…why not take another bite?
If you’ve been with me up till now, you know that I’ve been blindly remodeling my half bath. I dove right in, with the recklessness of an acid tripper believing she can fly. So far, it’s been gutted and plumbed and the “Two T’s” are waiting for me: Tile and Toilet. I finally mustered up the balls to go buy all the drywall equipment, even though something as simple as choosing screws put the fear of god into me. I even had to trick Scott with promises of hoagies, to get him to drive the rented van that Home Depot provides.
Here is the drywall and the cement board for the tiled wall. Like immigrants fresh off the boat, they needed time to acclimate to their new home. They sat here for 3 days absorbing the room’s temperature.
Just as I was getting ready with that first sheet, something started nagging at me. The floor. Or rather, three floors. Why are there three types of flooring within 6 feet of each other, pray tell? Yes, good people, it doesn’t make any sense to me either.
So what did I do? That’s right. I put off the drywall some more. I went to town on that square tile. Of all the ways I tried to pop it off, I found the easiest thing to do was simply smash it. Like it did me wrong. Which it did. Cuz it looked at me funny.
In about an hour, it looked like the sky fell in.
I swept up the shards, and now had my blank canvas. I’m going to simply extend the blonde wood flooring into the hall, which will add a few bucks to my floor cost.
There was a lot of debris in all the nooks and crannies. I rolled on over to Home Depot to rent a Shop-Vac, the mother of all vacuums.
The lady manning the counter told me none were available, so I am now the proud owner of a $50 model. Is this how they get you to buy stuff? It took me an embarrassingly long time to assemble the thing.
It’s one powerful monkey! It almost pulled the fillings out of my teeth. Why doesn’t everyone use these instead of the regular ol’ vacuums for their house?
Ok, now I can do the drywall. Or can I? What about this dangling electrical box?
I’ve been meaning to change it into a GFCI outlet. Back to Home Depot I went. If you’re paying close attention, you’ll see that so far, I spent half the day on vacuuming and shopping at Home Depot. Oh, hours, where do you go!
It was also a mystery as to how to deal with a dangling box (sounds like slang for….something). Looks like a crash course in electric wiring is about to commence. I purchased another box that looked like it could get screwed to the side of the stud. But, ugh, wrong size. The wood behind it displaced it forward too much.
Another trip to Home Depot seemed as appealing as eating rotten eggs. It was time to “Tim Gunn” it and make it work.
I screwed the back into the wood behind it, all the while wondering why the original person didn’t do that. I have since learned that this style of electrical box is only used when there is no open wall, and it can be slid right into a drywall hole.
Between this video, and the instructions that came with the outlets, I was easily able to install both the GFCI outlet, and the on/off switch. I only had 3 wires to work with because this was the last stop of the power line, but if you have more than 4 wires, you may want to watch this video.
I was pretty impressed with mah bad self.
Now, NOW, I was ready for that drywall. If you’ve been smelling procrastination, you’d be right.
I should preface this by saying I’ve been reading up on how to do this during my work commute. I read 2 books on the subject.
1. Drywall: Professional Techniques for Great Results
2. Complete Drywall (Stanley Complete)
The first one was so detailed, and comprehensive, it was like reading a drywall tell-all. The second was a reinforcement of all I had learned, and showed some additional pics of the how-to’s. I did feel well armed with the right info to get the job done right. Now all I needed was the benefit of experience.
First, a quick check to see if the studs are all lined up. They all appear to be flush against the level.
I shimmied the first piece of drywall toward the bathroom. I angled and pushed, and the thing would not fit through the door. I called in my backup, aka Scott, and he confirmed that I’m not a total spacial dolt — it truly wouldn’t fit.
Mo-fo! I specifically gutted the place to avoid seams, and now I was going to have seams up the wazoo. Such is life.
Cutting was easy. I measured, I scored.
I snapped it against my knee, and cut the other side free.
Then I propped it up against the studs, and with gritted teeth, drove the first screw through.
According to the experts, it’s important for the screws to stop just below the surface of the drywall, making just a dimple, without actually breaking the surface paper, otherwise the screw may be weak and “pop” later on. Um, some areas got away from me, especially around the corners.
When that happens, the right thing to do is get another screw in, a couple of inches away.
After a few hit-and-miss screws, I had my first piece of drywall up! Yay me!
Now that I’m looking at it, I’m thinking I could add a few more screws.
Anyway, I was gearing up to start the awful cement board installation on the other side of the wall. I say awful because those bastards are heavy. That’s probably why they come in small pieces. I popped open the box of special screws designed just for that purpose, and only then noticed they required different bits. The screw on the left is the square-bit-loving cement board screw.
I couldn’t bear another trip to Home Depot today, so time to take a nap.
Do you guys ever feel like utter brain mush when doing these sorts of projects? Do you just plow through anyway? Learn everything you can about it beforehand?
Filed Under: bathroom, home project, home repair, renovation