bathroom tips, renovation, modern bathroom, master carpenter tips, bathroom venting

Master Carpenter’s 4 Bathroom Tips: Expert Insights for Modern Renovation

Foreword by Ian Thompson, Editor

Let’s explore a bathroom building project that features some truly innovative and functional design elements, creating an extraordinary space.

Matt will host this bathroom reveal alongside Zach DeOreo, a master carpenter. You will discover ingenious venting innovations that seamlessly blend functionality with modern aesthetics. Witness the strategic placement of fixtures to optimize both convenience and aesthetics.

Over to Matt and Zach.

Master Carpenter’s 4 Bathroom Tips: Expert Insights for Modern Renovation

Video Transcript

What’s up guys, I’m Matt Rising here and I’m Zach Deadmore, and we are at one of Zach’s jobs in New Jersey. Zach, modern bath, beautiful work here. Thanks so much. How about we give them a couple tips today? Let’s do it.

Four tips for a modern bath with Zach Deadmore. Let’s get going. Alright Zach, beautiful work here, a lot of cool details on this modern bath. I want to start with this one though. When I saw this bathroom, I was absolutely blown away by how you’re heating and cooling through this strip right here. What is that?

That’s not actually heating and cooling. So, by code you need a vent in a bathroom, right? Okay. So this house has a structural cedar roof. We could not put it in the roof, we could have put a wall-mounted vent there, but it really wouldn’t fit the modern aesthetic. So what we’ve done there is we’ve used a router to channel out a slot in a piece of MDO plywood.

Oh, that’s plywood, not drywall. Exactly. We mounted that up there and then we’ve run duct work along that down this wall and into an inline vent, which is blowing out the side of the house.

Oh my gosh, so not only does it look a little bit sleek, but it’s actually right where it needs to be to capture steam that’s coming from the shower head. Yeah, it’s right in the right spot. Plus, that thin black line just really nice on a modern house like this. It looks as good as possible with having a functional item.

And the nice part about that location is, we are absolutely able to make a double-sided one. So this being the water closet, you have a smaller vent on this side, on this back side right here.

That’s pretty cool. Just switch it on right here. I like to try and put the switches as close to the shower as possible because a lot of times you get in the shower, you turn it on, and then you forget, “Oh, I forgot to turn it on.”

So you don’t want to have it on this side of the bathroom and you’re running a big wet line across to get to it. So I try and put them as close as possible and have a dedicated switch for that. It’s quiet, too. Room tone. Yeah, not bad. Not bad. All you’re really hearing is the air moving through that slot.

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So the next thing I’m noticing is the beautiful tile layout. Any tips on this tile layout in particular that you could pass on to us? So what’s the first thing you notice here? It looks pretty even, and if you start at this corner, you have a full tile, full tile at the top, in the corner you have two full tiles. In the corner where the niche is, the niche is exactly two tiles deep, so you have full, full, full at the end, come out here, full, and that’s not by accident. No cuts anywhere.

Yeah, the way you do that is you order your tile before framing, okay? And then you can lay them out with the proper grout spacing, make a story pole. So we did that, held the pole up, and then framed this wall using that. We actually made a build show video about that, so other people know how to do it.

How about that? If you don’t know, Zach is shooting videos over on thebuildshow.com, Build Show Network.com, same website, on a weekly basis. Go check out that one. I’ll put a link in the description and every week Zach has a new video, so this is some really good stuff.

Tip number three, we’re actually going into the water closet, right? Yeah, let’s take a peek in here. So you’ve got a wall hung toilet, a great modern detail, right? And the nice thing about that is ease of cleaning, losing the tank. But what happens when you have a wall-mounted toilet?

Typically you would see tile behind it, but the clients did not want to tile this, they felt like it would make it a little bit too busy. But any toilet application you’re going to have some washing that’s happening around it, which, if you use drywall or other products with anything that can get wet and get damaged, is going to be a problem.

So this is again MDO plywood, and it makes all the cuts easy. You can do it with a jigsaw, and it also, once it’s painted, it looks like drywall, exactly. But drywall, much more durable, and the price point’s not bad. These are, this is only about $40 a sheet for 3/4 inch.

