Saturday, June 14, 2014

Bathroom Makeover Part 2: The Great Wall

After several months of work, our master bathroom is finally done. (or at least close enough to blog about it!) If you missed the first part of the bathroom remodel, you can read about it here.

The biggest thing we had to tackle next was the outdated style of the vanity/sink area- it was completely open to the rest of the bedroom. Just like the popcorn ceilings, this style is best left in the 70s. And that meant wall building time! 

The goal: enclose the bathroom from the bedroom and install a door in the wall. It definitely wasn't a fast-moving project. And also one that we will NEVER tackle again. Here's a condensed version of the play-by-play:

1. Measuring. I thought this step would be easy, but you'd be surprised how many times you have to measure the opening to get the correct figures for all the pieces that go into the wall. And of course, factoring in the space for the door.  

2. Building the frame. This went well until we realized that we measured slightly off even after thousands of tries. Thank goodness we only live a couple miles from Home Depot! (and they are INCREDIBLY helpful) After much toil, we finally got the frame assembled and ready to install.

3. Removing floor tile. Turns out that to build an interior wall, it needs to be anchored to the foundation, not the tile or flooring on top of the foundation. This means we had to remove a couple tiles. It may sound easy, but this took almost as long as the wall building itself!

3. Installation and anchoring. This part wasn't as challenging. We left .25" for drywall and then nailed the frame into the side walls and the foundation. To anchor into the foundation, my dad let us borrow a contraption that uses a bullet to shoot a nail into the concrete foundation. WHOA. That's when we should have known we were out of our league. But like all first-timers, we gleefully pressed on.  


4. Drywall. Thank goodness the steps started getting easier after the frame building or we may have thrown in the towel. Measuring and cutting the drywall was a little time consuming (again with the multiple measuring), but at least the installation was easy. Drywall, check.

5. Joint compound and tape. I definitely didn't even know this step existed until I started wondering what filled in the cracks between drywall pieces. You guessed it, joint compound and drywall tape! The compound is like thick putty and can make a huge mess if you're not careful (oops...). The tape goes on after filling in the cracks. Then two more layers of compound and on to the texture.

6. Texture. This part was tricky and involved a lot of YouTube searching. Basically there were two options for getting the knockdown texture that we needed to (somewhat) match the original surrounding walls.  A) Buy a $200 texture sprayer (NOPE). or  B) Figure out how to DIY (winner!). I used the "Target bag" method. I know, it sounds so professional. Basically you spread on a medium layer of compound and then smash a target bag into it and pull it off to form peaks in the compound. Let it dry for approximately 35 minutes (time varies by compound thickness) and then go back with a trowel and scrape off the top of the peaks. Wall-ah!