Our master bathroom is located in the basement of our ranch house. It was fully renovated and put in use around Christmas time in 2019, and it has surely seen a lot of use over the last year thanks to the COVID lockdown. In October 2020 we gutted the upstairs bathroom, making this basement bath the only bath in the house. It served us very well, except we started wanting a stronger and quieter exhaust fan.
The exhaust fan in the picture above was provided by our contractor. It was the cheapest fan – merely $14 from Home Depot. It does the job, but not as strong as we hoped, and it is noisy.
Then the upstairs bathroom renovation started. Along with recessed lighting, Slav installed a new exhaust fan on the ceiling, and we were immediately smitten. It is so quiet that we hardly notice when the fan is on. It also comes with two CFM settings controlled by a motion/humidity sensor.
When the main floor bathroom plumbing work started, we lifted the subfloor and exposed the floor joists for the plumber. Of course, the master bath exhaust fan was exposed too in the process. It seems to be a great opportunity to replace it if we wanted an upgrade! I told Slav. So Slav went ahead and picked the same model of exhaust fan as the one he installed for the main floor bath, just in a lower profile to fit in between the floor joists.
One difference between the low-profile fan is that it comes with a LED lighting. And instead of 80/110 CFM, it is made to be 80/100 CFM. Slav took down the old exhaust fan from above, through exposed floor joists:
You can see the downstairs shower through the floor. One of the master bath recessed lighting is right next to it:
It was not too hard to install the new exhaust fan. Slav connected the new fan to the existing electrical and exhaust pipe:
And secured it well. He did have to cut the opening on the floor joist bigger to fit the new exhaust pipe, so he sister-ed the floor joist with a 2″ x 4″ to add some strength:
He then connected the 4″ exhaust pipe to the existing pipe going outside of the house.
The existing pipe is only 3″ wide, so Slav used a reducer in between the new and old pipe.
And this is how the exhaust fan looks like in the basement master bath! It is larger and more powerful, but much quieter.
And this is how the pipes will rest in between the two stories. We will be closing the subflooring soon. Before that, Slav will probably add some metal straps to secure the pipes to nearby floor joist so nothing will ever come loose.
In addition to the new exhaust fan for master bath, Slav also upgraded the electrical boxes on the wet wall. He had added some electrical circuits to the bath, But this portion of the electrical work had to wait until the plumbing upgrade was finished.
Loose connections, old wires. It is amazing to see what is hiding behind walls in old houses…
We used to have one electrical outlet above the vanity. Slav replaced it with two new outlets including one GFCI, which will protect the circuits in this bathroom.
He also added a new outlet behind the toilet. This will power the bidet seat we will be installing. The cold water line on the left side of the toilet flange will feed water into the bidet seat.
With all the electrical and plumbing work finished, we are almost ready to close the walls! The very last thing we need to do is to frame in the pocket door on the entry wall of the bathroom. We are inching closer to tile work as every weekend passes. Although it seems slow, it surprises me how far we’ve come since the beginning:
Demolition – removing all the fixtures and wall/floor materials;
Assessing the water damage and mold control;
Installing new bath window and insulating the exterior wall;
Removing the ceiling drywall from the attic, wiring for new recessed lights from the attic;
Upgrading wall electrical, including adding outlets and wiring new switches;
Installing a new exhaust fan;
Installing recessed lights and drywall the bathroom ceiling;
Upgrading the sewage pipe for toilet and shower;
Purchasing a new toilet, a new bidet, a sink/vanity, and sink and shower fixtures; Upgrading/installing water lines to all the fixture;
Upgrade master bath (basement) exhaust fan from above;
Replacing all the subflooring;
12. Pocket door framing;
13. Drywalling around the pocket door, taping and mudding the entry wall and the ceiling;
14. Tiling and installing a new window stool;
15. Priming/painting entry wall drywall and ceiling;
16. Sealing the floor tiles and grout;
17. Installing new glass shower door;
18. Installing toilet/bidet, vanity/sink, shower trim, and vanity mirror/lighting;
19. Hanging the new pocket door and installing door trims;
20. Accessorizing the bathroom.
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