Friday, September 21, 2012

Bathroom remodel - from 2004

While blogging about our reroof, I reminded myself of my favorite of our home improvement projects. The main floor bathroom was a crappy 1980s "update" with a two-level ceiling to allow for new plumbing upstairs, a large "box" on the ceiling over the tub for the same reason, no switch for the light (pull string at the light itself), no fan, original floor (I loved the style -  small octagons - but it was beyond tired and ruined), wall-hung lav of the cheapest kind, low-quality fiberglass shower-tub, minimalist wood trim for doors and windows which contrasted significantly with the original medicine cabinet trim which was congruent with the rest of the house, etc.

It was functional (barely) but far from aesthetically pleasing.

We finally got around to redoing it in 2004. I basically took it down to the studs and subfloor. Flooring was original 1920s concrete and chicken-wire bedding the tiles. That was a heavy and highly-resistant PITA to bust up. Wall-hung sink went straight to the dump pile, as did the happily-destroyed fiberglass tub and surround. Broken toilet joined its companions there, too, along with all the fixtures. Now I was in a position to start doing good stuff.

Insulation in the uninsulated outer wall. New plumbing, including an additional showerhead on the back wall of the tub and new fixture to supply it. New jetted tub. New pedestal sink and fixture (all matchy-matchy with the tub fixture and the associated crap like towel bars, etc.). New toilet and Toto washlet (bidet seat). Hardeebacker to replace previous ordinary drywall (not even greenboard!) and over the now-exposed subfloor.

This photo shows the floor tiles, some of the tub surround tiles, the jetted tub, the Toto washlet on the toilet, and the edge of the pedestal sink, as well as Circe's feet. More explanation of that in the next paragraph.

With the plumbing done and the tub in place, I could get some tiling done. We chose a "focal point" of a 1'X2' rendition of a Waterhouse painting we like - Circe Invidiosa - and surrounded it with a tile we found attractive. Flooring tile to match the tub tile.

(The color of this photo is inaccurate but you get the idea. The poison flowing from her bowl is very green.)

Meanwhile, in the world of other walls, I levelled the ceiling to make it consistent. I removed the huge ceiling box and enclosed the hanging plumbing with a smaller, more streamlined enclosure. I added a light and fan (with switches!) above the tub. Also added a switch for the light above the lav. I retrimmed the window, door, floor, and crown moldings to be a better match with what existed in the rest of the house. The crowning touch was when Ronnie suggested an arch to separate the tub from the other part of the bathroom.

Our house has a couple of arches, one in the stone facade of the fireplace opening, one between the living room and dining room, and one between the kitchen and the breakfast nook. When I finished building an arch wall for the tub, it looked (to me) like original architecture. Sweet!

In that photo, you can see the second showerhead peeking out from behind the showercurtain and a better color rendition of the Circe Invidiosa tiles. This also shows the window trim which I redid to look like the trim in the rest of the house instead of the plain 2" trim which had been on it.

This shot shows how I redid the door trim and base molding (admittedly, difficult to see) to be a better match to the original style as shown by the medicine cabinet than the plain 2" stuff that had been installed in the previous remodel.

What's that you say? What's with that virulent green color? And the navy showercurtain and towels (not pictured and a random not-navy handtowel showing at the lav)?

Well, Circe's poison is virulent green and she's wearing a blue-intensive peacock dress and standing on the blue sea. Plus, that bathroom was previously a deep University of Washington (football) purple, so it seems reasonable that it should now be Seahawk green and blue.

Ok? Go, 'hawks!


  1. Remodeling gives you the ability to go beyond just function in the bathroom. Bathroom remodeling enables you to save up on a lot of money. There are a variety of building materials, faucets, toilets and shower heads which are quite energy efficient.

  2. Did you do this all yourself? That is a great remodel! Are there any before pictures? I have been thinking of redoing one of the bathrooms in my house, but I do not know if I can commit the time and energy to make all of the changes! All I want is to have one of those beautiful modern bathroom vanities that make bathrooms look complete!

  3. I might not have seen the very first arrangement of your bathroom, but the green wall paint now is certainly looking good. That was a very bold move! But it is joyful to look at. We know how the bathroom is sometimes the quiet place we go to when we are overcome by our emotions. And that uplifting color is sure to help improve your mood when you’re at your lowest!

  4. I love the green wall! It’s very refreshing to the eyes! My bathroom is currently under renovation, and I’m really having a hard time deciding about the fixtures. Luckily, the contractors are so clever that they’re giving out wonderful ideas. Well, I still need more ideas. This is their company website: look at the photo gallery, and please help me decide which to choose. =)

  5. If you did all this by yourself, hands down great job. It looks you have breathed the life back into this room. Keep us updated!

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  6. I love the picture above which is expressing great thoughts. The Green expresses always healthy environment. Your bathroom resemble the garden look because of green look.

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  8. I'm loving the green too! In my property renovation projects very few of my clients prefer this kind of a green even upon recommendation. Recently my friend who is a plumber by profession re-did his bathroom and used a very similar color. The end result looks lovely!

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