install a Bidet Attachment

Disclosure: Tushy supplied product to facilitate this tutorial and review. It had no influence on my opinion because all opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate links for your convenience.

I’m working on the details of the guest bathroom renovation while looking forward to the master bathroom renovation. Well planning actually. I’m not looking forward to this even more involved project where are water leak began.

Anyway.

I would have liked to add a bidet in the bathroom to save on toilet paper because according to Tushy it takes 37 gallons of water to make a roll of toilet paper and most people use 1.5 toilet rolls a week! That is a lot of water to flush down the drain, which doesn't include the amount of water it takes to flush it all down the drain.

But more importantly, with a bidet, even if you run out of toilet paper at the time you need it most, you have an option.

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Unfortunately all of our condo bathrooms are too small to add a free standing bidet. I didn’t think much more of it until friends raved about just installing a bidet toilet seat. I was  intrigued. A bidet toilet seat attachment I can do. Then I promptly forgot about it because I'm awesome like that.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

11 Floor Tiling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Tiling a floor is a pretty easy DIY job.

It is also a DIY job that is easy to mess up if you don’t follow a few precautions first. You really don’t want to put in all of the work of tiling a floor only for the tiles to eventually come loose or crack after the job is done.

how to tile a bathroom floor
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1. Not adding an extra 10% of tile to your tile order – Depending upon the design, you may need extra to match up the pattern in the room. It is also good to have extra tile on hand just in case you cut one incorrectly or worse drop one and break it.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

How to Prep a Wood Subfloor for New Tile

Just like painting a wall, the success or failure of your floor tiling project depends upon how well you prepare the surface for the tile itself. The more care and consideration you take when installing the tile underlayment, the better.

Flooring underlayment is the layer of material that sits in between the subfloor and the flooring material. As tempting as it may be to skip the underlayment – don’t. The underlayment layer is what keeps your floor tile from shifting and cracking over time.

And trust me, after the killer backache preparing and tiling this floor gave me, it is NOT something I want to completely redo if I don’t have to!

Fortunately, preparing a floor for tile by installing underlayment isn’t difficult to do and once you finish the job you can immediately go into tiling the floor.



how to install waterproof bathroom tile underpayment
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How to Lay Bathroom Tile Underlayment the Easy Way!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Spa Bathroom Remodeling Plan

Before you start any type of home improvement update or remodel you should come up with a design plan first. This way, you can decide on what to keep, skimp, or splurge to keep your project on time and on budget.

Do you know the absolute worst time to toss out your original plan and make a new one from scratch?

When your room looks like this.

condo builder bathroom demo
Demo day!

My original guest bathroom design plan had us giving the bathroom sink and vanity a makeover.

On demo day I found black mold growing on the back of the bathroom vanity which made it completely unusable.

And just like that, my beachy remodeling plan got tossed just like the mold ridden vanity.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

What to Do If You Find Black Mold in Your Bathroom Remodel

It’s time to get started on my guest bathroom renovation.

With demolition!

Because Demo Day is the best day.

It can also be the worst.

My demolition plans included removing the rest of the flooring, the toilet, and vanity. I planned to makeover the bathroom vanity if I could get it out in one piece. The builder installed all of the sink cabinets in the house first and installed the plumbing in around them. When I removed the vanity in the powder room remodel I had to destroy the cabinet which wasn’t the plan.

Joy.

I cut holes for the plumbing in the cabinet with this exact Rockwell oscillating tool (after reading a lot of specs and reviews I chose the Rockwell because it is the only oscillating tool that can use bits and blades from any brand not just its own.) I was pretty stoked this DIY idea actually worked until my husband and I lifted the vanity up and over the plumbing to discover black mold on the wall and wood vanity. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

Oh yes, my friends. We sang the Condo Blues.

How to Get Rid of Black Mold



Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Industrial Beach Bathroom Remodel and Design Mood Board

After hemming and hawing for too many years after a plumbing accident, I’m finally replacing the flooring and remodeling my guest bathroom. Part of the reason I was stuck in the bathroom makeover department is that I still like most of the things I did to that bathroom when I painted and decorated it the first time, like the wall color.

