Monday, July 16, 2018

Half Bath Remodel

This is a half bath that hangs off the rec room in the lower level. Silly me thought that this part of the renovation was going to be easy. Just a little paint I thought. Maybe change some fixtures. How hard could that be? I'd be in and out in a couple days. You think I would have learned by now.

Ok, the before and after was for dramatic effect. This is what the bathroom looked like when I started. It was pretty clean and integral to the rest of the renovation effort because for a short time, it served as our only toilet. Problems arose when I began removing everything to strip the wallpaper. I now know why they put the paper up, the wall was in terrible condition. There was even a hole behind the mirror. Presumably it was the access the pipes or wiring. I enlarged it to do just that. The sconces on either side of the hole worked but didn't have gang boxes. They were screwed into a piece of wood behind the drywall. Top tip, don't do that.

I'm glad I decided to explore the wiring further. I'm really not sure what to make of this. There was a metal receptical box in the wall but it was only loosely screwed into a stud and didn't have a cover. I think it was installed to so a wiring connection could be made within the box. Two splices were made but neither were in the box and they both involved a section of lamp cord. Again kids, this is something to avoid. At this point, I decided to rip the whole thing down and start from scratch.

I fixed the wiring, freshened up the plumbing with new copper pipe and valves and patched up the walls. Instead of replacing all the drywall, I skim-coated the top half of the room with mud and spent wayyyyyy too much time sanding. The bottom half of the room is covered in beadboard and trimmed out with chair rail molding. I found the design on Pinterest. Why re-invent the wheel. A keen observed would notice that I re-used the pedestal sink and toilet. They were both in really good shape so I lucked out there. I did change out the faucet on the sink though. It was my goal to remove every piece of gold colored hardware in this house. It wasn't easy.

The exhaust fan worked but was in desperate need of updating. I think the installer though this thing would last the life of the house because it was NOT easy to take out. Nails must have been on sale that week. And .... AND the ceiling drywall overlapped the nailing flanges so I had to cut out a bunch of drywall just to get a hammer claw on this thing.  Yikes.

My favorite part of the bathroom is the mirror. I must have stared at that thing for an hour trying to get the perfect amount overlap with the chair molding. There's no math here, just what feels right. Ya gotta shimmy and nudge until it snaps into just the right position. Then you sneeze and start over.

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