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Final Steps of the Weekend Bathroom Remodel

by Randy Gridley

Finishing The Final Touches To Your Project

Your project is almost complete after all of your hard work. It is now time to repaint your bathroom walls. Once you have painted the walls and they have dried, you will want to replace all moldings with new flat trim. This trim should match the color of your new cabinet. Then, research how to drill holes into glass tiles. This step is necessary for the mirror mounting clips. Mirror mounts usually contain both spring loaded and fixed clips. The spring loaded clips are for the top while the fixed clips are for the bottom. Measure the mirror and mark clip locations using a permanent marker. The upper clips must be mounted 3/4 inches below the mark in order to allow for proper functioning of the spring loaded clips. You will need a 1/4 inch glass drill bit to drill your holes. This can be found at any local hardware store. It is essential that you drill very slowly to help prevent overheating. Spray the drill bit and glass tile with water to help ensure the tile does not crack. Next, place an anchor into the drilled holes to help hold the weight of the mirror. Place the top edge of the mirror into the spring loaded clips and gently lift up. Then, gently lower the mirror into the bottom clips. 

The next task is mounting your light fixtures. Make absolutely certain that the power is off at the breaker box. This important step will prevent electrocution. Once you have ensured the power is off, strip the light fixture wires back about 1/2 inch. Refer to the instructions to ensure you remove the correct amount for your wire connectors. Electrical junction boxes may be recessed in noncombustible materials, such as tile, up to 1/4 of an inch; however, because the tile is more than 1/4 inch thick,an extension box should be added. This will allow the fixture to be mounted flush. Now it is time to wire in the light. Begin by wrapping the ground wire around the grounding screw in the electrical box and tighten. Connect the remaining ground wire to the fixture and secure with a wire connector. Finish by connecting the white wire from the electrical box and the light fixture together and the two remaining hot wires together. 

Tools You Will Need for the Project 

Before beginning any DIY project, it is essential to gather all materials and tools you will need to complete the project. This will prevent frustration and save you time. 

Cordless drill and 1/4 inch glass drill bit 

Caulk gun and caulk 

Miter saw 

4-in-1 screwdriver 

4-foot long Level 

Adjustable wrench 


Framing square 


Grout float 

Notched trowel

Drywall saw 

Pry bar

Plumbers tape 

Safety glasses 

Voltage tester 

Slip joint pliers 

Utility knife 

Wire stripper/cutter 

Taping knife 

Materials List 

Review the following list to ensure you have te necessary materials to finish the job. 

Vanity and Vanity top

Sink and Faucet


Wall sconces 


Junction boxes 

Remodeling electrical box 

14/2 electrical wire

Wire nuts and Wire staples 

Thin set mortar or tile adhesive

3" cabinet screws 

Plastic anchors 

Mirror clips 

Water Supply lines 

Electric box extension

1 1/4" PVC trap kit

One Weekend To Remodel Your Bathroom - Step Four Of Four

by Randy Gridley

Wall Tiling

The tiling is easier to do before the installation of the vanity unit.  If you do the tiling first, there will be no need to cut the tiles to fit around the vanity unit.  If you want to save money, you can choose not to tile behind the mirror and the vanity cabinet.  All that is required is that you extend the tiling a bit beyond the mirror and cabinet outlines.  You also do not have to cut the tiles to fit exactly around the electrical boxes as long as you ensure that the light fixture will cover the area of the missing tiles.

Instead of using thin-set mortar as tile adhesive, a sticky mat called Bondera can be used.  This tile adhesive offers you a few benefits compared to using thin-set, particularly if you are using a similar glass mosaic tiles to our demonstration.  By using the sticky mat, you can commence the grouting straight away, unlike the thin-set where you have to wait for it to set.  The other advantage is that you do not have to be concerned about the thin-set oozing into your grouting spaces from behind the tiles.

Do not assume that Bondera adhesive is perfect.  It costs more than thin-set.  The repositioning of the tile sheets can become quite tricky.  Although they do not slide about like it would on thin-set, you have to place them carefully onto the mat and not secure it until you are sure that it is aligned properly.  If you have not pressed down too hard, you will have the opportunity to remove the sheet of tile and reposition it if necessary.  To ensure that the job is a success, you should follow the instructions which are included with the Bondera adhesive.  Alternatively, you can visit www.bonderatilematset.com where you can view an installation video and read further instructions.

If you are not tiling the entire area, you should ensure that the tile placement is accurate as you go around the blank area.  To do this, run the tiles up one side to the top of the cabinet space and across the bottom area.  While doing this, ensure that the side follows the line of your layout and the bottom is completely level.  Extend lines from the two points with a spirit level.  At all times, you should keep in mind not too press down on the tile until you are sure that is level.  Once the tile has been lined up perfectly, you should place it in the mat by tapping it with a grout float.  Once the tiling has been completed, you can start mixing your grouting and fill the spaces 

The grout should be mixed to a consistency similar to toothpaste and left for around 15 minutes.  Thereafter, you should remix it and add a small amount of water if it has thickened.  You can view the grout section for more instructions and tips.

Mounting Vanity Unit

The cabinets will need assembly, but this should not be too difficult to do.  Once you have assembled the cabinet, you should mount it on the wall by using temporary blocks to hold it in place.  If you do not have studs where the mounting brackets are, you can use toggle bits.  Irrespective of the type of cabinet installation, you should first find the studs.  Drive 3-inch washer head screws through the hanging rail of the cabinets, into the studs which will secure it.

