Thursday, November 10, 2011

From Pepto Dismal to Teal Steal: The Bathroom Renovation in a Nutshell

So a couple months ago we finished up our extensive bathroom renovation.  This won't be the only post regarding the bathroom; I'd like to break down the bathroom into different posts specifying different stages of the renovation.  I really would like to be as descriptive as possible so that you other renovators out there might find the posts helpful or inspiring.  With that said, this post is more of a little summary with a few before and after pictures just to get the ball rolling.

Overall, the bathroom took us about 3 months, and about $2500.  Since we did absolutely everything ourselves with the help of Chris' dad and a couple friends, we were able to save quite a few bucks throughout the process, not to mention add a few dollars to the value of our house.

When we purchased the house this past spring, we immediately planned to remodel the bathroom before we moved in since it was the only bathroom in the house.  We anticipated and budgeted for the basic upgrades: new toilet, new vanity, new floor, new tile, fresh paint, etc.  The only original thing we wanted to keep was the cast iron tub (partly because it was cool, but mostly because we didn't want to deal with the removal).  With that said, we were totally off on our expectations.
Welcome to our little pink nightmare.
We started with removal the Pepto Bismal pink and maroon tiles.  Honestly had they been green, yellow, or even black we might have kept them; there's just something sickening about a room that glows pink.  Upon removal of the tile we found some water damage in the tub area which we kind of expected since the tile was original and had never been updated.  However, we found that the concrete backing board behind the shower tile was completely destroyed and moldy.  So we tore all of that out and put up new backing board in the tub area.  We also removed the bottom half of the plaster from the walls around the rest of the bathroom and replaced that with new plywood.
Then it was on to the pink tiled floor.  Let me just note that saying it was a pain to remove that tile is the understatement of the millennium.  But lucky for us we have a strong iron worker friend who removed the tile for the minimal cost of a few tacos and some Mountain Dew - well worth the investment.  Our next surprise was the rotten sub flooring -- no bueno.  This is where the tub got the axe (or should I say sledge hammer); we found that the rotten sub flooring extended under the tub, so in order to replace the sub flooring the tub had to go.  So for a few weeks our bathroom was floor-less and we bragged that part of our basement had vaulted ceilings.
Once we got new plywood floors in, it was time to rebuild our skeleton of a bathroom.  We installed a new, much lighter acyrillic tub, re-tiled the shower, and Chris replaced all of the old gummy plumbing with new CPVC pipes.  Before we tiled the floor, we slathered out a coat of RedGuard, which will help protect the sub flooring from any water that might make its way through the tile.
A subtle, but hugely necessary change we made was to the bathroom window.  The bathroom is on the first floor and aside from a sheer curtain valence, the window offered absolutely no protection from potential peeping Toms.  The windows are also fairly new, and replacing the window altogether just seemed silly.  So for about $30, we purchased a window cling that makes the window appear to have frosted texture.  That window is a lot less sketchy now, and it still lets a lot of valuable natural light in.
We installed a new toilet (which perfectly matches the tub), as well as a granite top vanity.  The openness of the vanity was important to us, since we felt the original vanity with cabinets made the room seem cramped.  Our new one is gorgeous and I love it; at $400 it was our bathroom splurge.
One thing that really bothered me about the original bathroom was the shallow closet with a door that could only be opened if you were standing inside the bathroom with the bathroom door fully closed.  We opted to removed the closet door, finish out the door frame, and expose the shelving.  In a nutshell, I adore the change and I feel the look is quite handsome.
Other miscellaneous upgrades to the bathroom included the installation of an exhaust fan, all new plumbing, and all new electrical including new outlets so my hair tools don't blow any fuses.  My handyman Chris did all of the work, so it was incredibly affordable!
And welcome to our teal wonderland.
 So in the end we got an entirely new bathroom, and we are incredible happy homeowners!  Seriously, this room is our pride and joy (at least until we get our hands on the kitchen).
Oh so beautiful.

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