Archive for the ‘renovations’ Category

Bathroom Reno Day 15

Oh yeah, we’re done. Except for the door, we’re done. Medicine cabinets and baseboards. Oh yeah. Take a look, we’re pretty happy with it.

It’s nice to have a bathroom that’s not in the basement… especially in the middle of the night. Let’s just say I haven’t been drinking anything after 9:30PM. 🙂

There have been a lot of photos, and I’ll be compiling a photo gallery later when it’s all completely done. But for now, all bathroom reno posts will be concluded. Back to your regularly scheduled lives.

I’ve learned a few things this time around about renovations.
– Make sure you check that the materials you want are actually in stock somewhere, and don’t take 5-10 days to order.
– If your experienced builder tells you to buy tile from a particular vendor, at least check it out. Quality does matter when it comes to tile.
– Be prepared for delays and unforeseen problems. They are inevitable. Take however long the time estimate is, and double it. That way, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when it finishes ‘early’.

Bathroom Reno Day 14

Day 14: Painting the kitchen, and putting up some bars

grab barsIs it done yet? Is it done yet? Well, we’re close. Really close. Two more days. Tomorrow, the baseboards (I think) are coming in, we get the mirror medicine cabinet and the cabinet above the toilet installed, and a few more hooks and bars. Importantly, the shower curtain rail is getting put in, and I have to go get a shower curtain. We were thinking to get a hemp one, just to stay away from vinyl and plastics as much as possible. But they’re a bit on the pricey side ($80-$100) and we’re not convinced about the longevity of them. Interestingly, IKEA makes shower curtains not out of vinyl, but PEVA, a chlorine-free plastic alternative to PVC.

Replacing the door

Originally, we planned to re-use the existing door, just make it swing the opposite way. Simple right? Not really. Since the door jamb isn’t square anymore, and the door has been shaved and cut to fit the slant, flipping the door would cause it to no longer fit so nicely. So we decided to get a new door installed. But because the door styles have changed, and these are from who knows when, we couldn’t find anything at Home Depot that would be the same.

Well, as it turns out, I sent the builder to Central Fairbank Lumber to pick up the baseboards that match what’s in the house, and he said that he literally almost walked into the exact same door style as what we had in our house. It’s now on order and should arrive next week, so they’ll come back and install it. Meanwhile we’ll have a bathroom without a door, but at least it works!

Bathroom Reno Update: Day 13

Thirteen is a lucky number, I guess. Today the crew installed the vanity and toilet, and the water is running. The baseboards and trim, the door, and the towel rails and shower curtain rail aren’t in yet, those are to come in the next day or two.

We had hoped that today would be the final day, but there will be a few more days to go.

Yesterday the linoleum was cut and put in, and it gave us a bit of a scare. When we unrolled it, it was all yellow on the inside! It didn’t look good. But a quick search on the internet for “yellow linoleum” and I found out that linoleum will turn yellow if it isn’t exposed to light, because the linseed oil will oxidize. It’s called “blooming“, and it will go away with exposure to light. So we put it out in the sun for a while, and in half an hour it had cleared right up. Remarkable.

bathroom reno day 11: painted

painted tubToday our room took a big step forward to being done. The drywall was sanded, and the paint (Benjamin Moore Lily White, if anyone’s keeping score) went on. The shower control lever, spout and hand spray were also installed today.

bathroom reno day 10

I don’t have much to report today. They came, they grouted, they mudded, they left. Oh, and they picked up our vanity and sink and medicine cabinet from Lowe’s and dropped them off in our hallway. Not quite into the bathroom yet, but soon. They’re estimating that they’ll be finishing on Tuesday. 🙂

bathroom reno day 8

Great progress today, the walls are up, with blue board and cement board around the tub. The glass block window is looking great, and the tub, although a tight squeeze, fits in the space! What remains to be done are the floor, tiles, install the toilet and vanity, and medicine cabinet. I can’t wait!

bathroom reno update: day 7

I spent the day at the studio while the crew motored ahead with the bathroom. Yesterday was a sunny day, so the roof work was completed, with a new stack pipe and ceiling vent installed. They made a lot of progress today, with the glass block window and the tub getting installed, as well as a few more drywall sheets.

Things are looking good, they’re aiming to be done by the end of the week! w00t!

bathroom reno: day 5

the subfloorI never noticed how distracting the sounds of construction can be, until this week. Being home while the work is going on is fun on the one hand, because I can observe what’s happening and give progress updates to all of you, but it’s annoying on the other hand because I can’t get any other work done. I guess I am sensitive to noise. The droning noise of a coffee shop is ok, but the intermittent hammering, the sharp sound of drilling and sawing… it gets to me.

