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Handyman & Tools: Back Bathroom Renovation

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Yucaipa, CA
(Zone 10a)

December 13, 2011
2:41 AM

Post #8927387

Another member suggested that I start my own thread on my renovation that I'm doing on my back bathroom. This photo represents the "before" status of where my old medicine cabinet used to be. I'll be installing a 'surface' mount style medicine cabinet that has yet to be purchased.

Since the area will be covered with a drywall patch, I'm not too worried about the nail that is sticking out of the wood. Presently on this part of the remodel of the bathroom; I'm trimming down the wood beam, shown on the left side of the photo, with my new 'oscillating' multi-function tool that I recently bought. The center wood shown in the photo is for support of the new medicine cabinet. Any comments, ideas or suggestions will be appreciated. Will keep y'all posted on the progress of the entire room.

Thumbnail by Fleur_2011
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

December 14, 2011
6:42 PM

Post #8929941

Did a million old rusted razor blades fall out when you removed the old medicine cabinet ?
Brockton, MA
(Zone 6a)

December 24, 2011
3:10 PM

Post #8941785

Why would you 'trim down' the old stud if you're installing a surface mount cabinet? Drywall patch? That's all wood paneling, are you sheet rocking the wall?
You have nothing to do if the new cabinet is larger than the old hole, just put it up and the hole is covered.
Add some insulation if that's an exterior wall.
Andy P
Missouri City, TX

January 4, 2012
1:53 PM

Post #8954493

Oscillating tools are great - have 2 Fein's and a Harbor Freight.

But I want to know why you are going with a surface mount cabinet?

Last year I nstalled a recessed unit in the "80 yo farmhouse". It was a trip cutting through both the sheetrock and the 1x6 T&G boards to get to the real 2x4 studs.

We did not want to lose any space in the room since it was on the side over the sink.
Yucaipa, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 24, 2012
4:16 AM

Post #9095494

Well to answer some of the questions asked above ~ when I took out the old medicine cabinet which was made of aluminum and had lost its ability to stay shut [demagnitized], that's when I decided to do a surface mount cabinet. It's extremely hard to find a recessed cabinet that would fit the opening ~ I've already looked around. Besides, when I took out the old cabinet, I could see that someone had already "mickey-moused" the inside area looking by the way it was cut.

Insulation is a good idea. I have some of that leftover too from when I had to make a "vent" pillow for the shaft opening of my swamp cooler, the shaft opening is in my hallway.

The reason that I'm trimming this wood beam down, is because the drywall patch won't fit inside, since the wood beam and the side of the cabinet opening are flush. I know I could easily just attach a new medicine cabinet over the hole, a quick easy fix, but that would be taking the easy way out ~ besides, there isn't enough wood area to attach the screws to the wood for the new cabinet. I want it to be done the right way, not the cheap way. No offense.

Have a nice week y'all!
Missouri City, TX

April 25, 2012
1:03 PM

Post #9097479

Thanks for the reply.

Following on Andy's observation, the current wall covering looks like 1/8 inch thick paneling - where are you going to find any sheetrock that thin?

I took another look at the original photo - the right side was enlarged by cutting and removing a piece of a stud. The blocking above and below that portion was probably used as a header to redisrtibute the load (even though it appears that the 2x4 was mounted flat instead of being doubled and vertical), perhaps there is another 2x4 sistered the same way that is hidden by the paneling..

Won't you need to cut 3/4 inch off the both the top and bottom paneling to have an attachment surrounding the opening as a nailing surface for the patch?

More pictures please!
Yucaipa, CA
(Zone 10a)

May 1, 2012
3:07 AM

Post #9105019

Hey there Bubba_MoCity! I'm not using "sheet rock" to cover the opening that was created by taking the old medicine chest out, I have a "drywall" patch that I'll be installing once I can get some more of the wood towards the left side trimmed down. I'm kinda new to some of these terms ~ is sheet rock and drywall considered the same thing? Anyway, when you looked at the picture again you probably saw the wood that I had put in there in a 'horizontal' direction. I put that in there, so I would have something to screw the "drywall" screws into for added support.

I did look at the top & bottom of this paneling and I don't think that I'll have to trim in those areas, it's only towards the left side as you look at the photo. I have to use my oscillating tool to do this trimming, since it cuts through the wood fairly easy ~~ just creates a bunch of sawdust to deal with! I did have that bathroom vanity all clean ~ not no more! LOL !!

Sorry, don't have any more pics yet of this project, as I had been busy with several art shows [back-to-back] that I had been involved in. Now that all of them are over with, I can get back to my home repair jobs. I've got another board to work on for under my kitchen sink area, but that's a whole different story! :) Don't worry Bubba ~ will post more pics as I get the chance to work in that room. Gotta scoot for now...y'all take care now! Have a great week! :)
Missouri City, TX

May 1, 2012
6:00 AM

Post #9105202

Fleur,. drywall and sheetrock are the same thing. It is available in 4x8 and 4x18 sheets with thicknesses from 1/4 to 3/4 with different coatings and fire and moisture ratings.

Most of the drywall patches I've used have been less than one foot square (8x8 being very common).
I would think it would be difficult to apply the "mud" and match the pattern of the existing paneling, though.