The next steps are the installation and mounting of the faucets to the top of the sink, and the assembly of the faucet connections and drain.  In cases where you decide to replace a single faucet with two faucets, you should connect both the faucets to the shut off valves that are there, by the addition of a tee.  Faucets normally include supply tubes with 1/2-inch pipe thread fitting at the end.  

However, your faucets may differ from this.  If this is the case, you should take your faucet, along with the included tubes to the hardware store or home center.  This will allow you to assemble it in-store to make sure that you find the correct parts to allow you to complete the job without any problems.

Once you have mounted the faucets and assembled the parts of the drain, you can install the sink.  To do this, spread a small amount of silicone caulk to the top cabinet edge and lower the sink top onto it carefully.  Allow the caulk to set for a few hours before you connect the plumbing.  The job can now be completed by marking and cutting the tailpiece and connecting the required supply lines.  Once you have completed all the steps and you are happy, you should run the water and check for leaks.

One Weekend Bathroom Remodel - Steps 3 Of 4

by Randy Gridley


Step 3 - Draw pencil outlines on the Wall

Mark where the new fixtures should go by outlining them on the wall.  Decide where you would like the new light fittings to go and outline these as well.  It is best to have all the new items on site at this time. A full scale plan of the new layout drawn on the wall will give you a good visual of how things will fit in and save you a lot of problems when you find out that you are a few inches out with a light fitting or a fixture, and it doesn't fit.  Center the light fittings between the mirror and the tile border.

Another time saving tip is to dry fit the drain parts in order to know exactly where to position the new cabinet.  Bathroom cabinets from Home Depot or Lowe's Cabinet include custom made drain assembly fixtures that need to be centered exactly on the existing drain parts.  Traditional cabinets are more flexible.
Plan the tile layout by laying a row of tiles on the floor to determine the exact height and width of the area to be tiled, and mark this on the wall as well.  

Double check your layout to ensure that everything is correct, then prepare for the wiring.

Step 3A Wiring for the new sconces

To re-route electrical lines, cut a hole in the wall large enough to mount the new junction box and drill holes for the wiring.  The hole will be covered by the mirror so there is not need to patch it.

Once again, because each bathroom is different, there may be a few challenges:

-    If you already have sconces but need to relocate them to fit into the new layout, keep in mind the requirements of the National Electrical Code that every electrical box has to be accessible.  This means that you cannot cover wires in a junction box with drywall or a fixed mirror.  

-    You can, however, place the junction box behind a mirror which is not permanently attached.  This allows you a certain amount of flexibility when the old wires don't reach the new location, as you can extend the wires and add a junction box.

In our case, it was a straightforward job of connecting a single cable from the switch to the original light fitting.  We nailed the new junction box to the stud and ran the old wires into the box.  New holes were cut for the new remodeling boxes and holes drilled through the studs for the new cable to be run from the junction box to each light fixture location. Re-modelling boxes simplify the exact placement of the boxes and avoids extra patching.

All that needs to be done now is to clean up and discard the old materials, and you have a remodeled bathroom that looks brand new.

Weekend Bathroom Makeover - Steps 1 and 2 of Four

by Randy Gridley

Transform your bathroom in a weekend and give it a fresh new look without any major reconstruction by replacing worn out cabinets and adding a few new fixtures and fittings.   With a little clever planning and a few creative ideas you can design and fit out your bathroom to look like new.  In this article we will show you step by step how to go about remodeling a bathroom in a couple of days, and a few tips on how to save time and money by speeding up the job.

This 70's-era bathroom was outdated and needed a radical change without costing too much.  At Home Depot or Lowe's, we found a range of suitable cabinets and fixtures that were modern, easy to install and reasonably priced.  For an added touch of luxury, we spent a few hundred dollars on glass tiles.  The overall cost for the project came to $1,300.

Before you start shopping for a cabinet to use for your project, you want to make sure that the existing flooring extends all the way to the wall under the basin.  If you have a vanity cabinet, you may need to get down on the floor and inspect the intersection between the wall and the cabinet.  If there is no flooring, you will have to find a cabinet with the same or larger size than the existing one, or find a matching floor patch, which is highly unlikely.  If all else fails, you may have to replace the flooring.

Step 1 - Remove the old vanity cabinet.

Turn off the shut-off valves for the water supply to the faucet and disconnect the plumbing.  Pry off the old top and remove the old cabinet.

Because every bathroom is different, this stage may be easy and quick to accomplish, or you may come across a few challenges.

-    If the vanity top is plastic laminate, the screws underneath the top will have to be removed first.

-    Cultured marble tops are held on by caulk which needs to be pried off first before removing the vanity top.

-    If there are tiles surrounding the vanity top they will have to be removed as well.

-    If the plumbing is of the old steel type, you will save yourself a lot of problems by replacing the trap assembly with the modern PVC parts that are available now.  A standard 1 and 1/4 inch PVC trap kit can be purchased at a hardware store or your local home center.  

-    Remove all the screws that hold the cabinet to the wall and remove the cabinet from the wall.  

-    If there is a mirror or medicine cabinet above the basin, complete the tear out by removing it all.

-    If there are light fittings above the basin, turn off the power for the bathroom lights on the main electrical panel.  Use a voltage sniffer to double check that the power is off before disconnecting the light fittings.

Steps 3 and 4 will continue in the next blog.  See you there.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




Contact Information

Randy & Doyelene Gridley
Silvercreek Realty Group
1099 S Wells St. Suite 200
Meridian ID 83642
Randy's Direct Office: 208-859-7060

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