Whether renovating an existing bathroom or adding one on, you need to understand the basics of home plumbing, even if you are just planning the overall project rather than doing the actual work. Avoiding problems later on, like a bathtub that takes forever to fill or a toilet that won’t flush, makes some self education in the subject worthwhile.
Archives for April 2008
Caulking in bathrooms serves two basic functions; first as a sealant against moisture ingression, and secondly, to provide a visually pleasing surface on joints, such as between fixtures and wall or floor finish material. Caulk is no substitute for careful detailing and workmanship, which should solve most moisture and visual problems, but there are always situations where some caulking is required.
Not all bathrooms need a ventilation fan; most building codes specify that if a window in the bathroom can be opened and has an opening area equal to at least 10 percent of the room’s floor area, a ventilation fan is not required.
While opening a window to bring in fresh air, as opposed to operating an electrical fan, is arguably more energy efficient, (though not necessarily in cold climates), there are other considerations. If the home has small children, safety plays a role, and for the elderly and handicapped, accessibility and ease of use come into play.
Vinyl tile or sheet flooring is often used in bathroom and kitchen applications, typically over a plywood underlayment. A composition type board will expand when wet, so these are not recommended for use in these areas, where there is moisture and humidity. Instead, the underlayment should be of 5/8 inch thick plywood, sanded and plugged, which is made for underlayment.