Saturday, August 8, 2015

Wallpaper Woe's

Today The Builder and I headed to Home Depot first thing this morning to pick up supplies to finish repairing the bathroom window ledge in our master bath. The window sill that had been there previously was wrotted out from water damage.

I had a plan. I eventually plan to take out the ugly, shuttered medicine cabinet and replace it with this:
Mandi from Tidbits From the Tremaynes posted a great tutorial for it here and I pinned it as soon as I saw it. I rarely like open concept shelving, but this really appeals to me. The Builder liked it too, so it was a done deal. The other think I like though is the trim on the top and bottom. And since this will be right by my bathroom window, we decided to trim it out the same way for a balanced look. 

I didn't choose the exact same molding she did, and this project isn't on the forfront of my "to do list". But we figured we'd get the molding to do the window and it would be a start. 

"Start" was the key word.

The Builder was cleaning out the window sill, preparing to get it prepped for installation, when he saw a small little piece of wallpaper that needed to be removed so he could do some drywall repair. 

Do you remember the last time I found a little bit of wallpaper that needed to be removed? Yep, The Builder had to completely re-mud and re-texture the wall.  You may guess where I'm going with this story...
Those "sheets" in the bathtub? Umh, that would be painted over wallpaper. They literally put texture in the paint and painted right over the 80's pink and silver swirly wallpaper. And it came off in great big sheets in this section! Of course our concern then was if the whole wall was this bad. 

It was.

The wallpaper came up as if it had been glued on with a temporary glue stick. I kid you not, we literally just pulled it up as easy as you would rip out a sheet of notebook paper. Not good. Eventually I want to put some artwork here and I don't want to have to worry about wallpaper peeling up if I need  to install anchors or want to hang anything up. There's also no point in putting new paint over that. 

This section came up super easy and was done in under 10 minutes. However, the rest of the wall wasn't so lucky.

It appears in this section, they did start removing the wallpaper. And apparently they determined it was too difficult. Probably the same issue with some of the drywall paper peeling up as you saw in the photo above. 

Instead of taking primer, sealing it, and fixing the damage, they decided to throw up a layer of mud through the entire center section of the wall (including where there was STILL wallpaper) and smooth it out. Then they added a heavy texture to the pain and rolled right over it. So in some sections, it was super easy to remove, like this:

Yes, I'm holding the camera and pulling off the "paint" at the same time. 

But the large majority of this section was adhered to the repaired mud. While we didn't need wallpaper remover to get it off, it did take a LOT of scraping and several hours for The Builder to get it all off. 

See the white peeking through under the paint? That's where they did the repairs. Just slapped it on over the gouges and wallpaper and then smoothed it out and painted right over. There's a term I hear frequently here in the south. Hot Mess. And that describes this perfectly. What he couldn't scrape off, he had to take the hand sander too. I am very thankful that this appears to be the only wall with the wallpaper. Perhaps it was a feature wall?

We decided to pull out the medicine cabinet just to make sure we had all the wallpaper remnants out. 

Take a look at what we fond behind the cabinet:

Yes, that's a pristine, never seen the light of day, original piece of wallpaper. Why is it behind the medicine cabinet, adhered to the drywall in my closet? Yeah, your guess is as good as mine on that one. We're going to leave it be since it will never be seen.

So we end today with the wallpaper completely gone and primer where we need to mud over the gouged drywall.

The Builder says all the drywall repairs need to be done before he starts on my window sill. 

While I'm disappointed that they project I really wanted to see done this weekend most likely will be put off until next weekend, I'm beyond thrilled that all the heavily textured walls in my bathroom are gone. We had always suspected there were wallpaper remnants still there, just not full sheets!

For now, my window sill can wait...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

And Then There Was Tile..TILE!!

It's truly amazing how quickly a project can progress when there are no unexpected surprises.  Just a few days ago, we had happily dropped in the tub. It wasn't level, the plumbing wasn't attached, and we still have drywall to replace and repair. But I was happy to see the tub in.  It was a start.

Today, not only is my tub in, level, and the plumbing hooked up, but The Builder managed to get most of the tile surround in!  Here's a few photo's of the progress today:

The Builder took out the drywall and replace it with Durock (cement board) all the way around. This should really be used anyplace that's going to be near water. There's no piping for a shower here, so we didn't do the additional step of waterproofing it, but the Durock is better than standard drywall

I didn't get a picture of plumbing connected. I'm not sure it would really be an interesting photo anyway, it's pretty standard. But now everything is covered and today.  You can see how far up the old tile came. The new tile won't come up quite so high. After this photo, The Builder put backarod in the gap before he started tiling.

