Friday, January 29, 2010
Finally, the bathroom
Boy, this is a blog I have been waiting to write: I am very happy to announce we have finally finished our first bathroom renovation - at least I think we are. There may be one or two details to wrap up, but it's finished enough I would be happy to have house guests use it.
Just to give you a context for our glee, I want to remind you what the bathroom used to look like. You can see some of it in the photo on top: the lovely blue "marble" laminate countertop, the oak medicine cabinet and towel rails, the fancy colonial shades on the light fixture. The concrete floor. What you can't see is the iron stains in the sink and the toilet, due to too many years on well water without a water softener and filtration system. Or the fact that the toilet wouldn't flush without intervention. Or the grungy, mildewy grout around the sink. Or the mineral deposits on the faucet and taps. This was not a nice bathroom.
But look at it now! (You can click on the second photo to see a larger version.) Marvel at its beauty, its function and form. Admire the low-flush toilet (which we got on sale) and the two women who figured out how to install it themselves. Ogle the slate floor, and the countertop and backsplash we made for about $30 worth of plywood, metal trim and leftover tile. Gasp in astonishment at the lovely mirror (which we already had) and light fixture (which we got cheap at Rona), and at the smoothness of the drywall repairs around them. Most of all, just look at that faucet and sink. They cost more than everything else in the room put together, including the floor, but that's the nice thing about doing all the work ourselves: we can afford to splurge a bit on things we really like.
I have already written about the nine million trips to Rona as we sorted out the countertop. Well, there were a bunch more trips over plumbing. The water supply lines that came with the faucet weren't long enough so we had to get new ones (Trip #1) but they gave us the wrong ones so we had to go back (Trip #2). Then the new sink's drain didn't come down as far as the old sink's drain so we had to get some PVC piping (Trip #3) but once that was in we realized the new drain was farther forward, too, which meant more piping and a new elbow were needed (Trip #4). And then, of course, when we turned on the water there was a leak coming from the drainpipe, and we had to take it all apart again to figure it out and fix it. Compared to the sink, installing the toilet was a breeze. And then right at the end when we were putting the drawers back in the vanity we realized the slate tiles we had installed on the front face of the countertop were just that much too long, and one of the drawers wouldn't close. Argh! But we just used a Dremel tool to file the tile down and voila - the drawer closes!
The only scary part? We still have two bathrooms to go... And Kim bought towel rails for one of them today.