Saturday, May 28, 2011

Change of plans (and toilet).

One of the easiest things a homeowner can do is change a toilet seat.  The one in the tiny bathroom needed to be changed since it was broken.  No problem.  Well, sort of.  I'm not sure if the bolts had rusted together or if someone had Lock-Tite'd them but they wouldn't budge.  It didn't help that the recessed area where the toilet was is only 26" across so I had no room to work.  I didn't want a beige toilet, anyway, so I'll just take out the whole thing and put in a white one.  Those bolts wouldn't budge, either .  This is the first time in my twenty years of contracting experience that I've had to break a toilet to get it out.  It was a blessing in disguise.  The flange was rusted out to practically nothing, and the subfloor was rotten in a roughly 6" circle out from the flange.  I knew at some point I'd remodel the bathroom, but I didn't plan on doing it now.  (It had carpet and it and the adjoining bedroom don't match the rest of the house, probably since they were added quickly and in the 1980s.)  I replaced the subfloor in the recessed area and tiled the entire floor.  Thank God for the internet because I was able to research what tile looked like as far as colors, grouts, etc. in the 1930s.  There was also a large vanity that I removed and discarded.  It took up too much room in a bathroom that, including the shower and everything, is only 5'10" x 6'.  I found a wall mount sink, made in February 1943, on craigslist.  It will be taking the place of the vanity.  My awesome friend, Jeff, used to deal in antiques and gave me an old medicine cabinet "brand new" still in the box!  It had never been installed!  What an outstanding gift!!!!  I had to rework the wall where the sink and medicine cabinet will go, adding in braces to support the sink's weight and forming in a box for the cabinet, as well as re-running the electrical wire from the old wall light to where the cabinet will be.  I'll be removing the fiberglass shower and building a tile shower.  My joke is that the shower is so small now, combined with having two handicap grab bars in it,  that you have to step out and lift up your arms to wash your pits.  The new shower will give about 6" more inches in width and 6" to 8" more in depth.  Not much, but the extra space minus the grab bars will make a big difference.  I also removed the bi-fold doors that were used as the entry point and will be installing a two-panel wooden one to match the other solid doors throughout the home.  I'm hoping to find one used, maybe (again) on craigslist or at a ReStore.

This bathroom has been a work in progress for about a month.  I've mixed in other projects to keep me from getting stale working on just one.  In the past, I've worked on things at a breakneck pace, whether it was on my own house or someone else's.  I've decided not to do that anymore because I'd be so exhausted I'd eventually resent having to do the work.  It got to where it was no longer enjoyable and that isn't the point of what I'm doing.  Here's my progress.  I had to use someone else's picture of their medicine cabinet since I couldn't find one of mine, but they're exact.  The drywall work is complete, although the picture doesn't show it.


Another before

My cool new sink

Best housewarming gift ever

New floor!

Tiny toilet area.

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