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Monday, February 15, 2010

Out With the Old, In With the New Floor

The room where we're adding a bathroom to this home was at one time a garage. It was converted a few years ago, but is still a couple feet lower than the rest of the home. The first phase of this project was to remove the closet and surrounding drywall that would be in the way of the new framing.


The closet was completely not load bearing and had been constructed with minimal framing, basically just enough to hold the drywall up. It came out fairly easily. When doing this kind of demolition work I always take it apart the way it was put together. First, I carefully remove the trim and doors and set them aside to be reused.

After the trim is out of the way, I do my best to remove the drywall in large pieces. Then I can bag the pieces and dispose of them. While I'm at it I like to go ahead and clean off all the studs by removing the nails or screws that had been holding the drywall. My goal is to reuse as many of these building materials as I can, but many of these studs aren't straight enough to make for good framing.

The closet had a lowered ceiling that I wanted to remove as well. Before taking off this drywall, I bagged all of the loose-fill insulation that was in the attic above. A dustpan actually makes a great tool for scooping this up and bagging it. I'll reuse the insulation later and save myself a huge 'blizzard' of pink insulation when I bring down the ceiling drywall.

Removing the walls reveals the floor framing for the adjacent kitchen that rests on the cinder block wall that runs around the perimeter of this former garage. I would be building the bathroom floor on this wall as well. Thankfully, the wall was nearly perfectly level, which is often not the case in old garages.

I will be framing the floor as one large platform first, and then add the bathroom walls that will rest on top of the floor. I'll also be adding two small stairways that will lead down to the old garage going into the den or at the backdoor.

I put a lot of thought into how the framing would work and where the walls would go before I got started. There are lot of factors in this particular project to consider such as the dimensions of the stairs and where the plumbing would go.

The floor joists would be 2x8 stock to match the size of the rest of the house, and provide plenty of strength to support the slate tile that the homeowner is considering for the bathroom floor.

TIP: Wondering if your floor will support tile or natural stone? Check out the calculator at the John Bridge forums here to calculate your floors deflection and see if it makes the cut.

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