Friday, January 27, 2012

Daydreaming is more fun than reality

I wrote back in June about ideas I had for the bathroom. Naturally I've done nothing about it since then, but the time for gutting draws near. Yes, gutting.

Despite my Sketchup drawings with white tile in the shower area, we decided on replacing the current tile tub surround with a solid surround in acrylic or whatever material they're made from. Then new paint, new vanity top, frame the current mirror, build a few pretty storage cabinets (those are in the Sketchup drawings) and done. Except, of course, that's not how it's going to be. Because of this.

Now here it is with helpful labels.

I ran out of space or I would have labeled the incorrectly insulated rim joists.

We knew this was an issue when we moved in. However, we thought it was an old issue, plus neither the home inspector nor my dad said "hey, that giant piece of rotted subfloor under the bathroom might be an issue." But soon after we moved in we started noticing rusty splashes on the top of the washer and on the shelf next to the washer.

I'm ashamed to admit how long it took me to connect this to the water dripping sound we heard inside the wall where the shower plumbing is in the bathroom. (Hint: we moved in a year and a half ago and it hasn't been connected for long.) My current theory (hypothesis?) is that the shower plumbing is leaking for whatever reason. Probably because it's old. The leak, which always happens quite a while after the shower has been shut off, is dripping down along the cast iron tub drain pipe, picking up rust and splashing down onto the surfaces below. That's not the only source of water damage, though. The wall and/or the bottom row of tile on the long side of the tub surround are bowing out, which seems to be letting water seep behind there and damage the subfloor. That wall is common to the bathroom and our bedroom, so the damage is in both rooms. I think it's more in our bedroom than the bathroom.

So now our simple tile replacement is off the table. No, now we need to gut that entire half of the bathroom--I'm still holding out hope that we can leave the vanity in place, although it's got some water damage underneath too. The toilet will, however, be uninstalled and reinstalled after I lay down new tile flooring. I'm not worried about that part. Maybe I should be. I learned to install a toilet in high school but they didn't make you try and maneuver it in a tiny bathroom.

Believe it or not, demoing the cast iron tub, tile surround and too-deep closet that I've always hated (its top half will be replaced with shallower storage cabinets and its bottom half will become a laundry chute) is not the most difficult part of this. You know how I said the damage was under our bedroom floor, too? That means we need access to the subfloor in our bedroom. This is the flooring in our bedroom right now (picture's from last summer's house tour).

The damage is in and under the wall with the dresser on it. The wall the flooring runs perpendicular too. The idea of removing individual boards of original hardwood when I was fooling myself misremembering that they ran parallel to the wall, and therefore I wouldn't have to remove too many, was bad enough, but this makes me want to hyperventilate into a paper bag.

Also, this is our only bathroom with a bathing facility. The basement bathroom has a sink and toilet, so we really can't let this be how projects usually are around here: neverending. I think we can do it in three days, not counting reinstallation of the bedroom floor. Day one we'll demo the bathroom, remove the hardwood floor, build a temporary wall (unless we find out that studs aren't water damaged, which isn't going to happen) and remove the old wall. Day two we will replace the subfloor, permanently install the new wall, address any plumbing issues, put cement board on the bottom two-thirds of the tub surround wall, put green board on the top third of the wall, and seal the seams and screws with tape and mud. If there's any other waterproofing (I know there's some red painted-on stuff that I can't remember the name of right now, might not hurt to slap a coat of that up) that needs to be done it'll be done on this day. Day three: install the tub and tub surround, hook up the plumbing, seal and waterproof the tub and surround and install a new sink and vanity top. You'll note that this doesn't include installing new flooring, which we might be able to get done on the third day, doing anything involving the mirror or vanity cabinets, reinstalling the hardwood, installing the storage cabinet or building the laundry chute. Realistically I think we can get the shower in working order in three days, but I think finishing the bathroom will take longer. Oh, and obviously we can't do this now, with me eight months pregnant, so this will have to take place sometime after I give birth. I can't decide if we also want to do it before the kids are out of school or if the various game systems we own will be enough to keep them out of our hair.

So that's depressing. Enough thinking about the nuts and bolts of how the remodel has to happen. Time to look at pretty inspiration pictures for the finished product.

Love these overmount sinks.


These are the types of cabinets I want to build for the vanity, although maybe with just doors instead of drawers.


I bought two gorgeous old butcher block slabs off of Craigslist forever ago. They came from a fish market in Boston. My original plan was to seal them and use them as the new vanity top, but they're five feet long each and my vanity is four feet long. I don't know if I could stand cutting one of the and "wasting" that foot. So maybe they'll go in the kitchen at some point in the future and I'll just look at this picture and sigh wistfully. They're much thicker than this counter anyway.


I love the idea of swing arm lamps for vanity lighting like these final four pictures show. But I keep wondering if I'll hate it in a few years. But of all the possible dated items in a bathroom, I guess the light fixture would be the easiest thing to change.





1 comment:

  1. yikes thats some scary stuff under there!
    and you just had to post all those gorgeous bathrooms... i have bathroom envy