Today I want to discuss seven common mistakes people make when remodeling their bathroom, and no. 7 is something I see all the time. So watch fully, and make sure you don’t make these mistakes. So the no.
1 mistake is not shutting off the water to your bathroom before demoing anything in the bathroom, including removing a toilet or removing a vanity. You never know how old the valves are that you’re going to be shutting off, and a lot of times they end up leaking just by turning them.
So I always shut off the water before I start any demo in the bathroom. Now, you wonder: “What do you do if you do have a leaking faucet or a leaking valve? What can you do to quickly remedy that so that you can continue remodeling the bathroom and get the water turned on for the rest of the home?” SharkBites are a great option.
A slip-on type of push-on fitting really simplifies things and makes it a lot faster to move on with your project. The second mistake that I see very common is not having your studs, after you tear out the bathroom and preparing for your new shower and tub surround, is to having your framing 16 inches on center even with one another.
And that’s super important. You don’t want to be putting a backer board up that’s going to have a bow in it. It makes it that much more difficult to actually tile that surface. So making sure that they’re even and obviously plumb.
Plumb would make it easier to install shower doors. It’ll make it easier for all the tile layout in process. So make sure that you have your studs 16 inches on center and that all studs are even with one another.
The third biggest mistake is not having a clean and sound subfloor before installing a new shower system or tile floor. Too many times I see people trying to go over existing vinyl floors where they peel off the vinyl floor and there’s all this glue that’s still on the subfloor, and even worse, around the toilet area where the subfloor might be weakened by water damage.
You want to make sure you have a solid foundation for your tile and your shower, or tub system for that matter. You want to make sure that primarily that you have joists that are 16 inches on center and that you have a minimum of a ¾-inch thick plywood layer.
Okay, so the fourth one I see commonly is when you’re installing a new shower or a tub surround, trying to keep the old valve that was existing there. Some people think that it’s very difficult to replace; it costs too much money.
You’ll end up having problems with it, just put it that way. You will have problems with that old valve. Most likely you’re remodeling your bathroom because it’s already 15 years old. Don’t leave the existing valve in.
Make sure that you set it to the correct depth and you’re prepped for the new shower. Number five big common problem is just using cementitious backer boards or HardieBacker and not waterproofing it.
Those two items are not waterproof. They need to be sealed with a liquid membrane or a sheet membrane of some sort. So always have a waterproof tub surround or waterproof shower before you being to tile.
Number six is in the tiling installation portion—not mixing your thinset to the proper water ratio of that manufacturer’s specifications. You always want to make sure that you read the back of the bag of the thinset that you’re using and use the right amount of water for the amount of thinset.
Some of my favorite thinsets are made by Ardex. They actually can allow you to mix smaller quantities of the powder and water mix ratio. For instance, one of my favorites is X 77. You can use two-parts powder and one-part water, and it’s at the right ratio.
Too often I see tile failures where none of the thinset is actually at the back of the tile, and a lot of that’s because the mix was too dry. So you always want to make sure that you use the proper amount of water when mixing thinset.
So, and finally number seven, the worst mistake that I normally see in a lot of beautiful showers that might’ve been just built a year ago is seeing mastic used as the adhesive for the tile. Mastic, the stuff that comes in a bucket that’s premixed, is not made for wet areas.
It’s not made for showers or tub surrounds or shower floors. It’s an organic material. It will mold. So if you see mold coming through your grout lines, chances are somebody might’ve used mastic behind that tile and created that problem.
So please do not use a premixed mastic for your shower. So you only want to use a thinset, something that you mix water with. Modified thinset is usually preferred for most of these new porcelain tiles.
You want to use directional troweling, and you want to make sure that you’re getting a 95% bond to your tile in a wet area. The coverage is really going to be trial and error. I mean typically it’s using the right trowel size and using directional troweling so that you can achieve that coverage.
It’s always a good idea on the first tile, pull it off, make sure that you look at the back of the tile, make sure it’s getting a good bond. And then you can feel confident about remodeling or continuing with the tile throughout the rest of the bathroom.
If these tips helped you out, please give us a thumbs up. Leave us a comment below if you have any questions about any of your bathroom questions, anything that you might be involved in remodeling. We’re here to help you out.
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