That’s not bad and the compressive strength is much stronger cuz if you if you’ve seen a couple of these toilets if they’re mounted to drywall, eventually it’s going to compress and then the toilet doesn’t feel as strong. Right now this is really robust.

And what we like to do too, is stash a little secret cabinet behind a picture frame. Check that out, that is awesome! And then you just inset a cabinet up here. A lot of people you’ll see it’ll do a ledge but the ledge just sort of tells people that there’s a wall mounted toilet and this is all the space you’ve lost. But when you have a cabinet there it just looks like a solid wall and you’re none the wiser. That’s really smart.

And I like to do the cabinet too because remember, you have an exterior wall so you really want a lot of insulation and air behind that tank of water in this climate. So we have a very deep cavity here with a lot of insulation and air can move through there, and we actually have piped a little bit of warm air to the back of that just to make sure, even during the coldest temperatures…

I noticed there’s some stickers in the back of that cabinet. What are the stickers telling you there, Zach? So two things. This one at the top is telling you the heated floor specifications cuz this floor is heated, okay? So it’s got the amperage and also telling you not to drill through the floor, right? And then this other one says, “Remove this box to reach LED drivers and tub temperature controls. Remove the box.”

So you can just slide this out? No way, check that out, that is awesome! And in here, dang, pretty much every job has mechanicals you need to reach, but they’re in the vanity, they’re hard to access. You want to think about the trades people who are coming after you, so the electrician can easily swap out any of these four drivers or a plumber can access this tub control, service the tub, turn these valves off without having to be in a vanity and work super smart.

Work at what we like to call gentleman’s height. That’s what a carpenter told me, so make it easy for them. And then this just slides right back in. Now, no, hold on before you put that back, talk to me about that. You got like five standoffs back there. What’s going on with those?

So my carpenter, Ken, he did a great job. This is basically just a spacer block to stop that unit from sliding in further, and then he’s got a magnet on it just to make a positive con. So he put screws in there so he could adjust it and that cabinet now fits perfectly flush in that piece of MDO. And that’s just telling him where to stop it, so it was a smart way of getting the depth you need. Also, you can see he’s got his closed cell foam back there too, so in this cold New Jersey climate, everything’s nice and insulated and air sealed. Super smart, man.

What a great detail! And also, one last thing before you slide that back, I also just realized you got a looks like a piece of maple sliding, uh, that it slides on top of to maintain the height. And this looks like it’s a maple. Did you guys make this maple cabinet?

No, this is actually a maple drawer box. So there’s a lot of local suppliers or websites where you buy a drawer box, and if you make it yourself, then you have to go through the extra effort of doing, you know, a nice high performance finish up, you got finish it. Whereas the drawer box comes pre-finished, yeah.

And typically what’s a drawer box, maybe $130? You’re not going to pay a carpenter to necessarily go through all that work for $100, so just getting a drawer box if you have the time and forethought, it’s easy just to do it that way. And just a little magnetic touch latch on the top of that and you’re good to go.

Yeah, and we actually put the touch latch on the top so that, you know, if the kids come in, they push this, nothing’s going to happen. You really have to be tall enough to reach the top. If I pop it back in, I’ll show you if I put it back in here.

That’s so awesome! And then just slide on that bottom rail. That’s really cool. So I push up here, it’s latched. The only problem is I’m tired of that painting. They got to call you to put a new painting up. Ah, that’s job security. That’s job security, Zach.

Really nicely done, man. Four really good tips for a modern bath. If you guys don’t know, Zach Deadmore 101 on Instagram, correct? And Build Show Network, shooting videos on a weekly basis, so I’ll put a link to both of those below. Anything else we missed?

I don’t think so. We got, last thing we did, Matt, we have a trades series. Zach is a lead carpenter, runs a small carpentry firm that does this type of remodel work here in New Jersey.

We’re doing a series called “Talking Trades” which is coming out in the not too distant future, talking about why high school kids might want to get into their trades, including Zach’s job, which is a lead carpenter. So stay tuned for that.

Zach, really appreciate your friendship, awesome videos. Go follow Zach if you’re not currently a subscriber. Hit that subscribe button below, we’ve got new content every Tuesday and every Friday. Do you know how I close up my videos? Follow us on TikTok or Instagram, otherwise we’ll see you next time on the Build [Music] Show.

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