Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bathroom before and after

I was going to do several posts, all with clever titles like "Paint all it's cracked up to be" LOL but I'm pretty much done with the bathroom, so I'm doing one post, no clever title and lots of pictures :)

Here is the before post.

When we decided to redo the bathroom, we were going to replace the medicine cabinet, along with everything else. When I got online and started looking for new ones, I was disappointed to find that everything out there was either super small (13 inches, instead of the already smallish 17 inch one we already have) and plastic or 24-36 inches and nearly 300 dollars!

This is the door of the old one. You can't really tell it from the picture, but it is kind of a mess. The poly was all peeled of and the wood was pretty ugly.

I whipped out my handy dandy electric sander and started sanding that puppy down, put new poly back on it and a nice new knob and ended up with this.

Super fab, right?!

We did replace nearly everything else though

This is the old vanity

The new one

We put up a super nice light fixture over the medicine cabinet. I didn't get a picture of the old one but it was rough wood with tarnished brass fitting. The new one is much better.

This is the new paint color and the shiny new towel bars I installed

The toilet, that we didn't replace, and the new paper holder that I installed

The ceiling that we repainted and the trim that RF put up around the top of the wall

Finally, the floor with the grout and the pretty baseboards RF put in

Tomorrow, I need to touch up a few spots of paint and RF and FIL are going to fix a couple of drippy connectors (apparently, when you buy cheap connectors, you get exactly what you pay for and we are getting better ones). The door is also repainted but it isn't dry and doesn't have the new hardware on it yet. That will probably happen tomorrow, as well. Then the bathroom will be DONE! Then I have to move on to cleaning up the mess that has developed in the rest of the house, while I've been focusing on bathroom.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's this all a-grout?

I spent the afternoon grouting the bathroom floor. It wasn't too hard and I like the color of grout we picked out. We bought tintable grout and had it colored in the paint department to be mountaintop gray. I'm afraid it is going to be a little lighter than what we wanted, but I think it is pretty anyway.

Here is the before grout picture

This is after the grout has gone in.

A few things to note, dear viewers of my fictional DIY show. First of all, when the kid at Menard's hands you a grout float/sponge combo, pass. Not only do you have the problem of the float not being as stiff as it should be, you have the problem of not being able to wipe up as you go along because once the sponge is wet, it gets future grout wet. It is also impossible to wring out correctly. You are supposed to wipe with a damp sponge, not a sobbing wet sponge!

On second thought, just ignore the kid at Menard's completely. Take the time to do the research, know what you want and don't listen to the "advice" they give you. Or alternately, actually READ the directions on the items to determine what you need. We had a problem with the stuff that we bought because I didn't get enough mortar and I got the wrong trowel type, based on the recommendation of the staff, instead of looking at the directions and thinking for myself!

Finally, don't buy the pre-mixed mortar. The stuff we got we about half dried out and the rest was super hard to work with. We eventually got it down, but it was a fight that involved a broken threshold and a lot of cussing.

Despite having vast and varied talents, after watching my BIL putting in the floor, I've decided that installing floors is not among them. Oh, I could do the grunt work and spread the mortar and install the spacers and put the tiles in but I'm not very good at measuring. I tend to be an estimator (side note:this is why WF's insistence on doing the actual math is so mind boggling to me) so 5 5/8 become "about 5 1/2" and "abouts" don't work in tile.

Now we carefully use the bathroom for another couple of days. Then I'm going to finish the mud and paint (probably Saturday). Hopefully, by Sunday, we'll be ready to put the vanity back in and hang the beautiful medicine cabinet I refinished and the towel bars and then we'll be DONE! While, I can't say I'll ever be a serious bath crasher, I'm fairly impressed with the fact that from demo to done, it has only taken 2 weeks and that involves 4 days where we did absolutely nothing on it and another couple of days when there has only been an hour or two of work, then waiting.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Totally floored

With the bathroom remodel, we decided to replace the floor. Originally, we were going to get stick on vinyl squares, instead of ceramic. Ceramic is a pain to put in and cold. Unfortunately, after talking to some friends who know what they are doing, I figured out that vinyl wasn't really an option. Apparently, the black adhesive that used to be used on floors and the new adhesive are different chemical compounds and the new stuff basically eats the old stuff and causes it to seep through the vinyl. After I spent over an hour scraping to just get the backing from the old floor up, I decided I wanted nothing to do with scraping up that black stuff and the ceramic was on sale for the same price as the vinyl.

