We need to remodel our bathroom due to a dripping faucet that can't be
fixed (long story discussed in another thread a few weeks ago...yes, we've
hired a plumber to try to fix it). The drip is getting worse and worse
and is almost a stream of water.
A picture is here:
I need to remove the vanity that encloses the sink (which I think is
attached to the wall rather than supported by the vanity). The ceramic
tile splash-back will likely have to go as shown in the pic. We plan on
replacing the sink with a pedestal sink. The vinyl flooring does not go
underneath the existing vanity, so I have to replace the floor
too. To top it off, the vanity also cuts into the door moulding.
We had a handyman give us a quote of nearly $2000 to remove the existing
stuff, cut the ceramic tile out, patch hole with drywall and put 3 coats
of "mud", lay new flooring, install new sink (with shutoff valve
installation), and install new toilet since we were going to all the
trouble. Unfornuately this is beyond my budget (it doesn't include cost
of actual sink/toilet/floor) so I need to try and do some of this myself
and hire professional help where needed.
I'm wondering if some of you can offer advice on what is easiest for
somebody who hasn't done this stuff before but has sucessfully tackled
some other home improvement things.
I'm thinking laying ceramic tile is do-able assuming I can get the
vanity/sink/toilet out. I have no idea the best way to remove the ceramic
tile (cut it out or smash with hammer??). I'm told that "mudding" drywall
is a terrible job best left for the pros. My tentative plan is to remove
the toilet and vanity (leaving the sink attached to the wall), then lay
the backerboard directly over the existing floor and do the ceramic tile,
and then hire a pro to address the wall and install the new sink and
Sigh... Also this is the only bathroom in the house. I figure I can take
3-4 days off to do this job and our inlaws live 0.5 miles away ;)
thanks for any advice
Considering how much you will spend in lost wages, plus what you
will have to do to repay your inlaws over the years, it would
probably cost you just the same to hire it done. At least that
way it would get done, it would be done nicely, and you will
not have any self-inflicted disasters.
John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 firstname.lastname@example.org
I've got to agree with Weeks on this one. The potential that an unexpected
problem will occur is enough to make this job one better done by someone
more experienced. I like to do my own work on my home, but one of my better
skills is in knowing my own limitations. I will usually have a professional
to do a job once, if I have not done it before myself. Then, I will watch
what the professional does and ask questions when I don't understand
something. After that, I am confident enough to do it myself, if something
similar should happen again.
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If your going to try this job yourself, and if you think it will take 3
or 4 days, then you had better rent a port-a-potty. In my humble
opinion, you should only replace the faucet. Although I do like the
looks of an older one.
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I probably go one of two routes...
1) Rip out everything myself, hire out plumbing work, and then either
find a cheap handyman or a buddy to help remodel the entire bathroom.
If you just update the vanity but not the rest of the room, it will
look out of place. When I did mine, just make sure the toilet and
floor go in first. This way you can at least go to the bathroom.
(plumbing should only be a day)
2) Start writing home makeover shows with a really good sob story. Get
creative. Deaf kids, handicap wife, and caring for older parents; all
while being laid off from the manufacturing plant that is posioning
your house. They love a good story.
I paid someone to redo my bathroom. It took a lot longer than expected
and there are still little niggling concerns. I wish I would have done it
myself. It's hard to find good help. Even people with good recommendations
can get sloppy when they encounter problems they don't want to deal with.
If you expect to be able to do a complete bathroom remodel in three or four
days, you are in WAAAAAAY over your head.
Best advice I can give you is that the handymen and/or plumbers you've had
looking at this are idiots. Get somebody out to look at it who actually knows
what he's doing. The faucet *can* be fixed (or replaced). You might have to
remove the sink to do it - which probably means cutting out some of the tile
above it - but it *can* be done. Remodeling the entire bathroom to fix a
faucet is just insane.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt.
And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
That is one odd-looking setup. It looks like an old institutional
sink. I would try everything before ripping it out, including
contacting the maker of the faucet, and getting another plumber out to
Ditto the timeframe to repair everything, it will take a couple weeks
of trial and error and trips to the hardware store.
If it turns out to be impossible to repair the faucet I suggest just
removing the sink and getting a omdern one that takes modern fixtures,
then fill in tile around it, whatever looks more or less OK, and let it
go at that. Losing your only bathroom is really painful.
This looks just like the sink in my parent's house and we have looked
long and hard for replacement faucets. This style is no longer made,
your only hope for replacement is an antique plumbing fixture restorer.
Try looking for a supplier on the Old House Journal website.
I'd pull the sink off, replace it with a pedestal that hangs on the wall
for a quick return to functionality and take care of the floor and wall
patching as you have time and money. If you're ambitious, strip the wall
and put up cement board before installing the sink. You can tile at your
leisure, it's easy to move the pedestal to fix the floor.
Doug Miller wrote:
I don't know that this is the case but even though the sink may be
attached to the wall, the vanity may be supporting it. From the photo,
that sink looks heavy. And I think removing the sink first would make
it easier to remove the vanity.
Just some random thoughts while someone else comes by with more...
Obviously planning is key. Having all the stuff you need ahead of time
will cut down the time that the room is unuseable.
You could do some of the demolition yourself, in the evenings, while
keeping the bathroom useable... pulling up the flooring, for example,
and cleaning up the subfloor [if necessary] to get ready for the new
A note - If you build up the flooring too much the drainpipe your
toilet connects to will be too short.
You could pull out the vanity and brace the sink [if necessary].
I'm a little unclear on the ceramic tile. Are you going to rip it all
out, or do you want to fill in the notch that'll be left after the sink
is out [or do you want to bring the tile down, if necessary, to meet up
with the new sink]? If you're going to rip it all out, do whatever is
quick [without damaging any wiring or water lines].
Put off whatever you can, like the door moulding. You can do that
later. The moulding looks like regular stock stuff, from what I can
tell in the photo.
If you haven't done drywall before then it probably is best left to a
contractor. They're pretty quick, and getting that smooth flat surface
can be a bear for a first-timer.
"I completely lost track. I agree with whoever said the faucet was
fixable. At the most you replace the sink/faucet assembly."
The OP pointed out that he's had a plumber in and the faucet is not
repairable. To change the faucet requires removing this sink from a
tiled wall that it's fastened to and it's unlikely that a replacement
faucet is even available. And that style sink, which mates to the
cabinet, is no longer made either. So, given the circumstances, I
think he's on the right track.
This is a classic problem of a cheeep solution earlier leading to problems
later. That sink is an instutituional sink (available by salvage, I'll bet),
force-fitted into the bathroom to begin with. Did the OP have this put in?
OK - I didnt' follow the other thread.
Then he's stuck with some kludges. (Not being judgemental, I had to learn some
interesting stuff on my house, too.) He'll have to use one of the make-shift
solutions described in this thread. But eventually he will need to remodel just
to get out from under this problem completely.
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