Bathroom - before and after

Bathroom - before and after

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Friends have been asking to see some before and after photos – so over the next few blog posts, I’ll give you an idea of what we’ve done with some of the rooms so far.

Today’s post: the bathroom.
Originally, we intended to keep the clawfoot tub with its oval shower rod and hand-held sprayer. But we quickly discovered that the romantic notion of occasional hot bubbly soaks in the tub was no match for the daily reality of a spray nozzle that refused to stay in its overhead holder (it dropped on Bruce’s head one morning), a shower curtain rod that occasionally pulled away from its ceiling anchors, and cold, clinging shower curtains on all sides. As for the porcelain wall-mounted sink, which we had also hoped to keep, it turned out there were cracks in the sink that had been poorly patched and the underside was badly rusted. So the toilet was the only salvageable fixture in the bathroom. But first, everything had to be torn out and the floor taken up, to get at the rusted and cracked cast iron drain lines – which had to be replaced before any other fixtures could be connected.

So, on a frigid Wednesday back in early December, Eli and Josiah (our plumbers) started tearing the bathroom apart. By the end of that day, we had a toilet sitting in Bruce’s office (unusable), a clawfoot tub in the living room, and a sink laying on its side in the backyard. It felt like a scene from the Beverly Hillbillies. Since we hadn’t yet fazed the neighbors with the “junk heap” we’d created in the back yard (a massive rusted-out oil tank, sawed in half; rusty pipes; and assorted piles of wood, metal and other debris), we decided to put the clawfoot tub on the front porch until Mark (our carpenter and general contractor) could bring his trailer to haul it away.

The plumbers told us we weren’t going to have a usable bathroom until at least the following Monday.

Over the following week, the plumbers put in new plumbing lines, and the electrician (Jerry) rewired the bathroom. Mark laid a new subfloor over the ugly speckled linoleum and laid new tiles using what was left over from the new flooring we’d laid in the kitchen. He roughed in a new wall for the new shower enclosure we bought and put new drywall on the other walls and the ceiling. We got the tiniest, narrowest vanity and sink we could find, because city code calls for a 24 inch clearance from the front lip of the sink to the front edge of the toilet. We had a few tense moments when the city plumbing inspector came to inspect everything – but everything finally passed muster, thanks to some quick thinking and smooth talking by Barry, the master plumber. We decided to keep the old built-in medicine cabinet above the sink. I love that it still smells like Mercurochrome – one of the many old-time “medicines” that were inside the cabinet the first time we came to see the house.

After sanding, priming and painting our new walls and ceiling, and putting a finish on the VCT floor tiles, we finally had a beautiful (though tiny!) new bathroom. Here are the photos

Posted by Melanie Tagged as: home renovation

Next: The Heat

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