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Welcome to Salt & Rook, a blog about our DIY home renovation and style | Syracuse, New York

Full Bathroom Renovation: Week 1 Progress

Full Bathroom Renovation: Week 1 Progress

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Hey friends! Last weekend - last Friday to be precise - we started tearing apart the shower walls to start the bathroom renovation process.

First: get caught up if you’re not already:

Okay. So where we are now: Pat and his dad are tackling 95% of the work, and I’m on hand to help however I can. It’s mostly holding things in place and fetching tools, but I’m okay with that.

We’re starting with the shower and then moving on to the rest of the bathroom (floors, walls, new vanity, etc.) once the shower is complete. But here’s what we accomplished this week:

Week 1 Accomplishments

  • Removed old tile and moldy walls

  • Removed the doorframe and the entire wall surrounding it

  • Bathtub scrubbed of old grout

  • New plumbing installed

    • We had to change the height of all the plumbing. This home was definitely built for short people. We’re not super tall but we’re “tall” (I’m 5’6” and Pat is 6”). All the shower fixtures were WAY too short and we had to constantly bend down and adjust everything.

  • New framing installed - including 2 shower niches!

  • New walls installed

  • Waterproof membrane installed (we used pre-made Schluter system frames for the niches)

  • First row of tile installed

Designing a Room from Scratch is Hard

In the meantime: I’m in charge of the overall look and feel and purchasing (you can read this post to see my main inspiration). I’m also asked for my opinion at certain points during the process, because we have to make some decisions on the fly.

This is our first big home project and it’s intimidating. As a web designer, I can always move pixels around. Even when I design for print, you can always print a draft and proof it. But once mortar sets … that’s sort of it. So this is a big lesson in trusting our decisions.

I didn’t think interior design was easy by any stretch, but it’s challenging in ways I didn’t anticipate. It’s a learning process and we’re having fun with it.

On to the fun part!

Week 1 Progress Pictures

WARNING: These photos are ugly. Things have to get worse before they get better, right? First: the beginning of Day 1.

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 The trouble spot, and where our shower was leaking like crazy. Look at all that mold and rot!

The trouble spot, and where our shower was leaking like crazy. Look at all that mold and rot!

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Above: the walls are completely torn down. You can see the original framing and plumbing, as well as the lath and plaster of our bedroom walls. You can also spot some knob and tube. Yes, it’s active. No, we don’t know where it goes. Yes, we left it in.

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Above, you can see the new framing and new plumbing. The waterproof niches are also installed.

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Finally: the drywall is up. Over this we installed the waterproof Kerdi Board membrane. I don’t have a photo of it, but you can see video of it on our Full Bath Reno! Instagram story.


We’ll be back next week with Week 2 updates. And remember that you can always follow along live with us on our Instagram.

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