Going to the Bathroom Down Under : DURING
I know you just want to see the befores and afters of this bathroom renovation but since I’m in charge here (and apparently my head is swollen with power! oh wait…giant is my normal headsize…right.) I wanted to explain some of the inbetween details that get lost in the mix if you just give the milk without selling the cow…or whatever.
We are in the bathroom together again today. Not as perverted as it sounds.
Our basement bathroom started out as a tiled box. Floor, walls, ceiling – all with a neutral tile that was in good shape – and let’s be honest, we can’t afford to replace all that and probably wouldn’t choose to even if we could because this bathroom was low on the priority list. In fact, it was only on the renovation docket because my sister’s wedding (which you all know happened here last September) and her 100+ guests needed a loo.
I told you guys yesterday about our toilet/vanity missteps…only to return everything to the store and go back to the drawing board when it came to budget and plan of attack. We did have one thing that we knew was pretty set in stone - this vanity bar light from Lowes. It was under $30…and it reminded me of this much more fancy Pottery Barn light that was close to $160…but still needed glass shades.
We installed it and used some cheap $5 bubble glass shades….not completely sold on the glass shades even now…so they might get exchanged for something a little more frosty
On the other side of the bathroom there is a full shower. Nice, right? But no shower head and no shower curtain. Time to get crackin…So the first thing we did was turn off our water supply and drain any excess in the pipes….
The shower head arm screws into the shower pipe inside the wall…and was polished nickel – but we were going for an oil-rubbed bronze finish in here (to compliment the tans in all that tile)…so out it had to come…
All you do is unscrew it from the wall…easy peasy wrenchy squeezy…
We chose this Delta shower fixture for three reasons…one – it was ORB…B – it was on sale (under $100)…and quatro – it was Delta. Little fun fact for ya, if your previous shower fixture was Delta – a new Delta fixture is easier to install than switching to another brand.
First we prepped the new arm – a little Teflon tape got wrapped around the ends…(we accidentally did it around the wrong end at first so it needs it only on the end that goes into the shower wall)…
And after a couple twists of the wrench and slipping the cover plate back on, it looks brand new…
And then per the instructions (always a good thing to read those) the shower head screws on and is ready for use.
Now time for the shower faucet…
The existing one was polished nickel again – so it had to go. BUT it was Delta – good news for us, since when replacing a Delta with a Delta – you can just switch out the plates and the handle without having to mess with any inner mechanisms.
So we simply unscrewed the silver and popped on the bronze (per the instructions – man, gotta love that these aren’t Ikea instructions) and wah-la!
What’s your name pretty lady?
We also popped on the shower curtain rod and the shower curtain from our old house. It is really low with this ceiling but since we were trying to save some hardearned dough, using what you have is a great solution.
Now time for the vanity.
The first time around, we bought this vanity from Lowe’s. It was on sale at the time (about $300) and I loved the extra storage, the clean lines and the dark vanity with light countertop combo. I thought it would set off a dark faucet like side-cinching on a Kardashian.
As you know, the countertops undertones clashed with the tile undertones. FAIL.
So then we saw this similar vanity at Home Depot for close to the same price with a mirror. Of course, we continued stalking the vanity until it went on sale (down to $269) but there was still something missing. My Kardashian side-cinching if you will. The vanity top would be dark. And I wanted light. So as I sat there in the Home Depot (letting Will wonder the aisles alone…sike!…he had to sit there with me screaming.) I saw a different vanity (there’s no online link for it) - and it had everything I wanted and was still on sale.
Darker base…check. (although not ebony or dark walnut like the previous choices – more like a Cognac color)
On sale with the mirror included….check!
I picked it up, brought it home, Jer installed right away and we went to work adhering the top to the cabinet.
A little Liquid Nails, a little heavy lifting….
A little careful placement and some weight on top…a little heavy breathing at the hotness of my boyfriend…
And one faucet installation later – we had a sparkling new vanity ready for guests. (oh and I picked up the white hand towels at Bed Bath & Beyond on clearance for in here…with a coupon, they turned out to be only 80 cents a piece!).
Now came time for the mirror installation. Actually it was my neighbor’s genius idea on how to install this bad boy…
You simply take a couple scraps of wood and glue them to the tile above the bullnosed accent tile.
It helps to use duct tape to secure them while they dry…
The key here is to create a place to rest the back of the mirror so that the angle of the mirror is down toward whatever you want to see on your face…don’t tell me what that is. That is between you and the bathroom mirror.
After they dry, you can remove the duct tape and use the blocks like they are anchors for your mirror.
Note the wedge shape – that helps the mirror stay flush and not wobble…
We attached the mirror to the blocks with your standard mirror hanging brackets and hooks.
Last but certainly not least was our toilet. We had the rough-in issue to begin with…then we couldn’t get a Kohler without a special order ($$$) through our local home improvement store…plus, the timing would have taken forever. So we got just a tank from Lowe’s and ordered the base part of the toilet from Amazon. Amazing what you can find on there, isn’t it?
Jer cleaned up the old mess and used a new wax ring for the toilet installation.
Then he pressed that bad boy into place and fastened the screws on the side to bolt it down. (here’s an old post on how to install a toilet if you want more details).
Then he fastened the new tank to the toilet base…
We also had to buy a toilet seat separately but in the end, it all cost less than buying the whole thing as a special order item.
WHEW! A lot of info, huh?
Well, it will be worth it because later today I wanna show you the afters to our bathroom work. Eww…that sounds gross if you don’t know the context Stay tuned!