Mudroom Makeover

By Robert Robillard on Home Repairs And Remodeling

Mudroom Improvements

Generally, a mud room has easily cleaned floors made in materials like tile, concrete, or Linoleum.   A  mudroom makeover need not break the bank and can be as simple as trim and shelving.  Or more involved like new flooring, fixtures and built-ins.

Mudroom Necessities

A well designed mud room also has ample hooks and racks for damp, wet clothing, as well as racks, a closet or cubbies for shoes.

In addition, benches are a good option for people to sit on while they remove their shoes.

All of these measures are designed to encourage people to remove sodden or dirty layers before entering the house.

Primary Entrance

Mud rooms are not usually the primary entrances of homes, since they tend to be informal in nature. In the job below this mudroom is a side entrance to the kitchen and garage.

Mudroom Makeover

This beautiful home is in Wellsley, Mass.  Our job was to spruce up the existing mudroom. We were working with Sandra Stout from Creative Design Solutions # 978-505-7447.

The grand plan is to change out the tile and put in slate for the flooring. The walls will receive vertical bead-board wainscoting with a chair rail and molding detail. Hooks to be added to the bead board.

One thing that bugged me with the old floor was that the previous contractor tiled around the bi fold door hardware.

A better solution is to remove this tile under it and install the hardware over the tile. this is a better option in case the door or hardware are removed later.

Dust Containment

After sealing off the kitchen entrance with plastic and providing ventilation, we got to work demoing the old ceramic tile.  Ceramic tiles in mudrooms are not always a good solution as they can become slippery when wet.

We cover how to control remodeling dust in detail in a separate article:   Best Practice For Controlling Remodeling Dust

Positive ventilation to keep the dust out of the kitchen and garage.

Tearing up tile and sub floor is never a fun job and is often very labor intensive. I removed the baseboard trim and was ready with a sledge hammer and hammer chisel to tear up this tile when I was pleasantly surprised.

The tile broke easily with a hammer……..

Procuring a dumpster on a small mudroom makeover project like this is not cost effective.   Instead we use a dumpster bag.

Dumpster bags have saved me time and money on my remodeling jobs.  It’s a perfect solution for small renovations or clean up jobs  that are too small for a dumpster or where the location or the budget sustain a steel dumpster and its long term rental costs.

Apparently the previous contractor did not install a tile backer board or underlayment and used very little thin set.  The tiles were barely adhering and once the first was removed I was able to lift up the rest of the floor with a pry bar and hand pressure.

For more information on removing tile  and underlayment read this article:   How to remove a tile floor and underlayment

tile demo

An easier removal than thought.

tile demo

The mudroom tiles all but two were removed on one piece.  This is a sign of less than quality tile installation.

Very little evidence of thin set on the plywood. The tiles had plenty on them but the adherence capability of the plywood was the weak link.

underlayment prep

All the tiles were removed and the remaining thin set left on the sub floor was scraped off to make the floor flat and smooth.

Deal with Floor Squeaks

The sub floor was checked for structural strength and screws installed into the joists as needed.  We always add screws to sub floors at this stage.  May times  we find that nails were originally used and can loosen  and cause squeaks.

tile demo

Problem Solving Is Always Needed on A Mudroom Makeover

One reason why the prior contractor did not install a tile underlayment may have been this radiator.

steam radiator

The addition of an underlayment would have added 1/4″ at a minimum. That would have made re-attaching the radiator to the pipe exiting the wall impossible.

I also had that concern as well as there was no clearance on the left side of the radiator to add the bead board. The steam valve was almost touching the wall.

steam radiator

Our problem was that the underlayment we were going to use was the same thickness [1/4″] as the tile we removed.    The new slate tile was 3/8″ so we would need to raise the pipe 3/8″ for it to go back together.

Moving Plumbing Pipes

After spending some time chasing this pipe in the basement a decision was made to attempt to raise the pipe, and move it to the right 1/2″.

steam radiator connection

After breaking through the wall we discovered brick and concrete fire blocking.

steam radiator

Close up.

Raising a steam radiator

Once this concrete was removed we were able to move the pipe to accomplish our tolerances.

Tile Underlayment

Preparing for tile means following a proper subfloor fastening procedure and usually installing cement board underlayment. [CBU]

Installing cement board underlayment is recommended to provide a flat, smooth and durable surface for tile installation and adhesion.  Underlayment  ensures tile longevity and is specifically designed to resist moisture and mold growth.

tile underlayment

I used Fiberock underlayment. It is a fiber-reinforced gypsum product that for wet or dry areas. This durable panel offers superior performance and tile bond in addition to an integral water-resistant core.

The backer board can be finished with ceramic tile or painted, and has a 20 year limited warranty. It is environmentally friendly, made from 95-percent recycled materials, earning it Green Cross Certification from Scientific Certification Systems.

Read more on How to prepare a tile floor and install underlayment.

tile underlayment

The board was installed per manufacturer specs and the seams were filled, taped and covered flush with thin set.

The next stage of the mudroom makeover is installing the slate tile.    See the slate install here.

Related Articles:

If you enjoyed this article you might also like How to plan a bathroom remodel and installing  and Installing electric radiant heat under tile 

tile under layment

~ concord carpenter


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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