The Remodeling Process
Bathroom remodels are very complex, and many homeowners prefer to hire one company for all aspects of the project. The project’s requirements determine which construction steps are taken, but common steps include:
Demolition. Tile in many older bathrooms extends to four or five feet. Older methods of tiling a wall comprised attaching metal mesh to the wall studs, spreading cement on the mesh, and then attaching tile to the cement. The demolition process thus involves removing not only the tile but also the concrete and metal mesh holding it to the wall.
Structural carpentry work. Next, a carpenter builds out the bathroom walls so that they are even with the existing plaster. Also, any damaged floor joists are repaired, and the floor is built up if necessary.
Roughing out utilities. While the interiors of the walls are exposed and accessible, water feed lines, drains, electrical outlets and switches, and heating and air conditioning system ductwork are installed or updated. Any one-piece premanufactured bathtubs, shower stalls, or shower pans may also be installed at this point in the remodeling process.
Installing Sheetrock. Mildew-resistant Sheetrock or greenboard should be installed on walls that will remain dry. However, the contractor should install 100 percent waterproof backer board on the soon-to-be-tiled wet walls of the shower stall or bathtub.
The next step is to install the cabinets, countertops, fixtures, and flooring and prepare them for use. Carpenters, plumbers, and electricians are all involved in this stage.
Cabinetry. With the wide array of cabinet styles available, even a small vanity cabinet can have a dramatic effect on a room. Homeowners can also choose between custom and stock cabinetry. Custom-made cabinets are the most expensive type, though partially custom options are also available at a lower price point. Stock cabinetry is generally the least expensive option available.
Countertops. The most popular bathroom countertop options include granite, marble, and tile. Contemporary materials, such as stainless steel and polished concrete, are available as well.
Flooring. Floors in wet areas, like bathrooms, are usually made of hard surfaces like tile or sealed hardwood. Be sure to consider how much daily use and moisture the floor will see when choosing a flooring material.
Fixtures. Bathroom lighting and plumbing fixtures come in an extensive range of styles and materials that can match any design or color scheme. Environmentally conscious homeowners may also choose to install low-flow showerheads or sink valves designed to conserve water.