Friday, December 4, 2009

Bathroom: Nearly Complete

Shame on me! I've neglected to update the blog at the most inexplicably inopportune time. The last post was quite the cliffhanger, and for no good reason (if there's a reason at all, it's certainly laziness), I just haven't followed up on it. I offer my profound apology.

Nevertheless, it is true that the bathroom is nearly complete! The tub was delivered a week later than we'd first expected, but it turned out beautifully. We were very happy with the job done; it looks great.


After :-)

It was a pain to get the drain and water lines connected for the tub; I made several trips to varying stores to get all the parts and several arduous hours hunched underneath the house doing plumbing work for which I'm still not quite qualified. But it finally got done and, after redoing a few leaky connections a few days later, everything seems to be in working order. At the very least, I can happily say we've done the whole thing without having to hire a plumber, which certainly saved us a good deal of money.

I installed the sink and faucet with little problem, and the tile guys came back to install the mosaic backsplash. I think Jessica's choice of mirror and backsplash was bang on. We're both very pleased with the way it turned out.

Only several relatively minor things remain to be done: installing bars for towel, hand towel, and toilet paper; picking out and ordering a new floor register; and procuring stuff (framed black-and-white photographs, I'm told) to hang on the conspicuously blank walls.

It took a lot longer than even I thought it would, but this bathroom renovation is practically done, and we're rather proud. And in fact, this, in a way, brings the whole house renovation to a sort of conclusion. It definitely brings about a certain aura of completion to everything. I do realize, of course, that there will always be something to work on. The past couple of days, in fact, I've been building a dog house (more accurately, "a small barn") for Jessica's Great (in size only, mind you ;-)) Dane.

Monday, November 2, 2009


The toilet has been installed,

but unfortunately that's all. Last Thursday, the tub guy said he ran into a problem when refinishing our tub. I didn't understand exactly what the problem was, but he said it just wasn't turning out satisfactorily and he wanted to start over. This was a bummer, as it brought everything to a sudden halt, but I urged him to take his time and get it right. It's supposed to be ready by the middle of this week. I hope things go better on the second try and that it turns out as well as we've been envisioning it. We can only hope and wait.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Floor: After

It took one day to get the granite/marble laid, and the contractors came back the next day to set the base"board" and grout everything. We're pleased with how it turned out, and, if it wasn't before, it's very clear now that this bathroom will indeed be quite different from anything else we've done so far (even though the toilet will be the same and the sink will be very similar to the ones we put in the hall bath).

Now we can hardly wait to start installing all the actual bathroom stuff, most of which has been waiting in boxes in the bedroom for awhile. The toilet will go in soon, but I want to wait until the tub is in place before installing the sink; carrying that tub in there and getting it positioned right (without chipping or scratching the floor) will be quite a chore, and having the sink in the way would make it all the worse. The tub should be finished and returned to us by the end of next week, so if all goes smoothly I expect to have everything installed by next weekend. Also, we ordered a couple square feet of black and white marble mosaic to go right above the sink as a backsplash. Hopefully that will be in by next weekend as well.

I believe the end is in sight.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Floor: Before

The focus now shifts from walls to the floor, about which nothing has heretofore been blogged. Months ago, we saw a picture of a bathroom with a black (or very nearly black) floor and thought it looked very cool. Since "very cool" is kind of what we had in mind for our bathroom, we set our minds on replicating the feel of the bathroom in that picture, especially regarding the floor.

We first thought we might use black marble (with some streaks of white running through it), which is certainly very cool, but turned out to be more expensive than we were comfortable with, even for a bathroom the size of a large closet. So we looked into some black granite tiles, which looked nearly as cool and cost considerably less, and decided to go with that. The floor will be black granite with a two-inch-wide strip of white marble around the room about six inches away from the wall. There will also be a six-inch-high granite "baseboard" all the way around.

I had been prepared to lay this floor myself just as I'd done in the hall bathroom last year, but I was told that granite is much more difficult to work with than ceramic or porcelain tile. For one thing, granite is much harder and my wet saw just wouldn't cut it. Also, the granite tiles would be butted against one another instead of spaced apart like most other tile, greatly magnifying any height variations between tiles resulting from imperfect setting.

So, we decided to have granite tile-setting experts do the job. In fact, they're in there toiling away as I type. We're jittery with anticipation, but the "before" pictures are all I can offer for now:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Paint and Lighting

Jessica spent a large chunk of yesterday (and part of last night) painting. Thus, the walls are all but finished. When we were picking out wall paint a couple weeks ago, I was reminded again that the most difficult and stressful part of home improvement projects, by far, is agonizing over paint color. This bathroom renovation was no exception, but we're both (!) very happy with the color we ended up with, and that's greatly comforting.

There were also advancements in the realm of lighting. With the ceiling painted, Jessica installed the can light trims and I bought the appropriate bulbs on the way home from work, so they're now finished. We agreed that the can lights were the best choice. Good call, Jess! With the wall painted, the sconces could be installed. This was a job well-suited to my level of electrical expertise, and it got done without sparks, deaths, or other drama. We're both pleased with these as well. Three for three so far!

As promised, here are several thousand words worth of pictures: