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Bathroom Remodel – Part 4 – Demolition


I was going to try and put all of demolition into one post but for some reason, the posting feature went on the fritz for me. Oh well. I will just put it here in a new post then. These pics are all from January 2015.


My FIL taking out all the old tile on the vanity. The tile was mortared to the plaster wall behind it.


The vanity area after the plaster wall and tile was removed.


The tile surround on the bathtub was also removed.


The hole in the bathroom ceiling. We’re still not quite sure why there was a soffitt here. My son Ian hated this hole. He was scared to use the bathroom because of it. To be honest, I didn’t like it much either! The ceiling was like this for about two weeks.


The new lighting! These helped our bathroom look so much brighter than it was. It kind of looked like a cave before!


The new ceiling light


The pendant lights were actually pretty tricky for my FIL to install. I think this was because he was starting from scratch with the housings and the wiring.


Bathroom Remodel – Part 3 – Demolition

Note: The first half of this post is Josh’s writing. I wanted to get demolition all into one post and it looks like we didn’t do that over on our old blog.

The first big remodel project that I have chosen to do is the bathroom.  It is incredibly ugly and needs to be updated and brought out of the 50s and 70s.  Just before Christmas I took the old wall coverings off.  Rather than paint this bathroom was done in wood slats.  It wasn’t exactly paneling, but was instead some unfinished wood nailed to the wall.

Before removing all the wood, I often wondered why somebody would put wood slats on a bathroom wall.  I was able to look under the wood a little bit and see dark gray paint with some shiny gold showing through the paint.  After taking down the wood, I found the walls had been covered in gold foil wall paper.

Unpainted gold foil wallpaper behind toilet

As I removed the wall paper, I was able to see yet further into the past.  Under the wall paper was yellow and pink paint.

It was fun to remove all the ugly parts of the past in my bathroom.  It was interesting to me to see what it looked like in the past.  Nothing had been taken out in the entire 60 years of the house’s history.  Everybody before me just covered up and moved on.  While that created more work for me, it did give me more insight into my house and the decorating ideas of the past.


Our Bathroom Remodel – Part 2 – Partial Materials list

Note: This is basically a reblog of a post over on our old blog at another site. Since I already wrote it, I might as well use it!


Our first major remodeling project is our one bathroom.   We are a family of seven so you can imagine the chaos in this one bathroom in the mornings and at bedtime.  The bathroom is a good size at about 70 square feet but it only has one sink, which makes for a few fights at teeth brushing time!

Josh and I make decisions on the materials for the bathroom together but I am the one who usually finds the options we have and brings those options to him.  We splurge on a few things (like the mosaic tile backsplash) and we go the less expensive route on others.  I thought I would post a few of the materials that we have found along the way.

Our first big purchase was our vanity countertop.  We wanted to expand from one sink to two sinks so that we could have more than two children brushing teeth at a time.  We also wanted vessel sinks, which are surprisingly hard to find at the store.  Even more difficult was finding a vanity or vanity top to fit those vessel sinks!

I think we went to four different places before we were able to figure out how to get the countertop we wanted.  Both Home Depot and Lowe’s were too expensive for the semi-custom vanity top we needed. It would have been over $1000 and probably wouldn’t have worked with the sinks we wanted. The custom order/install department at these places also would not do any jobs that were less than 25 square feet.  We didn’t want a completely new vanity, which probably would have been the easiest way to go.  This also would have cost over $1,000.  Our current vanity is real hardwood and we didn’t want to get rid of it. Josh was planning on refinishing it.

Cost of refinishing the vanity: $50 plus about 25 million hours of labor.  Okay, it’s not that much time but poor Josh has spent a lot of time refinishing the vanity, and he still isn’t totally done with it!

We were able to go to a place on Miramar Road called Stoneville USA that sells granite slabs and tile.  Slab yards are a fun place!  Josh and I kept getting distracted by the pretty granite slabs even though we knew they would be way too expensive and too much material for our little 5′ x 3′ countertop.  At first, we were there to look into using tile for the countertop instead of a slab.  I wasn’t too thrilled about tile for the counter but was willing to consider it. We were able to talk to a sales rep there and he suggested going with a prefabricated countertop and having a fabricator cut it down to the size we needed.  It was either that or calling around to fabricators to see if they had any slab remnants we could buy and use, which would have taken a lot of time.  So he took us to look at the prefabricated countertops and we found one that was probably the closest to what we wanted, a white engineered quartz.

Cost for prefabricated quartz countertop – $345

Cost estimate for fabrication (cut it down to size and drill holes for faucet and sink, also may include installation)- $300


We ended up finding our vessel sinks online at Home Depot.  Shipping was free which was a big plus!  We also were able to bundle our sinks, faucets, and pop-up drains together.  Once Josh told me he wanted vessel sinks, I was pretty adamant that they had to be square.  I guess this was nitpicky but there was something about the rounded squares and rectangles and sloped walls of the others that irked me.  We may end up going with grid drains though for the sinks because the pop-up drains that came with the sinks are monsters!  We would be left with only two usable drawers in the vanity because the pipes for the drains are so long.

Cost for two square 15″x15″ sinks, two single-handle faucets, and two pop-up drains – about $500


Finding the right backsplash took me a while.  Finally, I found this one at the Lowe’s website.  It looked pretty online and looked even prettier in person.  We started out buying 12 of these to start.  We may have to buy more as we find areas to use them.  For sure, we are using them as the entire backplash above the countertop.

Cost for twelve 12″x12″ pieces of mosaic tile – about $180

Note: We ended up not going with this mosaic tile because it didn’t match the paint color we put on the walls.


We also needed to change the lighting in the bathroom.  Before the remodel, there was a ceiling box that made no sense containing a light fixture that was falling apart.  Thanks to my FIL and Josh, the ceiling box and ugly old light fixture are gone and replaced with an open space to the attic and two pendant lights.  The open space will soon be covered by sheetrock.

Josh was also able to replace the very tired old ceiling light with this new one.  It supposedly won’t need to be replaced for 32 years since it uses an LED bulb.  We’ll see!

Cost for new lighting – about $180 

I actually bought a 10 pack of these at Dixieline.  I’m so glad I did and I love them!  I tried out all the ones they had on display to see how they would feel.  Why I picked this one:  Brushed nickel finish, not rounded (kind of sticking with the square shape except for in the lighting), easy to pull open, and easy to clean!

Cost for 10 pack of cabinet pulls – $28

Behr Marquee Semi-gloss paint in Etched Glass – We went with the whitest paint we could find for the walls.  This one might have some gray/blue in it.  We are only to the primer stage in painting the walls so we haven’t been able to see it in a large portion yet.  I always forget how expensive paint is!

Cost for 1 gallon of paint – $40

Note: This paint ended up being closer to lavender/gray, which I loved. Because of the paint color, I was able to get the color mosaic tile I really wanted!





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