First-Time Bath Remodel Plan Review

5 Replies

Tenant moving out end of July and the bath has a good amount of mildew. This is my first rental and first turn so I'm trying to nail down the best strategy for standardizing bath design to prevent mildew, reduce risk of damage, and make cleaning easier.

After a lot of reading the forums, below is what I'm planning to have done.

Main questions for the forums are:
1) am I missing anything?
2) should I change the plan somehow?
3) should I replace the ceiling drywall? If so, with what?? Hardibacker or drywall? Currently has problems with mildew, paint bubbles, etc.
4) Is the estimated cost between 1,500-2,000 with a contractor doing the work?

- remove existing tile
- remove drywall in surround and window area to the ceiling
- replace drywall with hardibacker redgard hardibacker large porcelain tiles (16x16, 12x24) with smallest grout spacing possible
- highest quality caulk that is mildew-resistant
- tile floors, 4" base/behind/beside toilet, in addition to tub surround all the way to ceiling
- angle tiles away from block window
- re-install shower curtain rod 
- replace fan/light with higher-performance model with humidity sensor
- inspect fan ventiliation to confirm vent going through ceiling
- inspect bath, sink, toilet plumbing and waste drainpipes
- add quarter turn water shut-off valve
- replace bath fixtures to single stem handle
- replace bath drain with grid drain

@Paul S.

Yes, I would completely demo this bathroom, minus the tub and toilet if both are in good shape. Then for the drywall, you should use greenboard for majority, then for the tile surround, hardiback or durorock. Tile & Grout size doesn't matter as long as its done well. Yes, for the caulk and like @Sean Carroll mentioned, use mildew resistant paint. For the floor, I would use luxury vinyl plank. I absolutely love it. Its easy to install, durable, most have a warranty and is less costly to replace if it gets damaged. Slip and mildew resistant. 

Then yes, I would also change out the exhaust fan as well to properly vent the area. 

My experience for this kind of remodel, the cost is usually in the $3k - $4k range. 

• Demo
• Minor plumbing & electric
• New drywall and durorock
• New tile
• New flooring
• New Vanity and Faucet
• New exhaust fan
• Paint
• New baseboards

While most of this is inexpensive to replace, installing the tile can add up along with materials. However prices vary from state to state and even city to city, so I would get a few bids. 

Good luck!

Hi Paul,

I've renovated quite a few of these old baths. Those big windows in the shower are very poorly placed... they ALWAYS end up leaking at the sill creating all kinds of wet rot inside the wall, plus they're a privacy problem.

We replaced them with a "gun slit" approx. 30"-48" wide and 6"-10" high, centered in the wall. You can use a jalousie style window to use the entire opening for ventilation, a cheaper slider for half the area, or glass block as you have now. 

Lack of ventilation is clearly causing your mold/mildew problem, so a functioning window will help, and the larger the opening the better.

It does require a match on the exterior finish material to fill in the size difference, but these baths are always on the side or rear of the house, so it's not very noticeable.

The fact that it's a different size and more contempo-looking than the older original windows, isn't a compromise on esthetics, either. It just looks like you made an upgrade... adds a bit a character.

One other consideration, if you install a high-CFM exhaust fan, consider moving it away from the shower, like over the toilet. Otherwise it can create an uncomfortable draft on anyone using the tub/shower. 



I like many of the suggestions above and agree that it will probably cost around $3000.

I very want to emphasize the fact that, as with many tenant related improvements, making something foolproof is sometimes as important as anything else you do. You MUST make it so they are forced to turn on the fan whenever they turn on the light and should actually check during your periodic inspections that they haven’t disconnected the fan motor. Tenants don’t give a crap about keeping your place dry and seem to hate that fan like the plague....