Friday, September 29, 2017

Bathroom Update - AKA Slow Progress is Still Progress

Holy Moly, folks... I feel like it's been forever since I've posted. Sorta feeling like I've been swallowed by my bathroom!


So, let's see... since I last blathered about this topic there have been many trials and tribulations, but I am making progress.

I was gonna go through each of my hurdles and whine about them all, but I decided that you're probably not all that interested. So here's the abbreviated version.

I had to install a new toilet shut-off valve and deal with a lead flange and lead bend drain pipe that weren't installed properly to begin with. This involved a week or two of research, and I thought I might actually have to tear out the sub floor and have the entire toilet drain re-plumbed. But I managed to come up with a solution that didn't involve going that far.

So then it was FINALLY on to the tiling part. As it turned out, Lowe's wouldn't cut the tile for me after all, so I ended up buying a wet saw - which turned out to have a bent blade... which I didn't realize until CatMan told me that the thing should NOT be vibrating so strongly that it walks across the workbench. So that had to be returned and replaced.

I ended up re-working my pattern a zillion times to come up with something that was both aesthetically pleasing and minimized the difficult cuts... I still butchered a few pieces of tile, but at least I didn't saw any fingers off.

Then I had to go on an adventure figuring out which sort of mortar to use for the underlayment and the tile... and it got complicated - and I ended up having to drive all over town to get the right stuff.

And then I had a bit of difficulty using the "single component" grout which resulted in me screaming at the top of my lungs at 1 o'clock in the morning after many, many hours of fighting with the stuff. At which point I realized that the window was wide open, and I started wondering if one of the neighbors was gonna call the cops. Nobody did... and I'm not sure if that's comforting or not.

But anyhow, the final step (so far) was to paint the hideous plastic wall tile... which I just finished a few hours ago.

Sooo.... there is still much to be done, but here's how it looks so far:





It's sorta hard to get a decent angle for a photo in such a small room, but you get the idea.

So tomorrow the toilet goes in... Oh, I can't wait to not have to run down to the basement bathroom umpteen times a day! And I really hope that the flange extender/repair system that I bought works!

I had to special order baseboards because I needed a funny height - but they should arrive next week. And now that the wall tile is all painted, the wall is looking quite dingy to me. I think maybe I'll paint it a very light gray color.

And, of course I need to replace that horrible mauve colored tub surround... but I did manage to get the shower diverter valve fixed... which means that I don't actually have to tear out the wall and replace the faucet, I can just do the tub surround. And once that's done, I can have the tub resurfaced.

Of course... doing all this makes me want to replace the sink with a vanity and replace the medicine cabinet... but that will mean tearing out the plastic wall tile and dealing with all that... so I think that part will have to wait a while.

I do think I'll get a new towel rack and replace the mini blind with a cellular shade though. And next time I have to deal with the sink I'll probably try to replace those plastic train pipes with chrome - it would look much better. And I really would like to deal with that horrible hole in the door...

Gah! Well, so far my little project, which I naively waded into thinking it would take me 2-3 days has taken about 5 weeks. Oy!

I suppose that's to be expected though, when you don't really know what you're doing, and every step of the way you have to stop and do a bunch of research and then bumble your way through. Thank God for the interwebs though. I can't imagine how anyone ever managed a DIY project without it!

Anyhow, that's pretty much what I've been up to for the past month! If I wasn't so tired, I'd go back and fill this post with cute kitty pictures, but instead, I think I'll just go collapse in bed.

Hope you're all happy and well, and enjoying the beginning of autumn!




23 comments :

  1. It looks amazing! I would think it had been professionally done if you hadn't said otherwise. Hopefully the worst is behind you!

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    1. Awww... you are so kind. I really do hope the rest will be downhill, but if I've learned anything through this process, it's to not assume anything! :-)

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  2. You're my hero! I think I would have tearfully called in a professional about two weeks into the ordeal. And I like your sink! I used to have one like it but with separate hot and cold faucets - pretty inconvenient so when I rented out the house I replaced the sink. I probably would have kept it if it had a combined faucet like yours because I really like the shape.

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    1. Well... it was not a completely tear-free process for sure. There were several little melt downs along the way, and I very nearly called a plumber to deal with the lead pipes.

      I do like that sink, however the finish is slightly chipped and damaged in a few places. It's not so bad that it must be deal with immediately, but I suspect that replacing it will be cheaper than repairing it.

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  3. Ack! My comment was lost! Trying again ... give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. We hired out about 50% of the work when we re-did our bathroom. The fact that you have done it all yourself is pretty amazing. And it looks great! Love the floor tile. Looking forward to seeing the final product.

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    1. Thanks so much, and I'm sorry that Blogger ate your comment. I hate when that happens! Well... when you wait so long to tackle a problem that virtually anything you do will be in improvement over the current situation, it gets easier to accept the challenges of DIY - sort of the "nothing to lose" school of home remodeling! :-)

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  4. It looks great! I also really like your sink, and the cabinet on the wall.
    The bath looks like quite a nice colour in the pictures!

    I am always really impressed by people who do such big DIY projects themselves- one of my friends has just completely rebuild their (small!) utility room that was basically a lean too on the outside of the house...the new one looks excellent!

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    1. I have mixed feelings about that medicine cabinet. I do sort of like the look, but I hate the fluorescent lights. Maybe I could replace the bulbs with the natural light variety or something. Anyhow, replacing it really isn't an option without tearing out all of the plastic wall tile and that's a whole other big project so... I think I'll try to find a way to make it work.

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  5. That's a lot of work but it looks fantastic! I bet now that the tile is done you are enjoying the look of your new bathroom. At the rate you are going your entire house will soon be completely transformed.

