Not yet floored

Finished the last of the plumbing supply lines today, but no, the bathroom still does not have a floor. Because I spent all morning loading and hauling 2 truck loads full of scrap metal and old pipes to the local metals recycling center. The new company that opened a few years ago is much more competitive on price than another local company, and they have much better customer service when I called to get metal prices over the phone. That better customer service was experienced in person, too.

All together there was galvanized steel duct, cast iron pipes, steel pipes, copper pipes, brass fittings, aluminum cans, steel cans, buckets of scrap metal (pulled nails, screws, other small parts & pieces), sheet aluminum, the old steel furnace housing, and the cast iron furnace heater.

Two trips and one small cut on the forearm later, I walked out with cash in hand. Not to shabby, considering half of what I scrapped in was just laying under the house. FREE. All I had to do was carry it out and load it onto a truck. In total, the cash I got was close to half of the amount I’ve invested in PEX hoses & fittings for the new supply lines. Nothing like tearing out old plumbing to pay for the new! (Whoa: imagine if every DIY project was like that… what you tore out would pay for half of the new project?)

Now it’s onto choosing and installing a water heater, but also installing the drain lines. The only portion that concerns me is the home’s original cast iron sewer drain. I’m not sure how to connect the new PVC drains into that, to end up with a leak-free drain that will last. So I need to make friends with a plumber and ask for help.

So now for a peak at the new bathroom layout!

Below is the original layout, with the tub and toilet so close together, sitting on the stool meant soaking your feet for a bath.


Here is how I am planning the new bathroom. I love Google SketchUp for quick floor-planning and 3-D modeling. Its quick to learn, but if you want to spend more time you can actually create a very detailed 3-D rendered model of a space or object. I literally drew out 12 different plans of how to move the 3 bath fixtures around in this space, and this naturally came out as the best solution.

Bath top view

You can see the door through the wall at the right, and the window above the tub on the left. Overall, I think this floor-plan of the bath feels so much more open. All the bathroom drains will be along one wall, which I hope will be easy to connect.

Bath angle1

The bathroom is 68″ wide, and the tub is only 60″ long.  This leaves a 8″ space between the tub and the finished wall. I tried several different versions of shelves, skinny cabinets, or other storage in this narrow nook, but decided on a knee wall to act as a ledge for bath bottles and such. The ledge doesn’t go directly to the window wall. Instead, there is a small chase to run the drain vent up though the ceiling and out the roof.

There will still be room on the wall opposite the toilet for a narrow storage cabinet if I need one. And although I didn’t show all the detail here, I am planning on a built-in mirrored medicine cabinet above the vanity, and another shallow in the wall to the right of the sink.

While drawing out this plan, I took some criticism for the idea of keeping the window. In this layout, the window will be in the shower area. I found several answers online on how to install a water-tight shower window, and they were all nearly the same. This instructional page & photo is what I will be following.

I just think natural daylight and ventilation is too important to close-in the window, no matter the room. Secondly, the window opens to the backyard, more than 50 feet from an alley, and another 50 feet to a neighboring house. If I really feel concerned about privacy, I can order the new window with opaque glass.



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