Things That I’ve Learned While Remodeling Our Bathroom
- Don’t try to match a seam in the middle of the wall where one side is plaster/lathe and the other is drywall. It will NEVER match up perfectly. Take the whole wall out and do it completely in one material or get a professional to do it.
- Sand joint compound. Even if it looks okay, sand it using incrementally smaller grit sand paper.
- If you’ve never done it, practice mudding and taping before you actually work on the wall.
- If you use a thick primer, be sure to sand it using incrementally smaller grit sand paper. This will give the wall a smoother finish when painted.
- One primer does not fit all situations. Different surfaces need different types, so ask the hardware store guy which is best for the particular situation.
- Buy good paint rollers. The cheap ones shed lint into the paint which causes ugly spots on the wall.
- If you will be doing a lot of nailing, owning a nail gun is worth the expense.
- If you will be doing a lot of sawing, owning a compound miter saw and/or table saw is worth the expense.
- Wood putty is not the same as floor leveler. Don’t assume it will be good enough.
- Don’t use screws on floor underlayment. It pulls the floor down in weird ways and requires more floor leveler than should be needed. Use shank nails.
- Don’t buy different types of underlayment. Get it all at the same time. 1/4 inch in one type does not equal the same 1/4 inch in another type.
- Floor leveler is necessary. Don’t skip his step. The powdered stuff is cheap. It’s worth it.
- When taping up before painting, be sure you use the blue tape. Don’t use regular masking tape. It doesn’t release as well as the blue tape and will take paint and finish with it when removed.
- Always measure twice (or three times) before cutting something.
- If you are cutting an expensive piece of wood you can minimize the chance of error by cutting a piece of cardboard using the measurements you took. If the cardboard fits, then the wood will fit. Otherwise, get back to measuring.
- Keep receipts for everything. If you buy the wrong kind of nails or screws, which you invariably will, returning them is always an option. You have no need to keep 5 pounds of nails that you will probably never use.
- When laying the adhesive linoleum tiles on a floor don’t rely on the adhesive on the back of the tile. Use a thin layer of thin spread adhesive to be sure that the floor stays down.
- When laying tile, always draw your grid on the underlayment. Otherwise you will never get the tile straight.
- When setting a toilet, use two wax rings. It can’t hurt and they are cheap. I used one of the jumbo wax rings with a plastic sleeve that feeds into the pipe as well as a small ring to fill in any gaps that may occur.
- Caulk is your friend. Get a good caulking gun and have at least 2 tubes of clear, white, and almond in the shop.
- Crown molding is a pain in the butt. Have someone that has done it before help you out so you get the hang of it.
- Last but not least: When you have water damage in a corner of your house that is underneath a bathroom, be 100% sure that the problem is the bathroom. Don’t spend 5 months remodeling the bathroom only to find out 4 days after you are done (via more visible water damage) that the problem was actually the flashing around the roof of the kitchen.
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