Well that and knowing that while I love searching every tile shop in the city for my heart’s desire, my husband would rather I cut off his arm with a rusty table saw than shop even though this is his house too and he wants and absolutely should have a say in the decision.  Interestingly enough, when it came to selecting floor tile, we bought the exact opposite of the black and white mosaic tiles I thought we might choose and went with his suggestion of slate tile because he wanted something more interesting. Which made me love him even more because I’ve always wanted a slat floor somewhere in this house. Besides we have another bathroom we need to do. So chances are, I’ll get my choice in that room. That way we both win!

My new bathroom floor tile!

We were in agreement with a lot of the design and décor desires of this second bathroom. First off, it’s not the Master, so we can go with something a little more fun and different in this room. As much as I make fun of almost every residential bathroom in my lakeside home town being nautical, I lean toward ocean beachy influenced by one of our first vacations to the Dominican Republic.

After the flooring was decided, I turned to the vanity and other bathroom accessories and décor. I was concerned the ideas in my head might being going with too much white on white. I was also concerned that the things I want to keep may look out of place with the things I want to change in the remodel and vice versa. I figured the best way to see if I am going in the right décor direction is to create a bathroom remodeling mood board.

Let’s take a look!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

How to Research and Buy the Best Size Garbage Disposal for Your Kitchen

For us, Compost Season stops when the bin freezes shut during the winter. That’s when we reluctantly switch to using the garbage disposal to dispose of vegetable scraps. 

I say reluctantly because the garbage disposal that came with our condo jams easily and often, sometimes smells bad, and often shakes so violently that it comes loose from the plumbing pipes and sprays gunk inside the kitchen cabinet. Good times!

The “experts” say you shouldn’t put any of these items down a garbage disposal.
  • Vegetable peels
  • Eggshells
  • Pasta, rice, potatoes/potato peels, beans, and other starchy foods
  • Coffee grounds
So what exactly are you supposed to put on a garbage disposal? This list is pretty much everything we cook with and eat.

Although it explains exactly why even though “experts” claim a 1/3 horsepower mini garbage disposal like mine is the “correct” size for a two person apartment or condo household and why I celebrated the day when it finally became unfixable so I could replace it.


How to buy a garbage disposal
It really isn't the old garbage disposal's fault. At the very beginning it was a bad match. 
Keep reading to learn why and how to avoid the same situation when buying a garbage disposal.


When the garbage disposal started leaking from the side and needed to be replaced I practically did a happy dance. Finally a chance to buy a garbage disposal that doesn’t stink!

What Size Garage Disposal Should I Buy?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Quick and Easy DIY Wood Shower Floor Tile

I absolutely adore high end teak in a bathroom, especially the trend of using it for a shower floor. It is warm, it has texture, and not to mention wood is more eco friendly than the vinyl shower pan that came with my house.

On the flip eco side, keeping the current shower floor during our bathroom remodel to be is uses less new resources than ripping it out and replacing it with a new shower pan and wood shower tile just for looks sake.

Fortunately the solution was a quick, easy, and split the eco friendly middle IKEA hack away – install removable outdoor wood deck tile over the current the shower floor.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Mod Podge Wallpaper Update: How Does it Last?

Shortly after buying our condo, I used Mod Podge to wallpaper a bathroom with old book pages.
I frequently get email asking me how using Mod Podge as wallpaper glue holds up after the 10+ years I used it to remodel my bathroom.

I thought I’d give you an update.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Buy a Mattress

Husband and I need to buy a mattress for our guest bedroom. I'd like a green mattress if possible. I also want the mattress to be comfortable.  Of course, as the saying goes not too comfortable, or my guests will never leave!

Mattress shopping is nothing short of stressful. Unlike a car, you can’t comparison shop when it comes to mattresses. There isn’t anything to stop a mattress manufacturer from making the same style of mattress and putting a different name on it for every store that sells it. In fact, it’s a common practice. The price points for the same brand of mattress sold under different names vary wildly from store to store too.

That’s why mattress stores can guarantee that you won’t find a cheaper mattress at another store and if you do, they’ll give it to you free! Because you may find the same mattress brand, you won’t find the same mattress model name in another store – the individual model names are proprietary to each store.

Mattress Shopping? Prepare to Be Screwed

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