Saturday, December 28, 2013

And Then There Was Grout...

SUPER busy few days here after Christmas!  The Builder worked double duty these past few days to get the entire bathroom grouted, both the shower and the floor.  What we didn't know before we put the grout in is that it's supposed to cure for 30 days.  30 DAYS!!!  Yeah, so this project is carrying on into 2014. It still need a good cleaning, but it's one more step done.

While the grout is curing, we got busy on some of the other elements in the room.  Like a light fixture.  Take a look at the current fixture, in all it's 80's glory:

I was at Lowe's today and they still carry this light fixture.  I can't believe that they carry it after 20+ years. STILL. Aside from the fact that it's inexpensive, just $20, who on earth would buy it?! I'm sure at some point in time, this was considered a modern fixture.  But I think it's hideous, and after all the effort we've gone to in updating the bathroom, this fixture was NOT staying.

You can see here where the cabinet was, the old mirror, and even the medicine cabinet that was in the wall.  We took it all out.  I've found a couple of different options to replace the cabinet that will keep it from looking so closed in, so we just need to decide what option will work best in here.  So that's still a work in progress.


I looked at several modern fixtures that I really liked, and all were similar in cost to what I eventually decided on, but ultimately, we stuck to a more traditional style.  The photo on Lowe's web site has an antique nickel finish (which I actually really like!!) but we got a standard brushed nickel to match the rest of the bathroom and the fixtures.  

Here's what we are installing:

Yes,  a vast improvement.  A tad more traditional than what I wanted, but The Builder liked it and it works well with our overall look, so we bought it.  

We also bought a bathroom vanity.  I know, just yesterday I said that we are building one.  And we are.  But that's going to take some time and I still have to order the vanity top. And at this point, we need a functioning bathroom, complete with a sink.  So while walking the aisles looking for some plumbing supplies, we came across this small vanity, which I thought would be a vast improvement over the larger vanity that is in the powder room downstairs:

The grand plan plan is still to build the vanity, but this will be what the kids are using until it's actually built.  And once the custom built vanity is in, we'll move this down to the powder room downstairs.  Because there's no way I'd waist money buying a temporary vanity that we'd only use for a month or two and then toss!

We bought a few less exciting things with a second trip to Home Depot as well. Molding for the baseboards, since the previous baseboards were unusable once we re-tiled. A new wax ring to re-install the toilet (did I mention completely unexciting items?).  And this bathroom faucet:
This fixture will be staying once the vanity is built. The powder room downstairs already got a faucet sink upgrade last year when we refreshed the room (kicking myself for buying a cheaper fixture, but who knew we'd be buying the house?!) so when this vanity goes back downstairs, we'll just swap out the faucets.

I don't want to drill holes into this vanity to install a toilet paper holder, so we also picked up this one from Home Depot:
Yeah, not exciting, and I'm hoping my boys don't try to turn it into a sword.  But that vanity is small and I don't want the toilet paper rolling around on the floor, so this was a practical solution.  And who knows, if I like it, may just end up staying! We shall see. 

We finished up the day by removing the light fixture and texturing over the spots that we replaced the drywall.  I would post photo's, but in order to remove the light fixture, we turned off the power to the bathroom.  By the time we taped everything off and did the texture spray, it was getting late and there wasn't enough light to take photo's.  The Builder plans to get up first thing tomorrow morning and put a fresh coat of paint over the entire bathroom. Then we'll install the light and the new electrical box (we're putting in a 4 plug to replace the 2 plug that never provided enough outlets) and bring the vanity up.  Then, just maybe, it will start looking like a bathroom again!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pardon The Mess...

The Builder and I took the entire week of Christmas off to spend time with our family. :)  I convinced him that the day before Christmas and Christmas Day are non-work days, but we're itching to get this completed!

Monday was spent laying floor tiles in the bathroom.  I am THRILLED at how they look.  In fact I'm so excited, I'm going to show them to you without any clean up having been down of the grout being completed. You know, the stuff they never show you on the home improvement shows!


Yes, here it is, in all of it's dirty, unfinished glory.  Don't you love it?! Can you almost see the tweed pattern in the tile? I can't wait to mop it and really show how pretty it is.  I'm loving the tile pattern too.  On Saturday, I was watching one of my favorite HGTV shows, Property Brothers, and they showed a bathroom they did with a just a glimpse of this pattern on the floor.  And I KNEW I had to have it my bathroom!  In fact, I rewound it and waited for The Builder to come back into the room so that I could show him.  And he agreed that he could do something like that.  I just love that he humors me (because rest assured, he could care less about a staggered tile pattern on the floor!).  I missed taking photo's of the orange under layment that he installed, but suffice it to say, we will never have problems with a sub floor rotting out if the tub or toilet should over flow again.  Because gutting an entire bathroom down to the studs is something you should only have to do once in a lifetime...

Also in it's unfinished state, here's a peak at the tub/shower tile nearing completion:

The Builder is currently upstairs cutting all the finishing tiles for this project.  We tiled all the way to the ceiling (great way to find out your window and ceiling aren't plumb). The small, weird pieces in the photo are just so the tiles on the ends wouldn't sag while they were setting. Once the remainder of the tiles are installed, we'll be able to grout the entire bathroom and install the toilet. We've been using our microscopic master bath shower during this renovation for all six of us, and while the vanity hasn't even been started  this will at least give our kids a toilet upstairs again, as well as a functional shower. Priorities, right?!

Side note:  Have you ever priced bathroom vanities??  INSANELY expensive unless you want a cheap one coated in plastic - which I do not.  So The Builder has agreed to make one for me.  We'll still have to order a bathroom counter top and purchase a sink, so not a huge cost savings (is now the time to tell him what I'd really love order is a recycled glass top?!), but much better quality and will be exactly what we want, so no complaints.

I'm also debating taking the cabinet above the sink down and replacing it with floating shelves.  We've never really used it and I feel it makes the bathroom feel more closed in than what it is.  Ideally, I'd love glass floating shelves, but we shall see.  We also took down the monstrosity of a mirror that all builders install, and have plans to cut it down and frame it out.  Still on the list of things to do is install new baseboards (the old ones had water damage and additional damaged from the multiple layers of flooring that were butted up to them), take out the old in-the-wall medicine cabinet (more floating shelves are replacing it!) and a fresh coat of paint.  With taking out the vanity and mirror, you can see that this bathroom is on it's third paint color since the home was built, and it just makes sense since everything it out, to make sure it's all painted fresh.    The Builder also wanted to install a glass sliding shower door, but so far, I am resisting.  I hate them.  He's going for practicality.  We shall see...

Oops, The Builder saw me working on this post with the above photo and all the clutter in the tub.  He pointed out that while I was typing, he cleaned out the tub.  So at his request, here's a less messy photo :) :