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I know, I've inspected hundreds of homes but I've never remodeled a bathroom. That's about to change. I just want a few basic pointers on order of attack. I'll stick my neck out to get started. Tell me your opinions or help direct me.

Here's what's in my head now;

1) Gut to the rafters, studs and joists.

2) Rough in the plumbing and electric. Insulate and vapor barrier.

3) Install 3/4" plywood subfloor.

4) Put new cast iron tub in place.

5) Install 1/4" hardie backer over 3/4" plywood floor.

6) Install 1/2" hardie backer up walls including tub surround to the height of the planned tile design.

7) Install 1/2" green board for the wall and ceiling surfaces to be painted.

Am I on the right track? Please rearrange or fill in blanks where you think I need help. I understand differing opinions so please let it flow.

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Not sure how big the room is, but I usually put down some of the subfloor before any plumbing/electrical so there is somewhere to stand. You might not have any wires under the floor, and you definitely want the subfloor complete before you bother with insulation. I would look at sheeting the walls before setting the tub so that you have a complete air barrier instead of an air leak behind the tub. Get canned foam and a gun and seal every air leak you can find while the framing is open, after the rough-in is complete. Install backing for towel and grab bars. Tile backer on the walls should stop short of the top of the tile by an inch or two, and I install blocking in the wall around the room to support the joint between tile backer and drywall. Go around the room with a straightedge(s) and "line" your walls with an electric planer and drywall butt strips before you install any board. For that matter, level the tops of the joists if they need it, before you install subfloor. Paint all the drywall before installing any tile, instead of trying to cut in to the tile with a brush.

You could write a book on this stuff....

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Install blocking behind planned cabinet locations.

If you are installing a seat in the shower you should also consider how that will be secured.

I like tiles all around the shower area, including the ceiling.

include a timer for your exhaust fan.

If you put electric heat mats in the floor, install an extra temperature sensor in case the first one is bad (I have seen it happen) and you can just move the wires to the back-up sensor.

Frameless shower door are nice but a lot more money.

Don't use any caulk, use grout with additiives to make it more resilient. The caulk will eventually turn black.

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In the past I used regular drywall w/ Kerdi and tiled over that and I have had no issues. Now I'm using ProVa which is 30% less money than the Kerdi over DensArmor or a backerboard. I love the prefab polystyrene curbs and pans.

Using the membrane, the curbs and the pans, I can frame and partially tile a shower in a day. I'm done in two days.

The proprietary products add about $350 to a job but the exceptional water proofing and ease of installation is worth every cent.

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Glad to help, John, and as a contractor I want to thank you for bravely crossing over to the dark side, even if you don't stay permanently.

I've always been a harry home owner DIY type. Now that I'm a home inspector, I feel an increased personal responsibility to at least try and get it right.

All of these experiences help both ways too. Working on stuff exercises the mind about how things work together and helps increase inspection related knowledge.

I'm having so much fun I'm not getting enough sleep sometimes. And I really like sleeping.

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Don't use greenboard, especially on a ceiling. That crap ought to be outlawed. Use DensArmor Plus wherever you'll be using drywall in the room.

Just curious but why does the greenboard suck?

In terms of water resistance, its only slightly better than regular drywall. When it gets wet, it eventually falls apart like anything else. In the meantime, it's soft, squishy, and not as stiff as regular drywall, so it's more easily damaged. It's been made obsolete by modern alternatives.

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If you do everything else right, you don't even need DensArmor. Folks overcomplicate things.

I haven't used anything other than 5/8 sheetrock for ages. Neither do any of the other high end bath guys I work with. We've got a few $80,000-100,000 bathrooms out there....they're fine.

We've used DensArmor in commercial jobs, for sure, but it's overkill in a house, unless you're screwing up everything else.

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So I should be able to get DensArmor Plus at the local big box stores?

Do I mud that in the same way I would regular drywall?

I don't know who sells it in your area. Ask around.

You can mud it in the same as regular drywall. I prefer to use fiberglass tape & hot mud for the first run.

Finishing is different because it has a different texture than regular drywall and it absorbs water at lower rate. Try to make transitions between it and regular drywall at corners. If you're using a smooth finish, you'll need to do a skim coat before your primer. If you're doing a textured finish, then I advise applying the primer and sanding it very lightly before applying the texture. Depending on your skill, you might need two coats of primer.

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If you do everything else right, you don't even need DensArmor. Folks overcomplicate things.

I haven't used anything other than 5/8 sheetrock for ages. Neither do any of the other high end bath guys I work with. We've got a few $80,000-100,000 bathrooms out there....they're fine.

We've used DensArmor in commercial jobs, for sure, but it's overkill in a house, unless you're screwing up everything else.

If I did use 5/8 sheetrock, would I run it behind the tile too? The reason I ask is the tile backer stuff like hardie comes in 1/4 and 1/2 thickness. How would I transition from a tile backer product to a 5/8 sheetrock?

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If you do everything else right, you don't even need DensArmor. Folks overcomplicate things.

I haven't used anything other than 5/8 sheetrock for ages. Neither do any of the other high end bath guys I work with. We've got a few $80,000-100,000 bathrooms out there....they're fine.

We've used DensArmor in commercial jobs, for sure, but it's overkill in a house, unless you're screwing up everything else.

Actually, that's a really good point. If you really need a substitute for greenboard, Densarmor's the stuff to use. But in a single family res bathroom, regular drywall, well finished and well painted, is probably just fine.

Most of the new construction that I inspect these days is large multi-family so Densarmor is just the defacto standard.

BTW, years ago, I switched from 5/8" regular panels to 1/2" ceiling board panels for pretty much everything and I loved it. Sound transmission & stiffness are about the same and it's lighter and, somehow, more "crisp."

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1/2" is fine. Somewhere, we got in the habit of just using 5/8, but it's probably overkill too. I'd put more money into blocking, framing, and soundproofing; it's what holds the drywall and makes the room "tight".

No, no tile on drywall that's in a wet (shower) location. Tile on backer board, durock, hardie, whatever, but not on drywall. Tile on drywall works fine in "dry" areas, meaning the rest of the bathroom. Use grout additive; it'll be fine. Hold the rock minimum 1/2" off the door; no wicking. Put it on the floor, it'll wick.

I honestly think green board falls apart quicker than 5/8 drywall; it's crap.

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And, Durabond, brown bag, with paper tape. Yes, folks line up for and against fiberglass tape, I've seen it work, but I'd never use it. I'm a perfatape guy.

Brown bag, not the easy sand. The stuff doesn't move or crack, period. But, you better know how to handle a knife, because you sure aren't sanding it after it sets up.

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