Tricky 1860s Bathroom Redo


Old 06-17-13, 10:41 AM
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Tricky 1860s Bathroom Redo

Hello, there! I'm new to these forums, so I hope I won't annoy too much with newbie questions. I need some advice on a couple of aspects of a bit of a tricky bathroom project.

I recently ripped apart the 2nd floor bath in my condo, which is 1/3 of an older brick building (probably built at the end of the Civil War, but there's no way to know for sure). I pulled the vinyl-sided shower/tub, the old toilet, the (horrible) vanity/sink and nearly all the flooring. The floor consisted of tile over plywood over linoleum over another inch of wood floor over burlap-backed "linoleum" of some sort. Now I'm down to the original wood flooring, which I'd prefer to leave, as the hallway floor is already almost an inch higher.

I'll be installing a new cast-iron or porcelain tub/shower, with tile walls, and tiled floors. Walls in the rest of the bathroom will be painted. (I've given some thought to a concrete floor, but I think that would probably be too difficult?) The vanity will be small and simple, and all the fixtures are going to be staying in approximately the same locations.

1. Do I need to apply plywood and/or thin-set over the wood floor before putting down concrete backer-board?

2. I have a substantial gap around the wood floor on all sides of the room. It's about .25-1 inch deep, and between 1-2 inches wide. Do I need to fill it? And, if so, what should I will it with?

3. You'll ll see the large gap for plumbing at the left end of the tub area. Do I need to do something to that area? Or is it okay to leave that space open, and run backer board up to the edge?

4. The last photo is the sink area. This was a mess! (And still is.) My question is whether I need to make any significant modifications beyond improving the drain setup?

Any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! I'm also glad to post more photos as requested. Thank you!

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Old 06-18-13, 02:11 PM
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I would lay plywood on the floor. That will take care of the gaps too. I can't give an opinion on question #2, since I don't really know what the tub/shower looks like. My guess is that you want something there too.
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