Toenail 2×6 blocks in the center of the shower 36 in. above the floor for the shower valve and 6 ft. 6 in. above the floor for the showerhead. Position the valve block so the plastic mud guard on the mixing valve will be flush with the finished wall surface. Attach the shower supply line and the hot and cold supply lines to the valve. Clamp the valve body and shower supply line to the blocks with copper pipe straps. Run copper water supplies to the new locations for the sink and toilet.
An upscale bathroom remodel may include structural changes like expanding or adjusting the layout. Finishes include things like large ceramic floor tile, heated floors, high-end faucets, new lighting, and stone countertops with double sinks. Showers may have frameless glass doors, rain shower fixtures, shower niches and tiled shower walls. Freestanding tubs are also found in this type of bathroom remodel.

The job of installing our wall-mounted fixtures was tougher than it had to be, thanks to poor and contradictory one-size-fits-all instructions, metric fittings and duplicate and missing mounting parts. Prevent hard-to-fix future problems by test-fitting the actual fixtures when roughing in framing, plumbing and blocking to make sure everything will work out. Then finish the walls. When test-fitting, simulate finished floor and wall surfaces to get the clearances right.

Low-flow toilets, which use 1.6 gallons of water per flush, are required by law in all new and remodeled baths. Pressure-assisted toilets effectively clear the bowl with one flush, but make considerable noise in the process. Gravity models sometimes require two flushes to clean the bowl properly. For maximum efficiency, choose a bowl with a large water surface. Make sure there's sufficient space around the toilet for comfortable access—ideally, at least 16 inches from the centerline of the toilet and walls or fixtures on either side. Also allow at least 30 inches from the front of the toilet to the nearest object.


The tank is concealed within a 2×6 wall that’s built in front of the existing plumbing wall. It does require some plumbing rerouting because the waste line runs through the wall instead of the basic floor-mounted toilet flange (see Photos 8 – 12). The toilet can be ordered with a wall-mounted access panel/flush button like ours or with the panel mounted on top of a half wall. A ‘chair carrier’ (Photo 11) comes with the toilet. This steel framework contains the toilet and operating mechanisms and is designed to support the weight of the toilet.

The special-order fixtures, fittings, shower pan, tile and glass block panel can take weeks to get in hand, so do the necessary legwork and ordering well in advance. Before gutting the bathroom, check to make sure that there are shutoffs for all the fixtures or a master shutoff for the entire bathroom. If not, buy ball valve shutoffs sized to fit your pipes. Then turn off the main water supply line where it comes into the house from outside, cut the pipes feeding the bathroom and install the new shutoffs right away (see Photo 7).
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