Friday, June 10, 2011

Bathroom remodel - finished!

It took me a while to get the post written and photos uploaded, but I can finally report back on the bathroom remodel project.

Three days of work, and five trips to Home Depot later, we are done with the bathroom project! Well, almost done. There's just a couple minor finishing details. Let me try to give you a break down on how the project went. I've got a lot to say, but I won't make you wait for the before and after. Here's a quick preview, with many more pics scattered throughout the rest of the blog post:

We plan on putting some thin molding around the ceiling border to hide the uneven lines.

Pre-weekend work
Last week on Monday, Rob did some preliminary work with taking down the old wall and ceiling texture and 50+ years of old paint. So we made our first trip of many to Home Depot. I tried to keep receipts so I could do an accurate total of how much the project cost us. However I forgot to keep first receipt from that Monday. I can recall a few things we bought, and their rough costs:

  • Respirator ** ($29)
  • Orange paint stripper ($10)
  • Metal scrapers for taking down paint ($7 x 3 = $21)
  • Grout cleaner/Sunfinic acid ($5)
  • Grout paint/sealer ($11)
** We decided it was necessary for Rob to wear a respirator when he sanded down the walls since there was no doubt lead-based paint in the older layers, not to mention whatever else might live in old walls. We didn't want to risk it. $29 is a small price to pay.

Thumbs up for safety

Rob worked on some of the paint removal on Monday since he had the day off, and then we let the bathroom sit and wait until the three-day weekend. On Friday, we both worked our normal 9-to-5s. (Note: Does anyone actually work a 9-to5 anymore? Rob works a 6-2 and I work a 7-4 or 7:30-4:30.) Then we came home and went to Home Depot to get the rest of our supplies. Or at least, we tried to get the rest of our supplies. Here's what we bought this time:
  • 1 can white ceiling paint ($23.44)
  • 1 can Behr paint plus primer in Antique Leather ($29.94 - $5 rebate = $24.94)
  • Two sponges, I think for sanding plaster ($6.94)
  • 10 pack painting tray liners ($4.97)
  • Plastic paint spout ($0.99) - this was a rip off and did not work. A dollar wasted.
  • Vanity light fixture ($59.97)
  • Recessed medicine cabinet ($29.97)
We went home, and Rob started sanding the walls down to try and make them as even as possible. At this point, we realized that the ceiling would never look completely even (oh, the joys of living in an older house), so we decided that we'd do some subtle texture (think "sand" rather than "popcorn") to help disguise the slight unevenness and other imperfections. After Rob finished sanding, we both used the metal scrapers to go around the tile edges and remove paint. The previous owners didn't really believe in taking off tile, so they had a lot of built up paint in various colors along the edges.

Satisfied with our prep work to that point, so went to bed for the night.

Day 1 - Saturday
This weekend project started out feeling a bit daunting. There was just so much to do, and we weren't exactly sure where to start. Rob removed all of the door trim and I took them outside to lightly sand them in prep for painting. All of the trim had some light lacquer on it, so this was a necessary step, and kind of an annoying one, if you ask me. While I sanded, Rob worked on sanding down a few more areas of the walls. He then used our friend Dry Dex Spackling (which saved our kitchen project) to fill in particularly bad areas, cracks, and nail holes. We already had a can of this on hand, but I would guess it cost $6 or $7.

We had to wait for the spackling to dry, so we headed back to Home Depot to get some other things we'd thought of.
  • Lawn mower (not related to this project of course, but we needed to buy one since our old one broke this week)
  • Ceiling texture, Behr Sand Finish ($27.84)
  • 3 pack painting drop cloths ($5.28)
  • Shur-Line paint rollers, 3 pack ($8.87)
We came home, and Rob sanded down the spackle and then we cleaned up the room (vacuumed all the dust, etc) to get started with the paint. I started to paint the ceiling texture while Rob started ripping out the old caulk around the tub, sink, and toilet. I did two coats of the ceiling texture. It went on fairly easily, though I had to go slow and be patient. If you went too fast, it just gobbed up and started to fall off the wall.

While we waited for that to cure, Rob took the old storage shelf down and removed the light fixture and medicine cabinet.

We started plotting our storage solutions for this room and decided we started to doubt our medicine cabinet choice. Since we had more down time while waiting for the ceiling texture to cure, we headed out again.