Anyway, things are moving along, as you can see from the pictures. some drywallThere’s a subfloor now, and there’s drywall on some of the walls. They’re having trouble with the weather; the recent rains make it impossible to work on the roof to replace the stack and install the ventilation fan. So, here’s hoping for a dry day tomorrow.

I got my linoleum, which was a bit of a feat. I didn’t realize that a) it takes 5-7 days for an order of linoleum to come, and b) you have to buy a minimum of 40 sq. yds. which is more than double the amount I needed. linoleum sampleSo I had to ‘settle’ for some of the remainder linoleum they had in the store, which turned out ok. The floor isn’t as dark as I would have liked, but it’ll do fine.

The projected finish date is ‘by the end of next week’, which is great. I just want to have it done with. It’s making my friend kbushling jealous, but she had a whole apartment to renovate, while this is just a little teeny tiny bathroom. 🙂

I picked up our wall tile today, just simple white glossy 8×10 tiles, and white grout. I know, pretty plain. I do want to highlight the store I got them from, called Home Again Inc. in Toronto, close to Laird and Eglinton. They specialize in surplus building materials, with great prices and some cool reclaimed and vintage pieces. I especially liked the vintage door keyhole lock sets at the front display. Floor and wall tiles, vanities, doors, windows, kitchen cabinets… all kinds of stuff. And their website is pretty good about listing their inventory. I like a good deal, and I like re-using whenever possible, so this store allows me to do both!

bathroom reno: day 3

You Never Know What You’re Going To Find

It’s true what they say about renovations. You never know what you’re going to find until you get in there and see. These last two days have been about surprises. Some nice, and some not so nice. I’ll start with the not so nice.

The reason we had to renovate our bathroom right away was because we had a big leak one morning, with water from the shower drain coming down through the walls in the floor below and ending up in our basement, dripping from the pot lights and everywhere. The source of the leak was found, but it was at a point down the main stack that was behind the wall in our kitchen. So a big hole had to be cut out in order to reach that section of pipe and replace wall cut open Needless to say, it was a little disappointing to have to make a mess of our finished kitchen, but I’m glad that they found the source of the leak and fixed it.

Initially we were concerned about the width of the bathroom, and whether a standard sized bathtub would fit up against the outer wall as we had planned, or if the stack (the main drain pipe in the house running from above the roof right down to the basement drain) would be in the way. We wouldn’t know until we opened up the wall. closeup of stackFortunately, in the process of replacing the old thick cast iron stack with black plastic ABS pipe, we gained some space along the width of the room, so we’re able to put in a 60″ tub. This is important because of cost and availability factors, a short custom length tub is double the cost, and takes some time to source.

Current Status

So the stage we’re at right now: the electrical is done, the pipes are done except for the stack that goes out onto the roof, and the floor joists are re-supported. Tomorrow, the tub is delivered, and I went and bought the flooring that will be installed. I had to get it today because they want to tuck the sheet of flooring under the tub so there won’t be a seam. Nice.

Postscript: Speaking Of Flooring

The flooring is linoleum, the ‘old is new again’ linoleum. It’s funny how when you say linoleum everyone says, “Oh, vinyl.” Vinyl replaced linoleum decades ago, but linoleum is making a comeback. We chose it because, believe it or not, it’s a green choice. It’s made of a combination of linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone, and pigments. Natural, mostly renewable materials, and no toxins are used in its manufacture. And it lasts a long time. What’s not to like?

bathroom reno: day 1

a panorama of what our bathroom looked like beforeToday we started out bathroom renovations. This is what our previous bathroom looked like (I can say that now, even though it’s not finished yet). It was a terrible layout, cramped, and very green.

The crew came in today and tore out the bathroom down to the studs, so here’s a picture of what it looks like at the window, with everything gone. You can see where the pipes are, and the wiring.after the demolition It’s going to be fun to watch over the next few days, I’ll try to keep pictures up to date.

We’re changing the bathtub orientation so that it runs along the wall with the window, and the window itself will be filled in with glass block, so that it will be in the same plane as the shower tiles, forming one seamless wall. That single change of layout will open up the floor considerably, and make the bathroom feel much more open than before. We’re looking forward to it. The only possible ‘gotcha’ could be that we won’t be able to fit a standard sized tub in that space, so if that’s the case, we’ll be going for a walk in shower instead, with no tub at all. Either way, it’s going to be nice, I think.

Tomorrow, the sink and vanity get delivered!