Tuesday, April 21, 2009

UPDATE: Kids Bathroom & Laundry Room

Well, it's almost finished. And it's only been 18 months!!!

As regular readers may remember, way back in November of 2007 I made the stomach-turning, ever-so deflating discovery that the toilet in the kids bathroom had been installed incorrectly.
If you'd like to see pics and read the long version, click HERE.

Memory Refresher: During a previous owner's misguided '80s "update" (complete with particle board, fall apart vanity), the old vinyl sheet flooring had been covered with super-thick ceramic tiles. Fine, except they didn't raise the toilet flange or even double up with another wax ring. There was no watertight seal... there was a gap. A gap big enough for me to see water seeping out between the toilet and the floor when I flushed. This discovery made me very unhappy. I could only imagine what damage many years of unsealed toilet flushing had had on the subfloor. Suddenly the kids bathroom jumped to the top of the list of things to remodel.

Since the bathroom is attached to the laundry room (As seen here in the floorplan), it just made sense to redo the needful laundry room at the same time. After a long period of researching flooring, tiles, vanities, mirrors, light fixtures, trying to accommodate contractor's hours, budgetary considerations and a ba-zillion other things, I was beginning to wonder if we would ever get it functioning again.

Floor: EcoNights Rubber Floor (color: Monster's Ink)
Plus: Looks great. Feels great under bare feet. Is 100% waterproof (see toilet installation below). We like it!
Minus: One seam, but is almost invisible. $$$
Satisfaction Level: 10

Laundry Cabinets: Custom built to fit space and match the vintage vanity.
Plus: Matches the bathroom vanity very very well. Provides much needed storage. Looks great from the front door.
Minus: A few dings. There's some kind of scratch or de-lamination happening at the bottom of one of the tall doors. I think there's too much of a gap over the stacked washer/dryer. $$$!
Satisfaction Level: 7

Laundry Light Fixture:
Plus: Low profile & simple. From IKEA and only cost about $10.
Minus: Because of the new cabinets, there wasn't clearance for another hanging globe light to match the hallway, but this seemed like a good solution.
Satisfaction Level: 8

Laundry & Bathroom Paint: American Signature Colors (SR904 Shallow Pool)
Plus: Looks good with tile & floor without trying to be too matchy-matchy.
Minus: Nothing... it's paint.
Satisfaction Level: 9

Bathroom Tile: Custom blend from Hakatai
Plus: Opaque glass tile from Hakatai. Much more affordable than other, more trendy sources. Located in Oregon. Able to handle a custom blend for our mosaic. Looks great.
Minus: First-timer "Do-It-Yourselfer" installation is evident in spots.
Satisfaction Level: 9

Bathroom Vanity: Vintage find! (Thanks Heather!!!)
Plus: 1950s craftsmanship. Free! Saved by a friend from the scrap heap (Thanks again Heather!). Love the curved shelves and the very unique sink. New Formica countertop pattern looks great.
Minus: Our contractor charged us $$$ to take 6" off one end and install the countertop. There are a few "age-spots" in the finish (might not even be a minus as they add character).
Satisfaction Level: 9

Toilet: Kohler Cimmaron round bowl
Plus: New. Reliable. Properly installed by me.* Looks just fine.
Minus: New.
Satisfaction Level: 8
*I had a bit of an adventure when I thought I had the water turned all the way off and cut the copper pipe to install a compression fitting. In the time it took me to run screaming back out to the street and turn the water ALL the way off there was time to spray almost 1/4-inch of water onto the new floor. Both the rubber floor and myself are indeed waterproof and cleaned up nicely.

Plus: Original to the house. Free!
Minus: There are a few chips, but I've fixed them with a that enamel touch up paint stuff and they're very hard to see.
Satisfaction Level: 8

Bathroom Light Fixture: (See earlier post on bathroom lighting)
Plus: Great, classic design... George Kovacs!
Minus: Was weird to install and it only uses these strange skinny light bulbs.
Satisfaction Level: 9

Still To-Do List:
Mirror - We're looking for a simple, classic Nu-Tone mirror that's the right size.
Sink backsplash - The new countertop wasn't scribed to fit the space and we had to wait for a newer layer of Formica to be installed over the new sheet in order to cover the 1/2 inch gap. It's on now, looks fine and we'll get getting on with operation backsplash soon .
Shower Curtain - Haley had a GREAT idea for this inspired by those ceiling mounted privacy curtains hospitals use.
Frosted window film - No mini-blinds needed.
Finish Trim - Window trim, door trim, baseboards & corner trim.

Lessons Learned
1- Shop around for a cabinet maker. We didn't and got over-charged.
2- Make sure the water is really turned off before you start wielding a pipe cutter.
3- Set deadlines for yourself. For us anyway, things are much more likely to get done when there's a hard deadline involved. If it's one of those "Let's get that finished sometime soon," things it becomes very easy to put off.

4-I'm sure there's more. I'll post more in the before 'n after write up once it's all done!

I know we were all hot for tea-green fixtures, but the expense of replacing (or refinishing) a perfectly good white bathtub just seemed extravagent, especially after the cool sink in our rescued vanity was also white. In the end, I'm quite satisfied and I think green or blue appliances would have been too much for the space.


Citroendork said...

Nice Bathroom and Laundry Room
I love the cabinets. we might have to come out for a closer inspection!

Mrs. Caddigan said...

WOW! You have worked SO hard. TIme to come visit and see how the other half lives.

sandi v said...

Nice to see the almost end result of this saga...when's the ribbon-cutting ceremony???

Haley said...

(I don't know why this comment would not publish.)

Carrie wrote:
"I like the paint choice. We will be doing that this summer, it has been stressful finding a color that will work. I hope ours turns out as well as yours. BTW, do you have a doorbell that works for you?"

Haley said...

This whole process is stressful!

Paint color is one of the most difficult decisions for me to make, but I've found lots of good suggestions on the MCM Leage Forums:
And 50s Pam at Retro Renovations:

And doorbells... Uggggh! No! Haven't found one that's just perfect. I'll definitely post it when we find one. Let me know if you find one that works.

TitansFan said...

All in all beautiful bathroom. I had to remove a bunch of particle board from my bathroom floor too. Ours started because our contractor didn't secure the drain in our new Bathroom Vanity. We had to dismount it and tear up the entire floor. Needless to say it didn't make me feel completely better that they were going to pay for the floor board and not the labor. Oh well, at least I have a story.

Anonymous said...

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Justin said...

How long did you wait after you grouted to lay a finish on it? I hear 2-3 days...

Haley said...

The manufacturer says something crazy like 21 days, but talked with the Tile for Less guy and he said 3 days. Just want to make sure that all the minerals in our water works its way out before sealing the grout or it could turn yellow. We haven't sealed ours yet... 'cause we're not using the bathroom yet, but will soon. Let me know what sealer you choose.

Back2life bathrooms said...

This is awesome! I've been trying to do some bathroom renovation , and this gave me some great insight for things to try. Thanks for sharing!