Build it like Beckham

IMG_2093Behold, our hideously ugly bathroom.

It is hard to imagine it was worse, huh?  Well, trust me, it was.  There used to be a washing machine mashed into the far corner, and it was painted an uninspiring dingy off white/tan/beige color.  Ages ago (2003), we created a laundry room in the shed, IMG_2106partitioning off two thirds of the room and insulating it, and moved the washing machine out there.  We finally got around to adding a ceiling and floor in 2010, adding a sheet vinyl floor, beadboard ceiling and much improved new light fixture.

The bathroom sat ignored, quietly mildewing, until the tiles began showing signs of leaping to their deaths at the bottom of the porcelain tub, and the loose floor tiles clung tenaciously to the bottom of our wet feet.  It was time.

We knew there was some rot in the floor, so started there.  It was a highly unpleasant and difficult job. It took an entire weekend, and involved much colorful language.  The best part was carting off the old toilet to the dump IMG_2117aka known as the transfer station.  It sat so close to the wall we couldn’t paint or clean behind it.  Ick.

In places, we went right down to the original subfloor; some of the boards were almost 2 IMG_2172feet wide.  They were also spaced disconcertingly far apart.  Finally, we got 2 sturdy layers of plywood subfloor laid.  Even unfinished subfloor felt like a huge improvement.

Our next step was removing the Rubbermaid blue tile from the walls, and preparing for new beadboard wainscoting.  This allowed us to add some caulk and insulation, closing off some air leaks and we hope, making the bathroom feel a bit warmer.

We were able to close off the ugly vent stack that went up through the bathroom.  This room is located in a corner of the house, on 2 outside walls, which means the vent stack can’t run inside the walls due to the cold temps.  We instead tried to make a liability an asset by boxing it in, and adding a tiny little storage cabinet, the same width as the box.  It is just the right size to store t.p.

IMG_2208I took a vacation day and was able to get most of the beadboard installed.  An old house means plumb and square are rare, so the beadboard required some fiddly work in the corner, but it turned IMG_2201out great.  I was also able to give the new/old vanity top a couple of coats of poly.  When Dan found a fabulous old plank door at the dump, we decided to use it as a vanity top with a new vessel sink. The top is made from two planks each over 15″ wide.  I sanded just enough to smooth it out, then gave it a coat of satin polyurethane.  By the time it is installed it will have 5 or 6 coats, sanded lightly between each coat.

The sink is a small rectangular vessel sink, similar to an old farm sink.  I ordered it online along with a tall single handle faucet that reminds me of a pump handle.  Once we get the tile behind the sink installed, we’ll install the sink.  Before that, we had to get some flooring down, and install the new toilet.  I’ll save that saga for next time.

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4 Responses to “Build it like Beckham”

  1. Lou Murray's Green World Says:

    Great work on salvaging and repurposing the old door from the dump. You will have a truly unique vanity!

  2. Susanna Says:

    Yay, Alice! I can’t wait to see this (and you and Dan) in person. Miss you tons. It must feel so good to be making so much progress.

  3. Robin Says:

    Oh boy, we are going to be embarking on something like this come summer time. Our toilet feels like it is going to fall through the floor in the main bathroom. We are hoping to put off fixing it until the upstairs new half bath has its toilet hooked up.

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