Bathroom: Progress

Wow, it’s been so long since I updated I actually forgot what website this blog was hosted on. Life has changed so much and moved at such an insane pace since our son came into our world in June. I honestly thought I would give up on the blog, but just now, looking back on the old posts made me think that this transformation is worth cataloging!

This house has come a LONG way, and it ain’t over, folks!

Today, the bathroom is about 80% done. Let’s take a quick look at the journey!

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Here stands Alex, nearly crushed by the weight of the work that lays before him. That might sound dramatic, but it was kinda true.

The photos below summarize weeks of hard work and nail biting. Because the walls were plaster, the studs were not installed in a flush plane. So in order to create a flat surface to hang the backer board, the studs had to all be sistered in.

Also, this tub, for some reason, had never been plumbed for a shower. We tossed around the idea of an external shower rod, which has its charm, but ultimately the best decision was to gut the walls and re-do the plumbing. As I frequently reminded Alex, we very fortunate to be able to hire professionals to install the shower. Professional plumbers did all the work inside the wall, and Alex did all the work on the outside of the wall.

The odd angles and unlevel surfaces of this old house complicated the job immensely. But perhaps nothing was more complicated than the issue of the window. It seems like a sweet feature for a shower, but having a window made this job 1000x more complex. At first we toyed with the idea of using outdoor vinyl trim pieces to trim the window in a similar fashion as the original version. But vinyl trim selection is limited, and the window was framed in such a way that there weren’t enough places to securely nail the trim on. And we worried about the ability to make it watertight. For the sake of keeping this post somewhat entertaining, I’m going to summarize weeks of tedious work. Alex worked his tail off to create clean, waterproof corners around the window that could be tiled.

The picture below shows the walls with the painted-on waterproof barrier, ready for tile! I think this was also the state of the bathroom when my water broke, and we took a break to get to know our new baby!

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Side note: the can light that is hanging down in the above photo was a last minute addition at the suggestion of our electrician. When he recommended it, we said, “nah, why bother? there is already a window”. But then I realized that I often shower at night, and someday might want an extra-long shower curtain to the ceiling, that would block out the light coming from above the sink. So we went for it. Now, almost every time I’m in the shower, day or night, I send up a little gratitude for the precious can light. Oh, the mistake we almost made!

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BIG SHOUT OUT to Papaw Heinz for hanging and finishing the drywall. We decided the walls above the shiplap were in such bad shape they were better off covered by new drywall. And the ceiling had major damage from when the AC vent and bathroom fan were installed. My dad is an artist with the drywall compound!

Still on the punch list:

  • finish painting shiplap & prime walls and ceiling
  • choose paint color & paint walls
  • re-trim around the doors
  • paint and hang closet door
  • install accessories – towel hook, shelf, etc.
  • eventually – change light fixture and medicine cabinet
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