DIY Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes | 7 Quick Tips for Homeowners

Today I want to discuss seven common mistakes
people make when remodeling their bathroom, and no. 7 is something I see all the time.
So watch fully, and make sure you don’t make these mistakes.
So the no. 1 mistake is not shutting off the water to your bathroom before demoing anything
in the bathroom, including removing a toilet or removing a vanity. You never know how old
the valves are that you’re going to be shutting off, and a lot of times they end up leaking
just by turning them. So I always shut off the water before I start any demo in the bathroom.
Now, you wonder: “What do you do if you do have a leaking faucet or a leaking valve?
What can you do to quickly remedy that so that you can continue remodeling the bathroom
and get the water turned on for the rest of the home?” SharkBites are a great option.
A slip-on type of push-on fitting really simplifies things and makes it a lot faster to move on
with your project. The second mistake that I see very common
is not having your studs, after you tear out the bathroom and preparing for your new shower
and tub surround, is to having your framing 16 inches on center even with one another.
And that’s super important. You don’t want to be putting a backer board up that’s
going to have a bow in it. It makes it that much more difficult to actually tile that
surface. So making sure that they’re even and obviously plumb. Plumb would make it easier
to install shower doors. It’ll make it easier for all the tile layout in process. So make
sure that you have your studs 16 inches on center and that all studs are even with one
another. The third biggest mistake is not having a
clean and sound subfloor before installing a new shower system or tile floor. Too many
times I see people trying to go over existing vinyl floors where they peel off the vinyl
floor and there’s all this glue that’s still on the subfloor, and even worse, around
the toilet area where the subfloor might be weakened by water damage. You want to make
sure you have a solid foundation for your tile and your shower, or tub system for that
matter. You want to make sure that primarily that you have joists that are 16 inches on
center and that you have a minimum of a ¾-inch thick plywood layer.
Okay, so the fourth one I see commonly is when you’re installing a new shower or a
tub surround, trying to keep the old valve that was existing there. Some people think
that it’s very difficult to replace; it costs too much money. You’ll end up having
problems with it, just put it that way. You will have problems with that old valve. Most
likely you’re remodeling your bathroom because it’s already 15 years old. Don’t leave
the existing valve in. Make sure that you set it to the correct depth and you’re prepped
for the new shower. Number five big common problem is just using
cementitious backer boards or HardieBacker and not waterproofing it. Those two items
are not waterproof. They need to be sealed with a liquid membrane or a sheet membrane
of some sort. So always have a waterproof tub surround or waterproof shower before you
being to tile. Number six is in the tiling installation portion—not
mixing your thinset to the proper water ratio of that manufacturer’s specifications. You
always want to make sure that you read the back of the bag of the thinset that you’re
using and use the right amount of water for the amount of thinset. Some of my favorite
thinsets are made by Ardex. They actually can allow you to mix smaller quantities of
the powder and water mix ratio. For instance, one of my favorites is X 77. You can use two-parts
powder and one-part water, and it’s at the right ratio. Too often I see tile failures
where none of the thinset is actually at the back of the tile, and a lot of that’s because
the mix was too dry. So you always want to make sure that you use the proper amount of
water when mixing thinset. So, and finally number seven, the worst mistake
that I normally see in a lot of beautiful showers that might’ve been just built a
year ago is seeing mastic used as the adhesive for the tile. Mastic, the stuff that comes
in a bucket that’s premixed, is not made for wet areas. It’s not made for showers
or tub surrounds or shower floors. It’s an organic material. It will mold. So if you
see mold coming through your grout lines, chances are somebody might’ve used mastic
behind that tile and created that problem. So please do not use a premixed mastic for
your shower. So you only want to use a thinset, something
that you mix water with. Modified thinset is usually preferred for most of these new
porcelain tiles. You want to use directional troweling, and you want to make sure that
you’re getting a 95% bond to your tile in a wet area. The coverage is really going to
be trial and error. I mean typically it’s using the right trowel size and using directional
troweling so that you can achieve that coverage. It’s always a good idea on the first tile,
pull it off, make sure that you look at the back of the tile, make sure it’s getting
a good bond. And then you can feel confident about remodeling or continuing with the tile
throughout the rest of the bathroom. If these tips helped you out, please give
us a thumbs up. Leave us a comment below if you have any questions about any of your bathroom
questions, anything that you might be involved in remodeling. We’re here to help you out.
So leave us a comment below. Thanks!

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21 thoughts on “DIY Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes | 7 Quick Tips for Homeowners

  1. What about planning / layout?
    Door swing. Backing for towel rods, tp holder, shower curtain/ door. Outlets in mirrors. Tile layout, don't want slivers. Clearances. Having fixtures on site to reference. Ventilation. Lots to think about.

  2. What about glue and screw or cement board? Starr tile guy says that cement board doesn’t need to be cemented down just screwed down. Now I’m not trying to start a he said she said situation I just want to do the best job in my house so can someone please answer this question as I have asked a few tile guys on you tube but no one answers

  3. Always, always droppin the knowledge to further the industry. Great video as always guys!! Hoping all is well, Dirty Jersey out!!

  4. Cool video, a little different than usual. I like it. What was that funky looking large format trowel you featured?

  5. Great tips Steve. Have you seen many installations where they cut corners to make things easier or to save money on materials? Methods like that never seem to work and always fail sooner than later.

  6. Thank you so much for this video. #8 – Not replaying this video once a day during the remodel!
    BTW, upcoming video suggestion – "How to true up your studs after demo"

  7. Steve how do you control lippage while installing glass mosaic between 12/24 tiles?. My glass mosaic was thinner then tile so I used a piece of ditra and now there is 1/16 lippage – I Am not sure what can I do at this point, is it going to look awful after grout or can I live with it? the only other option is to rip it off and try to fix that!

  8. Hi, I like many others sat watching your video thought yes, I won't have any of the mistakes here and almost didn't watch the video. My thoughts were confirmed until you got to the number 7. I have done loads of tiling in kitchens and bathrooms, I have even gone back 10 to 15 years later to redo the tiles because the owner of the house wanted to update or just change what they had. I don't normally like to go back because the effort needed to remove the tiles often brings off the plaster as well and I don't like plastering. I was surprised when you said not to use premixed thin-set out of a bought tub but I have never had any problems doing so and I am now 68 and retired.

  9. I am remodeling a small bathroom here in Maine in my home and I am about to do the insulation for my tub shower wall my question is if I am using DensShield board with Rockwool do I need to use a plastic vapor barrier over the Rockwool or am I ok with out the plastic over the Rockwool on the exterior side wall in the tub shower area?

  10. Have you ever seen a bathtub on a concrete/cement slab, ie in a lower level or basement, that did not require cutting into the concrete to allow space for the drain?

  11. How do you make all the studs level and flat with each other? A low one can be shimmed but a high one is more problematic, especially if it is near a corner. Sanding can take for ever, I have tried one of those cheese grater type rasps and they don't seem to bite into the studs. So what is your solution?

  12. Hi there! My husband and I are remodeling our bathroom. We have picked a tile that has a significant wave on it. We are wondering how best to cut this to fit around the faucet, handle and showerhead so that the covers will lay flat and not have gaps within the waves. Thanks!

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