Bathroom Built-Ins

March 19, 2015 | Bathroom

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A bathroom built-in shelving or cabinet space can be the ultimate in bathroom interior design. Storing solutions appear out of nowhere, guest bathrooms work like clockwork and space is saved all around. Whether you’re building a new bathroom or you’re remodeling an old one, a bathroom built-in can be the best way to get the most out of your bathroom. Use this guide to installing bathroom built-in storage and you’ll be sure to get the most out of your bathroom design.

Locating Plumbing and Wiring

Unless you have the blueprints to your house, finding plumbing and wiring for built-in shelving and storage can be a trial by fire project. One great way to find the electrical wiring in your bathroom built-in project is by employing the use of a hot wire finder. These electrical devices can find a hot wire behind most any wall covering, easily allowing you to get the most out of your built-in bathroom design.

Plumbing can be a little tougher to find. Any area behind a toilet is often the place where a vertical stack enters the wall space. You can locate vertical stacks by looking on your roof for pipe vents and penetrations. Use a tape measure to get a rough measurement to find hidden in-the-wall plumbing stacks.

Locating Bearing Walls

A bearing wall is one that holds the load of the roof structure or other framing members onto its surface. A quick peek in the attic or crawlspace can tell you if the wall you plan on using is bearing or not. Any wall with a double top plate is bearing! Never, ever use a bearing wall to install a built-in bathroom design shelving unit. If you’re not sure, don’t do it! A bearing wall supports the weight of your home. Without it intact and in place, your home could collapse.

Building a Header

Headers hold the support of the 2×4’s that are no longer in place once the bathroom design built-in shelving system is in place. A header is usually made from two 2×4’s nailed together then placed flat into the opening above the shelf. A header supports the weight of the opening and the 2×4’s above the shelf. Two cut 2×4’s or jacks hold the header in place above the opening. Any header over four feet in length must be supported by two jacks on each side and a 2×6 double header.

Building a Sill

Once the top and sides are in place, a sill plate must be installed. This board is installed between the two (or four) 2×4’s jacks that hold up the header. It should be turned on edge unlike the header and inserted onto the top of the remaining 2×4’s that were sheared for the built-in shelf. Attach the sill to the jacks and the sheared 2×4’s.

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