Here is a picture of my new underlayment (not complete yet so you can see the layers). Last Wednesday we finished removing our damaged underlayment, cleaned it all up, and screwed on 1/4″ exterior glue luan through the floor boards into the joists. This was to give a fairly smoothed-out surface to start with, instead of the cupped floor boards with big gaps between them. On Thursday, we thin-setted and screwed on a 1/2″ layer of backerboard – this kind was fiberglass-faced gypsum. Already the floor was much leveler and sturdier. On Friday morning I primed the surface for self-leveling compound, and I poured the compound at noon. It mostly filled in a low back corner, but the non-level bits left were pretty minor. Now I was pretty much ready for tiling.
We had taken out the medicine cabinet and cut a hole in the wall to put in bracing to hang the wall mounted sink on. The most interesting surprises here were a wall cavity full of thin razor blades and wall studs that, I believe from the unmistakable smell, are cedar!? We were trying to figure out the razor blades when someone told us that in the old days, people used to dispose of their old razor blades through the slit in the back of the medicine cabinet, using the wall cavity as a dump! The cedar in the wall is a mystery too – did they have some lying around and used it in the wall? Did they purchase cedar since it was a wet, bathroom environment? Surely my whole house isn’t framed in cedar, but I’m not sure I’d mind if it was!
So, at this point it’s Friday, my new tenant moves in on Sunday (meaning we can’t use that apartment’s bathroom anymore), and I haven’t even tiled yet, much less installed the toilet…do we make it? Tune in next time to see! (yes, I’m writing this the next Monday – so I am withholding information.)