Wednesday, June 13, 2012

First Floor Bathroom, Before

I am writing this post in anticipation of having a working toilet on the first floor by this evening.  It's been since Memorial Day weekend, and I've definitely felt the loss.  We decided to do the powder room because it was small, and we figured it would be a quick, relatively inexpensive redo.  What fools we were.

This is how our bathroom looked before.  Rather uninspiring.  You can't tell from the picture, but the sink is in the shape of a shell, and the vanity had been painted with some sort of textured paint. Unfortunately, all types of dirt and lint and who knows what else would cling to the stippling, and it was impossible to make it look clean.  The walls of our entire house are painted in a color I have now named Fannie Mae Beige, and in a flat finish, which is horrible for a bathroom, and most any room where you will have young children that may brush against the walls.  (I am slowly ridding the entire house of that color.)  The floor tile was white, with veins of pink running through it.

So the demolition began, and we discovered many things.  One, that although the vanity looked horrible, it was amazingly well constructed. The only way to tear it out was to cut it out in sections, and after we removed the entire cabinet, the vanity top still remained stuck to the wall.  That was some pretty strong adhesive the builders uses.

Two, while the shell-shaped sink and vanity top looked like it was made out of that lightweight, occasionally cheap looking marbled acrylic, it in fact was not.  I'm not sure what material was used, but it seemed to be some sort of cast composite.  My husband basically chiseled around the edges until it finally came apart from the wall.  I think we have the same sink in the boys' bathroom, so that's making me a little nervous.

Three, and this was the worst, the floor had sustained significant water damage, going all the way into the subfloor, and through to the ceiling below.  I am sure that at some point, someone had to have seen a water spot forming on the basement ceiling and wondered, "Hmmm, that's right below the toilet, I wonder if everything is okay."  If that did happen, no one did anything.  Once my husband removed all the damaged plywood, insulation, and drywall, he saw traces of  a slow leak dripping down the drain from the old toilet.  He cut out the old PVC pipe, and coupled and cemented a new section to the drain.  Assuming he installs the toilet correctly, which I have no doubt that he will, we shouldn't have any more water problems.  I love having a handy man.

But tonight, we will have a finished floor and a toilet in the room.  It's the small things we take for granted.  I've been very impressed with my four-year-old, who has managed to make it upstairs in time to use the bathroom these past three weeks (only once did he have an emergency situation and need me to assist him up the stairs).  In all honesty, as my pregnancy is progressing, I'm more and more worried that I will find myself in an emergency situation, and there will be no one to help me up the stairs.  Hopefully, by the end of the week I can post some after pictures, and our bathroom will finally be done.


  1. YAAAAH! Go MAX! That water damage is pretty nasty looking. I can't wait to see the "after" photos and for you to be able to enjoy your bathroom again!!! Keep up the momentum you guys!You're doing a great job.

  2. I can't wait to see the "after" photos!

    Do you guys want to come over and help us redo our downstairs bathroom? It's been torn apart for more than two years... ;)

  3. We gutted a bathroom down to the studs a couple of years ago. What I had convinced myself would be a simple swift project turned into months of construction and reconstruction. But I am so glad we did it. Good luck!