A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Slooooowwww Going

I really thought we’d have the cement board AND most of the green board installed in the bathroom by the end of the weekend.

On Saturday I worked on removing the drop ceiling over the tub (there was a can light over the tub, but there are several light sources in the room and no reason for yet another one), and I chiseled up the remaining floor tile  under the sink and toilet . I also cleaned the original flooring as much as I could in those areas, but I didn’t want to get too carried away since we have a ways to go before the room will stay clean.

We had my mom over for Easter brunch on Sunday but we were both too tired to do much of anything else.

As part of my birthday present yesterday, Pete and Rod worked on redoing the framing on the exterior brick wall. I had removed the framing, thinking that I might leave the brick exposed on that wall, but I decided it’s just too sloppy looking — there are big blobs of cement in several spots that are just not attractive as you can see here.


Pete lamented that we’d be a lot farther along if I hadn’t removed the framing, however I think we were better off redoing it even though it has set us back some. For one thing, the framing around the window covered well over an inch of the glass block at the bottom (because it was apparently easier for them to do it that way).

Secondly, the original window casings were still intact on either side of the glass block (there’s no budget for replacing that window, so it’s going to remain as is) and we discovered that the window weights were still loose inside the casings. In addition to many air gaps between the brick and glass block, here are two open boxes that allowed more heat to escape.


With those cleared out, I filled the cavities with spray foam and also filled the gaps between the brick and glass block. I got rid of the kraft-faced fiberglass batts that were behind the tile.

As far as insulation goes, I did some research on insulating a bathroom — in particular a brick bathroom — and found this thread on GreenBuildingAdvisor.com, which stated “The simple answer is ‘you don’t’.”

It appears that we are better off simply sealing the air gaps like we did and leaving the walls alone. Taking care of the planes above and below the brick walls is also recommended, so it definitely helps that we installed open cell foam insulation in our attic remodel, and we continually work on sealing air gaps from the basement (but need to work more on weatherstripping windows and doors on the main floor).

Anyway, back to the framing.

I am still going to leave the chimney exposed. I found a great blog post on exposing brick in the bathroom, and I’m going to follow her suggestions on cleaning and sealing the brick (I didn’t plan to seal the brick, but after looking into it more I think it’s a good idea).


The light fixture above the sink will not be returning. Instead I found a pair of sconces that will look nice here, so Pete set up the wiring for that.


Finally, we were able to install one sheet of Durock. Sigh. I guess there’s always next weekend.


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