Fridays at Home: Half Bath, Demo & Framing

2nd February 2018

If you missed last week’s Fridays at Home, and my home’s deepest, darkest secret, you might want to read that first.

So. Once we decided the layout of the room, got bids for plumbing, etc., it was time for the work to begin! The plumber came, discovered our hot water heater was leaking, which tacked on a few hundred dollars more to the scheme, but we had all that and the new plumbing installed in a day.

Even though we had a lot of visitors in and out, I was determined to get started, so I began ripping up the tile one evening when my husband was playing a jazz gig. That weekend, he helped me get the rest of it up.

Next, we had to rip up the concrete backer board, which was. a. mess.

Thankfully, the wood floor beneath that was in shockingly good condition. The floors are original to the home, and at the time the home was built, there was no sub floor underneath, so we were very happy we didn’t have to rip this out.

We also needed to pull out all the trim in order for the new tile to look neat and clean once we were finished. Pulling out trim doesn’t sound like a tough job, but these boards are ancient and thick and did NOT want to come out easily. It was quite the job.

Next, we framed out the pocket door. Because this space is so small, a swing-out door wasn’t a possibility. After a lot of research, we ordered a Johnson Pocket Door Kit to fit our door specifications. They also have a super helpful video with instructions. However, the framing was a bit trickier. In most cases, people are ripping out a wall to insert a pocket door. We were having to create a wall, and I really had to be able to visualize this process. The tutorial that helped me the most was from Sawdust Girl. Once I realized that we were really creating a pony wall (non load bearing), I was less stressed. Essentially, we needed to create a header. The Johnson pocket door kit gives explicit instructions as to the height and width you need to situate the kit.

The toughest part about this was our ceiling height. Those suckers are HIGH, so it took both of us on ladders working above our heads to get this installed. Once that was done, the pocket door kit itself was really simple to install.

Voila! Demo and framing complete.

Join me next week when I talk about the project I’m most proud of but that I’m not in a hurry to do again – floor tiling.


  • Ti Reed

    Ripping up tile is so fun. Not. Actually, it’s very satisfying to tear it out but it’s a lot of work.

    • You’re right. It certainly isn’t, but it did come up pretty quickly!

  • Kristen M.

    I don’t think I would ever have the nerve to do a pocket door myself! Of course, hubby and I reroofed our shed two years ago and it still looks perfect and professional so I guess with the right video tutorials and the will to do things, we can always surprise ourselves. Can’t wait to see your next steps!

    • Videos are insanely helpful! I get nervous about certain aspects of certain jobs, but I find the hardest part is just getting started.

  • When I was little, the entire family spent all their spare time ripping up tile for a kitchen reno and it was a nightmaaaaare. Anyway, Iโ€™m looking forward to the finished product!

    • pickygirl

      Ugh. Oh yes, I remember being free labor for my parents as well. We painted our entire house one summer. It was not fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Ugh. Oh yes, I remember being free labor for my parents as well. We painted our entire house one summer. It was not fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • iliana

    The pocket door is so cool! Isn’t it amazing how much stuff we can do now thanks to tutorials on youtube? Granted, I can quickly get addicted to watching too many of those tutorials ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I do think it’s the coolest! Such a great solution for tight spaces.