Glad you have time to get back to the project.
Yucaipa, CA
(Zone 10a)

May 9, 2012
2:55 AM

Post #9116736

Hi Bubba! ~ Not too worried about the paneling matching up, as the hole will be covered with the drywall patch and the new medicine cabinet will be installed directly over the drywall patch. I just checked the sticker on the drywall patch ~ measurements say 1/2" x 2' x 2'. Most of this week is already scheduled with something for each day, so if I don't have any kind of photo projects going on, then will attempt to do some more work in there either Saturday or Sunday. I also need to trim down the other board for my kitchen project too. Every time I turn around, seems there is something else being added to my "to do" list!

Hah! A woman's work is never done! Catch up with you later my friend! Need to check on some emails, then will be time for sleep! Have a good week! Bye for now...

Yucaipa, CA
(Zone 10a)

May 1, 2013
3:14 PM

Post #9504500

I thought I'd post an update picture for my "medicine cabinet" renovation. I was able to find some really thin MDF board at one of my local "big box" stores and had the worker cut it down to size for me. I didn't bother to do anything with insulation for this project, since it's not in a critical area. My next step is to get some "drywall" tape and apply that over the seams shown and then apply some "spackling" paste to smooth before I start doing the rest of the painting for that wall area.

Before I put the new medicine cabinet in, I'm going to replace that hideous light fixture with something much nicer. I've already got the light fixture and will install that b/4 the cabinet goes on. I don't want the light to hang over the cabinet door when it opens. This project is going in "baby steps" -- mainly due to finances. :(

Thumbnail by Fleur_2011
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Missouri City, TX

May 3, 2013
7:39 AM

Post #9506581

OK with the "baby steps".

Is that fixture from the 60's or earlier?
Yucaipa, CA
(Zone 10a)

June 11, 2013
12:58 AM

Post #9554473

Hello again Bubba_MoCity!

Sorry for late reply. Haven't been on this area for awhile now, since I was busy with my school class. To answer your question regarding the hideous light fixture -- Yes! Most likely from the 60's or 70's is my guess. My mobile was 'assembled' in 1977, so I'm assuming that it was from somewhere in that time frame. I've since bought the drywall tape and another small tub of the spackle that I'll use. Several months ago, I was looking through an old purse that I've got sitting in my bedroom and found my "paint chip cards" that have the colors that I'm using to paint my house with. Now I can't find the little buggers! I can't recall if I left them in that purse again or moved them to a drawer. I usually try to keep any kind of paint supplies together in a plastic tote. Ugh! I hate it when that happens!!

At least I found the container that has the main color that I'm using to paint the entire place with. I'll have to take it to Home Depot or Lowe's to have them match the color -- unless I can find the paint chip cards again.

Well, time to scoot for now. Hopefully, I'll have another photo to update this thread with. Yep, until I get more money coming in, it will definitely have to be "baby steps." Bye for now! Have a good week! :)
Arlington, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 11, 2013
5:48 AM

Post #9554625

does your home have all aluminum wiring? Make sure any electrical fixtures are appropriate for aluminum.
Yucaipa, CA
(Zone 10a)

June 14, 2013
4:12 AM

Post #9558471

@ 1_Lucky_Texan -- what do you mean by "aluminum wiring?" When I had my hallway bathroom remodeled in June of 2010, the electrician didn't say anything about aluminum wiring. I do know that he said there was some wiring that runs through the house [width wise] that should be checked to see where the problem was coming from. At that time, I could only spare the money for the bathroom remodel. Once I get a more plentiful income coming in, then I'll have it checked out. I'll ask about the "aluminum wiring" at that time.

With the money that I get from the company I work for, it's only enough to pay partials on my space rent, cell phone & cable/internet bundle. In the next few months, I should be able to start playing "catch-up" with a few of my bills but unfortunately not all of them. The current company I work for is totally flaky!!
Arlington, TX
(Zone 8a)

June 14, 2013
5:59 AM

Post #9558568

I just did a web search and it appears the last aluminum wiring was used in 1971 so you should be OK. Doubly so if you use a licensed electrician.

some info here;

This message was edited Jun 14, 2013 7:01 AM
Yucaipa, CA
(Zone 10a)

June 20, 2013
7:43 PM

Post #9566958

@ 1_Lucky_Texan -- yes, person that did the electrical work in my hallway bathroom remodel is a licensed electrician. He's the one that I'll have do the check-up on the wiring when I can afford it. I wonder if there is a way to change the title of my thread on here to read "Back Bathroom Renovations" since it will encompass more renovation work than just the medicine chest that I've got pictured here. If you know how to change the title, let me know please. :)

Thanks for doing the internet search on that wiring topic. I'll post more photos as the other areas in that bathroom get worked on. Have a great weekend!

Agawam, MA

November 14, 2013
2:28 AM

Post #9708707

If your home was built in mid 60ís and 70ís, it is very possible that you have aluminum wiring. However, do not feel safe that your home was not built in this era. It is possible that aluminum wire is used to modify existing circuits.
Yucaipa, CA
(Zone 10a)

November 14, 2013
10:45 PM

Post #9709313

@ Jamesdavis -- I'll find out what kind of electrical wiring I actually have when I can have him come back out to my place. There is also another person that I just met that does work on mobile homes. He's also licensed and is retired now. He just does the work on the side to keep busy and keep from getting bored. Thanks for your input tho! :)
Falls Church
United States

November 17, 2014
9:36 PM

Post #9976314

i think you should concern one of home improvement/redesign company.

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