Reno continues

Guess what I spent most of the weekend doing?  If you guessed bathroom demo – you win a Cupie doll!  I really needed a good block of time to get the tile off the wall and floors.  I wanted to do it in one shot and get it cleaned up so we could still get in there and shower on Sunday morning.

As I think I mentioned before, the tile on some of the wall popped right off.  Turns out whoever built this bathroom used 2 different kinds of drywall, one is the greenboard kind, which the tile came off of.  The other was normal dry wall and pulling the tile off pulled out the drywall as well, which meant that had to be completely torn out. That is this wall:



Ooops.  That is not what I wanted to happen, but such is life in renovating.  In a way, this made it quicker to demo because I just cut through the dry wall and pulled off sheets with the tile on it.  I had to have John help carry these downstairs because a wall of tile is heavy!


This was the wall behind the toilet.  I thought I was going to have to take off the toilet tank, but we were able to lift the wall piece up from behind it.  I was  sweating a lot from this workout. See that dirty spot was the part the toilet sits in front of.  All the placed you never think to clean that get exposed Embarrassed

Two of these and that was one wall of the bathroom. 

Then it was removing the floor tile. I used a hammer and chisel and it went pretty fast.  There were sections where I hit one tile and a dozen popped off the floor.  Yep, quality work in the 1980s, I tell you.

I also see why our floor tile was cracked near the sink. See this? It’s uneven flooring.  2 pieces of underlayment and one is about 1/8 inch lower than the other.  They tiled over that and the fracture line in the tiles followed this as you can see below. 


They just tried to level it with mortar, which does not work. This does make retiling problematic with an uneven floor.  Even with leveling compound I am not sure I would trust it.

Plus – I have decided that I do not like grouted floors.  It’s hard to keep clean.  So, we are going with a resilient vinyl plank flooring.  It will smooth out the unevenness, it’s waterproof and easy to install (so they say).  I am going to try a cork finish. I have always wanted a cork floor, and this actually looks really neat in person.


Anyway, remember how I said things look really bad before they get better?  Enjoy this view.


EEEEEK!  (I was kneeling on that towel to protect my knees, so I just dropped it there when I finished). I was so happy to have all the tile up that I barely noticed the mess.  John looked a little shell-shocked when he saw it. 


However, once I cleaned all the tile up and gave it a vacuum, it was presentable again. And functional, still. The tile under the toilet will remain until we do the floor.  Just to make like easier.


Sunday was sink removal.  It was a bit awkward, but not as bad as I was envisioning – and a lot easier than all that tile!  I hated this vanity, too. 


Pixie wanted to help. She was a pain wanting to be around with all the activity this weekend. 


Not safe for kitties,though, so we tried to keep her out of there.

I am so glad to finally have that ugly beast out of there.


I have very specific parameters for a vanity.  I want drawers. The problem is most stock vanities have the drawers on the right. The way our plumbing is (as you can see above), we have to have the drawers on the left. I am not interested in ripping up the floor to replumb all that.  What a pain!  It was either buy a smaller vanity for the sink and then get a drawer cabinet on the side, which is hard to get matching – or I decided to bite the bullet and pay a little more for the vanity. Since we are saving money by not putting up bead board and the flooring will cost half of what it was going to, I am indulging in the vanity.  This is the one I am 95% sure I will get.


One drawer for John and 2 for me! Oh go on  It’s a little more than I was going to spend, but it has what I want. This will change the color scheme a little bit for the room.  I think the burgundy is now out, but I am going to do a cream with gold metallic finish stripes and a cream colored shower curtain.  With the ‘cork’ floor, I think this will be a warm and maybe a little lux looking bathroom!  Or it could be a mess LOL.  I am a little overexcited about it, though. Poor John!

Now it’s time to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.  The worst part is over, thank goodness.

We are now teeth brushing and contact insterting in our downstairs half bath.  We never could have done this project if we hadn’t put in the downstairs bath. At least we can still shower upstairs, or shower at all, really.

I am thinking about 2 more weeks on the bathroom and we might be done!  Drywall patching this week. Next weekend will be the Tile Transformations for the tub surround. 

