Friday, March 4, 2011

Bathroom Redo- stage 1

We've lived in our house 2 1/2 years, and still haven't finished painting everywhere. I never thought I'd let that happen. But, I never lived in a house that was 50 years old either. Everything is just so much more involved with an older house. This is also the first house we've owned, so we're doing more as we go along. It's just taken time. The last three rooms to be painted are the kitchen, our bathroom, and an extra bedroom we don't really use.
The kitchen and bathroom were last on the list because I originally anticipated major renovations to both. I've kind of changed my plans, which I think is a good thing. At any rate, we started on the bathroom today. Here are the before shots:

This doesn't look too bad right? Not really. But, it gets worse.

I really hate that light fixture. I really hate that mirror. I don't like the paint color. I don't love the yellow counter, and I don't like the knobs on the cabinet. I also don't like the yellow tub/shower that isn't pictured. But the absolute worst thing was this...

Ah yes. The freakishly low toilet that has absolutely NO suction. Sorry to be a little crude, but it's the truth. The flooring doesn't look that bad in the photos, and I really didn't have a problem with the style- it was the quality of the installation that bothered me. I didn't take any shots of the gaps in the tiles (it's just stick down vinyl tile) but it was pretty shoddy. I'm hoping we'll do better.

My original hopes were to get to put in a new tub/shower, new counter top, new toilet, new light fixture and a new floor with actual ceramic tile. Sometimes you get to decorate things just how you want them, and sometimes you just have to work with what you've got. This was a "work with what you've got" situation for a couple of reasons. The main one being finances. While I love our house and hope we're not going anywhere in the very near future, it isn't our "forever" house, and we already owe more on it that we could sell it for in this market. So, I'm hesitant to spend upwards of a thousand dollars replacing things in the bathroom that are perfectly functional and in good shape just for cosmetics sake.

Secondly, in light of the financial piece, we needed to be able to do the work ourselves. We're pretty handy people, but we do both have full time jobs and other things that take up our time. So, I wanted to scale it down some so we wouldn't have to stay moved out of our bathroom for months on end while we spent every spare waking hour working on it. We tend to get irritable when we do that. Plus I HATE having my house all in disarray.

The thing I disliked about the tub/shower and counter top was their yellow color. I would much prefer white or gray. Well, sitting in my living room one night thinking about the bathroom, I had an epiphany. There is gray and yellow together all over my house. Why not keep the yellow, since both of those things were in good shape, and paint the walls gray? Why not indeed. So, that's where I started from. I found a lovely shower curtain at Anthropologie which cemented the idea. Replacing the lighting is fairly low cost and not terribly labor intensive, so I gladly got rid of that old fixture. Getting a new toilet was the same deal.
I agonized over the floor for a while. I really wanted octagon and dot in gray. It's an actual ceramic tile, and would have looked great. And, since it's such a small space would not have added too much to the budget. What changed my mind was the fact that if we went with ceramic tile, we'd have to install cement backer board and possibly level the floor. If we did that on top of the existing vinyl flooring that's under the vinyl tile you see in the pictures, we'd add probably a half inch of height to the floor which is already higher than the floor it's adjacent to. I didn't like that, or the idea of having to rip out the vinyl flooring in addition to removing the vinyl tiles. Even if we did that, the floor would still be significantly higher. So, in the end, I've decided we're just going to lay new vinyl tile flooring down. It's the easiest and a fairly cheap option. I've just got to find some I like. Hopefully it won't be too hard.

So far, we've done "demolition." Here's what it looks like now.

You can see the lovely old wallpaper behind the yellow paint, as well as the old vinyl flooring. We've also pulled up the quarter round around the bottom of the baseboards. The vinyl tile was just stuck around the existing toilet, thus the ring you see where it sat. Can I just tell you, that the pipe draining out of the toilet is DISGUSTING! I don't know why I was surprised...
I start painting tomorrow. No turning back now!

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