Adding a soaker tub or multi-head shower? You may need a bigger water heater. Tank-style heaters are labeled with a first hour rating (FHR), a measure of how much hot water it produces in an hour. To help determine your FHR, use the list below to calculate your family's hot-water consumption in the bath each morning. Visit the U.S. Department of Energy for more info on FHR.
The parts of the country with the worst ROI, ranging between 58.8 percent and 59.2 percent, are the East North Central region (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio), the West North Central region (North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri) and the Middle Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York).
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.
The parts of the country with the worst ROI, ranging between 58.8 percent and 59.2 percent, are the East North Central region (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio), the West North Central region (North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri) and the Middle Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York).
To begin, rip the top and side jambs to the thickness of the wall framing plus the exterior wall sheathing. The cement board will lap over the jambs. The windowsill should also be flush with the interior framing, but hang over the outside sheathing about 1-1/2 in. and have a 5-degree slope toward the outside to help shed water. To keep water from running behind the siding as it drips off the edge, cut a shallow groove (or saw kerf) in the bottom lip (Fig. A). Also, remember to flash behind the trim to keep the window watertight. Trim the window exterior to match the house, using caulk to seal between the trim and siding.
You’ll spend $3,000 to $8,000 on the typical remodel. Anywhere from 40 to 65 percent of a bath upgrade cost comes from labor. However, doing any project yourself means no insurance and added fees if something goes wrong. Hire a professional for any work you’re not comfortable doing, such as the plumbing and electrical. Consider the pros and cons of DIY vs professional bathroom remodeling.
Although this new bathroom is a bit smaller because of additional plumbing walls, it appears larger. Substituting a shower for the bathtub, adding a large mirror, and using a wall-hung sink and toilet all contribute to the spacious feeling. This big-picture stuff is striking, but it’s the step-by-step details that make this small bathroom remodel work. We cover the little kernels of information that will help your project go more smoothly and with fewer headaches.
If your room is wider than the shower base, fur in the walls as needed to butt against the ends of the shower base (see Photo 14). Our bathroom is 6 ft. wide, so we added a floor-to-ceiling 2×6 wall at the showerhead end and a shorter 2×6 wall at the opposite end. We made that wall only 43 in. above the floor so we could use the top of the wall to hold shampoo and other shower supplies. The shower base usually comes with a special 2-in. drain fitting that you connect to the drain line (Fig. B).

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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