Joe says we’re half way done with the bathroom! I’m wary of this prognosis; I think we’re still a little shy of the halfway mark… Luckily, it’s basically uphill from here. We’ve done most of the dirty jobs already. Very dirty indeed: Demo, rerouting the drain, reframing, and now we’ve finished up the electrical, plumbing and the exhaust fan.
We’re both getting restless and antsy to work on the last half of the bathroom. We’ve been traveling a bit too, and while that’s been a great break from this full speed ahead bathroom remodel, part of us wants to work full-time on this since we’re already right in the thick of it. In addition to a budget of $2,500 (which is on track), we also have a time budget: to be finished by May. I’m confident we can wrap this up in a month and a half’s time.
Don’t mistake me; we love the whole process and truly enjoy putting in the time and work (otherwise we wouldn’t be DIYing it in the first place!) But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t taxing on a household when a big project drags on. We’re eager to get our basement back in order and do laundry like normal people again. We can’t wait to do some spring cleaning and scour off the 1/8″ layer of dust that has accumulated on everything. Mostly we can’t wait to enjoy our new shower! And move onto our ever-growing honeydo list of other exciting house projects. Spring is right around the corner 🙂
I learned the ropes on soldering plumbing into the walls from Joe over the course of two days. We drilled into our new 2×4’s where we planned to run the hot and cold water, and set up stations for all our body jets and shower head. It wasn’t easy, and we don’t recommend this for first-timers. Here’s a short glimpse.
I got to play pipe apprentice, cleaning and cutting all the copper pipes. In a nutshell, we measured the lengths of all the pipe we’d need, then cut it and cleaned it with this tool. It’s important to get any residue off so the pipes stay together. Oh and always remember to spray water on your 2×4’s around where you’re soldering so nothing catches on fire.
I got quite accustomed to working with this handy tool.
Here’s what the plumbing rough in’s look like.
Another tool we got real comfortable with is this handheld pipe cutter.
How to use: Put your copper pipe in, align the mark where you want to cut it, turn clamp to secure it, then twist the cutter around the pipe. Tighten it with every turn or two.
Eventually your pipe will snap!
We’ll probably have more on the piping later because it was such a process, and we still need to finish putting in the shower hardware. We just got our crazy cool shower stuff in the mail, so we’re looking forward to getting that all in place and tested before covering the walls.
Joe also put the can lights up. It’s looking good! Now that we have light to see 😉
Don’t attempt this if you’re not a licensed electrician. It’s not going to eat too much out of your budget to make sure it’s done correctly and is safe.
We opted for two lights in the main bathroom area: one over the toilet and one to the left when you walk in. The vanity mirror will also be backlit. Inside the shower we have four 3″ can lights. Dimmer switches are definitely the way to go for a shower!
Here’s the look out from the shower. That mirror will be gone, but that’s where a new one will be located. So use your imagination a little bit here.
Joe popped in an exhaust fan as well. I have no idea how, be he’s a professional so I know we’re in good hands. It took only an hour or so. Cut a 4″ hole in the side of your house. Something about a vent cap and caulking around it. My point is, this is the stage you’ll want to consider adding one.
Here’s a kit. $10 or so.
Then you’ll want a vent. Here’s the exact one we got. $59.99 Install this near the shower and toilet to pull all moisture out and prevent mold.
Broan InVent Bath Fan 110 CFM
Model Number: AR110 | Menards® SKU: 6112722
I know it doesn’t look like much still, but we’ve knocked out the majority of the tricky behind-the-scenes stuff.
Notes on Plumbing
First, always wear safety goggles. If you’ve never soldered before, try another method or call a professional plumber. Aside from soldering, you can use PEX piping instead. It’s easier and safer. This method uses polyethylene tubing rather than copper. ProBite and Shark Bite brands are most common. I don’t pretend to know a ton about this, but these are options. Also, crimping your copper piping is an alternative. Do some homework, and decide what you’re up for.