Bathroom Reno: Before

A while ago, I asked our contractor to give me an estimate on what the labor portion of a bathroom remodel would cost (since I’m quite particular about materials/fixtures and would pick those out myself). It was a ‘someday’ project, except that when he finally got the numbers to me, I wound up asking, ‘And can you get this done, 100%, in September?’ This post will be a slight tease (for us both!) because the real work won’t start for another week and a half. But since I’m so excited about everything, I thought I would show you what I’m starting with.

The vanity base doesn’t look too bad, but I’m super excited to replace it with this guy from Ikea. The price was so much lower than anything the big-box DIY stores could offer (for the size), and it actually seems like much higher quality. This current vanity is really patched up inside because the plastic fasteners and drawer tracks had broken over time — even though it looks like nice wood on the outside, all the functional bits were too cheap to last (the damage was done by the previous owners, by the way — I’m not that hard on cabinets!). The Ikea vanity has minimal plastic inside; most of the fasteners are metal, including the tracks, which have that lovely slow-close feature. (I’m going to be painting the inside of the six-panel door white — it’s in rough condition.)

This is the view from the doorway. (And this is what the bathroom looked like when we closed on the house!) It’s hardly a disaster, but I love the idea of having an amazing bathroom — not necessarily ‘high end’, but just right. These cheap, dirty tiles are killing me, and the base of the toilet is broken (on the bottom, on the far side, right by one of the bolts, so it doesn’t affect the useability of the toilet, unless you were to accidentally knock the whole thing over).

What I do like in this photo are pretty much only the elements I’ve added. I like the cabinet over the toilet, the shower curtain (on the very left edge of the photo) and the towels. I bought nice, plush towels from Target after the holidays last year, and I’ll never go back to cheap, scratchy ones again! This also feels like quite a large bathroom to me, even though it’s not particularly big (not including the tub alcove, it’s about 5′ wide by 8′ long). The ceilings are over 9′ high, though, and it’s a big improvement on my last bathroom!

Pretty much everything else is getting replaced. There will be white hex tile on the floor, a new vanity and sink top, a new toilet, wider baseboards and trim, and beadboard/paneling on the lower part of the wall. And that closet door will be changed…

Right now the door opens into the closet, which means that a fairly decent space (>4′ wide x >3′ deep) is reduced to holding whatever can be tucked out of the path of the door. I started drywalling this in January — it was just stud walls open to the utility room on one side and the underside of a stairway on the other — but then I got pregnant and (for some reason!) didn’t feel like standing on a ladder to sand dried mud on the ceiling. I’ll have the guys do some finishing coats of mud in here, paint it white, and continue the floor tile inside.

I’ve bought a louvered bi-fold closet door, which will mean that the entire space will be available for storage. There will be wire shelves above where the foundation kicks out at the bottom, and I might keep the black bookshelves for storage below. This house doesn’t have anything in the way of linen closets, so I’m looking forward to having a clean space to store extra bedding and towels.

That mirror you can see against the back wall will get painted white (well, the frame will) and will be my new vanity mirror.

This is my sad little bathtub and shower, with its cheap plastic surround. My bathroom in Minneapolis was teeny-tiny, but at least it had a deep, old-fashioned tub. I was happy to find something affordable that holds more than 7″ of water (and which doesn’t have jets, as many deep tubs do these days), so I can get rid of this guy. It’s not actually dirty, by the way. The previous owners hadn’t had a water softener for quite a while (though they did at some point), and the well water out here is very rusty. I’ve been amazed at how well our filter system works at removing the iron, but there are still stains in some places that wouldn’t come out.

The surround was the only one sold locally — and it was pretty cheap. It’s been fine for this long, but I’m really looking forward to having a tile surround! I’ll have white subway tile like on Rob’s swanky tub, only without the black border. (Here’s how Rob’s bath looked at closing!) The shower head is staying. I replaced that when I fixed up the bathroom the first time around, and it’s perfectly fine, as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve got a handful of bathroom reno pins here. Some are the products I’ve chosen and some are others’ bathrooms with elements I like. I want to come up with just the right baseboards and trim, so I’ve been looking at a lot of images for those things. Work should start September 9th, but I’ll keep you updated on any of the projects I tackle before then!

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2 Responses to Bathroom Reno: Before

  1. Hello!

    It is always fun to see what new and exciting projects you are working on in your beautiful home. So many happy dreams coming true for you. Wishing you the best!

    Hugs,

    Barbara Diane

  2. Tiara says:

    I’m having my bathroom redone too!!! I can’t wait to see yours completed!!

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