The Bathroom Remodel


When we first moved in, this is what the main bathroom looked like. Notice the carpet on the floor? WHO carpets a bathroom??? I did not get a true before pic right before the remodel. We had moved a large blue armoire cabinet in there to hold linens and towels etc since there was quite a bit of floor space. I was just not used to so much open "wasted" space. I am now beginning to cherish open spaces with nothing in them. The toilet had cracked a few months back, and we'd cut the water off to it and taped it closed with a sign that said DO NOT USE just to remind the younger kids. I planned on replacing the toilet quickly, but we never got around to it. But let me tell you having 6 people (half of which are teenage girls) sharing one teeny tiny master bedroom and waking me up everytime they came through... it got old FAST. Besides, the bedroom had become a landfill and I didn't want guests walking through our room to get to the only working bathroom. The main bathroom became a second landfill, and my daughters' kittens had decided it was a giant litterbox as well. It was time to grow up and fix it.

We found a free toilet on Freecycle from a woman who was remodeling her bathroom. Nothing wrong with it, it was just big, old and ugly. When I have a budget of practically zero, free is good. We ripped up the old nasty carpet, took out the old toilet, and got the subfloor all clean and ready for new flooring.

We got an oak laminate flooring from Lowes that was about 77 cents a square foot. We didn't have any of the tools like the rubber mallet, or tapping block or pull bar, so we had to buy those as well as the underlayment stuff. I figured they were a good investment since we plan to put down the laminate in the hallway and living room soon anyway. They'll get a lot of use.

We started on me and hubby's day off, but we'd spent that morning driving an hour to get the toilet, then we had to pick up the 13 yr old from school when she got back from the school trip to Vandy. Then we had plans to go to a friends' house at 6 to visit with them since one of them is pretty ill and they don't know what's wrong yet. Fortunately, the teenagers ripped out the carpet and the toilet while we were gone. Hubby and I read and re-read the directions and finally had a game plan of how to do it. We were able to get three planks down before we had to go, but it was a good base to work from and the ones we'd done were secure. We told our 17 yr old and her boyfriend if they wanted to keep working on it, they could, but to be careful with the cuts and to measure LOTS.

We had a great time with our friends, and when we got home, we found the teens had finished the bathroom. They were finishing the bolts on the toilet when we got there. It did look fantastic. The cuts around the vanity were great. The only problem was where some pieces had to be cut in half because it said not to use a piece smaller than 16 inches... well there was no way to lock two cut sides together. I wish they had not included that in the directions, because I'd rather have had smaller pieces than the sides not locking together, and really not even meeting. They didn't know we had a circular saw and used a jig saw to make the straight cuts. If you've used a jigsaw, you know that just doesn't happen. So, the floor was great except for the jagged edges of several planks not meeting correctly and leaving up to a 1/4 inch gap. I'd lived in a patchwork type hour for years. I'd dealt with imperfect (I know, Perfect is a dirty word) floors, and I'm sorry, but I was just not going to *make do*. I thanks the kids for the great job on the rest of the room, and then told my husband to fix it.

We slept on it. The next morning he had an idea. We went to Lowes, and ended up bringing back 3 16x16 ceramic tiles in a pretty beige stone finish, and some bullnose edge tiles, a small container of adhesive/grout (both in one product, it was handy!), the trowel, and sponge. Oh and a threshold for the doorway and where the wood would meet the tile. I wasn't sure how I felt about having this metal strip across the bathroom floor, but the color blended in well with the tile. I decided I liked it when it was all done.

We do still need to replace the floor vent. We'll get that this weekend I guess.

So, here is the sort-of-after picture.

And here it is after my oldest cleaned it. I noticed I had specifically told her to wash the base of the toilet, yet that's the one thing she didn't clean. I'll take some Clorox to it later today.

So, yes, major improvement. I LOVE the tiles in front of the tub. I do need to get them a bath mat so water doesn't get everywhere when they get out of the bath or shower. They also need a proper towel bar. I think I'm going to put up four hooks. They each have their own towel which is color coded. I also need a smaller towel rack by the sink for a wash cloth and hand towel for guests. Oh, we also still have to put down the base molding around the whole room to cover the 3/8" gap we had to leave all around the laminate to allow it to expand. Hubby said we have to go get a miter box to do that properly though. Yet another investment, since we'll be mitering lots of molding when we do the living room.

The big blue armoire is currently sitting by the front door. My oldest says she's OK with it in her room, and wants to get rid of the loveseat that's in there which is never used. My Hubby wants the loveseat in our room under the window where my desk used to sit. Did I mention the master bedroom is to become his "man cave"? He's got a swivel chair in there which he never ever sits in, plus three bookshelves currently with a need for at least 1, maybe 2 more. There is a tiny kitchen TV (but I'm going to get him a bigger one.) There's a microwave, and I'm thinking of getting him a mini fridge too. Since there is also the master bathroom, he can go hibernate in there and not be bothered by anyone on his days off if he needs some downtime. It'll be like a nice comfy den/library where he can hang out,... just with a queen size bed in the middle of it.

That room is going to be the main focus of my getting the house back in order. Yes, the living room, kitchen and main bathroom need to be kept clean and clutter-free, but the bedrooms are what keep the sanity in this house. I firmly believe if the bedroom is a mess, so is the person. Maybe not on the outside, but mentally or emotionally, yes. Maybe even both - like me. And on that note, I am going to go do my DAY 3 step, so I'm not barefoot and in PJs all day!