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25 thoughts on “Reno continues

  1. Shelley B

    I do love that vanity, and am a drawer fiend, so I’m with you on that being a necessity, whatever the cost. I’ll be interested in seeing your floor – we have cracked tile in our MBR, and I think we need to NOT do tile again (Texas houses settle something awful with our weird dirt and drought conditions)…I was thinking about wood laminate, but the cork is intriguing!
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..Friday Mishmash

    1. Lori Post author

      I have always wanted to try the real cork floor, but it never quite worked out to fit in with a room until now. Of course, this is not the real cork, but I like that it will look seamless, which helps a small room.

  2. Sandy

    The vanity is gorgeous Lori. Cork sounds lovely too and you are right it gives a sense of visual warmth as well as being warmer underfoot than tile. You could pick up colours from the vanity top to use as small accent colours around the room too. You are an absolute legend and I can’t wait to watch it progress and come together. Have a great week.
    Sandy´s last blog post ..I Love a Sunburnt Country

  3. Fran

    Love the vanity Lori. Seeing the pictures brings back memories when R. did our bathroom. We couldn’t shower for a couple of weeks and I had to go to my mother in law or my friend to shower there. I hated it and was so happy when the bathroom was finally done.

    Did you watch Downton Abbey yet? Curious what you think about this episode.
    Fran´s last blog post ..Sunday January 27, 2013: Back on planet earth

    1. Lori Post author

      We are going to limit the shower down time to 3 days, hopefully.

      We are watching DA tonight – we DVRed the episode.

  4. Satu

    That picture with all the mess is really impressive! I’d hire you to do renovations in my Finnish bathroom, but I think you’d be too expensive to get here.

    How long did it take for you to learn all this stuff?

    I think Pixie is trying to find interesting holes to hide in. 🙂
    Satu´s last blog post ..A Perfectly Balanced Visit

    1. Lori Post author

      I did a lot of reading over the years and,honestly, a lot you learn as you go. When I did my first flip house is when I learned the most. You just can’t be afraid. Nothing is unfixable that you do, even if it means bringing in a pro if you really mess up LOL!

  5. Becky

    We just installed vinyl plank flooring and I love it. Gives me the look I want and is a breeze to clean.

  6. Helen

    Yes! Buy the vanity you really want! You won’t regret it. We didn’t replace our vanity but had to get a new top made for the one we have. Between the size and the special placement of the sink, it cost almost as much as a complete unit. But we liked our vanity – and now every morning when I see the top (even years later), I’m still happy with it.

    Can’t wait to see what that floor looks like. Very intriguing.
    Helen´s last blog post ..Frozen Stiff

  7. Ali @ Peaches and Football

    That vanity is gorgeous! Seeing all these demo pictures brings back memories of our house gutting projects. Piles and piles of plaster, foam insulation (the worst!!!!) and lath. Plus all the tiny nails all over the place. Be glad you’re only dealing with drywall. Knocking down plaster takes a sledge hammer, and then you need a prybar to remove the lath. I still have nightmares thinking about all that. 😉
    Ali @ Peaches and Football´s last blog post ..A Record Low … Until Now

    1. Lori Post author

      We have paneling in a couple rooms and I know underneath is lathe and plaster. As much as I dislike the paneling, I don’t want to get involved with replacing all that! I am sure the walls are not in good condition under the paneling. So it is painted over and works for me 😀

  8. Biz

    I could probably do the demolition, but I’d never know how to put it back together again! Great job so far, and I agree that paying a little extra $$ to get what you want is the way to go.
    Biz´s last blog post ..Artisan Bread Bagels

  9. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    Progress! Can’t wait to see what you think of the cork(esque) floor planks! I’ve been pondering that for kitchen floors, along with about 10 other options. Damn you, Pinterest! 🙂
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..Vision Check

  10. Tami@nutmegnotebook

    I think I was like John and a little shell shocked when I saw the mess! You are so much braver than I am. I don’t think I could ever take on such a project. We’re did you learn hoes to do all this?

    I also enjoying seeing and reading about the process. I love the cabinet you have selected.
    Tami@nutmegnotebook´s last blog post ..Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

    1. Lori Post author

      Learned by trial and error 😀 I renovated 2 houses, which was a crash course in learning how to do this stuff.

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