Do you have any idea how AMAZING it feels to say that????
Let me rewind. When we bought our house, the bathroom looked like this:
I'll be honest and say I never LOVED it, but it didn't really bother me. On our list when house hunting was a big tub we could soak in, and this bathroom had it. It also had saltillo to match that in the other bathroom and downstairs. I always found it odd that the previous owners painted a dark brown set of stripes on that one wall and put in oil rubbed bronze fixtures while leaving the sink and shower faucets builder silver and the vanities honey brown. But all in all it was an en-suite master bathroom with a big tub and I didn't HATE it, so I made do. Truth be told, on the list of home updates and renovations I wanted to get done, this wasn't even ranked.
And then, on New Year's Day 2012, I gave the kids and bath and a few minutes after the tub had drained Darrick went into the garage to get something and saw water dripping from the garage ceiling, right below the bathroom.
So began our first ever complete bathroom renovation. We've done tile and paint and replacing faucets and fixtures before, but never a complete strip down (to the studs in some places) and rebuild.
The first step turned out to be removing the tile because it sat in front of the tub apron so it had to come out for the tub to be removed.
Once the tile was out, we pulled off the surround walls, and then we were able to pull the tub out with no effort at all.
Which is a big, fat lie. That tub was a complete pain to remove, resulting in me frantically going to get the jack for my car to try to lift one end while my husband Hulk smashed the sucker out.
And we started the process of removing the long countertop that bridged the two vanities. I loved that space below the counters when we first moved in, dreaming of uses for it. But eventually it had turned into a big gaping place for trash, empty toilet paper rolls, and dirty clothes to pile up and be ignored. So we had to remove the backspash and decide what to do with the counter and vanities.
After debating various ways to remove it in an effort not to destroy it so that hopefully it could be sold on Craigslist or donated to the ReStore, we realized we couldn't remove it without it being damaged. So it got the sledgehammer treatment just like the tub had.
This same weekend, we pretty much gutted the tub and shower area and started the work of fixing the plumbing. We still naively thought we'd be able to fix that, pop in a tub, tile, paint, and be done. We're so cute when we're naive.
This is also when I decided for sure to stain the vanities darker. Our original plan was to remove the doors and drawer fronts and leave the vanities in place, but we later changed our minds and removed them to build a base that would make them higher.
I also decided at this point to refinish the lights and fixtures in brushed nickel, since I'm not really an oil-rubbed bronze kind of girl. I still think it's one of the best choices we made, in addition to changing out the globes to lighter ones.
This was also the timeframe when we bought our tub (Habitat for Humanity ReStore purchase, new in the box) and started to prep the tub and shower area by moving the showerhead up about 6 inches and putting up Hardiebacker.
Then FINALLY we had the tub in, Hardiebacker up, and we were ready to start tiling the shower surround. This was a weeks-long process as we did it when we had a few hours here or there and it required a lot of care.
In the meantime, Darrick cut out some old rotted subfloor, replaced it, fixed the pipes below the floor that go to the toilet, and figured out that subflooring on a second floor bathroom means several layers.
And then, we had a tile floor!
Pretty soon, we had shower tile done and faucets put back in place, and then it was time to choose paint and install a new toilet and pick out accessories.
Finally, we installed tile base'boards' and painted the ceiling, door and trim pure bright white last weekend. And this weekend? A final coat of paint, fixtures re-hung, accessories in place! Unbelievably, we're done enough to call it done!
Yes, there are more pictures. And more details, including paint color and accessory information and a cost breakdown. But for today, there's this huge rundown of all we accomplished in the past 6 months and a feeling of complete joy.