Our master bathroom reveal has already been posted and I did brief before and progress posts, but now I want to share some more details on the steps we took to makeover our bathroom. We started with the shower. Originally, we were going to start the bathroom project the summer of 2016 but a leak in our tub drain and finding out our AC intake was not completely sealed changed things.
Brian has horrible allergies and I am weird about my house being dusty and I could not figure out how our home was getting so dirty. Yes, we have two indoor labs but that was not it. I could not keep up with the dust. Also, when I would paint in the shop under the house or we would do fiberglass work, sometimes the smell would over power us in the house and we would have to open the doors and windows. We couldn’t figure out how the fumes were getting into the house so quickly….until the drain leak.
I was in the shop one day and noticed some water on top of the boat. It was only me at home and I knew that I didn’t do it so where did it come from. I looked up and noticed our overhead light had rust all over it. Rust means water was coming from somewhere. This light happened to be right under the tub in our bathroom. I stood on the boat to reach up and feel the light and tub drain. Sure enough, water. But something else. The AC happened to turn on when I was standing there and I felt the air start to suck up into the house from the hole in the shop ceiling. BINGO. That’s how the fumes were getting into the house.
The thought of living in the house for 18+ months with dirty, garage air made me feel gross and I possibly lost years off my life because of it. Ew!
We discovered the wall between the tub and the AC intake behind it was not sealed. The hole in the floor for the tub drain was sucking air from the shop, under the tub and into the rest of our home. All of that unfiltered air was blowing into my home for months. Again, ew!
Needless to say that and the leaky drain put a rush on things and the demolition started within a few weeks. About 6 months earlier than planned. We started with the shower and would deal with the rest of the bathroom later.
First thing I did was rip out that horrible, disgusting blue carpet. It felt so good. It was the last carpet in the house and I was ready for it to go.
We capped off the water lines and used a reciprocating saw to cut the tub/shower unit into sections and make it easier to carry downstairs and to the road. Be sure you know where your electrical wires are and be careful for studs when using a saw. Everything went well. Even the concrete base came up easily in one whole piece.
And the picture of the back of my tub/shower unit from my AC intake. The big gap on the right of the tub unit is where all the air passed by to get into our AC work and then blown into our home.
This is the view of the air intake from the bathroom. To meet code and have more efficient AC/heating, we needed to seal this off.
We cleaned up our mess and assessed the situation with the AC intake.
After some discussion we decided to just go to the home improvement store and see what our options were. We bought insulation board (actually, a thermal sheathing meant for attics and walls but it got the job done) and metal duct tape. The installation boards were easy to cut with a sharp razor blade which made things move fast. After measuring and cutting, we screwed in the insulation boards to cover everything but the shared wall with the bathroom.
Then I had to block myself in! The boards on the shared wall went on and I had to crawl through the 20″x 25″ air intake hole to get in and out of the space. It was a tight fit.
This is the only standing space I had after carefully crawling through.
View in the bathroom after the share walled was sealed.
While at the store, we priced getting a new AC intake grill (not even sure if that is what they are called) and decided to get a new one. The old one had a broken lock and the air filter didn’t fit well. I had to bend and force them into the cubby and it shouldn’t be that way. It was worth the $36. The new one is so clean and pretty compared to the old one.
Now, when the air turns on, it can not suck air from any place but the air intake so only indoor, filtered air is blowing through our house now. Our dust problem is back to the normal amount and we can smell up the shop all we want and fumes no longer get in our house.
Next Monday, I am going to share details on our shower prep. The shower was the biggest and most expensive project of the bathroom makeover. We DIYed everything except the plumbing for the new shower heads. The post includes lots of tips and tricks plus some links to my favorite videos that helped us.