This is the same tile we used in the shower. I don't like the look of too many different materials and patterns in one space so using the same tile gives it a more cohesive finish. 
As you can see, there is still some drywall repair work to do before we can paint. We'll use the same grout we did in the shower.  I can't wait to cover up the pink studs with the skirting, but unfortunately that's still some time off

Yes very pleased with the progress made this week!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Making Progress

When started our bathtub remodel with this:
A nice blank slate once we tore out the old tub.

And then we added the framing for the new tub:
You can see how the space is going to be filled.  This is progress!

Tonight, The Builder made even more progress:
The tub is IN!!

OK, so it's not level in this photo. The Builder had to go in and make some adjustments to the frame so the tub would fit securely. That's not a fun photo though. 

Notice that the old tub fixtures are gone. He pulled those out tonight too. 

Here's a close up of the faucet he installed for me as well:
Yes, it's absolutely perfect! I didn't think I wanted chrome, but I have to say, I think it's going to look perfect in this bathroom.

And while drilling the holes for the faucet, The Builder discovered that this tub is insulated. Which means my bath water will stay hotter longer. I love a hot bath and nothing could make my heart happier. Since the last tub leaked and didn't hold water for long, this is really an added bonus!

As you can see, we need to replace the drywall we tore out. The water lines aren't hooked up either, and we need to install the new drain kit we bought. 

Once the drywall is in and we do the patch and repaid, we might be ready to install the Carrera marble tiles we bought to go around the tub. We wanted it to tie in with the shower and not have too many patterns and different materials, so this was an easy choice. 

Hopefully next post we'll have running water!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tub Framing

The goal last weekend was to get the tub framed out.

It didn't happen.

The Builder's back was bothering him and I put the kabosh on any building.  Even though a good soak would have done his back well. It was even harder to keep him from relaxing when our faucet was delivered later in the day on Saturday.

But today is a new day and he stopped at our favorite orange home improvement store to pick up supplies on his way home. Before I show you his progress for today, let's talk bathtub faucets for a  moment.

I wanted a waterfall faucet.  Something like this:
Pretty. Oh so pretty. 

But there was a problem.

See how wide this is overall? Well I also want a corner mounted faucet, not a side mount, as is shown here. And after looking at the phoroe of what I wanted, The Builder quickly pointed out there is no way this wide of a faucet would work.

There are narrower faucets in this style. But that's not what I wanted To me, they look like they should be on a bathroom sink, not a bathtub.

I looked at bathtub faucets for days before I finally ordered one.  I didn't like anything at Home Depot or Lowe's. I was afraid to go to an actual bathtub store because this is supposed to be the most affordable part of our bathroom renovation. So a $300 faucet was not in the budget. I looked at goose neck faucets, but those looked like belonged in a kitchen (who knew I was so picky about a bathtub faucet?!). I finally settled on something fairly traditional, but still updated from the pitted mess that is currently in there  This is what I ultimately purchased:
They had a brushed nickel, which I actually prefer However, my new shower is all in chrome (again, it was the only one I like at Lowe's!). I just feel like they should be in the same finish since they're in the same bathroom. I was surprised that it is bigger in person than it looks in the photo, but that's good.  Our tub is big and this is a good size in correlation to it. I think I saw matching faucets too. I may pick two of them up while they still have them in stock, since the vanity is right next to the tub. But I'm not ready to start that project quite yet, so we'll see. 

And this is the progress The Builder made today:
Please ignore the falling down fence that is now completely obvious from this angle...

That WHOLE space is going to be my tub! We went with the pink 2x4's like we did in both the upstairs bathroom and the re-framing in our shower. Did I mention it was such a relief to not have any serious damage when we pulled out the old tub? We have to turn the water off to remove the old bath fixtures, so that will need to wait until this weekend. The tub we bought did not come with a frame so we gave a lot of though about how we to finish it out. One of my favorite bloggers is Kristy at Addicted 2 Decorating and she enclosed an existing tub on a recent bathroom renovation. We're using her directions for a tub skirt to finish off ours the same way. This will give me a nice sized ledge to set my candles on, which is another important feature to me. We also wanted to build it out to the edge of the tile to cover it so we don't have to patch in any more than we have (as we will when we're ready to do the vanity).

