Bathroom Of Horrors

A year of renovations pt 2

Oh…our one bathroom.  Or should I say “bathroom”.  You know those bathrooms in state parks that are always wet, stinky, and so dark you can’t see what you’re doing?  The ones you avoid using no matter how badly you have to go?

Yea…it was sort of like that.

When we bought the house the bathroom was the room that definitely needed our immediate attention.  And since there is only one bathroom in the farm house, it had to be fixed before we could move.  The house did not have a bathroom originally, so sometime in (probably) the 1930s one was carved out by stealing space from under the staircase, the hallway, and the kitchen.  It actually had a good amount of space.  But that’s where the good things ended.

The electric wiring was run incorrectly so that every time you attempted to run more than one light in the bathroom, all the lights shut off.  There was water damage everywhere.  The joists under the heavy cast iron tub were so squishy that anyone who attempted to take a bath would surely have rub-a-dub-dubbed, broke the floor in a tub.  Surprisingly, the water damage was not from the bathroom (how could it be since the well wouldn’t stay on more than a minute at a time?), but was coming from leaky gutters and holes in the wall.  You could literally sit on the toilet and view the great outdoors…and not through a window!

Removing the siding from outside the bathroom revealed even more water damage

So, it was decided that it all had to go.  Everything was ripped back to the studs and our 3-month bathroom renovation turned into a 9-month overhaul.

A special thanks to Paul and Gary who helped Sam figure out how to maneuver the huge tub around the corner and out the tiny bathroom door
Demolition revealed the original (then hallway) wallpaper that has inspired our design for the entryway


The first, and most important issue, was repairing the rotting floor joists.  Both so we wouldn’t crash through the floor when we took a bath, and so the floor would be level.

Installing new floor joists

Once the new joists were in, the old wiring was removed and new wiring, sockets, and switches were installed. Then new subfloor was installed.  This really helped get the renovation moving.  Once the floors were down, insulation and drywall could go up.  Tile went down where the tub would sit and new wood floors extended from the front part of the bathroom into the hallway and entry (which also needed some water damage repaired. Sam and his dad also repaired the outside water damage and patched the siding.

And then there was a mad rush!  I was 37+ weeks pregnant and we (ok ok I) wanted to be moved before the baby came.  So fixtures were installed, some very nice members of our church family helped us move our stuff, and a couple of weeks later we had our third baby girl.

The bathroom hasn’t had its finishing touches yet (hopefully in the next month!) as we adjust to life as a family of five and save some money to put toward good quality finishes.  I’m not sure how we’ll manage refinishing the tub, since it would mean several days of not being able to take a bath as coats of paint and sealant dry.  I guess we will just pick a week to not go into public and be super stinky!

Stay tuned! We will update you as we complete the bathroom renovation.