The Frame Game

Framing our bathroom upstairs makes me feel like this is actually happening. Like we are actually going to (eventually) have a Master Suite rocking in our upstairs chunk of the house. As far as grunt work goes, the framing part took us the better half of a Saturday morning. Not too awful, considering some of our other attic adventures have taken us the better part of a month. Cringe.

I went through some of our bathroom options here, and when everything is said and done, the bathroom will look similar to the inspiration pic below.

Marble Bathroom Mood Board

Afters lots of deliberation, I’m exciting to tell you we decided to take the plunge and go big or go home by adding a walk in shower to the b-room mix upstairs. On one hand I’m SO EXCITED to have another full bathroom in our house. On the other, I think it’s kind of crazy sauce excessive. We will have 3 full baths when we’re done with the upstairs, when most houses in our neighborhood have 1 – 1.5 baths. I guess it’s not the worst thing, but it still feels kind of ridiculous to me. Especially since there are only TWO of us. Just come over and shower at my place, I’ll feel better about it then. 😀

Determining the final layout of the space was kind of tricky (not much space to work with) but eventually we landed on this configuration.

Attic Bathroom Layout

The only area I’m a bit worried about as far as space being a bit tighter than ideal is our vanity area, which will have a slanted ceiling along it, making it a bit tricky to position a mirror and all that jazz. I think we will be able to swing it, but it falls into the skin of your teeth category. Stay tuned on that one 🙂

We also decided that a pocket door would be another handy way to make the space feel a bit less tight, so for $50, we sprung for the special framing at Home Depot. Initially, we had intended to use a door that we already had upstairs, but after further inspection, we realized that someone had majorly hacked off the bottom down the line and that Jay had to essentially duck to even use the door. It measured 74″ when standard doors measure 80″. Turns out that extra few inches makes a difference.

Normal Door Height

Not the end of the world. but we will have to buy a new door slab now, which unfortunately, will not match the rest of the house like this one would have. Whomp whomp.

The first step to framing out the space was doing some measurements to scope out where we’d need to place everything. We knew that we wanted the bathroom to be at least 5 feet wide x 10 feet long. Now that sounds like a big old bathroom (it’s more than double the square footage of our other bathrooms) but the tricky thing about this space was dealing with some mega slanted ceilings. Of the 50 square feet, less than 20 of it is not compromised somehow by the ceiling slant. Since showers (by code) need at least 30″ x 30″ at 80″ high, we’ve positioned the shower off to the side enough that it’s able to meet this provision before the slanting starts. We’ve decided that in the space that is slanted, we’ll add a little bench (like this shower).

Converting Attic to Master Suite

Now after we finalized the location, it was just a matter of carefully measuring each 2×4 in order to install them and create the wall. Normally, your studs would not need to be cut on an angle at the top, but since our wall is against a slope in the ceiling, we had cut each end piece to fit snug up against the existing ceiling beams. This added some time on the the project, since it involved quite a bit more measuring and then cutting each stud with our miter saw.

How to Frame Wall with Angled Cuts

Like our closets, we also had to make sure that each piece of wood that we installed was square. For 6 bucks, Jay convinced me to spring on the new tool below for him, which is called, a square. Very inventive group of marketers for these tools, I’m telling ya 🙂 It’s essentially just a metal angled “l”, which helps to make corners at 90 degree angles.

How to Frame Wall

When framing, you also want to make sure that your vertical studs are 15″ apart. Due to the door opening coming up in between that 15″ measurement, we had a few openings that were not exactly 15″ across, but in general, we tried to follow this guideline as much as possible. Since this is not a supporting wall, we knew the only thing this would be holding up would be some drywall and bathroom tiles, so we were not super concerned about small inconsistencies like the measurements between studs. If you are working with a supporting wall, you need to take lots of different provisions as you build (temporary structures, supporting headers, etc) or your house could cave in. 🙂 Probably not cave in, but it might sink a wee bit. Just not good so make sure to check first! Here is an article, where you can check, if helpful!

Once we built the frame on the floor and checked to confirm all our studs properly met up with the ceiling, we screwed in the bottom section to the floor.

How to Install a Wall

After we had the first few feet framed, we were ready to add the pocket door. This was the part I was the most excited about. In an old house that is lacking on space, you almost wish all your doors had sweet little rollers on them that made them disappear into your wall versus taking up valuable room space. Since we were starting from scratch in this room, we took the opportunity to optimize the space a bit more and take advantage of nifty little magic trick doors instead of going the conventional route. 😀 Overall, it will cost us about an extra $50, so I’m down with that.

How To Install a Pocket Door

The pocket door came with instructions, but quite frankly, they were not very helpful. 🙂 We had to kind of wing it and make some assumptions as we went along. We knew the door frame needed to be offset by the length of the door in order to accommodate the sliding feature, and give the door somewhere to disappear to.

With a normal framing job for a door, you would just put in a frame for the exact footprint of the door. With a pocket door, you have to essentially double that space to leave room for the inset frame, and the door location.

How To Install a Pocket Door

The door also had a slider affixed to the side, where the opening was supposed to be – so we knew that this needed to be removed and installed somewhere. The directions made no mention of this mystery piece of equipment, so we made some educated assumptions about where it was supposed to be located. Since the door has to slide in and out of the pocket, we put this piece up at the top.

How To Install a Pocket Door

The last thing that we needed to do for the pocket door was install a header up above it. As mentioned before, this is not a supporting wall, so our header was just a 2×4 above the frame to provide some additional structure. In the picture above, the header is just the piece of wood that is right above the slider for the door. Pretty easy.

After a weekend morning’s worth of work, we now have this!

How To Install a Pocket Door

Having everything framed out makes this really feel like a room vs. a big, open, uninsulated space. Now we just need to:

  • Hire a plumber to install the rough-ins for the fixtures
  • Install a walk-in shower (it will look a lot like this)
  • Drywall and put down floor
  • Install lighting
  • Install all fixtures (shower, toilet, vanity)
  • Build built-in for storage
  • Paint, add trim and accessorize!

Oye! That’s a serious list! Off to call some plumbers and start getting quotes. 😀

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