The Bathroom Debacle: Part 1

I’m finally ready to get into the nitty gritty details of the disaster that has become our bathroom remodel project…I’m sure some of you have been patiently waiting to hear all about it.

Some of the previous posts about the Inlaw Bathroom:

The Background:

We hired a Guy (which I will use as his name), who was recommended to us, to do some small projects around the house. He talked a good talk about his knowledge and experience doing an assortment of remodel projects and he seemed like an all around handy man.

We were at the point where we needed to start the bathroom remodel and Guy said he would give us a package deal on the bathroom in order to help us out now and in hopes that he’d be able to get more work around the house for future projects. We thought “Great! This way we won’t have to hire separate people to do all the different aspects, which will save us a ton of money.”

He got to work and right away things seemed a little off. But, not being professionals ourselves we thought Guy knew what he was doing and let him work. The beginning plan was that Neil and/or I were going to help him throughout the process to help the project go quicker and so that we could learn some things along the way. That changed immediately as we were constantly told to “get out” or “no, I’m fine. I don’t need any help.” Ok, fine…whatever, it’s a small space, we’ll let him work.

Then things started to look really off…and again I’m not a professional, but if I notice that something looks off, it must be really off. This is when things started to get weird. Whenever I asked about something that didn’t look right or asked to have something done a specific way, I was basically told that I was stupid and wrong and had no idea what I was talking about…Excuse Me?

By this point I was getting upset. I’m not an idiot. I do know what I’m talking about. And just because I don’t physically know how to do everything myself does not mean that I’m wrong. I started realizing that he had a problem with me because I had breasts and was actually speaking up for myself and questioning his work…It’s definitely NOT okay to treat me like crap in my own house, especially since you are being paid by us to do a job the way we want it. You don’t screw with the client. Business 101.


Here is how the (first) bathroom remodel went:

bathroom decale part 1

1) The floor tile installed: Guy used Ditra (the orange stuff) and instead of installing it correctly to create a waterproof seal, he roughly cut the strips, threw them on the floor, and however they fit was how they ended up. This left gaps in the middle of the floor and around all the wall edges.

2) Walls and tile attempt #1: I don’t know if he was just trying to rush or he just didn’t care, but seams between durock/drywall edges should be sealed, always, especially in a bathroom around a tub. He started laying the tile anyway…we went with tile because I didn’t like the gaps created by using a plastic surround. So, when he installed the tile he decided to leave a 1″ gap between the top of the tub and the bottom of the tile. I pointed this out and he told me it was for drainage…DRAINAGE! I said, “I have NEVER in my life seen a tub with gaps around it.” He said “drainage.”

I went home did some research and discovered that there should never be a gap that large around your tub, ever. I went ballistic. I ended up going to the house and ripping off some of the tiles myself because I was so upset: 1) because it was done wrong and 2) because I called him out on it and he, yet again, said I was wrong and had no idea what I was talking about.

We made him go back and redo it.

3) Tile attempt #1 removal: We had him rip out the tiles he installed wrong, which meant we had to replace the Durock too. So, we ended up back to studs to try again…

4) Tub chip: During the tile removal process, which meant him destroying every single tile (when I was able to remove them as whole unbroken pieces while in a rage), he dropped a tile and chipped the tub…We had to replace the tub as well…

5) Tile attempt #2: At this point I had done my research and informed him that I wanted the rest of the durock/drywall installed and seamed and the side wall of the tub built out (which he flat out refused to do) BEFORE he installed the new tile again…

Of course he didn’t listen, he installed the Durock around the tub, which came up short, and installed the tile right past the end of the Durock board…Now, how exactly are you going to seam the walls with the tile already in place?

At least there wasn’t a huge gap around the tub this time…

6) Side of tub wall: Since he refused to build out the side tub wall, like I specifically asked and created a diagram of for him, we ended up with weird spacing between the tub and the wall and still not a seamed edge in sight.

7) Two-toned floor mortar: When the floor was done, he left out a few pieces around the edges and the toilet, I guess to install at a later date. But, it turned out that he ran out of the tile mortar and switched to a different kind. Why would you use two different kinds of floor mortar on the same tile floor job?

8) More wall gaps: Since he installed the tile before finishing the drywall (like I asked), the tile extended past the Durock sheet. Instead of tucking the drywall behind the tile, he roughly cut the drywall to fit around the outside of already placed tile…which left a huge gab (about 2″) down the back of the tile expanding the entire length of the tiled wall area. And instead of butting the drywall up to the tub, he left a gap there too, with the stud exposed.

9) Even more drywall gaps: So, now we had huge gaps around our tile and walls. Not exactly sure how we are supposed to create a water tight bathroom with holes everywhere…

10) Floors and wall not touching: Now that all the drywall was put up it turned out that the floor he installed first did not extend all the way to the wall. There was a 1″ gap between where the floor stopped and the wall started. How exactly are we supposed to cover that up?

11) The wall I wanted built out: Since he refused to build out the wall (which would have required a single 2×4), there remained yet another huge gap between the tub and the side wall. Since nothing was seamed, it’s just an open space to the stud underneath.

12) Being lazy: Since there were huge gaps left around the tile (#8 above), he filled those spaces with caulk. And I can only assume because he didn’t care, some tiles slipped out of place because there was not enough adhesive applied to them.


If you are getting a bathroom remodeled and any part of the project looks similar to this…STOP. Stop immediately and get someone else (or hire someone if you’re doing it yourself).

Unfortunately, due to extenuating circumstances, we thought we would just have to live with the uneven tile and gaps and just plan on redoing things again later on down the line…It wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be functional.

But, the story continues….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s