This is what the floor used to look like. Not terrible but nothing spectacular. Of course, when we pulled it up, it smelled like a combination of mold and pee so I was really glad to see it go

My Brother in law did their floors before they moved here so he said he would come and help us out, since he already knew what he was doing. They came over this morning and got started on it. It didn't take them long (something to be said for a small bathroom) to get all the tile in and set. Now, I'm just waiting for it to set. What I read online said a minimum of 48 hours, but the mortar was thick and gloppy, so we are thinking it might be done before that. The suggested cure time before grout is a minimum of 72 hours but since you have to stay off the floor for 24 hours after the grout, we are waiting until next weekend to grout, since the kids won't be home.

Here is what it looks like before the grout:

The big problem, as you might be able to see in the picture, is that the toilet is setting in my new bathtub for the next 24 hours. Fortunately, the kids are at my parents but we are finding alternate peeing locations for tonight and tomorrow morning :)

Tomorrow, we hang the top dry wall on the final wall, so I can finish taping and mudding and then start painting the ceiling. My father in law is coming over in the afternoon to help RF hook the toilet back up. During this week, they will hopefully get up the bottom sheet of drywall on the last wall and I can mud it and then start painting. I have to do the ceiling and the door first, because I'm doing them in white and then getting the rest of the paint tinted blue for the walls.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do it herself

So besides the bathroom demo, I also started on a kitchen project. I've talked before about the stupid built in cutting board in the kitchen. It is seriously, the dumbest thing I've ever seen. Why, oh why, would you build a cutting board into the counter and not seal it to the counter or seal the wood underneath? That is just asking for a nasty, super germ incubating ground! Because we are having to replace the bathroom instead, I've decided to at least do my best to make sure the problem doesn't get an worse.

This is what the wood looked like when I started

Notice the black spots? Yeah, that was rotten wood. I don't know if you can tell it from the picture but there are bits of loose wood and food all over this thing. I started by wiping it off with bleach, then ran the vacuum cleaner over it get all the pieces. As I was running the vacuum over it, it was pulling off more chunks of wood from those black parts. Now, my vacuum is pretty good but it ain't that good! I grabbed my scissors and starting scraping at the wood and watched it basically crumble under my touch. I eventually scraped off most of the really rotten wood and filled in the gaps with wood glue.

As you can see, that is no small area that the glue was required to fill! Of course, with that much glue, it takes some time to dry. It has been drying for over 24 hours and looks like it will take another day, at least. Once it is dry, I'm going to sand it down smooth, then put poly on it, like I did the table. Once that is done, I'm going to get a new cutting board to cover it up (one that isn't yellowed and cut up from use). It won't be pretty but it will work and it will keep the damaged from getting any worse. This is a minor repair now but if the wood rotted all the way through, it would have been a huge pain in the neck to fix!

With both of these projects, I've done them almost completely by myself (MF "helped" me yesterday by handing me tools while I was on the ladder and both kids took a whack at breaking the drywall). RF was at work both days. With all the snow, he has pulled down a boat load of overtime. 13 hours yesterday and 4 today, which left me to do my worst on the house!

Snow Problem!

So snowmageddon or the snowpocalypse or snOMG (or as I like to think of it snoverblown since we didn't get anywhere near what we were supposed to) swept across the area this week. Because of it, we had two snow days this week and I put them both to good use.

Remember last week, I found a giant crack in the bottom of my bathtub? We knew we needed to replace the tub (obviously) but decided to go ahead and redo the walls as well. For Christmas, my parents were going to replace my kitchen counters, because there is a nasty built in cutting board and the wood underneath is gross, since it isn't sealed and water and various food substances have seeped in over the years (which is the next blog post). We hadn't gotten around to actually picking anything when the bathroom stuff went down so they offered to pay for that instead. Originally we were going to tile the whole thing in a nice blue and green and white pattern but decided, even with cheap tile, it was too expensive. We eventually decided that we were going to replace the tub and surround and paint everything else a grayish blue color. We weren't going to do the vanity or the floor but my mom decided that if we were going to do it, then she was willing to pay to have it all done.

This is what we started with.

I originally thought that the stuff on the walls was some kind of laminate floor tile but it turned out to be pattered wall board. I spent the day yesterday ripping it all down.

The drywall underneath was a real mess (we figured it would be since there were no visible nails or screws holding it up).

I also started on removing the drywall but didn't get as far as I would have liked. Today, I unhooked the sink and moved the vanity out (by myself, thank you very much!) and finished the rest of the drywall that I could get down. There is one spot above the tub that just Will. Not. Come. Down. so I'm leaving that for Evan!

Here is the wall after I got done

Of course, a whole room's worth of wallboard and drywall take up a lot of space and with snowmageddon shutting everything down today, I didn't have anywhere to dispose of the stuff. Since the tub was broken anyway, I just dumped the stuff in there.

Now, we have to get the tub out, and all the new stuff put in, which will probably take a couple of weeks. In the mean time, we are showering at my parent's house, at least until I get all the drywall out of the tub!