Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Secrets Our Bathrooms Keep

It all started with a broken pipe on December 26th, 2015.
Bathroom Remodel

 We had hoped to someday have the time and resources to remodel our main bathroom, and thought we'd be lucky to get it done by December 26th, 2016. But there we were, with a rusty, corroded galvanized bathroom pipe that had finally snapped. This bathroom was a dated eye-sore. My bandaid of a paint job that was basically a Pinterest fail did not help either. Now with a broken pipe, not only was it ugly, it wasn't functional.

Bathroom Remodel

Projects like this start small, you see. They start with your husband simply stating, "I'll have to take the cabinet and sink out to get to the pipe in the wall to fix it," and ends with, "If I do that, then we might as well get a new cabinet and sink like we've always wanted for this room."

Bathroom Remodel

Then, it follows as such, "And if we do that, we'll have to redo the flooring since the old linoleum is cut to fit around the cabinet. Since we'll be doing that, it makes sense to take out the tub and toilet to do the flooring since we want a clawfoot tub someday and won't want to finish tiling 1/2 the floor later when we get to that. So, looks like we're going to have to order a clawfoot tub. While we're at it, better replace the 1957 dusty pink toilet, obviously, and since we have to take off the baseboard to do the floors...then it makes sense to replace this paneling at the same time. Which means it's the perfect time to wallpaper. Wallpapering doesn't make any sense without replacing this awful window with yellow tinted glass. Since we'll have decent, non-yellowed lighting finally, might as well update the light fixtures too. Wallpaper should be finished off with a good crown moulding. Oh, and being 6 feet tall, honey, I want a 66 inch clawfoot tub. So, I'll be moving this wall between the bath and the coat closet about 8 inches. So, finally, the ceiling will have to be touched up and repainted." The domino effect! From broken pipe to complete gut & remodel.

Bathroom Remodel

So there you have it. A literal top to bottom remodel, all thanks to a broken pipe. Look, I'm not complaining. Especially as this hit us at a great time, we just refinanced the house. As such, we had a little spending cash from the process which we meant to put back into the house, and before we had a chance to decide how and where, the broken pipe decided for us.

We also happened to discover that galvanized metal pipes rust and corrode over time, which is why they haven't used them since the 1960s. Copper can last a century and never corrodes. But our house was all galvanized, and turns out when it corrodes it starts leaching LEAD into your water. That's just great.

Bathroom Remodel

So the start of the bathroom remodel was actually mostly Justin replacing ALL the plumbing in our house with clean, safe copper pipes. When we bought our house, I cringed at the downstairs laundry/kitchenette because it has an exposed ceiling--all pipes and nastiness!--but it turns out that was a blessing in disguise. All the pipes were centralized and located pretty much right there, or close, so that Justin was able to access and replace them quickly and easily. Now, our home is a safe 100% copper except the pipes that go outside to the yard. Yay for non-leaded drinking water!

Bathroom Remodel

The last few weeks have been an adventure in homeownership. A friend on Facebook put it this way, DIYing your home means you get intimate with your home. It's special, and once you finish, your blood, sweat, and tears are literally a part of your home. I've come to understand that better than I did when I first read it.

Bathroom Remodel

So allow me to share some surprising details of the adventure. 
Secrets our bathroom was keeping...

Bathroom Remodel

1. Our bathroom originally had sparkle flooring! In the form of brown linoleum with gold flecks. I wish I could see a snapshot of it from 1957 when it was first built and decorated.

Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Remodel

2. The bathroom has been wallpapered three times now, but the original wallpaper was an epic print with unicorns, chickens, and pirates. Whoever these original homeowners were, man, they knew how to party.

Bathroom Remodel

3. There were two bathtubs in there. This whole time. Apparently, when you "re-bath" a home, it means just sticking a newer off-white tub into an old 50s pink tub {matched the toilet!} and gluing it in place. The "tile?" Sheets of plasticky or vinyl faux-tile around the tub. Stuck on with glue strips. Which meant we had to--yes--drywall some. An unexpected part of our remodel. This is exactly why we've been so careful not to cut corners on this remodel. No glue and peel and stick tile here! This is the first project we've been so careful to do 100% right. And we learned, "professional" re-bath doesn't equal quality.

Bathroom Remodel 

4. Cutters lived here. I mean facial hair-cutters. When Justin cut into the wall to get to behind the toilet space, he peeked in and saw a mound hundreds of old rusty, paper thin razors. He knew exactly what they were, but I was absolutely confuzzled. Google "razors in wall" and you'll find all sorts of posts and blogs about people remodeling old bathrooms and finding the same sight. So in the 40s & 50s when they put those old metal medicine cabinets in, they had razor disposal slots for shaving men. Yep, they dropped right into the wall! These razors were no doubt dropped in from my bathroom, as my sink & vanity shares a wall with the main bath toilet. Strange fruit!

Bathroom Remodel 

Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Remodel

5. In the 1950s, homes were built to last. Just ask the original steel window frame. It fought for its dear life. Hard. It almost won! But Sander went to Home Depot for an even bigger pry bar, and finally got the darn thing out. Doggonit, I about had a heart attack watching the show down. This was the second window he's done in our house, but I'll never get used to the sound of the sawzall cutting through metal. One word: ergalilektriphobia. But it's all worth it to see that nasty TILED window sill go. Sick.

{P.S. This is what we were doing during our anniversary weekend away from the kids!}

Bathroom Remodel

6. If you have galvanized pipes, think about changing that. Here's one particularly ugly secret our bathroom was keeping. We were horrified to see where our water had been coming from.

And if you think that one above is bad...you should see the drain pipes. {I mean!!! The water TASTED fine!}

7. Yes, spiders can live in toilet holes. Aragog sized ones. Yep. That is all. {No photo here, you're welcome.} Okay, so maybe they can only inhabit toilet holes when there is no toilet installed, but still. Terrifying.


As I write this, The Promise by When In Rome is playing over my headphones, but I can still hear the sound of the nail gun firing in the bathroom. He's finishing the trim! That's right, we're close to being done. I even wallpapered for the first time! And I'm pretty satisfied with the job :::admires fingernails:::  It's just about done! We're awaiting the arrival of the shower spray thingy that was backordered for the longest time, and once he gets the tub hooked up, I'll be posting some before & afters.

That is, after I take a nice long hot epsom salt infused bubble bath. {We stinky! Paxton especially, as he's not a fan of showers.} I can't wait!!!

Cheers,
Heather

Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Remodel


Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Remodel

3 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, Heather, you are hilarious! Things do have a way of escalating. We are doing a small bathroom renovation, but NOTHING like you guys! And the razor blades? EHHHHH! That's so unsanitary! And weird! I'm looking forward to seeing the final product. I know you'll make it gorgeous!

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  2. Looking amazing so far! Can't wait to see the finished project. I believe our bathroom is next in line for the house remodel...

    ~Erica

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  3. The trouble with the plumbing is very unpleasant, especially if you have a fresh repair. I once very has strongly suffered when a pipe burst and flooded my new house with new repair. Then I called the guys https://youdo.com/india/pune-services/repair-renovation-services/plumbers/ who helped me and gave advice what to do in the first place in such a situation. I advise everyone to remember that you need to cut off the water supply. Only then begin to call and ask for help from professionals.

    ReplyDelete

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