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My New House & Workshop


Rick W

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Then there's the bathroom....

When I bought my house, I didn't realize there was bathroom in this building.

I really don't know why someone mounted the sink on the right side of the wall where you have to stand between it and the toilet. My plan is to move the sink to the left.

You'll also see where I've had to use some mortar repair in the block.

There was drywall behind the paneling. You can see the mold and water damage.
I had to open up this wall to re-do the plumbing. Please excuse all of the 2x4's along the end stud. After adding the furring strips and brick panel, I had to attach 2x4's to give the new drywall something to screw to and there's a 2x6 in the way where the sink was.
The old plumbing needed replaced. this valve won't even open. I have no idea when the last time was that the water was on in this building, but I bet it's been a long time.

Whoever nailed the panel up drove a nail into the drainpipe right buy the bottom. I pulled out the nail and have to see what I can find to seal it back up.
I removed some of the old water line, turned it in to the wall, and added a water shutoff that takes a PEX.

The vanity I showed before will have a sink in it as well. Plus, I plan to add a tankless water heater. So, I need to split this line off to the toilet, the water heater, and then the (2) sinks.

Plus panel the walls and replace that old toilet. I was going to rebuild the toilet with new internals in the tank to save money, but it's got an unusually small awkward bowl. I think the toilet in my camper was bigger than this thing.

I haven't decided what I want to do with the floor. Not sure if I want to paint it, stain it, or pit a peel and stick tile on it.

Speaking of which, the front room has this floor tile, but a few pieces are bad. It's so old I can't find tile to match it, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

The baking soda/super glue trick will patch that pipe permanently. You might need to chip out just the tiniest bit of concrete to make sure you can access the whole area of damage. Also, use a file or sand paper or grinder to just take the surface off the area, and clean it with mineral spirits or acetone, or whatever, and then clean that off with alcohol. The baking soda/superglue will stick to any kind of plastic pipe, or a metal pipe, but if there’s mold or any kind of organic scum or build up, it won’t adhere to that.

If the tiles are 9” x 9”, they are probably asbestos containing. Make sure you wear a HEPA mask covering your mouth/nose when dealing with it. If they are 12 x 12, they’re vinyl tiles and you probably won’t have that worry.

Those are “chip” tiles. The manufacturer takes all the little bits left over from everything and blends them together in giant runs. Even month to month they sometimes don’t match. What we’ve done in commercial applications where we didn’t want to replace all the tiles, is we put in a few “accent” tiles.

if you have a half dozen that are bad, take them out, but then maybe strategically take out a few more or even many all across the area and put in a complementing color tile. If you try to match it, and it’s not exact, everyone sees it from a mile away. But if you intentionally use complimenting tiles as the accent, and you place them strategically, it looks intentional, like a fancy design.

Also, you can buy some interesting tiles that may have hunting pictures or wildlife or cars or who knows what on them. They’re kind of expensive compared to the originals, but if you don’t need many, then it really looks like a custom idea. If they are 9 x 9 tiles, you can buy the 12 x 12 tiles and just cut them down.

Finally, if you’re going to take some up and use this accent tile approach, for the ones you remove, break them up from the middle out, don’t try to catch them on an edge and pull them up. Pretty hard not to chip up the adjoining tile, but if you bust them out in the middle, and you work outward, you can end up with a really clean edge.

And, just one afterthought, it’s a shame that you already took that sink out, and the funky toilet. With that kind of arrangement, if you had learned to wash our hands behind your back/and or sit on the throne sideways, you may have been able to save time during the proceedings….

As always, only suggestions, it all looks absolutely great, fantastic. Hope it all helps.
 


Rick W

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My credo
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Afterthought, if you want to, do a quick sketch of the room that has the floor tiles, the plan view like you’re looking down from the top. Show where the bad tiles are, show where the cabinets and such will be installed, show the doorways in an out, and if you have any idea what furniture is going to look like sketch it out quickly. If this takes you more than 15-20 minutes you’re over thinking it. I don’t need accuracy, just the concept of general appearance.

If you send me that, I can give you two or three different concepts on how to do accent tiles, so it will look like it was always the plan.
 
Last edited:

Jim Oaks

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I wanted to do a coat closet in that other room and had wondered if there was a way to remove the tiles from that spot and reuse them in the bad spots. Don't know how I'd get them up without breaking them or how I'd stick them back down.
 

ericbphoto

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I wanted to do a coat closet in that other room and had wondered if there was a way to remove the tiles from that spot and reuse them in the bad spots. Don't know how I'd get them up without breaking them or how I'd stick them back down.
It’s extremely unlikely that you will pull them up without breaking. What size are those tiles?

Not to open another can of worms, but they may be asbestos based. If so, do not drill. Grind, sand, or otherwise do anything that would potentially put the fibers airborne. You can carefully scrape them up, even breaking them, as long as the fibers are stirred up. Soaking with water for 24hrs MIGHT soften the glue and make them easier to remove. I tried it once many years ago with mediocre results. If the tiles are 9” square, or have a black glue, you should suspect asbestos and leave them undisturbed. Just put something else over top. There were some 12” square asbestos tiles made, but use the black glue as a clue with them.
 

