Dry! Dry! Dry! The basic rallying cry for all bathroom projects. Believe me the folks that let this concept slip by are in for a heap of trouble later on. It all begins with proper planning. You usually can see the damage that is done over the years during the rip-out phase. The average 30 year old bath room will reveal water stains, mold, odors, and the like during the demolition. It history in full view and tells the tale well.
Once the room is cleared of debris the inspection starts. Look at the wall cavity- is there any blackened areas? This usually indicates mold presence. Treating the problem is simple and effective. Mix a 50/50 bleach and water solution in a spray bottle and apply well to affected areas. Start with any spots on the ceiling areas and then do the walls and finally the floor. Spray liberally around window areas and surrounding cracks or crevices.
Next check the structural integrity of all wood framing. Replace any rotted wall studs. Tip- stick a screwdriver into each stud that looks questionable to see if it’s soft from water damage. If it is -replace it. Do not neglect the floor. Most bathrooms almost always have a piece or two of plywood that is questionable-just replace it and be done. While the old plywood is removed look at the actual floor beams. If any are deteriorated or split try adding a second piece to the original and screw in securely. Then finish off with the new plywood.
You’re now ready to insulate and sheetrock. Use moisture resistant sheetrock on all the walls and use cement-board or equivalent in the tub and shower areas. On the floor many contractors install felt paper to create a moisture block to the wood below. Inspect all waterlines as well. Nothing dooms a new bath remodel faster than the proverbial slow drip. Pipes that run through an exterior wall or an unheated space should be wrapped with pipe insulation to minimize condensation and prevent freeze-ups. If all is well the tile setting can begin. Next time – tile selections & bathroom and kitchen cabinets- select and install.
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