5/12/2009

Our Bathroom Remodeling Project


It has taken us a long time to get a before and after post ready from our bathroom remodeling project. I think that it was just such a huge undertaking that it hard to try to get it all in one post. But I'm going to try to do just that.

We really did not want to remodel our bathroom. Of all the house projects we could have tackled it was one of the last ones on the list. However, we had a leak. A bad leak. We tried to fix the problem before but it just kept coming back. With the leak came mold. In the end we realized that taking the bathroom down to the studs was no longer a want but an actual need. So that is what we did.


We started by taking lots of measurements and making a detailed list of what we needed. Then the search was on. We did our best to get the best prices on the items we needed for the bathroom but unlike most of our projects buying gently used high end products was not going to cut it. Our bathroom is very small and it's our only full bath. This means that the standard sized items don't fit and there is no option but to buy the more custom pieces to fit our needs. We did find some great deals and found a few tricks to save money as well.

The original pink cast iron tub had to go. It was part of the leak issue. It was actually the first thing to go in our bathroom. The tub was smaller then today's standard tub. With the Mr. and I both being tall it made taking a relaxing bath not so relaxing. We really didn't have any room to spare so we were torn on what to do for the tub. In the end we found a tub that was extra deep and had the most space on the interior vs. thicker sides. Mr. NtJS also was able to notch out the studs to set the tub back into the wall farther. This allowed us to use a standard sized tub in our existing alcove. We did however lose the rim space to set on the edge. It was a trade off that has been well worth it.

The tiled shower walls were the number one issue with the leaks (and flooding basement). We had went from liking the tile to despising it. We could not stand the look of it and never EVER wanted tile in our bathroom again. Just the thought of all the possible leaks made us 100% against tiled shower walls. We have owned two homes and both had the same issues. Never again... After doing research we decided to go with a local Michigan company called US Marble. They make faux granite slabs for use as shower and bath walls - like cultured marble. It was reasonably priced, easy to install, and most importantly, there were very few seams. The walls look beautiful and we get lots of compliments on them.

After dealing with the water leaks for about a year we had notice that the original 60's flooring was starting to bubble. Once we removed the tub we could also see we had water damage on the subflooring as well. The subflooring and linoleum had to go. We replaced with flooring with Marmolium. We did the work ourselves and it was work. After it was finished we both agreed that we liked this non-toxic flooring but next time we will pay the high price to have it professionally installed. Marmolium is an all-natural linoleum and the adhesives have no VOCs. We would recommend it to anyone looking to replace their bathroom floors.

Because we took the tile down in the shower area, we also had to remove all the tile from the walls and vanity. This was by far the longest had hardest part of the project. It didn't take to long to remove the tiles themselves. The time consuming part was patching all the walls smooth one thin layer of mud at a time. It did take us literally months to do this.
However, the results where worth it. Having un-tiled walls really helped to make the room feel bigger. We used the FreshAire no-VOC paint for the walls. That really helped since we had to paint in the winter and the bathroom is right next to our girl's room.

In our small bathroom the front of the vanity is angled to give you the most room on the vanity top and it becomes really narrow at the bottom to save space. The vanity literally cuts into the door's trim work. There is no space to spare. We spent months searching for a new vanity to meet our needs. No luck. Then we searched for a new top to go with our vanity. No luck. The lucky part for us is that the Mr. is good with woodworking. We removed the half wall and spindles that divided the vanity from the toilet. Then we extended the vanity to the space were the half wall was by adding cubbies for towels and other goodies. This also allowed for more counter space which was desperately needed. For the counter top, we ended up going with a natural stone. We choose to go with small tiles because it would mean less cutting and make the space look larger then it was. This was a cost effective solution to our odd sized counter top space. We also decided to go with a vessel style sink to help give us more space. Our cabinet was so narrow that today's standard-sized, self-rimming sinks were to big. This raised sink gave us much more flexibility on the placement. It could even hang over the front if we wanted it too, and not look out of place. The faucet is off to the side to save space and the kids can reach it.

We also changed out the mirror since the old one was antiquing. The new mirror is smaller which helps to make the space feel bigger. We also removed the medicine cabinet and added a ledge instead for small items. In my opinion the cabinet was just an eye sore and was not big enough to really hold anything anyways.

In the end the bathroom was a huge undertaking for us to do by ourselves. It did cost a lot of money as well. We, of course, paid cash for everything and worked hard to stick with our budget. Was it worth it? It was worth every penny we spent. We have been living with the new bathroom for about 3 months now. I still walk in and feel wowed by it. Our 5 year old still tells her dad how much she loves the new wall color.

Have you remodeled your bathroom? Share your story or a link to your before and after photos.




6 comments:

TitansFan said...

You just brought that bathroom back to the future.

I bought this Vessel Sink and replaced the old crusty sink. It just took that vessel sink to inspire the rest of the bathroom.

Miss.Jen said...

Beautiful!!! Great job you guys!

Mr. (not) the Jet Set said...

Thanks for the kind words. It still feels weird to walk in and not start working on some part of it.

Emily@remodelingthislife said...

looks fantastic! nice job!!

The Repair-Home Team said...

Beautiful bathroom! We think it would make a great entry in our “Share Your Project” contest. You can win up to $2,700 just by uploading your project description and the before and after photos you’ve already taken. We hope you’ll consider submitting your project!

For more details check out: http://www.repair-home.com/project/

Kara@ Creations by Kara said...

You did a beautiful job on your bathroom, it looks wonderful now!

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