This time we stopped at Menards first. We really don't like Menards as much as Home Depot. Not surprisingly, they didn't have a medicine cabinet that we liked. But we picked up a couple other things we needed:
  • Sand paper ($4.97)
  • Toilet seat ($15.25)
  • Shower rack ($15.99)
Then we headed back to Home Depot. After closely examining their selection, we decided that we would keep the original medicine cabinet we'd picked out. However we did find a perfect matching cabinet to hang over the toilet. And another thing or two.
  • Wall cabinet ($59)
  • Outlet and light switch covers ($0.64)
  • New wall vent ($7.75)
We headed home and started painting. We got our first coat of wall paint and two coats of ceiling paint up before we decided to stop for the day.

Progress pic:

Day 2 - Sunday
Rob woke up early on Sunday, eager to get back to work. I did not. My mom actually woke me up when she called, so I spent some time chatting with her before we ran out to get coffee. Another slow start for this girl. Rob agreed with me that we should get new towels and bath mats for the bathroom. So we drove over to Kohls and felt old because they were not yet open and we had to wait in our car for a while. Anyway we went with the inexpensive-yet-quality Kohl's brand, which happened to be on sale. The towels were buy 1, get 1 free, so we picked up 8 at $5 each. The rug was more expensive, but we also got one free.
  • Bath towels: 8 x $5 = $40
  • Bath rug: 2 x $20 = $40 - $5 Kohl's cash = $35
Anyway we home and did another coat of ceiling paint and finished touching up the paint on the walls and then started painting the white trim. We also took down the ceiling vent cover and spray painted it white. We cleaned up the room again. Then Rob used some harsh tile cleaner on the floor. This is supposed to prepare the floor for the grout paint and sealer. We had to wait for this to dry completely, so you can probably guess where we went. Yep, Home Depot again.
  • Another 3 pack of paint drop cloths ($5.28)
  • Vinyl corner molding ($11.85)
  • Some tool used to measure corners ($4.94)
  • Wood glue ($4.57)
We headed home, and did some other minor touch-ups on the paint and tile.

More progress pics:

Then we installed the new light fixture, medicine cabinet, and above-toilet cabinet. We painted the window trim, and then did another round of clean up. Rob replaced the vent and outlet covers. By now, it was already evening and we were tired. So we called it a day and ordered Jimmy John's.

Day 3 - Monday
We knew the end was near, so we hopped to it. (Hopped to it? What does that even mean?) Rob started painting the floor tile grout with the one-step paint/sealer we'd picked up. This stuff is magical. I couldn't really help with this part, so I just offered moral support and cleaned up the kitchen and did some laundry. After that, Rob was preparing the tub for the new caulk, and I think he accidentally pulled the soap bar off the wall. These inspired our last and final trip to Home Depot:
  • Tile repair putty ($6.47)
After we got home, Rob first repaired the soap holder. Then we both started painting and sealing the wall tiles. That part was particularly unpleasant. We did a second coat of paint on the window trim, and then spent around 30 minutes giving the bath tub a good scrubbing.

Progress pic, notice the difference between the unpainted and painted grout:

Finally, Rob was able to line the fixtures with caulk, and we were almost done with the project. We let the caulk dry and then put the trim back on the walls. Another round of clean-up and then I was finally able to bring our stuff back into the room. Rob installed the new toilet cover, and we then stepped back to admire our work.

We chose not to paint the doors since we wanted them to match the doors in the rest of the house.

Although it's a particularly hard room to photograph, you'll just have to take our word that it's like a completely different room. When I showered for the first time since remodeling, I felt like I was staying at a hotel. It really does look that different!

This project was a lot of work, and I'm glad we did a lot of the prep work beforehand or we might not have finished it within our deadline. Definitely needed a three day weekend for this one.

Ok now for the cost breakdown.
Total money spent = $480.92

Whew. We didn't really have a budget going into this, but we thought it would only be a few hundred dollars. I guess it's not bad considering we have a new medicine cabinet, light fixture, wall cabinet, and towels and rug. I read online that typical bathroom remodels cost thousands, so I guess I feel pretty good with our bottom line. In fact, one source said "The average cost of a bathroom remodeling project is $9,712, according to ServiceMagic, although this includes minor and partial bathroom remodels." Now granted, we didn't replace our tile or fixtures, but we did almost everything else. And I'm extremely happy with how things turned out.

So that's how we spent our Memorial Day weekend. I hope some of you were able to get outdoors and do something fun. Bye for now.

someone else's words

"Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others." - Buddha

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