The Husband and I re-did our bathroom.
When we bought our house, our bathroom didn’t even have a window and the bathroom door is right by the stove. When I say “door,” I’m being generous. It’s a slotted, foldable closet door, with no lock. It had an oversized old sink, a way too tall for me toilet, a horrible brown and beige paint scheme, a layout of wall to floor to ceiling with nowhere enough storage in it, 80s glass blocks on one wall and tiles on the floor that moved whenever you stepped on them. We only have the one bathroom.
The first thing we did when we bought the house, and before we moved in, was remove some of the 80s glass blocks and stuff one of those cheap fan/exhaust fan combination things in the hole. It wasn’t pretty, but it was necessary. After a few weeks, I realized that I hated the toilet because it was too tall for me and the sink took up half the space. But I was five months pregnant and we also had to clean a house that hadn’t been lived in for years. We had to paint it, set up the kitchen cause it didn’t come with any appliances, have one mattress near an AC, (because oh yeah, August in Florida sucks ass), move all of our stuff from a two bedroom, three bathroom townhouse and a storage unit (I don’t know how we had so much crap! Because that’s all that was: crap!) to a less than eight-hundred square feet house. We needed to figure out what to do with our yard because the husband got mad at me when I moved the bricks we found oddly placed in the middle of the yard. With our never ending to-do list of things to fix in our house, the bathroom wasn’t a priority. Until this year.
I moved those bricks, one by one, while I was pregnant. The husband was none to happy… but it was a sidewalk to nowhere!
Every time we decide to take on a project in this house, we start off very scared. We don’t have a background in construction or DIY. I’m naturally crafty, but there’s only so much I can do with a crochet needle and a sewing machine. We would watch the instructional videos and read the DIY books, and they always scare us. When the husband re-did the back porch it took him two weeks. He had to do it by himself, and it was the first actual project he undertook. He quickly realized that the contractors that had been hired to do this in the first place, had cut some serious corners like using the wrong screws, not putting down enough joists, and the entire thing wasn’t even leveled.
Then, when we were about to re-do our kitchen, the husband was scared about the sink counter and the back splash. Well, I build both counters from scratch and used my seamstressing skills to draw a pattern for where the sink was going to be. We liked our original, old, deep, country style kitchen sink, so we kept it. But then the tiles in the back needed to come down. That was really easy… some of them were ductaped to the wall. I kid you not!
Those are custom made counters by yours truly
At one point, a family of four lived here, and two walls were painted with chalkboard paint. Before them, it was a couple of ladies, and when they broke up, the one that stayed began dating my crazy neighbor across the street. That’s how we learned about a lot of the projects. He did a lot of them. This house is old, and so many families have lived here, that most of the home improvements are unbelievably jimmy rigged. Our original kitchen had one of the cabinets hanging from one of the cross beams. Enter the bathroom renovation.
The husband researched the commodes, and whilst I wanted a Japanese toilet, the price tag was way out of our reach. But he did pick something more modern and my height. Then, we took my Mother-in-law to Ikea, because there isn’t one in Montana, and they are fun. We ended up picking up a much smaller European style sink, that would be a better fit, with a storage area. But then we couldn’t find two days to actually get this done. We were scared of the floors. So we picked one day to just take the floors out. And we did, along with the sink.
That’s the old toilet… I’m so glad it’s gone!
We learned that when you’re putting new floors down you will need plywood, hardy board, a moister barrier and the floor. As we began taking the floors out, we saw that who ever did this bathroom had put down plywood, thin set and the tile. That was it. It took us no time to get the tiles out, but then the husband’s foot went thought the plywood. For a week and a half we lived with two layers of plywood, being careful as to where we were stepping, and having to pick the kid up every time she need to go to the bathroom. That got old after a few hours.
He really did go to the Dark Side for this.
The husband took a day off while the Mother-in-law was in town, and for two more days we worked on the bathroom. We had to inch our way through the last half a foot of the floor because it was connected to the main floor. That’s when our crazy neighbor reminded us that the third wall in the bathroom is not a wall at all, just drywall, with no studs and we shouldn’t hang anything from there. Thanks for the reminder, because our sink was meant to be hanging from that wall. Our bathroom is not square, nor does it have any right angles. Which makes me giggle every time! We had to order legs and we’re anchoring the sink to the side wall.
We did our best to level the floor, but there’s a bump. We still have to get a threshold, do a second round of caulking, and glue in the mold. I wanted to paint the mold first, but it’s been raining down here, so I haven’t been able to. We got a new shower head (thanks Beba!) and a new rug.
Back when we first moved in together, there was a store called Bargain Stop. It was a $0.99 type store, and right next door they had their furniture store. They weren’t quality products, but they were very reasonably priced, and they last a long time. I know because we bought a little side table that was $30, ten years ago. I sanded it down, and repainted it red to go in the bathroom.
The morning we started working on the bathroom knowing that we needed to finish it before the end of the next day, the husband walked into the bathroom and said,
“I drew the diagram, it’s on the kitchen counter.”
This is what I found:
I couldn’t stop laughing when I first saw it…
And this is the final diagram!
Here’s the almost finished bathroom…
My back is shot to hell, I’m physically and mentally exhausted, and I’ll finish it when I get a minute. But for now, I love my bathroom…