The Never Ending Bathroom Renovation: Part 483

Alright.  Not a whole lot has changed, but things will.  We’ve had quite the time trying to figure out the whole storage/sink/counter space conundrum.

We bought a sink cabinet at the Rebuilding Center for $35.  Technically, it fit.  My measurements were correct, but I didn’t take into consideration how much a full cabinet would fill the space.

Let me explain: The original sink was sitting in an open vintage sewing machine table. So when you sat on toilet, there was plenty of open space for your legs.  Now that we have this full cabinet with drawers and doors, there was no extra space.

We ditched it.  It just wasn’t going to work.  I was reluctant to ditch it because we put a lot of work into it.  It had been cut down to size, put on a riser, primed and painted.  Twice.  There was a bit of an issue with the paint, and it was painted twice.  And we had to have a countertop made, which was going to cost a bloody fortune because apparently I have expensive taste.  Anyhoo, it’s out of the picture now.

Once we made the decision to do away with the damn thing, we decided we’d go with a pedestal sink.  I like the look of a pedestal sink, but it provides absolutely no counter space or storage.  So I started looking for storage options.  If you’ll remember back to the beginning of all of this, there was a small chest of drawers in there for storage.  I liked the idea of that, so I did some looking around and found the perfect thing at Ikea.It’s just  a simple 3 drawer pine dresser.  I slapped some primer on it, then painted it about a half hour later.  I used Hearts of Palm from Sherwin Williams, and I lovelovelove it!  It came with wood knobs, but I picked up some brushed nickel hardware at Home Depot.  The finished product looks nothing like the original.  It’s perfect.Now for the tub.  The tub was an easier project than I thought it would be.  Rob got it out of the bathroom on his own one afternoon.  I primed it with a special rust resistant primer from Sherwin Williams, then painted it with a specific paint for metal surfaces in Cooled Blue.  This color is beautiful, seriously.  I love the contrast of the teal tub and the light blue walls.

We also had some electrical work done in there.  We had an exhaust fan put in, the main ceiling light rewired (the wires were exposed), had an outlet put in and the sconces spread out a little more.  OMG electrical work is SO EXPENSIVE.   It needed to be done, but holy Hello Kitty it was a lot.  With all that electrical work comes more work for us.  The electrician had to put a bunch of holes in the walls and ceiling to work, so there’s that.  But the work is done, and won’t need to be done ever again.

Now for all the things that still need to be done (in no particular order):

-Get a sink and install

-Replace the flooring (thinking about Marmoleum)

-Finish patching holes

-Texturize and paint over patchwork

-Hang mirror, towel rack and hooks

-Finish moulding

-Hang new light fixture

-Spray paint sconces (no the milk glass part, the metal part, brushed nickel) and hang

-Reinforce shower curtain rod

-Over the toilet storage

-Find fabric and make curtains

Is that it?  Good gravy, I hope so.

This has been such a great learning experience, but I’m really ready to stop learning and start using my new bathroom.

Bathroom Update

It’s been 2 (or has it been 3?) weeks since we started this and we’re getting closer to completion.  Kind of.

It seems that whenever we would start one project in there it would then require two more  projects to be complete.  That and Rob’s schedule hasn’t allowed for much bathroom work time, that and working around a sleeping baby’s schedule is kind of a pain.

So here we are.

Last time I left off when we were just getting done with the demolition.  My Brother, Cameron, came over a few days later to help us out (he’s in school getting a degree in construction right now).He and Rob worked on putting in the insulation and hanging the drywall Rob bought at Home Depot.  The drywall he got is mold resistant, which is great for a bathroom.  Cameron had to go to school so Rob was left to finish the drywall installation.

It’s really cool watching the process of building a room.  And it’s even cooler knowing that you can do it.  I’m so proud of Rob for doing all of this and doing right.

We had our contractor friend come over look at the water damaged subfloor, and he gave us the most excellent news that there’s no mold and it doesn’t need to be replaced.  Holy Hello Kitty that was so good to hear.  Luckily since we pulled the sink out weeks ago without putting another in immediately it dried up.

After about a week all the drywall was up and it was mudded and sanded, Rob had to sand down the already existing walls to break down the texture.  The new drywall was really smooth and the other walls were slightly bumpy.  Our contractor friend also mentioned that the fluffier paint roller we used when priming the walls, the more similar the texture we’d get between the two types of walls.  So we primed and said goodbye to the tiger.