Shran

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I helped remove about 5 school buildings worth of asbestos tile when I was a kid... it was pretty nasty work, had to chip it up with a big scraper thing. Most of the glue had let go so it was easy to remove if you got a couple tiles up and then got a run at the row, you'd just run across the room and a whole row would peel up. We just shoveled that shit out the window into a truck. That's been about 20 years so I hope the mesothelioma doesn't get me soon, we only had basic dust masks to wear. In all seriousness 99% of the dust was from dirt between the tiles and old wax - we tried busting the tiles up into powder just for fun but it was pretty hard to get anything smaller than little shards.

Anyway what made me think of that was your comment about reusing the tile - you probably can if you're careful, just plan to break some. Clean up the edges and use tile glue to glue them back down.

I would not use peel & stick tiles... those are junk no matter what brand you get. If you get new tile, get some nice commercial vinyl ones and glue them down. Super easy and actually kind of a fun job. You could epoxy paint the floor too which looks nice but is pretty easy to damage, especially if you weld on it.
 

Rick W

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My credo
Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
I wanted to do a coat closet in that other room and had wondered if there was a way to remove the tiles from that spot and reuse them in the bad spots. Don't know how I'd get them up without breaking them or how I'd stick them back down.
How many do you need to replace?

If they are the 9 x 9 vinyl/asbestos tiles (VAT), they are very brittle when they’re new, and they only get worse with age, so my advice is don’t even consider it.

However, if they are the 12 x 12 vinyl tiles, it’s like a lot of other plastic stuff, they have some flexibility, and if you warm them up, they can be even more flexible.

You never want to try to “pull” them up or “pry” them up. If you warm them up, and you pull or pry on them, you will just tear them apart. You probably have, or you can get, a 2 inch putty knife. With a belt sander, or a sanding disc on a drill, sharpen it like a razor. The concept is to slice them off the concrete, and warming them up makes them soft enough that they won’t break as you slice underneath them.

Use a torch to warm up the tiles. It will take a lot of patience because you actually want to warm up the bottom side, and the glue underneath them. So you have to warm them from the top very slowly. Obviously, you don’t want to burn them, but you want to get them hot just shy of burning. Then, use the putty/spackling knife to separate them from the floor. I am choosing my word carefully, “separate.” You don’t want to pry them up, and you don’t want a pull them up, you want to slice them off the floor. Don’t pull on them or fold them up at all, just let them ride up over your hand as you slice them loose, constantly heating them.

If you have an area like the closet, where you can pull them up, you probably have to sacrifice one to get to the edges of the others, but then this technique should work. You just have to be very patient, and go gently.

when you pull them up, they may be warped. If we’re only talking a few of them, I would prepare the places where they have to go down, put the adhesive down, and as you pull one up, install it in the new spot. If you have some kind of a roller, use that to press them down flat while they are still warm.

One last thought, if there’s a chip, or if there’s a little crooked edge, even a crack, You (and everybody else) is never going to look at it as closely as you are right now as you’re doing it. A little nick here or there is not the end of the world.

Hope it helps!
 
Last edited:

Rick W

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It’s extremely unlikely that you will pull them up without breaking. What size are those tiles?

Not to open another can of worms, but they may be asbestos based. If so, do not drill. Grind, sand, or otherwise do anything that would potentially put the fibers airborne. You can carefully scrape them up, even breaking them, as long as the fibers are stirred up. Soaking with water for 24hrs MIGHT soften the glue and make them easier to remove. I tried it once many years ago with mediocre results. If the tiles are 9” square, or have a black glue, you should suspect asbestos and leave them undisturbed. Just put something else over top. There were some 12” square asbestos tiles made, but use the black glue as a clue with them.
I agree, this is correct, but like many things, there are work arounds.

The 9x9s, I’m 98.5% sure they’re asbestos. If you have to take up a few, keep the floor wet, so you keep dust down, wear a HEPA mask, goggles, and put whatever comes up immediately into a double bag. The issue is the microscopic fibers that can enter into the air. So keep the room ventilated, with the flow of air away from you. I would only attempt this if you’re talking about a half dozen tiles, if it’s a bigger project than that, I would get a pro.

From the picture you sent, if they are 12x12s, I’m equally sure they are probably not asbestos. Again, from the picture: asbestos tiles generally have a different appearance. But without a test, there is no way to be sure, so you should use the exact same precautions. If you try my heat method, and they do not become pliable, they may be asbestos, so be very careful. If they become pliable, they are most likely not asbestos, but you should still protect yourself as if they were.

As regards the black “mastic,“ asbestos containing mastic was phased out about the same time as the tiles. The advantage in dealing with it is that it is gummy, so it takes more effort to generate loose fibers. The catch 22 is that you theoretically want to keep it wet to keep fibers down, which defeats trying to heat them up and slice them loose. But if you’re following all the science and technology here, with a mask, goggles, and proper ventilation, if you’re only talking about a few tiles, it’s probably manageable.

My former engineering company used to do this kind of work. From a legal standpoint, there is no regulation on a homeowner doing this kind of work in their own home. If you get anyone from the outside to do it, they have to have the training and licenses, handle the waste properly, etc. etc.
 
