It was such as improvement once all that green was gone that we almost relished the brown of the studs! Almost... but no, time to rebuild!
What you're looking at here is a newly built stud wall to allow for our niche to be built in, and the plumbing to be installed around it. Dan knocked this up using structural pine from Bunnings. He made it 200mm deep and just over 900mm wide to occupy the entire space between wall and window. It is just over 2100mm high to allow for the tiles to that point and a timber trim above.
It was fantastic that the plumber was able to work with us on the weekend we did this. We wouldn't have gotten half as far if he hadn't. It meant we could explain to him exactly where the plumbing had to go whilst we demolished and reconstructed walls etc.
With the floor sheeting down, you can see the waste for the shower and the toilet are in. It's important to check with professionals if doing a bathroom yourself as to what products to use for what. Ceramic tile underlay is for your floors, and villaboard is for you walls. Both of these products are 6mm thick and available at hardware stores. We found BMS Mitre 10 the cheapest. We used plywood as a board to which to screw all of the plumbing to in the niche wall too. Dan had this laying around in the shed.
As well as the plumbing, the electricity was organised prior to sheeting the walls. Wires were run up through the floor and left unattached to anything so we could safely work around them until the electrician could come back after the tiling. We just had to work out where we wanted the switch. Being an old house there were no power points at all in the bathroom until now.
Our toilet actually has an interesting story. Thankfully I was at work during the process of discovering the one hitch that could have been our downfall. Hate to think how much swearing happened! Not until everything was ripped out and the hole for the toilet waste was about to be drilled, did Dan find out that it was going to sit smack bang in the middle of a joist! There was no moving it an inch left or right because our design was so dependent on all the available space allotted to each item. He ended up cutting the timber joist and installing a big steel beam across to the next joist. Thankfully due to other structural work we have done on the house, we actually had the required steel.
Sheeting a bathroom is something neither Dan or I have ever done, but thankfully we got the hang of very quickly. Each sheet we measured and cut to size with this fibro cutter. We started at the bottom, doing the largest walls first and planning where we could use our offcuts. We placed each sheet and used the level to draw a line for each stud. Each sheet was pulled away then and liquid nails globbed on to tack it to the wall whilst we screwed them up. Screw holes were predrilled and a countersink used prior to driving in the screw. This job was definitely a team effort.
Villaboard has chamfers on the edges which you want to meet in the middle. This is so you can plaster the join nice and neat later.
Our offcuts were used around our niche wall. It was a bit fiddly but it was great to see such a large change happening around us.
Cutting the sheets makes an almighty mess! Our undercover area was preparation ground zero for everything happening in the bathroom. Thank goodness we had that space actually, because we got 6-7 inches of rain in the following week.
The holes for power points and plumbing were made with the drill and the hammer. First you perforate the perimeter of the to-be hole with drill holes, then you bash it out with a hammer. Easy! Just make sure you measure correctly!
At last the niche wall was sheeted and we could plaster up the join in the villaboard, ready for the waterproofer the next day!
This is a bit of messy fun. They call the product wet are joint compound. We used a paint scraper to put on the first coat, filling as much of the gap as possible. See that roll of paper/tape looking stuff in the bottom right of the picture? That goes on next.
This is plasterboard perforated paper jointing tape. It's the meat in between your join compound sandwich. This was a two person job to hold the tape nice and straight and smoothing it on with the paint scraper.
With another coat of joint compound, all smoothed off with a larger scraper, we were looking pretty good for waterproofing the next morning.
We had been told not to worry about the joins that didn't have a chamfer (ie. around the niche wall) as the water proofer was going to look after them. So after a very full on weekend, we call it a night. Gutted, plumbed, sheeted and plastered. Up early in the morning for the waterproofing man!