Friday, May 27, 2011

Bathroom Reno: Demo Day

Ladies and Gentlemen!  We are back!!!

The half bathroom is about 85% finished, but it's done enough to give you all an update on the progress of the room.

Just for a refresher, you should remember the bathroom looking like this:

Please note the old vanity, the medicine cabinet, and the horrible carpet on the floor.  But those are only the immediate things that you will notice.  What you can't see is a crack in the toilet, from the floor to the top of the bowl.  You can't see awful plastic blinds on the window, or the 1970's era light fixture above the medicine cabinet.  This room needed to be fixed, immediately.  So after what was literally YEARS of planning, we shut down the bathroom and started the renovation.

And because the first morning was crazy and not many photos were taken, after about 6 hours at least as many trips to the home improvement store, the same wall looked like this:

Now don't let the fact that the room doesn't look that different, deceive you.  There aren't a TON of pictures that came from the disaster that we will refer to as "Demo Day".  However, this day alone will occupy an entire post.

We begin this story first thing in the morning.  We went once to Lowe's to purchase the light fixture, then to Home Depot to get various building supplies:  Hardie Board, thinset, grout, tile spacers, etc...  Then we headed back home to start the demolition.  Luckily we had another toilet in our home, because this project ended up taking WAY longer than either one of us had planned.  We thought we could finish it in a week or two, but with work, school, final exams, it ended up taking us a month to get to the 85% mark, where we are today.

Our first job was to remove the sink, the area that you see in the photo above.  Only it wasn't as easy as one would think.  You think, turn off the water, cut the sealant, unhook the supply and waste lines and remove the vanity... HA, if only it were that easy.  We attempted to turn the knobs to the water shut offs.  The hot turned off immediately, however the cold, wouldn't turn.  So my loving husband grabbed a pair of pliers, turned the knob, and then crack... the knob broke.  So off to our local hardware store, where we purchased two new valves. 

We got home, turned off the hot and cold supplies to the bathroom, removed the hot water valve, then the cold water valve... however the water wasn't off.  How this happened I still don't know.  So I went running into the basement to turn off the main water supply.  When we went to put the new valves on, they didn't fit, so back to the hardware store we went.  He supplied us with a couple parts that he thought would fix the problem.  We got back home, and nope, that didn't help.  So we brought the old valve and one of the new valves back to the local hardware store. 

They directed us to the valves that we did want - and if you are keeping track, this was trip number 5 to various hardware stores that morning.  While we were there I also picked up two escutcheon plates to fit around the pipes so that you wouldn't see the abused plaster.  Unfortunately, i had not brought back all of the original parts, so that meant that trip number 6 would be occurring later, regardless.

Luckily, these valves worked.  It took a lot of work to get them to attach correctly, and to keep the water from leaking everywhere... but eventually it was done.  We could now remove the supply lines.  Then we unattached the waste line, and attempted to remove the sink.  First we noticed that there were two screws that were holding the sink into the wall, so after contorting ourselves to remove them, we again tried to remove the sink, to no avail.  We rocked it back and forth, cutting at sealant that we thought we were through, just trying to find where it was still attached.

We finally realized that some genius had cut part of the baseboard to fit the vanity in, not all of the baseboard, just some of it, and then screwed the bottom of the vanity into the side of the baseboard that was left.  Without an image, it's hard to show, and I'm sorry, but at the end of the day, it took us HOURS to remove the sink. 

We, quite easily and quickly, after that removed the toilet, the carpet, and the remnants of vinyl flooring that was left under the carpet.  We cut the rest of the hacked up baseboard that was left behind the vanity, and Viola!  You have the photo above. 

Because the baseboard was in two parts, a flat board and a profiled one, and the top part was impossible to match where it had been removed, we had to remove all of the top piece of baseboard, and tried to salvage what was left of the bottom piece.  Here is another photo of the "toilet remains", and showing the missing piece of molding.

The plywood that was left was in decent condition, so we worked with what we had.  That plywood actually sat on top of the original hardwood floor, so the bottom of the baseboards were actually hidden beneath the plywood.  Luckily they were very tall, so there was no need to go back to the original floor.

Also, interesting fact, if you look back at the first demo picture, you can see two small holes in the floor, any idea what they are?  I knew immediately.  I had always questioned whether this TINY little room was always a bathroom and those two little holes confirmed it for me.  It was always a bathroom, with a tiny corner sink.  The two holes were for the water pipes coming up through the floor.  I have seen this around my neighborhood before, so that's why I knew right away.

So, while demo was exhausting that day, it was just as exhausting recounting it all for you here this evening.  So I will end the post there, and start with the reconstruction soon.  Before you know it, you'll see the bathroom completed.  Hopefully you enjoy the process more than we did!!!

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