Last edited:

Rick W

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Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely
Just a thought on what the hazard is.

Have you ever pulled some old insulation out of a wall or an attic, the fibers get on you, and you itch for a week? Fiberglass fibers are like oak trees or railroad ties compared to baby’s butt hairs, apples to apples, except the asbestos is almost indestructible, and, it’s so small, your body surfaces and membranes will not expel it. If a piece of fiberglass gets in your skin, or your lungs, like a splinter in your finger, if you leave it alone, your body will push it out. That’s not true with asbestos fibers.

The law and published science says that asbestos is carcinogenic. Yes, and no. Asbestos is actually a rock, a mineral, and it is inert. It does not chemically or biologically cause cancer. When the fibers lodge in your eyes, in your lungs, in anywhere you can imagine, it remains a perpetually open wound. Think of sticking a needle in your arm, but then, just leaving it there, forever, and your body does not seal around it, nor push it out. In that circumstance, a true carcinogen (i.e., gasoline or other solvents), is allowed to penetrate the membrane, accelerating the carcinogenic process by light years.

And finally, you know the old adage about how many angels on the head of a pin? Angels are the size of the sun compared to the asbestos fibers, and there are zillions and zillions of them in the air when you pop up a tile.

Be safe my friend. Hope it helps.

And, of course, I’m not telling you to do this, I’m just explaining how one might do it, theoretically, if they were on the dark side of the moon…..
 
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Jim Oaks

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I need to finish up the bathroom plumbing and I'm trying to decide if I want to add a tankless water heater, or a small 4-6 gallon water heater.

The tankless are 240 volts and will require either a single double pole breaker and 8ga wire or (2) double pole breakers and 6ga wire.

A small 4-6 gallon tank can work off a 120v outlet. Their around 21x14x14 inches and would fit under the vanity. Biggest reason I want it is for washing dishes and utensils in the sink that will go in that white vanity outside of the bathroom. The building doesn't have a shower, so there isn't a huge demand for hot water.

I've even thought about plumbing everything without hot water since the bathroom sink never had it, but I'll probably regret it later.
 

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The advantage to the tankless is that it only uses electricity when you use it. But it usually costs a lot more to purchase. The tank style is always cycling on and off to keep the water hot.

I'm confused about your breaker requirements. Why does one model of thankless require 2 double pole breakers? It only takes 2 pole spaces in the breaker panel to get 240 volts regardless of whether it's 40amps or 60 amps.
 

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A tankless would probably be overkill for that usage. The water heater can be turned off during periods when it’s not needed.

The payback period for the tankless cost vs. the heater tank would be a long one in electrical cost savings.

Edit: ninja-ed by Eric 😊

-Jazzer
 

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I'd for sure do a small tankless water heater -


Something like that. It takes up hardly any space. Floor space is incredibly valuable in my mind... you can put a little tankless water heater next to your toilet or under the sink. A tank unit will take up 2'x2' floor space, you could use that for shelving... or a band saw... drill press... desk, etc.
 

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Are you on well water? I've heard the tankless can clog up quickly depending on your water. Of course your not using it frequently so may not matter too much.
 

Rick W

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I need to finish up the bathroom plumbing and I'm trying to decide if I want to add a tankless water heater, or a small 4-6 gallon water heater.

The tankless are 240 volts and will require either a single double pole breaker and 8ga wire or (2) double pole breakers and 6ga wire.

A small 4-6 gallon tank can work off a 120v outlet. Their around 21x14x14 inches and would fit under the vanity. Biggest reason I want it is for washing dishes and utensils in the sink that will go in that white vanity outside of the bathroom. The building doesn't have a shower, so there isn't a huge demand for hot water.

I've even thought about plumbing everything without hot water since the bathroom sink never had it, but I'll probably regret it later.
Is the main issue floor space?

If so, can the tank fit above the ceiling? Can you put it on a high shelf close by?

If you stick it over the ceiling, remember to protect the pipes from freezing somehow.

Hope it helps
 

Rick W

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Afterthought on the shower.

When I built my shop (from scratch), I put in a half bath: a commode and a laundry tub type sink. The structure is a minimalist shell: two by fours with plywood around the corners, insulation board between the plywood, and vinyl siding on the outside. No insulation or interior finish of any kind except the bathroom. If I added the shower, the building would be considered a “living space,” and the whole building would’ve had to meet the specs on insulation and interior finish, etc. Today, when you walk in, you see the two by fours, and you see the trusses overhead.

If I had to do over again, being the outlaw I am, after I got my plumbing inspection for the slab, I would have run the drain pipe for the shower, and left it 1/4” below the concrete surface. I don’t think I would use it often, but even for three or four times a year when I’m particularly nasty, I’d love to have it.

They make little shower stalls that sit above the floor, they come in a flat box and get put together like an erector set. They’re not fancy, but they work, and you could tie it into the drain above the concrete slab, maybe where that little hole is you need to fix.

I guess my point is, if you’re ever thinking of doing it, now would be the time.

As always, hope it helps
 

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