We didn't mean to gut the bathroom... and the kitchen

>> Sunday, November 25, 2007

Well I'm sorry to say it's the same old boring story, a snowballing renovation. We started out planning to fix our bathroom floor which had holes from replacing the dysfunctional clawfoot tub plumbing. It had vinyl tiles that were permanently stained and missing in some places. And we've ended by essentially gutting our bathroom and kitchen.

Given the asbestos tile underneath and the general bad condition of the floor in the kitchen we realized it would make sense to do both kitchen and bathroom floors at the same time. This was confirmed when we moved the old chest freezer left behind by the previous owner out of our closet and found mold, rust and a badly damaged patch of floor.

Our tiler had an opening in his schedule, so we hurried around and removed our old vanity from the bathroom and put the washing machine onto our deck. Then we emptied the lower kitchen cabinets which needed to come out, put the stove on the deck and our fridge in the living room.
We were so glad to see the old vanity go. And the best part is we left it outside with its old sink and faucet and someone took it - so we don't even have extra creating-more-garbage guilt.

So this is what our hallway looks like now. I love the look of the greyed floorboards, but they're not in great condition and there's tons of nailheads sticking up!
And this is what our bathroom floor looks like now. On Friday we found out that we'll need to have an extra material installed on top due to the poor condition of the floorboards.
(After ripping out and rebuilding the floor - the corner is really unstable and that's where we had the washing machine jumping around! We're now having Ditra installed throughout the kitchen and bathroom)
And this is now our kitchen:As you can see above, the cabinet didn't survive after all, as it was adhered with spray foam. Oddly enough. I guess they thought that fake-wood-plastic-laminate-particleboard cabinets would last forever! So we are now planning on buying new kitchen cabinets sooner than expected. The good news is pretty new cabinets, the bad news is of course the cost. Today we painted our clawfoot tub - since it was sitting in the hallway and finally accessible from all sides. This is the tub "before", rusty with a few layers of paint on two sides, in brown, blue, Pepto-Bismol pink and finally Big Bird yellow (this picture really doesn't do it justice):Luckily it is quite sound, the rust was superficial and the legs are still nice and sturdy. So I spent two hours sanding the tub, and finally started adding the cream-coloured Tremclad. This is a picture of the first exciting moment of covering this old uncared-for tub with glossy new paint:And finally, a lovely freshly painted tub:For some reason I love the raised letter label on the bottom of the tub:Transformations like this are so satisfying and remind us that it's worth all the work and expense. Well we think so anyway.


LeeAnn November 25, 2007  

What a snowball effect! The tub is like new again! But what are you doing using that pretty vintage sheet as a drop cloth? :)

Claire Louise Milne November 25, 2007  

I was tempted by the sheet at first (given to us by father-in-law), but it had already been used as a drop sheet and was in pretty bad shape. It's also very thin fabric and possibly a blend, not cotton. But nice to know it's looking cute in the pictures! :-)

Robin November 26, 2007  

Wow! When you renovate you don't waste your time! Can't wait to see how it all turns out.

Christine G November 26, 2007  

Your tub is gorgeous!!! I agree...the raised lettering is a fantastic feature and I'm sure it looks even better now that you've painted it. Enjoy your new kitchen and bathroom. I'm hoping it is done very soon for you. That would be a lot to live with -- a bathroom and a kitchen in a state of mid-renovation.

Anonymous,  November 26, 2007  

FYI I just saw 2 episodes of Holmes on Homes (?Canada based tv show) about mold and asbestos. I hope you are using proper ventilation and masks re:the asbestos and mold cleanup. They also had a company come in and do an air test testing the ratio of mold and asbestos in the air. I don't want to alarm you but you might have a bigger problem...worth checking into.

Anonymous,  November 26, 2007  

That's so neat that the tub was manufactured in Toronto - a little bit of local history. It looks great repainted. The rest of the house looks pretty bad (hang in there!) - but, as I had to remind myself a million times over, it has to look worse before it looks better! How are you faring on the kitchen cabinet research?

Anonymous,  November 26, 2007  

Looks like you'll be staying with the in-laws for a while! :) This definitely gives you some dramatic "before and afters"!

Anonymous,  November 26, 2007  

Miss Claire,
How exciting, you are getting a new kitchen! Here's some wisdom we acquired when we were redoing the kitchen - perhaps obvious to most but certainly not to me. Make sure to measure the walls for the back of cabinets! Your house is old so the walls are probably not level. The front can always be disguised with panels. IKEA cabinets are pretty good but their installer company is expensive!!! A basic instalation (no cutting except sink & vent) is $900+. And they are either white or pine inside which you can kinda see through the doors.
New kitchen - priceless!

Claire Louise Milne November 26, 2007  

Thanks Robin and Christine! I can't wait to show "after" pictures.
Anonymous: believe me I watch Holmes on Homes too and that's why we hired a professional we trust. The asbestos is buried in the tiles, it's not like it's in the insulation which is more likely to become airborne. Also the moldy patches are being replaced and the floor is being rebuilt and then covered with a waterproof material. It's also obvious the source of the patches - there was condensation from the old freezer dripping onto the floor.

Claire Louise Milne November 26, 2007  

Thanks Jaimie, I got a kick out of the tub too. And I know you understand more than anyone seeing your new house ripped up!

Thanks Sarah, I know you love the before and afters!

Thanks for your comments Les, I'm definitely glad to hear tips about the cabinets as we weren't exactly planning on that part yet. It's true, old houses certainly don't have perfect walls! We planned to go elsewhere for installation, that's another good tip.

Anonymous,  November 26, 2007  

Pretty vintage sheet? That was the only matress sheet I could use in university residence because the non-standard matresses couldn't handle fitted sheets. It was in critical condition before my dad started spilling paint on it.

We should mention that the guy doing the tiling and clean-up is the bestos ... he breaks the mould ... we're floored by his hard work?

Anonymous,  November 26, 2007  

Ha, I love Bradley's comments. What a punny guy. Isn't the tiler great? That guy really knows what he's doing; you are in good hands.

Anonymous,  November 26, 2007  

My goodness you have been busy. I have missed you while you were gone! Impressive what you are doing with your house.

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