Monday, November 22, 2010

The Bathroom: Part 1

At 36 weeks pregnant, I decided it was time to renovate the ghastly bathroom.

It looks good here, right?

Some people might say I was nesting. I say I was trying to distract myself from the waiting game and the unknown. I KNEW I hated my bathroom as it stood and what better time to rip it apart than when I was home all day, without a baby?

Well. It was a good idea in some ways and a bad one in others. Luckily for all involved, the good outweighed the bad. The bad really only consisted of puffed up feet and a sore back (REALLY sore) so that is all I will say about that. The good is, I got my bathroom to the way I wanted it! Almost!

When we moved in, our bathroom was an 80's nightmare. The original tub, toilet, and wall tiles were intact. The bathroom faucets are also original and I love them. But at some point in the 80's, the previous owners had decided to redo the cabinets and floor. The floor is smooth ceramic tile, in white, and I think it must be electrically charged because it is a dirt and dust MAGNET. It was also installed wrong by the toilet, so the tiles are not actually flush with the floor. A nice spot for you-know-what to hide in. Yummy.

The cabinets... oh the cabinets. I will say that they are solid wood, which is a rare thing to get these days. But it's that oak in honey colour that screams 1982 and to top it all off... the face of the doors had wicker on it. Sheesh.

You can't actually see the wicker in these pictures because I covered it up with little pink roses shelf paper. It was a quick fix that lasted about 1 week before I got fed up and riped it out. Anyways you can see what I mean about the oak. Not to mention that the medicine cabinet and the cabinet over the toilet were totally overbearing in that room. The bathroom is fairly small as is and these two huge pieces of wood made it feel totally cramped. I also HATE oak cabinets. And oak and pink just don't go well together, do they? No, no they do not.

We knew we'd be dealing with some tile issues, because, in true Gerard style (the old guy that messed with our house), he had screwed the cabinet right into the wall. We could see that he did it here:
It was scary taking that thing down!!!! Would we find a gaping hole? Would we find a wall of ruined tiles? There was only one way to find out... take it down. We are still wondering what was there before, because behind the cabinet, you can see there is another outline of plain pink tiles. It forms a rectangle, and it looks like Gerard had filled in the sides with leftover small tiles. Maybe it used to be a small cabinet. Maybe there was a mural (I wish, but I doubt). In any case, there wasn't too much damage on the tile. Just on the small ones, and not much on the big pink ones.
See that orange stuff? That, my friends, is nicotine stain. The grout in the bathroom is gross, in spots. I think they sat in the tub and on the can to smoke because that is where it's the worst. I have managed to get it mostly out of the tub area but it's been a year of scrubbing while showering and it's still off-colour. I have no hope for the other areas.

The paint in the bathroom was almost as bad as the cabinets. EVERYTHING was painted Pepto Bismol Pink. And to boot I think it was done in oil/enamel. Awesome. I HATE when the walls and trim are painted the same colour, but I cannot stand when the celing is also the same. I felt like I was in the stomach of a giant with acid reflux. That is not a relaxing feeling when you are trying to have a bath (or do other things...)
You can see some gross grout here, also the shiny sheen of pink paint. Urgh. Just thinking of it makes me feel like singing the Pepto Bismol song.

The light fixture was also a work of wonder. It was installed upside down, so that the lights shone up, not down. It's a wall sconce. It's attached to a piece of wood, so you know, it won't fall off the wall. It had lots of dead bugs in it. Mmmmm. Also I hate brass and glass. So ugly.

I want to show you my pretty toilet. When we first moved in we had a plumber come in to do their inspection and to tell us all the things we might need to have done. We had our pipes scoped (which was really cool to watch but it cost us way more in the end... the cap on the pipe wouldn't budge so the poor guy had to saw it off or something similar, and then it JUST SO HAPPENED to be an odd sized hole.. so we had to pay to get a new cap put on it that was a standard size.) and our nice plumber really liked our bathroom! He had a good laugh at the colour, but what he really thought was cool was that our toilet was original and so were the bathtub faucets! He said he hasn't seen an old toilet like ours for a long time! It made me feel happy inside :)
The last bit for Part 1 is the window in the bath. Alot of older homes have windows near the bathtub. I think, and I may be wrong (but I doubt it) it was so that you could open up the room for ventilation and mould prevention. People didn't really used to shower like we do today, they were bathers. So you wouldn't really have to worry about standing in front of a window for the whole street to see you while you showered. Now, as I said, this bathroom was renovated in the 80's, when people DID shower frequently. So to solve the problem of an open window they did what anyone else would do: they put frosting on the glass. That was a good idea! What was NOT a good idea was... to frost a damned swan into the glass.

I am happy that there was something there at least, and I can peek through the swan to see the street (and hopefully it is not see-through from the other side!) The drawback to having a window in the shower is moisture. Every time we showered the window sill would get wet. It seemed that there was a little bit of previous water damage to the sill, before it was painted pink, but it wasn't too bad. I also think that they stopped showering so much at this point. Maybe they were getting older and afraid of slipping or something. In any case, when we moved in it was OK. But we were wrecking it very well on our own. We jimmy rigged a curtain out of our old shower curtain liner and it is still there to this day.

This concludes Part 1 of The Bathroom. I will fill you in on our renovation process in subsequent chapters!
Solomon loves the tub

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