The Ayrlee Kids Bathroom Remodeling Project!!

I had some extra time on October, and figured this would be the perfect opportunity to remodel the kids bathroom. I'm planning a remodel of our master bathroom, and the kids would be a great guinea pig for me to learn on!

The kids bathroom has cheap linoleum, which is one of the major things we want to change. I also hate shower curtains, so I'll be putting in glass shower doors. I also have seen pictures of these cool jetted bathrooms, so I figure I may as well update to that as well. So, first, I'll show you some of the before pictures. I'd already taken down the mirror, but the mirror was just a plain big no frills mirror that took up the white space you see on the wall behind the sink:

Off with it's head! And yes, I carried down the vanity top all by myself. Fun with heavy objects. :)

The floor was linoleum on top of plywood, which was stapled down to the subfloor. That actually made it easy, because I just took the circle saw on an 1/4" setting and sliced up the floor to pull up the linoleum without having to worry about dealing with the glue. And since I"ll be putting down my on cement backerboard, I want to get down to the subfloor anyways.

I had heard that removing the tile would be a messy process and that I'd have tile pieces breaking and chipping and flying all over the place. But, I just removed entire sheets of greenboard with the tiles attached. Again, I was planning on extending the tile up higher towards the ceiling, and putting in cement backerboard anyways, so I just cut away the whole wall.

And yes, carrying all this stuff out was done by myself. It's all about leverage!

The other big change was that I was going to get rid of the tub, and have a shower only. We have a massive bathtub in our bathroom, and the kids have never used this tub. When they were little, they used out big tub, and as they get older, they'll either go in the hot tub outside or simply not want/need to take baths (shower only). Removing the tub was actually quite difficult as it was in there really tight. I had to remove drywall extending into the bathroom to get it out.

The next step is to redo the plumbing. I'm going from a bath tub design, which essentially has only two places for water to come out, onto a multi function design, with three jets, a showerhead, and a wall mounted hand held sprayer. And since it's not a bathtub, I need to raise the on/off valve to a reasonable height, which will then go onto a diverter, which will divert to either the jets, the showerhead, or the hand sprayer. Essentially, I ripped out everything existing, and started from scratch where they first come into the room. So, onto sweating some copper pipes!!!

Here you can see the flow valve, with hot and cold coming into it, which then has a single feed going up to the diverter, which then diverts to either the three jets (up), the handheld sprayer (left), or the shower head (it will go right, and is not pictured).

Here, I'm running the showerhead to be coming in directly from the ceiling instead of off the wall.

My shower pan has a center drain, as opposed to the drain from the side, so I had to cut a hole in the floor (which I reenforced later), to move the drain to the exact center of the area.

And here's the shower pan, slid tightly into that area. It was VERY tight, and I had to actually shave away about 1/16" of the studs to make it fit. There were about 12 leveling feet underneath this thing, all of which had to be adjusted about 10 times each to make sure this was perfectly level and not rocking.

And now, on with the cement backerboard!

And on with the tile. Cutting holes in tile is fun.... not. :) My holes were actually off, just a bit, and I ended up having to use my dremmel later on to make them a bit wider. I love my dremmel!!!!

Drilling holes to mount my glass doors. I did this too early, and I ended up grouting after I drilled my holes, and had to go back and redrill them... not that big a deal, but it should be noted if you plan on doing this yourself. Grout first.... drill last.

And here's after the grout. Grout is gritty and nasty, and you should definitely wear gloves. My hands hurt for days and were cut up because my gloves tore apart (used cheap gloves).

First layer of mud to put my walls and ceiling back together

My next step was to layout my tile patterns and cut them appropriately, before actually using the mortar. Important note, I would never do this again with these small tiles. They come in 12 x 12 squares, but working the mortar and grout was very difficult. Mortar would often push up between them too far and were a pain to clean off. On the positive note, it does look awesome!!!

One of the other cool things I did was to put down heating under the tiles. Heated floors are totally cool and if you're going to put in new tile there is NO reason not to put in heated floors at this point, as far as I'm concerned. I bought my stuff from Thermosoft. The stuff from Home Depot is really meant for wood floor even though they don't advertise it as such. I was able to cut and route this stuff very easily, and I'm quite pleased with it. In these pictures you can see that I've taped down the heating mats, and am putting mastic down and placing the tile.

After most of the main tiling was done, it was time for my pretty trim. I am putting up black tiles with a brushed nickel trim piece laid on top.

And now that the the brushed nickel glass door holders are in, I'm putting black trim around all the shower tile, creating a raised look for the trim. This was accomplished by using only 1/4 inch cement board for the main tile, while keeping my old 1/2 inch dry wall.

Grouting the trim:

Grout finished on floor and trim:

Finally, time to put in the doors. These suckers are HEAVY!!!

Putting on the brushed nickel handle, diverter, and jets.The upper and lower jets were too tight against the tile, and I had to use my dremmel to cut away some additional tile.

Chrissie is ready to paint, so I'm taping up my tile to protect it from spills!

She does great work, doesn't she!!!

And this is the vanity we purchased through Costco. This was the easiest part of the job, hooking up the plumbing here. I feel like a pro now!!

The only thing we didn't update was the toilet... there wasn't anything out there worth buying to set one toilet apart from another, so we put the old toilet back in, put up some new brushed nickel towel racks, and voila! This project took a LOT longer than originally anticipated, but much of that was due to the fact that I was not dedicating time to this project the way I have for the other ones, and there was much less sense of urgency. When I redid the kitched, I would stay up til 1am working on it, because we really needed a working kitchen. While we did this project, we had our master bath, as well as the full bath in the basement if we needed it. i.e. no real sense of urgency.

Mirror project

Now, you notice that I had a huge mirror in there (unframed) that was essentially just builder grade, which I replaced with two individual mirrors. I decided it would be a fun project to take that mirror, and see if I could build my own frame and hang it in Catey's room.

I began by cutting the mirror down to a more manageable size. The original dimensions were 58" x 42". I'm cutting it down to 52" x 28". Here you can see the mirror after I cut it using a simple glass cutter from Home Depot for $6.

Next, I bought a nice piece of birch plywood for the frame. I cut the outer dimension of the frame to 66" x 42", and the inner dimensions to 52" x 28" (to match the mirror).

You can see in the picture how the mirror fits inside the frame I just cut. Underneath is a cheap piece of thin plywood, which I will cut just an inch or so smaller than the outer dimensions of the frame, which will hold the mirror in from the back.

Then I'm using chair rail to hold the mirror in from the front. Chair rail has a lip on it, which will help to push the mirror back towards the cheap plywood holding it in from the rear. Don't want a wobbly mirror!

My miter saw. If you don't have one, these aren't hard cuts... but it's a lot easier with the Miter.

Here, I've laid out my mitered pieces to give myself an idea of what it will look like. I still haven't cut down the back piece yet. I'll do that next.

I've cut down my plywood backing so you can't see it, and I'm gluing and nailing my molding to the front now. How did the world do anything before the invention of the nail gun?

Here's the final product from the front... it just needs to be painted now. And, because I've used high quality birch wood, you don't have to paint it, if that wood color works well for you. This could also be stained instead of painted as well.

Here you can see the backing, as well as the heavy duty hanging wire, rated to 150 pounds.

And the front.

And here's the final resting spot. It's big, but I've actually got enough of the original mirror and wood left that I can make a smaller version still... not today... but when I have a need. :)

Anyways, next October, I'm hoping to take a week off work and dedicate that week to our Master Bath. It is in desperate need! In the mean time, I encourage you to check out some of the sponsors you see below this and to the right. Hopefully you'll find the next amazing idea or deal for your next project!