Still to do:
  1. Installing the new plumbing
  2. Attach the faucet and drain
  3. Drop the tub into place
  4. Install the marble tile surround
  5. Complete the tub skirt
Of course that just complete the installation of the tub. On the wall to the left of tub, we're going to install shelving. We also need to tear out the old 80's style shutter medicine cabinet.  I found this one:

I. Seriously. Love. This.

I don't like clutter on my vanity. Which is all I have now that I'm sharing a single vanity with The Builder. It's a hodge podge of stuff that doesn't fit in the cabinet under the sink and things we use frequently. I love glass jars in the vanity (which is reflected on my Bathroom board on Pinterest!). This combines the practicality of a medicine cabinet with the update of open shelving. I can't wait until we're ready for this project. Which won't be until after tub is completely done. And maybe the vanity too. As much as I love this, it is not top priority on my list. But it will be in my bathroom eventually!

Saturday can't get here quick enough, I want to see my tub installed!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Let's Talk Tubs

It's been awhile. Lot's of things going on in my life and home renovation projects have been on the back burner. But we decided this was the weekend to get moving again.

 This is my bathtub. From this view, it's not bad.  It's a garden tub with jets. It's original to the house.

Still not so bad. This is a nice large window over tub and faux wooden blinds. This photo was taken at night, so the blinds are closed. They hide the not so nice window behind them that doesn't open, as well as the oh-so-stellar view of the falling down fence between my house and my neighbors. But that's a post for another time.

Can you see the ledge over towards the left side of the photo?  This is my collect all. It holds an assortment of baskets for the junk I don't have space for since we took out the second vanity. Here's another quick peak:
The towel bar?  Completely impractical. It's not close enough to the vanity to be of much use. Shelving would have been such a better option here. Certainly more practical. That's what will be going up eventually. My pretty purple glass vase looks small from this angle (and oh so dusty from all the concrete dust that I am still cleaning up from the shower project, yikes!) but it's actually about 18" tall. This whole section will be gone when we install the new tub.  The new tub is a soaker tub that will just barely fit in the whole space. I'm ridiculously excited about the bigger tub.

This is the not so pretty part of the tub. I have no idea what they had in the bottom of the tub. It's a fiberglass tub, so it's not rust coming through from underneath. And the black electrical tape? That's the only way to keep the water from leaking out the jets when they're not running. Yes, they leak down the drain, so no water damage, but what's the point of having a jetted tub that the water drains from? 
Close up. No, that's not the original stopper. I don't know what happened to the original. This was what was here when we moved in. As renters, we didn't want to put any money into the tub (even though The Builder re-caulked the tub because it had completely peeled up and someone had put a 'push in' caulk down - it looked SO bad). If the jets had worked, I may have just considered refinishing the tub. But the jets don't work. They are horrifically loud and they spray water all over the place. We'd have to replace all the jets. That's actually quite a bit of money in repairs for a tub that I don't like in the first place! Wait until you see the tub that is going in it's place!! 
1980's pitted, ugly mixer and spout. This just screams builder grade. And it is. Why upgrade your tub if you're not going to put in decent hardware to go with it?!

And to make matters worse, the faucet is horribly pitted. I'm not sure why, we don't have hard water. None of the other faucets look like this. But this one is gross. I just never feel like clean.

Enough said:

There's no point in keeping this.