The next day Cameron and Jared came over to paint.  Rob worked all day and I had to take care of the boy, so it was really nice to have these guys over to help out.  I paid them in lunch from Arby’s.The second that color went on the wall I was in love.  I chose a color called Crystal Clear from Sherwin Williams.  I wanted a light color, but not stark white.  This was light with a touch of blue (depending on the calibration of your monitor).

Throughout the week we made countless trips to Home Depot for various items, one of the big ones being floor, window, and door moulding.  We went with a pre-primed 3 1/2 inch moulding.  Rob also got his first circular saw, an investment I’m sure we’ll get a lot of use out of.  We also had to rent a nail gun and a compressor to install the moulding (In doing so, Rob had to go back to the HD twice to get the right gun and compressor because the clerk wasn’t very educated on these things and sent him home with the wrong tools. Oy.).  Rob cut all the moulding down, nailed it in, and put silicone caulk over the nails and along the edges (We were only able to install the floor moulding on the walls on the side and behind the tub, around the door and around the window.  We have to wait to install the rest because we need to put the sink cabinet in first.).  I painted them with one coat of our white trim paint.  When it was all done I couldn’t help but stare.  It looked so good.  SO GOOD.  So polished and finished.Well, not finished, but getting there.  Much, MUCH more to come.

Bathroom Demolition

I can’t believe that in the last few days our bathroom has become just a shell of a room with a toilet.  Never did I think we’d be doing this this soon, but here we are.

Rob and I spent a lot of time going back and forth on how much work we should be putting into the bathroom right now.  Should we just fix the rotted flooring and replace the sink?  Should we repaint?  How far should we go was the question.  Well, in the end we decided to go all the way with it.  It seemed that every time we’d remove or uncover something there was another problem to be taken care of, so going for all of it was kind of our only option.  Unless we wanted to leave walls open and various other little surprises waiting to be fixed.

As you know, from the previous bathroom post, we had quite project on our hands.  Since the sink unit was already removed the first step was removing the wallpaper, the mirrors, and the panelling.  The wallpaper was insanely easy, it was hardly glued on.  Rob had a giant suction thing he used to take the mirrors off which made the process much easier.  The panelling was being held on by a handful of nails.  As we removed each piece of mirror, panelling and wallpaper we seemed to uncover a whole new project.Behind the mirrors and panelling was tile.  Metal tile.  Metal tile made to look like porcelain.  I’ve never seen tile like this before.  Underneath that tile was a very thick, and very old layer of mortar.  Behind the panelling was an old medicine cabinet.  And behind the wallpaper was another painting, this time a lion (the other painting can be found here).

After removing all the junk from that side of the bathroom, we had to get the tub out tp get the panelling off those walls.  Rob managed to do this while Max and I were out for a walk with the dogs.  Once Rob pulled back the panelling we saw something horrible, A WALL OF THAT SHITTASTIC TILE.  It was along the other wall too.  AND!  It only went 3/4 of the way down because the walls were left unfinished.Rob got to work chipping away at the tile and when he was done we were left with two unfinished walls covered in old mortar.  We had two options now: 1) chip and sand down the mortar, and finish the walls with drywall. 2) tear down both walls and put up new drywall.

After some research on Rob’s part (Way to research, Rob!) we decided to tear down the walls and put up new drywall.  Chipping away and sanding down the old mortar would’ve taken way too long, and frankly, too much work.  So Rob went for it.Oh, the banging and crashing sounds.  I was so afraid I’d see a crow bar and Rob’s arm come through the living room wall, but I didn’t.  He did a fantastic job of taking down those walls.  While he did a great job, he did not have the proper safety attire.  Those are my sunglasses and bandana he’s sporting.  We will be purchasing masks and goggles.

The very last part of the demolition was to remove the panelling from the beam.  Once that was removed we saw that horrific tile again.  And underneath that was just a mish-mash of poorly cut 2×4’s.  We were beginning to think this wasn’t a structural beam after all.  We then discussed removing the drop down ceiling that the beam was connected to.  Rob made hole, shined a light inside and made the call that it was OK to tear down.  It was at this point that I was afraid for the first time because OMG what if he was wrong and he takes this down and the whole house (OK, just the upstairs) comes crashing down on us while we’re sleeping.  This is how my brain works.Thank the gods he wasn’t wrong.  That dropped ceiling was only an aesthetic thing, and that beam wasn’t even attached.  It was simply sitting between a couple of 2×4’s.

