25 November 2013

Our second bathroom remodel

Our first bathroom remodel was low-key but our second was much more involved. Because this is what we were facing.

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Yes, folks, that's right. Burgundy corner tub, toilet and sink, burgundy tiles from floor to ceiling and rose-tinted, rust-spotted mirror tiles on every wall - because one needs to see one's naked body from every angle after a shower. Even the ceiling was disgusting. The toilet was encrusted with limescale and the flusher had to be lifted or else the water ran into the tank all day. When we eventually peeled up the smelly vinyl flooring we found tufts of burgundy carpets on the floorboards. The shower heater was from the eighties and when we later removed it we saw there had been a short at one point as there was evidence of a fire inside it.

I couldn't wait to get stuck in and as soon as I had a chance I began chipping off those hideous tiles and the mirrors on every wall.

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The plaster came off with the tiles, so we took it right back to bare brick.

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We installed a new ceiling right over the old one ...

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... and Grant fastened battens to the walls and attached drywall / Gib board onto them.

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When it came time to remove the sink we didn't want to go to the trouble of turning off the water, removing the taps, removing the sink, and capping the pipes as we were going to be putting our new sink in a different spot later, so Grant just got a sledgehammer and smashed the sink apart, leaving the taps on the pipes.

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Things started coming together in places - like the ceiling with fresh paint and light fitting. You can see I also sealed and painted some of the walls, even though we still had a long way to go before decorating.

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The bath was next to come out.


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Hooray, some flooring going down! Even though the walls were nowhere near finished.

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It was starting to look like a bathroom, even though it was a long way from functional. Did I mention that this was our ONLY bathroom and toilet in the house??

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The first of the tiles, and the new shower unit.

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I was SO excited when the rest of the bathroom suite went in, after we'd tiled the walls.

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Grant would always prefer to shower than bath in the mornings so he rigged up some plastic sheeting to protect the tiles and grout which hadn't cured yet.

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We chose a big mirrored bathroom cabinet from Ikea.

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I don't even want to talk about the drama that was involved in replacing this window. Let's just say it was the make-or-break point of our marriages, but we survived it. (If you want to read about the drama, you can do so here, here, and here.

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Startign to install the crown moulding.

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There was a gap at the end of the bath ...

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... so we built a frame and walled it in, level with the windowsill.

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We installed a folding door, which just made sense in such a small room. It didn't block the towel heater / radiator.

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And now for the grand reveal - just ignore the fact that we hadn't finished grouting the top tiles.

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The wood-effect blind was actually plastic so it was quite safe in the shower area and wouldn't get damaged.

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The slate-effect tiles were laminate panels.

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A glass shower screen kept things airy and didn't make the room look smaller.

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I hung a little towel rail from the bottom of the wall cabinet, for the hand towel.

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Did you notice the picture on the wall? I call it my tasteful nude. It's a photo of Noah that I took before we even moved into that house, as I'd already knew I wanted a picture like this in the bathroom. I wanted to do the photos before he was too old for this kind of shot, which is why I took the pics so far in advance. Here are the two shots I took - Grant preferred the one where his face was showing, so that's the one we used.

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I'm still really proud of our efforts, especially considering we did the whole renovation ourselves, including replacing the window and the plumbing, which Grant tackled. It was blood, sweat and tears, but I'm glad we did it.

Before and after:

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