bathroom reno

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you may have noticed that I talked to renovate both bathrooms at the start of January.  Well, we didn’t just spontaneously decide to undertake this project…it was out of necessity.  Remember that super cold weather we had last month?  It was bitterly cold with terrible winds and a lot of people, including us, woke up to frozen pipes.  The shower and kitchen pipes had frozen and we spent a few days trying to thaw them (thankfully we have a second shower in the basement!).  The pipes didn’t thaw, but burst.  The kitchen ones burst first and they are located behind a wall in the basement.  My husband had to remove the drywall and insulation to mop up the water (we’re just glad it didn’t damage the floors we had installed in October!).

This is where the kitchen pipe burst.  It’s right behind the bar in the basement, but didn’t ruin anything.  Upon opening the wall David discovered a huge wasp nest with dozens of dead wasps laying around it.  It was scary thinking of how they got into the wall in the first place….that next was huge.  Like, basketball size (if David reads this he will probably say “No it wasn’t that big.  Maybe the size of a big grapefruit”).

The water had to be shut off in the whole house and my father in law came over to install some shut off valves on specific pipes so that we could still use water but none would flow to the damaged pipes.  Over the next few days my father in law and husband started to replace all the old pipes so this would never happen again.  They had to open up walls and ceilings (in the basement) to access everything so we thought redoing the bathrooms made sense, since everything was being torn up anyways.  The shower pipes burst too so we chose to replace the tub and surround but also to change the orientation of the tub.  The plumbing was on a poorly insulated exterior wall (facing West) so the new tub will have it’s plumbing on an inside wall and it will be facing East.  I’m really excited for the new tub because our old one was sort of a greyish blue and it was old and gross.

The above photo shows the wet insulation behind the upstairs shower.  The drywall was actually so wet and moldy that it crumbled. We think water had been getting in here long before we bought the house because the amount of damage couldn’t have happened in just a few days.  The only thing being done in this bathroom is the relocation of plumbing and replacing the tub and shower.  But it will make out lives a lot easier and will look nicer.  We had to take down some of the blue wall tiles to get the tub out and a lot of them got cracked in the process.  I’m planning to salvage as much as I can and replace the rest with new tiles. I’m pretty sure it’s hard to find this exact colour so I’m planning to buy white tiles and then paint them all (old and new) so they are the same colour as the wall.  Removing all the tiles is too big a job right now but I HATE the blue. So painting is a great option and I will post the tutorial after it’s complete.
The downstairs bathroom/laundry room wasn’t damaged much except for some wet insulation in the drop ceiling that houses the upstairs shower plumbing.  But the pipes to the sink down there are going to be replaced and they are currently located behind a wall, so we are giving the space a face lift since walls are being opened anyway (we could either restore it to it’s ugly state or make it look better! I chose better).  This space is a complete gut.  The floors are old, the wooden subfloor is rotten thanks to a leaky wash machine, the toilet is old and scary, there is a weird half wall that makes the room very dark, the counters are tiled with parquet flooring, the door opens funny, the shower leaks and the appliances are old and not properly functioning.  We are taking out everything right back to the drywall and replacing it with much nicer items.  We have some really nice flooring left over from the basement that we will install, the toilet is being upgraded to a low flow option, we found an antique sink to use, David gave me the ok to paint all the walls and ceiling white and we are getting a brand new washer and dryer!  
Here are some pictures to show just how awful our basement bathroom/laundry room is.
we are not this messy, I promise! This is showing the nice, but dark wood panelling and the large but ugly counter.  The light is nice and bright but only if you close the door all the way.

parquet flooring on a counter?!?! who’s idea was this??!

this is a view standing at the door way.  To the left is the weird half way and behind it is the toilet.  On the right is the washer and dryer.  Straight ahead is some more nice wood panelling but it’s just so dark.

I’ve got a lot of small details planned for this room and I can’t wait to implement them!  We still have a couple weeks left before everything is finished but I’ll be posting before and after pictures upon completion.

Have a great week!

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

4 comments on “bathroom reno

  1. “The kitchen ones burst first and they are located behind a wall in the basement.” – That probably made quite a mess. It looks like it didn’t do any damage to your floors. But if there was any damage, I hope it’s not that big. How is it now, btw?


    • It was quite the mess!! My husband noticed the wall was leaking right away so thankfully minimal damage was done (except for the drywall and insulation where they burst). We managed to keep our new floors dry, which was great. Everything is much better now, thanks for commenting!

    • Chris, that’s exactly why we wanted to do the reno! All the pipes in the house were replaced with PVC during the reno, so hopefully we won’t have any more problems.
      We haven’t had any issues with freezing or leaking, which is great! Opening up walls also showed us that the insulation was sub par so that was upgraded too. Oh the joys of being a homeowner!!

      Thanks for reading:)

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