    Why are you going to tear out your tub surround? Do you expect damage you'll need to address? The reason I'm asking is because you can buy a tub and tile refinishing kit (it's by Rustoleum) and save the money on the resurfacing of the tub and dealing with a new surround.

    Anyway, I love how your bathroom has turned out.

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    1. I am truly enjoying the new floor and painted walls... and only partly for the look. It's the first time the bathroom has actually felt clean since I bought the house 22 years ago!

      In terms of the tub and surround, the tub has a lot of damage to the finish - there are several chips, and other places where the cast iron is starting to show through, so it really needs to be dealt with. I've read a bunch of reviews on the Rustoleum kits and they are very mixed to say the least. If I just wanted to change the color or something, I might try going that route, but I think that professional resurfacing only costs a few hundred bucks, and since I spend a lot of time soaking in that tub, it's worth it to me to have it nicely done.

      The surround that's in there is very cheap plastic, and it's cracked and damaged in numerous places. Up until now, I've never been able to use the shower because the diverter valve wouldn't work, so the cracks in the surround weren't such a big deal. But now that I've finally fixed the diverter valve (there was great rejoicing) I probably need to deal with the tub surround. It doesn't look like it should be too difficult... (she says cautiously after the floor took 6 weeks to finish...)

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    2. I know what you mean about finally feeling a room is clean, especially when you had carpet in a bathroom.

      I think you are making a good choice to have the tub professionally done with all that you have wrong in there. As for the surround because of the age of your home replacing the surround is probably a good idea if there are cracks. These older homes didn't have waterproof boards behind them so if you shower and get water back there you could run into a lot of problems.

      Anyway, great job in there!

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    3. Actually, I think that tub surround was put in just a few years before I bought the house, because it was sort of in a half finished state when I moved in. So they did put blue board behind it, but the whole install was done really poorly. There were giant globs of silicon - like an inch thick, that I had to cut out of place. Anyhow, with thin plastic surrounds like that, you're supposed to use spray foam or something to give the shelves extra support, which they apparently didn't do, because that's where all of the cracks are. The other damage is my fault... some warping around the bottom - apparently candlelight baths and plastic tub surrounds don't mix!

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  6. Oh, wow - congratulations! I love how you ran the gray tile. It looks straight out of a design magazine. As a constant DIYer, I have so much empathy for how these projects multiply and often (usually) entail so many trials. You have done an amazing job and I look forward to more updates. By the way, have you been to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore at 70 Rio Grande Blvd.? I need a new bathroom sink and the last time I was there they had several like new in the $30 - $40 range. It's a fun place to poke around, and you never know what you'll find there. I look forward to more updates! xo

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    1. Thanks so much for sympathizing with my whining. And I do like how the pattern of the tile turned out. I had a little math meltdown trying to make those offsets come out even, but CatMan came to my rescue.

      I did make several trips to the Habitat store... not sure it's the same one though - the one closest to me is off of Wadsworth down at about Cross Blvd - near Costco. I think there are actually half a dozen of them around town. Anyhow, it's a good suggestion to check them out, and I'll definitely do that before I spend any real money on a vanity. I've been drooling over them online, and as it turns out, the ones I like all cost in the neighborhood of $1000! I can't believe anyone would pay that amount of money for a small cabinet with a sink on top!

      Anyhow, I couldn't find any tile I liked at the Habitat store, but as it turned out, it was a fairly small percentage of the overall cost. I spent more on the underlayment and tools than the tile itself! But now that you mention it, I wonder if I might be able to find a new door there... one without a hole it! :-)

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  7. Good job! I am proud of you. I don't think I'd have been able to do it. I think you will be very happy with the floor too.

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    1. Thanks. Every time I go in there I do a little happy dance! :-)

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  8. Your "hideous plastic wall tile" looks a lot like my real bathroom tile in this photo. At first I was jealous of your white-and-black color combination because I have light green and dark green. I like the dark green, but not the light green so much. Especially not with the floor being a third green (and tan and white). At least my walls and trim are white. They were also various shades of green in the past.

    Wow, you've done sooo much work, but at least you did all the hidden important parts, so this work should last a lifetime! Thanks for sharing. Yikes!

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    1. Well, until I painted it a few days ago, the plastic tile was green (actually, I think it was originally gray, but it had yellowed over the years) with maroon trim. The primer I used (Bulls Eye 1-2-3) said it could be used on real tile too... but it is one of those "no return" sort of decisions. Miracle Method will also resurface tile, but I'm not sure how much it costs.

      Anyhow, thanks for the vote of confidence. I sure hope the floor lasts a good long time!

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    2. Hope your floor lasts a long time too!

      I won't be painting my real tiles. Sounds like something that would peel off later. (We have a lot of green-and-red things in the bathroom, so I basically like it now. Oh, and tan or cream rugs.) Yellowed gray + maroon doesn't sound great!

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  9. It's looking good! I'm seriously impressed that you did all of that yourself. We had some major issues with our bathroom a few years ago, and had someone do it; we didn't even attempt it on our own. It's our only one, though. Good luck with the rest of it!

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  10. The floor tile looks really sharp. I think you made the right decision, there. And I like the way you laid out the pattern.

    For what it's worth, I think the original sink looks great. I'd keep it as is if you can get away without storage under there. If not, maybe a piece of re-purposed furniture could do the trick? (Though with that sink, cutting out the top would be tricky).

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  11. Great job, it looks good! I'm so impressed with all your diy stuff.

    Maria

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  12. Looks great! And I admire your dedication in seeing it through!!

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