Bathroom Update 1

We’re going to have a few fast updates this month! One of the very first projects that we’re tackling before we move in is the bathroom. We are spending a major¬† chunk of our house prep budget on a contractor to get it done quickly (and right), but there’s only one bathroom in the house so we wanted to get it taken care of before we’re living there and before we have the floors refinished. Here’s what the bathroom looked like yesterday:


50s/60s style vanity, and whoever lived her last really liked towel racks


This will be part of the dramatic before/after shot

The house was built in 1927, and our best guess is that the bathroom was renovated some time in the 1950s or 1960s. The floor was tile, but all of the green ’tile’ that you see is some kind of plastic. It wasn’t in terrible shape, but there was a bit of water damage and rot in the tub area. It seems like the toilet was replaced some time more recently, based on the strange spacer behind the tank.


The tub with water/hammer damage

One contractor told me that the wall was totally rotten and bad, and would definitely have to be removed. I didn’t know much about old houses at the time, and he stopped communicating well, so took a hammer to the wall and had a look to see what was behind the tiles. It turns out that it really wasn’t that bad, so although it was going to have to get busted up to do anything with plumbing and electricity, it probably wasn’t in imminent danger of destroying the house due to water damage. Regardless, we were committed. Redoing a bathroom is messy and tends to put it out of commission for a couple of weeks, so here we go.


The bathroom, today

Today demolition started, and it honestly looks like they demolished most of what they needed to demolish. The upper dividing wall above the shower curtain is gone, everything is down to the studs, the tile is out and hardiebacker is down. So far so good!


Tile debris, 2017

I was worried that the backing under the tile would be so thick that we would end up with a significant level mismatch between the tile and wood, but as thick as this is I’m hopeful that they’ll get close to a match.I don’t understand how the wire mesh worked structurally, but the floor seemed to be in decent shape after 90 years. I’m just hopeful that what we’re putting in now will last as long. My lovely wife Kaitlyn picked a really cool tile pattern to replace it, and I’m looking forward to a bold reveal post.


A note from under the flow

Is this a time capsule? I think it may have been a piece of packaging from bathroom accessories that fell beneath the cement when they started making the bathroom. I don’t think it was worth digging out and deciphering, but it was interesting enough to get a picture.


Here’s another piece of the house’s history. This is one of the light switches, and it appears to be not original, it appears to be grounded, and… maybe not connected to any knob and tube? One of the things on my to-do list is to get an electrician in here to check everything out and see if any of the knob and tube wiring is still live.


knob and tube in the bathroom wall

This one *is* a piece of knob and tube wiring, and it was attached to a two prong outlet that was hidden behind the vanity. It looks like it was cut off a long time ago, and the outlet had what was probably an original 1927 unpainted brass cover plate. It’s neat to see, and I hope that it’s also good to find this kind of thing and see that people working on things in the past didn’t leave too many scary kludges in the electrical system.

That’s all for tonight’s bathroom post tonight, so here’s a shot of Penny exploring our place!


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