Sunday, August 3, 2014

Forty-Nine Shades of Gray and One Yellow

My bathroom is finally (mostly) finished!! Just a few more touches. We need some kind of towel accoutrement and a bit more storage in the form of another little cabinet above the toilet...because we're weird and cut our own hair and therefore need the double mirror action to see the back of our heads...

That was too much information for you, I think.

Here is the first before, from a previous post:
I'm goin' back...to 2010 when I totally(ish) redid my bathroom with my bare hands.

The story goes that John and I started renting this fantastic little California bungalow in an amazing neighborhood. Just the two of us and a basset hound. We rented for about seven years and then started dropping hints that we wanted to buy it. So we bought a 783 sqft bungalow in LA County. And as soon as all the paperwork was signed, I started tearing that bathroom apart. It's the only bathroom! (Unless you count the random working toilet in the basement).

The first thing I did was rip out the floor. That heinous vinyl flooring was the bane of my existence.  Always looked dirty and smelled!
I peeled back the layers and this is what I saw! It looked suspiciously like the original hex tile floor! Free floor! Well, sort of...
There were five layers of linoleum and vinyl in the bathroom. FIVE! And the one that touched the original floor was glued or tarred or something. I called my neighbor over, she's an old house expert, and she informed me lacquer thinner will take that nastiness right up.
I started to wash that gunk right off of my floor.  I think the slight buzz helped.

Once the floor was done, the evil cabinet from hell had to go. It was made of particle board which is the stupidest product to make a bath cabinet out of. It absorbed water like a sponge! And it smelled. Once the cabinet was gone, we had to reconfigure the plumbing for the new pedestal sink. It took almost a week to retrofit all the pipes and such.
Then it took another few days for me to drywall and sand and paint.

We also installed the baseboard, which I wanted to be simple pine boards. I loved the gray with the pine and the vintage floor!
When I took up the floor, I discovered that the new-ish tub that was installed was a touch thinner than the original. There was a 1/4" gap where the tile ended and the tub edge began. A 1/4" space I could look into and see the basement. It was super creepy. Like I was floating on a slab of cement.

I purchased some rounded tiles and installed them along the seam.
We did not put in a new tub (sad face) and we did not re-tile the shower (sadder face) and we still have the crazy jalousie window (angry face). Mostly because I know I'm going to discover some hot mess behind the walls and it will take weeks to refinish it. And weeks without a shower are not weeks I want to spend with 3 stinky boys. I need to wait until my mom visits and gets a hotel room. Free babysitting plus shower!

Here's the finished bathroom. Please forgive the photography, it's an east facing room and nearly impossible to photograph!
And here's a photo of the creative storage solutions for crazy people like me who wanted a pretty sink instead of a boxy toilet paper holder with a sink on top.
The bottom right corner of the photo is the door jamb. That is how small the bathroom is. 5' x 7'. Used by me and three boys.
It was a super low budget renovation. Maybe $300? Sink, faucet, baseboards, escutcheons, tiles, paint...mostly elbow grease. Which I should totally start charging people for.


After all that, we still had a shower with plastic walls and whatever nonsense was hidden below. I was pretty sure it was some type of gargoyle who was nice to me as long as I fed it water through the gaps in the plastic.

So, with the help of my mother, we found someone willing to tear it all out and fix the weird gerrymandered crazy builds.

And we found some odd stuff. Like the joist under the old cast iron tub was cut to install the plumbing. As joists go, probably an important one. You can kind of see it in this pic...it's where the black micrphone looking drain thing is:
Once the window and tub went in:
And the drywall...I was a little surprised they chose to keep the lathe... But it looks good.
I was excited to see how the tile turned out. Because I was basically told to just tell them what I wanted and then buy all the stuff. Which I did. Only to find out that what I wanted was "custom" so I had to compromise a bit. And then they had to buy the correct stuff...bullnose instead of quarter round...
Still, new bathroom with new everything is delightful. And a tub deeper than 9"? And easy to clean tile? A window that isn't covered in muck? It's like a real bathroom!

So apart from the stress, and the fact that our extra toilet decided not to work the day before demo, which led to us discovering that we probably have a septic tank for just that plumbing, which led to me sleeping at a friend's house for two weeks, everything turned out pretty swell!
And in case you're curious...
The shower curtain is a drop cloth we grommeted and I hand hemmed in place. I stitched two rows of dotted lines in cream. So you can only see it if you're looking. I really wanted a linen curtain, but they were $200! This one was $9 and looks almost the same. The vanity is from Lowes. I refinished the old red stained situation with chalk paint. You can read about that here.

Now the rest of my house looks like crap. Which is sort of ironic, I think.








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