So what did we do with our 25 year old bathroom? We removed the vinyl flooring (with the help of our nap-needing Shorkie), repurposed the bathroom cabinets (paint, new hardware), put in a new sink and granite counter (our only professional help), installed a new light fixture and a new - taller! - toilet (twice!), plus a tile floor, beadboard/ chair railing/ base board! Would you like to learn from our mistakes? Read on...
Here's what the bathroom looked like originally and how I looked when Mr. Curtis insisted I scrape the glue from the floor (since he had to remove the toilet). Tally decided it was naptime and hopped into my lap. Note the lack of protective gear - no shoes, no gloves, no glasses. No romance authors or puppies were injured during this renovation. Sometimes it pays to be lucky!
Little did we know that the bathroom floor was no longer level. Trouble ensued with the "self leveler", which didn't level anything - it just made the high mound higher. A second round of leveling made things much better. We've since learned we could have rented a concrete grinder (not really sure that's what it's called). Might have been easier, less messy and less stressful.
Next we tiled, using our brand new tile saw. We had an argument over which spacers to use. I prefer thin spacing. Mr. Curtis likes wide spacing. We went wide (this time). Does anyone see a problem with the way we started? Yep, we made tiling difficult. Should have started with the row to the right and moved to the vanity/toilet area (Mr. Curtis was putting off making fancy cuts as long as he could). Why do it that way? Because you can't tile by kneeling on freshly laid tile. We ended up tiling from the toilet and coming back to the project the next morning.
In the meantime, the doors to the vanity and old hardware were removed, sanded and painted by me. Luckily, Mr. Curtis insisted on saving the old hardware and screws. Apparently, they don't make the hinges for this vanity anymore. We went on a scavenger hunt to find something that would work. And when it came time to install new handles, the screws were too short - but those screws Mr. Curtis wisely saved worked just fine!
Finally, I was able to paint the walls. I'm not afraid of color and I wanted to paint the lower wall a bright robin's egg blue. I tried this behind the toilet before Thanksgiving 2014. My family was horrified. I then tried to paint half the wall the dark chocolate color of the vanity. That didn't work for me. As a compromise, I brought home a 12" square of glass tiles in lovely blue and chocolate colors, which my father-in-law loved, but which cost $20 a square foot - too expensive for my tastes for just half a wall. So we ended up putting in beadboard, which in deference to Mr. Curtis - who is afraid of color - I painted white. (Are you sensing that I'm letting him win a few battles here?)
Unfortunately, putting in the beadboard meant we had to remove the toilet tank on the new toilet, which then sat in our bathtub for a month until Mr. Curtis worked up the courage to tackle the angle cuts on the baseboard. After the beadboard was finished along with chair railing and baseboard, Mr. Curtis tried to re-install the toilet tank using the rubber seal that had been sitting out for a month. He tightened the screws so forcefully, the tank cracked. So we had to order a new toilet tank. And I had to scrub the bathtub because those blue tabs you use to keep the toilet bowl clean? It all comes out when you turn the tank upside down. Fun times!
But in the end (nearly a year and a half later), the bathroom looks really nice. All I need now is a new door...
Have you ever attempted a DIY project that took longer than you planned? I'd love to hear about it!
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