Let the demo begin! This morning The Builder broke out his hammer and some large trash cans and started tearing everything out. Zorro, one of our two cats, saw the sunny window and immediately went to investigate.  Construction noise doesn't bother him in the least!
I think demo is actually his favorite part of the job. So not mine. I hate demo. It's messy and dirty. So it works well that he enjoys it so much! Excuse the shirtless-ness, it's hot here in TX and all my boys are shirtless in the summer.
When we moved in, all the tiles here in the ledge portion were loose. The Builder glued them all down to prevent further water damage. What I have a hard time understanding is how this area got water damage. The faucet is at the other end and it would take a lot of water from the vanity to spill down and cause the damage. But there was, as will be evident in a few more photo's! Not  as bad as some of our other bathroom reno's, but still aggravating.Not a bathroom renovation photo.  This is Sam. Sam's dog house sits outside the bathroom on the shady side of the house. As soon as the window was up, Sam was watching the work. See the falling down fence behind him? Yeah.  Another project we need to get done. 
The skirting is off the tub and the mess has commenced. Yep, Sam is still watching all the progress. We cut out the piping for the jest. If the tub had been worth salvaging, we would have been careful to take it all out in tact. But since it's leaking and stained, we didn't bother. It's all going to the dump.
The tub is pulled up! You can see that there's absolutely no damage to it underneath. Certainly nothing to give it the rust looking stains in the bottom of it. I don't know, the stains puzzle me. But out it goes! 
Yuck, yuck, and yuck. So when they did the original renovation, they painted over the original vanity.  What you don't realize until you start pulling things out is that the "wood" on this is basically contact paper. Yes. That they painted over white. It's pealing off on the other side. This side, they painted right around the tub. See the hole at the bottom?  It's completely rotted out. As I said earlier, I have no idea where the water came from to cause such a big hole. But we'll be building a new double vanity in the not so distance future. I only need this one to work for a bit longer.  
Ta-da! The tub is removed and we're ready to frame in for the new tub. I'm ordering a waterfall side mount faucet for the new tub, we have a new carrera marble surround to install, shelving to install, and maybe a chandelier (I am a tub girl, must have a pretty space!). We have a power supply already on the wall from the time for the jets, so it may be something easy. We shall see on that. The builder also sanded down the heavily textured walls. The paint in here was cheap and some of literally peeled off the walls, so we may need to sand and primer as well. But that's a project for another day.

More to come!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Would You Believe...

This week The Builder and I were discussing what project to tackle next. We had several points to consider:

  • We still need to order a shower door for the new shower
  • We need to build a new double vanity for the bathroom
  • We have plans to tear out the garden tub and replace it with a soaker tub (and goodbye leaking jacuzzi jets that don't work right and are crazy loud!)
  • We plan to redo the toilet area as well.
  • The entire bathroom needs to be textured correctly and repainted
It's a fair amount of work and the vanity alone is going to cost several hundred dollars more once we build it and buy new sinks, faucets, and hardware.

We both agreed the next project needed to be simple and low cost. There is no money tree growing in our backyard (lots of weeds, but that's another story). So what did we choose?  

Yep, another bathroom renovation.  Of course.

Yes, I'm moderately tired of bathroom renovations. But The Builder assured me this one would be simple, done in a weekend, and maybe $40 tops.  Sounds good, right?

You may remember that several years ago, when we were still renting, we re-painted and put new faucets in the powder room downstairs. It didn't start off well. I tried to do it while The Builder and the boys were camping, ended up peeling off wallpaper I didn't know was in the bathroom, and The Builder came home to quite a mess.

It was a simple re-do since we had no plans of buying the house at that time. We were just really tired of the worn paint and the 80's faucet. After my modest bathroom re-do we haven't touched it since. It's ok. But I've come to hate the blue color. There's no light in the bathroom and after almost three years of that color, I've realized the color is too cool for that space. It's washed out and blah. Because of the size and lack of natural light, the flash added more color to this photo than what it had in real life.

So how is this relevant?

Let me backtrack just a bit. As I mentioned, we want to put in a new soaker tub in our master bathroom. To do this, we need to remove the current bathroom vanity. Since we had planned to build a new vanity anyway, this isn't really an issue.

You may recall when we re-did the hall bathroom last year, we put in a temporary vanity until The Builder could finish that vanity (vanities are crazy expensive and I am thrifty to a fault). We knew then we wanted to tear out the vanity in the powder room downstairs. It's boxy and dated and too large for the small space. Since we finished the bathroom upstairs, the small vanity has sat in the garage. So this was the weekend to tear out the powder room vanity, repaint, and install the smaller vanity. Particularly since we stopped in at ReStore this weekend and found our soaker tub on sale! The thought process is that we would update the powder room to have a nice functioning sink when we're ready for the next phase of the master bathroom redo. After all, The Builder assured me this was a easy re-do.

Famous last words.

Do you remember what happened when I decided to repaint this same powder room? I inadvertently pulled off a whole strip of wallpaper hiding under the texture that I had no idea was there. It required The Builder to re-mud the entire wall and then texture before we could paint. Well, guess what happened this weekend? Yes, you guessed it. When The Builder removed the baseboard to paint, there was a small strip of the old wallpaper. And when he went to pull it off... a huge piece that was hiding under the horrible texture came up too. So long story short, he has now re-muded that wall, sanded down the horrible texture, skim coated it and re-textured it. Needless to say, a lot more work than what we had anticipated. Here are some quick shots from the work this weekend:
Yep, it's yucky. This is the best representation of what the paint color looks like. This is where the sink and vanity were. Even with the vanity out, it's a small space. My thought is that the new vanity will center nicely on the wall and the "extra" space will give the allusion of more space.

