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Thread: Master Bath Remodel

  1. #1
    DIY Member hans_idle's Avatar
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    Default Master Bath Remodel

    Hello everyone. I've been looking for a good resource like this site for a while. I finally stumbled upon it when someone referenced it over in the John Bridge tile forums.

    I'm doing a complete bathroom remodel. I'm in the planning stages right now. Trying to work out a couple of questions. The master bath is on the second floor, right above the kitchen. I point this out because the kitchen is beautiful (remodeled a few years ago) and I'd prefer NOT to have to rip open anything from below.

    The questions I have are as follows (and I see some of these topics elsewhere so I'm putting in the solution that I got from other threads):

    1) There are 2 sinks in the master bath. With the new cabinets in place, everything shifts over about 2 feet. So I need to move the supplies and drains 2 feet to the right. The supplies come across the bathroom under the floor and up through the cabinet floor. The joists run perpendicular to the direction that the cabinets move. I expect that I'll remove the cabinets, cut away some of the subfloor, use elbows to move everything over. This means drilling some holes in the joists to get the copper pipes over 2 feet, since the joists run perpendicular to the cabinets. I'm guessing I can't do the elbows above the floor since the cabinets will be sitting on the floor and the 2-foot move would put the current lines outside the new cabinets. But is drilling holes in the joists "allowed"?

    2) As for the drains, these come out of the wall behind the cabinet, but I believe they also come across the bath under the floor. I say this because the wall is an outside wall and I don't see pipes going up from the basement. So I would do the same thing here by putting elbows on them under the floor and drilling holes through the joist to get the pipe 2 feet over. Then come up. Again, is drilling holes in the joist allowed?

    3) The new cabines and the new whirlpool tub will have granite tops. Aside from stronger cabinets, does anything typically have to be done to the floor to support the load? The floor is 2"x10" on 16" centers. The tub will have about a 9" surround on all 4 sides of granite, so I don't think that will be enough weight compared to the 2500lbs that the floor is supposed to be able to hold for the tub. To put it in perspective, I'm removing a whirlpool tub that is the size of Canada (~240 gallons to overflow) and replacing with a smaller tub (~150 gallons to overflow). So I'm guessing the floor under the tub will be fine. Just not sure if the cabinets are going to be okay.

    4) I've toyed with adding a tankless water heater for the master bath, but I'm not sure if I want to tackle that now. I'd have to run a new supply line from the basement to the 2nd floor and do all the plumbing. I might re-plumb the bathroom to accept a tankless heater in the future (since I'll have the walls open), but then cap off the pipes that I don't use. I envisioned putting a valve on the lines that come up now, followed by a "T" that future connections could go to. That would allow me to isolate the master bath from the other plumbing on the 2nd floor.

    5) I'm weekend warrior (although a quite accomplished one). But I haven't done much plumbing. What is the best source of national and state plumbing codes? I just want to make sure I'm not doing something stupid. I will be applying for all the permits (construction, electrical, and plumbing) so I'm sure they will keep me in line, but I'd like to know ahead of time.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Homeowner geniescience's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hans_idle
    ... prefer NOT to have to rip open anything from below.... ...use elbows to move everything over .... is drilling holes in the joists allowed?
    .... if the cabinets are going to be okay....
    ....would allow me to isolate the master bath from the other plumbing on the 2nd floor. ...
    Drilling holes in joists is done. Has been described here recently. Someone will post a link soon.

    Moving drains by 24" means you have to recalculate distances and ensure there is enough venting in the pipes in relation to distance to stack and pipe diameter.

    Can't do the elbows above the floor... why, because of venting, except if venting (e.g. by an AAV) provided. Just background information, not a recommendation.

    Elbows to use, assuming you can simply lengthen your drain pipe branches and arms, will be the long sweep kind; they have a large radius of curvature. Or two 1/8th bends (two 45 degree angle turns). Not the tight elbows, which are only for air in venting pipes, up high.

    Cabinets will be fine because the weight of a piece of granite is less than or similar to the weight of a tub of water. Check this anyway, regardless of my saying it'll be OK.

    NJ code? Don't know.

    Tankless? Electric? Noisy.
    May still be a good plan to install the valve and Tee.

    david

  3. #3
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Don't know NJ code.

    drilling joist are the only way any plumbing is installed sometimes It is best if you keep the holes in the center of the joist. 2X10's should hold the sink's, but I'm a plumber not a wood worker. The sink drains could have a vent behind the wall that you don't know about, so you might just need to fix the tie in's. There is a very good thread going on with a tun of info about tankless water heaters.
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

  4. #4
    Licensed Grump GrumpyPlumber's Avatar
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    Here, holes cannot exceed 1/3rd the joists width - a 2 X 10 cannot have a hole drilled in it thats bigger than 3-1/3", in other words.
    You obviously can't drill them all at center when running drains, the rule is you need to have at least 2" of wood above and/or below any hole.
    If you're drilling 2-1/2" holes in a 2 X 10 that means you have 3-1/2" of pitch you can allow into the drilling before you have to drop below the floor or have a soffit built.
    "The biggest regrets we have in life are the chances we never took."

  5. #5
    Plumber patrick88's Avatar
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    Ok Ok like i said I'm a plumber not a wood worker. Hell I tend not to do new and just service work. still don't own a right angle drill. Still thinking the drain and vent is in the wall.
    I'm just starting to work with an old friend of mine to bring solar electric and hot water systems, wind turbines, Flex Fuel Boilers, batteries, hydroponic gardening, books, pellet grills and more. Also the parts for DIY installation.

  6. #6
    DIY Member hans_idle's Avatar
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    Great answers. They make sense. I'll definitely have to stagger the holes. But now that you mention the vent line, that brings up an interesting point.

    Right now, when I use one of the two sinks in the master bath, there is an immediate, short smell of sewer gas. It seems like it has slowly gotten worse over the past 2 years in the house. The smell lasts for only a few seconds and then goes away. But I've been wondering if there is an issue with the drain system somehow. Is it possible that it's the venting in the wall? Maybe it has a hole in it or something.

    One of the main steps PRIOR to getting the permits is that I'll have to pull off some drywall and remove some subfloor to see exactly where the pipes are. I'll make sure I look for the venting. Geesh, what about all the other little things that I haven't thought of? I hope that the level of detail that I put on the permit drawings is enough to save me!!

    I'll have tons of questions about the shower system install (a couple of heads) and the new whirlpool install.

    Thanks for the help.

  7. #7
    DIY Member hans_idle's Avatar
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    Okay, next question.

    How do I remove the existing drain in my shower to make way for the new drain (hopefully the Kerdi drain if my township allows it). Specifically, the drain component that I see from the top of the shower pan, I'm assuming, is bonded to the drain trap. So the question is, how do I break that bond? Or do I cut it out of place? Basically, how do I demolish the existing tray and drain with minimal impact to the existing drain plumbing so I can re-use the trap that is in place?

    Thanks!

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