Interior-door handles and locks are installed in essentially the same manner as those used on exterior doors. Most interior doors just require a handle and a latch, or what is commonly known as a passage-door lockset. However, for bedroom and bathroom doors, you may want a privacy lock—an interior lockset that locks when you push or turn a button.
One of your primary concerns when installing fixtures in a bathroom is to make sure they won’t come loose in a month or two. A toilet paper holder, for example, should be screwed into solid wood and not into drywall alone. This is why we installed backing in the bath
room walls when we framed the walls (see chapter 4). if, for whatever reason, there is no backing in the wall, try to mount items by screwing them into studs. If you simply can’t avoid fastening into drywall alone, use an expansion, or toggle, bolt that goes through the drywall and opens in the back.
A recessed medicine cabinet is installed in the hole left in the drywall, which is usually directly over the sink. If the cabinet is surface mounted, position it so the bottom edge is 4 ft. from the floor, then screw it into studs or backing.
The toilet-paper holder should be screwed either into backing near the toilet, at 24 in. o. c. above the floor, or into a nearby vanity cabinet at the same height. Towel bars should be installed near the tub and vanity at 54 in. o. c. above the floor (see the photo on p. 272). If you want to install a toothbrush and cup holder, they should be located 4 in. above the
sink or 40 in. from the floor. It’s also a good idea to put a small clothes hook or two on the back of the bathroom door.
Various types of shower curtain rods can be installed in different ways. I like the ones that mount in sockets that are screwed into wall studs, much like the pole in a clothes closet. Or you can use the type of rod that is held by pressure between the two walls that surround the tub-shower. Cut the rod to length with a hacksaw, locate it just above the top of the shower walls, then expand it until it holds itself in place. Don’t forget to hang a beautiful shower curtain to add some color to your bathroom.
Things are looking good. The house is painted; the doors, cabinets, and countertops have been installed; and all your faucets and light switches are working. But one major transformation remains—the finish flooring.
Installing finish flooring is one of the last jobs to do or have done, and for good reason. Now that you’re down to the detail work, fewer workers will be coming through the house, so there is less chance that the flooring will be damaged. There are many options, even for affordable homes, so this is a great opportunity to make choices that express your personal style.