Bad Bathroom Goes Good

Here it is. What you’ve all been waiting for…and the biggest change in our house to date.

Remember this?

…I know what you’re thinking – I wish I didn’t! But alas this bathroom came with the mortgage and I was in no way taking a shower and getting ready for work in its (then) current state.  So as I mentioned before, our tax refund went directly to this project.
Almost as soon as we signed the 2,500  50 odd pages officially giving us the house, Ryan started taking the hammer to this guy. Soon enough the bathroom started looking a little more like this:

Toilet was the first to go! And I’ll throw in for laughs that it sat on our front porch for a good couple of weeks before we figured out what to do with it. (habitat for humanity wouldn’t accept toilets, so donating was out… and seeing as it wasn’t in the best condition – who would want it?). My mother continually joked every time coming over that we should put a plant in it. (which we did end up hiding keys for our contractor in the tank part later on funny enough – oh hide-a-key how we toilet thee). But in the end it became trash. (apologies to all those who were excited at the hint of suggestion that I might turn it in to a planter)

Anyway, we quickly discovered that the walls were more of a plasticy material that was just placed over layer, upon layer, upon layer of wall. Poor Ry ended up demoing really like 4 times the amount he thought he would.

You can kind of get the idea that basically wherever the brown color is was glue holding up the plastic type wall on top. Plus the wall that you just saw wasn’t standard drywall, but more of a hardboard. And that yellow tub? Ok, maybe having a yellow tub wouldn’t be the worst thing (if it were new!) cause I’m sure I could have designed around it, but since we were demoing we took it out, and took it ALL down…

I should mention that the “we” I just mentioned was really just Ryan. He did the demo work.
He took down all the walls and dealt with the insane amount of dust (yes he wore a mask) seeing as the final wall (beneath all the other crap) was plaster. He also put up that sweet temporary light. Strange that I would call a temporary light sweet, but I still hadn’t really seen my honey in action putting up lights (he’s an electrician) until this this bathroom project and the temp light seemed so professional in its temporary way. And just wait till you see what else he did…

…wait for it…


Voila! A new bathroom!

…And check out that super awesome light in the shower! – Thanks Ry!

Ok, not the fanciest of pictures (I’ve got to work on taking/staging photos specifically for the blog) but this is real – and at the time I was using Garnier Frutis (I just use whatever is on sale) haha, and we had a paint stick in our trash can. Whatever.

So the labor breakdown:

Ryan did all the demo and electrical… then we had a contractor (Jeff) come in and frame and put the walls and new toilet/tub/sink/window as well as tile work in. I did some spackling and did all the sanding, and then I did the priming and painting. Result of all that hard work and many ‘sweating in a tiny room working hard during the summer in a house with no a.c.’ hours = new bathroom.

Oh, I guess I should also give myself design credit, cause it does look pretty dang good if I do say so myself. I’m a huge fan of subway tile so I knew right off the bat that I wanted to use them in the shower. Then Ryan and his dad found that perfect light fixture (maybe my favorite thing in the bathroom) and it looked like it was meant to go with the tile.
I decided we needed a pedestal sink due to the strange layout and lack of space, and we were not going to spill even more money into this project to relocate things. So yes, the mirror not being centered is a little awkward and weird – but hey, it works for us. I guess I could put one on a swinging arm and have it hang overlapping the window a bit just to have it centered with the sink, but we also wanted a medicine cabinet for a little extra sink storage. Not to mention having a mirror cover part of the window would possibly irritate me even more than our solution.

We did get a Water Sense toilet and are loving it. Have not had one problem with it in the year we’ve had it. It flushes so fast and there’s no hearing the water filling the bowl back up for the next 3 minutes. It’s almost instant. So quiet. I recommend em. We’re thinking about replacing the downstairs toilet with the same in the near future. My only note about the toilet is that it did come with a plastic seat, but that didn’t last long –  about $15 and a trip to Home Depot later and I had that problem fixed.
Since we already decided on the subway tile, I knew that I wanted a rectangular floor tile to mimic it. Who said I had to use floor tile? Nobody. So we used a wall tile on the floor. Smart.
The floor tile may be the thing we get the most compliments on. Not only does it mirror and work well with the subway tile, but it’s just beautiful and neutral. It was also the item that we kind of splurged on (remember the floor DIY sanding?).
I then pulled a beige color from the tile and painted the walls. I’ll note that I purchased a different color than I meant to – I initially wanted it to be a little more lighter grey-beige, but after I put this color up I didn’t hate it…  well, it grew on me. So it stays.

The ceiling lighting fixtures are just two recessed lights that Ryan put on dimmers, which may have been the smartest bathroom move (hitting up the bathroom in the middle of the night calls for a dim light so that we don’t completely hate the world (and daylight) even for a few minutes).

Lastly, we added a storage cabinet (from Bed Bath & Beyond) to hold the items you’d put under the sink. Even though we have that huge linen closet (that still needs to be painted) just outside the door, the bathroom needed another element and it’s nice having a surface to put things like Q-tips and a tissue box on (and toilet paper and cotton balls in).

All-in-all we couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Jeff even made sure to try to match the base trim of the bathroom to the thicker moldings that are throughout the rest of our home. (perfect!) So even though it’s a little more modern and up-to-date it still has a little bit of character and seems to blend well with the rest of the house.

I think this brings us up to around the end of June. The floors were finished and the bathroom was done. (Plus we had done some painting downstairs on the days Jeff was working in the bathroom). So by the time 4th of July weekend (2010) came we were moving into our first home….


4 comments on “Bad Bathroom Goes Good

  1. […] Post navigation ← Previous […]

  2. Megan says:

    I can’t wait to do my bathroom.. unfortunately it’ll have to wait a while.. I too love subway tile!

  3. […] went towards a new bathroom (trust me, it needed it – need a reminder? check out the post here) We knew we had to wait to save some funds to do the kitchen precisely how we wanted to. Which for […]

  4. […] ceilings. The bane of my first homes existence. We had it in our bathroom and also in our kitchen. Well, after cooking under fluorescent lights for too many nights I finally […]

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