We'll be using the same mirror we had before as well as the vanity light. I'd love to put sconces in here, but I can't justify the expense. There will be some modest updates to some of the decor and some big changes down the road but this is a good first step.
Quick shot of the peeled up wallpaper. Oops.  Glad it wasn't me this time!! And here is The Builder cutting in with the new paint. This was at 6pm tonight. No final photo's tonight, the evening light is even worse for taking photo's in this windowless bathroom than the daytime light. And even though this update is going to take longer than a weekend, we're on track to have it done in just a few more days.

Then we get to the really good part. Installing the soaker tub!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Phase 1 - DONE!

In just a few short hours, I am going to take my first shower in my fabulous, beautiful new bathroom. I am thrilled!

If you will recall, this was my bathroom just a few short months ago:
At 30x34, the size was the least of it's issues. It was leaky, dated with the glass shower blocks, and just over all gross, despite routine bleaching.

And then there was the demo and repairs. I lived in concrete dust and debris for much longer than we had anticipated, but with repairs to make and a wall to build, it wasn't a small project. We had some added expenses with the roll on waterproofing deciding to add a light in the shower, but overall, we stayed on track with our budget and it turned out exactly as I was picturing it in my head. 

I may be more than just a little biased, but I think it's absolutely beautiful!! This is what a shower in a master bathroom should be.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Tile, tile, and more tile....

I wish I could tell you we've completed the bathroom over the past 3 weeks and that we're completely done.

But I would be lying. Not my thing!

And doing weekly updates on tile installation is...boring. The Builder had a ton of cuts to make to get the install completed. And he sat down and figured it out all mathematically:
Yeah. So I readily admit, this tiling job was way more time and math that I had given much thought to. He sat down and figured out where each piece needed to go, size wise. He cut them and polished edges. He cut chair rail tile to go around our niche. He made bullnose tile out of left over tiles to do the shower curb and the pieces framing the edge.  All of these specialty cuts took a LOT of time. And he did an amazing job!!!!

So rather than bore you with a weekly update of what appeared to be small progress, here's a quick collage of the last three weeks:
As of today, all the tile is in! The Builder is going to start on the grout this week so it's not usable yet, but the end is near! We plan to order a frame less shower door soon, but in the mean time, our shower curtain will be going back up.  We're about $1300 into this shower and the shower door is another $650. So it will have to wait. In the mean time, a shower curtain and shower rod will work just fine.

OK, this is not the best photo. However, it brings us into the home stretch of this first phase of this bathroom renovation!

The light is still dangling from the ceiling because the ceiling hasn't been repainted yet. To make it all match up, we're going to need to repaint the entire bathroom ceiling, which we knew due to moving light fixtures and vent ducting. We're also repainting the bathroom to coordinate with our bedroom, so again, more paint. We'll do that while the grout is setting 

Here are some close ups of some of the features:
This is a rain head shower head by Mohen. My kids have all already decided they want to take at least one shower in this new shower just so that they can stand under this BIG shower head. I don't think you can see in the photo how large this shower head really is, but it was one of the largest we could find. And it's a good 8-10 inches above our heads, so it won't spray directly in our face (like our old shower head!). We bought the extension piece too so it wouldn't be so tight against the wall.

And the floor with the tile installed:
I really, really love those hexagon tiles! Although from this angle, the shower looks small again.  Bad angle, it's not! Which makes you realize how small the shower really was before we expanded it.  Yikes!

The much mentioned niche:
Again, the lighting and camera angle are awkward in here.  Probably because you have to sit on the toilet to take the photo. Super fun. More on that in another post...

This niche replaces the soap holder that we used in the previous shower to hold our shampoo bottles and body wash. There's a ledge for each of us so we'll no longer be knocking over bottles if you look at them wrong. I plan to put some suction cup hooks in here to hold our shower loofah's so we don't have to hang them off the shower lever. I'll be able to put my shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and my deep conditioner and still have room. Yes, I'm doing the happy dance!!

I'll spare you grout updates this week. The next blog post will feature a working shower!!!
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