Thursday, September 8, 2011

$277 Complete Half Bath Renovation

 Welcome to my new half bath (or my tenants' new half bath anyway).

Well, after a few of the most chaotic months ever, we've finally settled into our new home. And I brought my computer back from the dead (a story for another day and possibly a tutorial)! :) 

I thought it would be appropriate for me to start the home renovation series with the project we completed first: our half bathroom. We thought this would be an easy weekend project, but somehow we managed to drag it out over three weeks. Mostly we have a hard time agreeing on things like flooring and vanities, so things that should take a day or two end up getting put on the backburner for weeks... ha!

First, I thought it would be fun to show you a really rough sketch of our floorplan to give you a sense of what we're looking at:

So this half bath is on the downstairs floor, and the strange corner bump-out is the water heater that is accessed through the garage.

Here are some stunning before pics. I'm sure you'll love these:

Love those pink/orange/brown cultured marble countertops! Classic generic faucet and builder's mirror and medicine cabinet.

Amazing vinyl flooring with holes in it where one of the previous owners had termite prevention holes dug all throughout the house... Laminate vanity doors chipping and flaking off nicely.

Here's a close-up of that vinyl and the awesome fauxboard.

Apparently they were going for a "safari" theme, so there was awful wallpaper border along the top with elephants. Perfect for a bathroom, no?

Despite the fact that the home is only a mere 25 years old, the humidity and moisture age and rust anything metal considerably faster. So lots of the metal corner trim throughout the house had to be replaced along with lots of screws and other window hardware. This bathroom was no exception. See where it's cracked at the bottom right? Underneath that was completely rusted away and bowing out.

And here's more of the wallpaper nightmare for your viewing pleasure.

Truly, I think the lighting was the piece de resistance. Flourescent tube lighting at its finest.

The vanity was moldy and rotten. So right after moving in, we actually removed this cabinet right and replaced it with a temporary one that was in the garage (they WERE using the garage as some sort of rental unit or mother-in-law suite).

EXHIBIT A:  Carpeted garage and vanity

And this is the only shot I got of the vanity moved into the bathroom:

After living like that for a couple months, I started ripping off wallpaper and gutting the room. We found some tile we actually agreed on (mostly because it was on clearance for $.88/sq ft at Lowes). So then we did the big demo work removing the vanity (again), the medicine cabinet, mirror, and light box. We kept the flourescent tubes tangling for a few days... yeah, we're classy like that. ;)

I considered leaving the builder's mirror and just framing it, but I really wanted to change the lighting to sconces flanking the mirror, and there wasn't an inch of room for it. I wish I could give you a great tutorial on removing those beasts, and truly, I did all kinds of research into finding the best way to remove it, but when I came into the room to tell my husband what I'd read, he'd already removed it. Apparently if you're He Man you can just rip it off the wall and carry it out by yourself... At first I thought it was a fluke, but then he did it two more times to both of our other bathrooms with mirror twice as big as this one. "I HAVE THE POWERRRRR." 


Moving on from the '80s.

Then we removed the vinyl, and I threw a party. Then we scraped the floor and laid out the tile to decide how we wanted it. This part took the longest. Someone shoot me.

My husband still wishes we would have put a full piece right at the transition (doorway), but I think it would have made the room seem even smaller (as if that's possible), and I didn't want that corner to have three small pieces meeting around it. Turns out it's mostly covered by a rug anyway, though...

We borrowed our neighbors' tile saw, and I let Scott do all the hard work of setting the tile and cutting everything. Check out that precision around the toilet! I wish I had a close up of that. He painstakingly cut into the tiles to make them round to form around the toilet hole, so there would be no gaps. Serious perfectionist, people. Sometimes drives me batty. But it makes him an awesome doctor! lol

We waited the full day to let the tile set, and then I got the messy job of grouting. Again I tried researching as much as I could to find the best way to do it, and I was following protocol for awhile...until I realized I got the same results in much less time by just rubbing it in with my hands. Ha! Lazy mom's grout job. ;)

This next part will probably leave a few frustrated since I was again a bad blogger and didn't take pics. But in my defense, we were just kind of figuring it out as we went along, and it was nighttime, and we were working with headlamps since we had removed the lighting.

We cheated and went through the back side of the wall. Since that side is in the garage, and we didn't care if it was patchy in there and didn't want to patch up the wall in the bathroom even more. It was a nightmare to patch up and remove all the mirror mastic and the giant hole left from the medicine cabinet (we left that out since this is a half bath where no toiletries will be left).

Here's where we were when I finally thought to take a picture:

You'll also notice I replaced the "almond" outlets and light switches to white.

I later gave these sconces a brushed nickel spraypaint treatment, but they were only $4.99 at City Mill. I've seen them at Lowes for about the same price. They came with a hideous glass, but I knew that was easily fixable.

Scott and I worked on the baseboard together. His perfectionism comes in handy for projects like this. My "measure-once-cut-thrice" attitude isn't quite as effective... ;)

But I'm excellent at caulking and painting all by myself. We did a bright white for the baseboards and three of the walls, and the last wall was an Oops! paint from Lowes. It was a Valspar brand paint, and after painting our whole house with different brands of paint, I have to admit that Valspar is my LEAST favorite...

But I made it work!

As you can see from my intro pic, I also hand painted the door, and I replaced the doorknob with a new brushed nickel knob from Lowes.

The vanity was also a Lowes score (no, I'm not being paid by Lowes...yeah, right).

The faucet came from a vanity set we bought for our master bathroom, and that cost is included in that room, so the faucet was free for this room. :)  We chose to do oil rubbed bronze in the other bath, so this one worked fine here.

And the mirror is a basic wall mirror also from Lowes for $25. We may change that out later, but it's fine for now.

I finished off the bath with DIY pleated curtains. HERE'S my tutorial for making those.

Oh, and I can't forget the last pretty detail!

Total renovation costs:

Vanity: $169
Faucet: Free
Sconces and wiring:  $25
Towel rack and tp holder:  Free (it was the ONE updated thing already in the bathroom)
Paint: About $15 (1/4 can of $5 Oops! paint. Primer and white paint were purchased in bulk and only used a tiny bit.)
Tile: $10
Grout: $10
Trim: $16
Window levers and new corner trim: $10
Outlets and switches: $5

TOTAL:  $260


Curtain: $3
Shadow Boxes: To buy from scratch, it would be about $30...I had most on-hand, so I only paid for the $10 clock
Refurbished wood wall art: Free
Coral hand towel x 2: $4

TOTAL: $17

Total bathroom renovating and decorating costs from the ground up: $277

I'll show you details on the wall sconces later this week!



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