Good gravy.  I would really like to meet the person who put together this mess of a bathroom and ask them what the hell they were thinking.

We’ve got quite the project on our hands, but judging by how well this went I think we’ll handle the next part with great ease.

This is what happens when your bathroom sink pipes leak…

Let’s start from the beginning: Last week I was washing my face in the sink and my toes hit the platform that holds the sewing machine turned sink.  My toes got wet, and I was all What the eff is going on here?  I told Rob I was going to tear up the carpet to see if the wood underneath was wet to make sure it wasn’t wet from spilling water on the outside.  I didn’t care about tearing up the carpet because we were planning on replacing the whole system eventually.

I tore up a corner and saw the above.  I thought Oh shit, the water’s underneath the flooring now.  Which it was.  This was all making sense because for a while whenever I would sit outside the tun to bathe Max the rug would get wet, but not from his bath, from me sitting on the floor.  You see, water was coming up through the floor.  Awesome.

I still didn’t know where this was all originating from (No I did not check the pipes first.  Probably should have, but I was just a little  too excited to tear up that carpet).  I ran the water and watched the pipes and sure enough there was a leak.  It was a small leak, but it had been leaking for so long that it had gone through the carpet, through the wood platform, and gotten nearly two feet away from the sink underneath the flooring (which is plastic “wood”).

I told Rob’s parents about it when they came over the next day and Sherri, Rob’s mom, informed me that she removes the pipes every three months to clean them.  Is this something people do?  I was so confused, I had never ever heard of anyone taking their plumbing apart to clean regularly.  Basically this leak was caused because the pipes were not put back on tight enough.


We decided shortly after discovering this that we would replace the sewing machine sink with a new (used) sink cabinet, with storage and counter space.  So yesterday we went to the Rebuilding Center to look for a new (used) cabinet.  We found a couple of things that might work, but need to measure where the pipes sit on the wall to see which cabinet would work best.

Last night Rob took the whole mess out, and it looks like now we might be replacing a lot more than just the sink.

The subfloor is soaked and warped, and there’s still a lot of water between the subfloor and fake wood that needs to dry out.

We’ve made a call to someone to come take a look and help us with whatever our next step is.  For now we’ll be brushing our teeth and washing our hands in the kitchen.

Little Shower of Horrors

One of my most favorite things about this house is the claw foot tub.  When I was pregnant Rob would bring me over here just so I could soak in it, I couldn’t fit in ours very well, pregnant or not.  One of my biggest problems with this house is that there is no shower in the main bathroom, just the tub, and the shower downstairs in the basement looks like something out of horror movie.

It’s dark, dingy, and small.  And there’s one of those red heat lamps right outside the shower door, which really adds to the whole horror movie ambiance.

Since we’ve moved in we’ve made a list of projects that are a priority, and installing a shower head in the main bathroom was my main priority.  Since we’re working with a claw foot tub we couldn’t just go to Home Depot and get a new shower head.  We needed piping to run the water up, and we needed a method of hanging shower curtains.  We went to the fancy George Morlan Plumbing showroom in the Pearl a couple of weekends ago.  They had exactly what we were looking for, but for like four times the price we were willing to pay.  I mean, $1200 for a faucet and shower head?  Come on.  So, we hit the Google hard searching for a more affordable option.  And we found one!  Home Depot sells a whole package deal, the faucet, shower head, curtain rods and plumbing.  Rob hooked it up yesterday and last night I broke in our new shower!

Oh, it is so great to shower in better lighting (this bathroom is also fairly dark), and have enough room to shave my legs!  Only issue is the having to have a million shower curtains to cover all the edges, and I’m cheap and I bought the Target brand and they’re way too long and not wide enough, so now I’ll need four shower cheap-o curtains (Ridiculous!) instead of the probably 2 moderately priced ones.  Oh well, that’s what I get for buying the Target brand, eh?  Another issue is that there is no exhaust fan in this bathroom.  For now we’ll have to open the window when showering, and soon we’ll have a fan installed.

All in all I’m ecstatic.  Eventually we’ll be doing a full overhaul on both the bathrooms, the main floor first, but for now I’m pleased as punch with my new shower.