The bathroom is finally [almost but basically] done.
I was going to wait until the last of the touch-up paint was dry, the rest of the pictures re-hung, the little vintage medical cabinet back in its spot, and new rug and towels procured, but then I saw the missing threshold and knew how long I can take with those, and I don’t have immediate plans for the new built-in cabinet, so enough already.
This is what we started with:
What you don’t see is the three broken light fixtures, a broken fan, a broken window, some broken plumbing, the big stain in the floor by the toilet, and the well-worn acrylic tub and surround.
What we did for the meantime (that was supposed to last 3-5 years) was to fix the window, the electrical (including the light above the sink), replace the rusty triptych medicine cabinet that bisected your face, and paint everything – especially the floor. And we thought we fixed the leaking toilet.
But the toilet was still very sloooowly leaking, and eventually we couldn’t ignore that we were finally stepping on a spongy oogy spot – the leak had spread in the subfloor a couple of feet.
So we committed to fix the whole damn thing ahead of schedule.
And I went a little nuts over the whole thing – not good nuts – just frustrated and confused and decisive and indecisive and then frustrated again and again. I don’t know what went wrong – I can usually bang this shit out – there were too many options but not the options I wanted. And then everything was more expensive than I wanted to pay, everything I’d picked out went discontinued or out of stock in a matter of days, I couldn’t find professional help where I needed it, and then the sewer pipe went bad too, and then I (we) changed my mind over and over again…
This shit woke me up in the middle of the night and it is absolutely something that shouldn’t do that.
But then I got what we needed and the plumber was able to book us for 5, yes 5 weeks in a row….
His first visit for the bath was the longest, and I was whirling in the throes of reno anxiety- we’d removed all of the fixtures and demoed the floor which is fun and rewarding (thank you for dealing with the toilet N since that isn’t fun) but then all of the worst is yet to come so it is a false reward, it’s the ribbon for participation without achievement. The first day of the plumber was also the first spring-feeling days and the leaves had yet to come out. Our new tub sat in the yard for hours (as did some copper pipes) and I equally fantasized about the bodies that could fit in its box and was amused that we live someplace “safe” enough that copper can lie about unsupervised…
But afterwards the real work began.
I’d researched some of the new waterproof wall systems and was planning to use one of them, but to save money in the end, we used backerboard and a paint-on membrane. By then the membrane fumes and the project crazy converged and I think I vocalized a few of the redrums shouting on repeat in my brain.
But once the bath tiles were up, I cooled down to a workable, only slightly unhinged, state.
The wall color choice was a bit of an issue – I wanted to repeat one we already had in the house, and we loved the kitchen’s mint, and online polling voted overwhelmingly for the mint, but it was just too intense (as was the yellow).
(I don’t wear make-up and the two of us have yellows and greens in our skintones, so I wasn’t worried about looking in the mirror in a green room.)
But we fairly easily agreed the dusty/dirty “champagne glee” pink would be the best – and we’re happy with it.
And then it was time for floor tile – I’ve used a similar one to this before, and our half bath has a mosaic pattern too.
I knew I needed to spend the time to dry fit it to make sure that the pattern was right and to make some of the cuts beforehand.
N numbered the tiles and made a handy chart for me to use – it was foolproof.
I thought the layout was perfect – N found a flipped tile, and we didn’t see any manufacturing flaws.
But there was one.
And we didn’t spot it until it was grouted.
But it was barely an issue and now I can’t believe we were willing to put up with the almond plastic bathroom for another couple of years – that old bath had some sort of stockholm hold over me…
The elements are both a bit more vintage than the ’50s, and contemporary – but it isn’t out of place with the rest of the little house.
And the tile feels so nice on my feet…
And the shower is roomier and brighter, and the tub worth taking a lingering bath – thankfully we got it in springtime when the well is full.
(And yes, we really need that threshold).