Saturday, April 28, 2012

maybe don't do it yourself (part I).

I think...a room in my house might be officially finished.

No, it's not the effing kitchen, thanks for asking.

It's the downstairs bathroom.

It started out looking like this when we moved in:

Those are all the "before" pictures I have, but I think the point is conveyed: This was...not a pretty room. Salmon-colored fixtures (to match the exterior siding? Who knows), faux-wood hardware, crooked medicine cabinet...All in all, bad news.

I replaced the hardware with oil-rubbed bronze pieces (the towel bars, toilet paper holder, and trash can) and put a new white vent cover on pretty much immediately after we moved in. When we did the major interior painting two years ago (and by "we" I mean "a dad from my work who's a professional painter"), the bathroom transformed into SUNSHINE IN YOUR FACE FLASHY CLASHY CITY.

Salmon pink + sunshine yellow = not so much.
I wanted to wait until we did the kitchen remodel to replace the sink and toilet (for masochism's sake? I don' t know), but I did add some art about a year and a half ago - two metal-circle pieces that we got for our wedding (from...Crate + Barrel, I think) placed side by side, and a frame wall with some of my favorite quotes. Because you gotta have something to read while gracing the salmon throne.

I meant to rotate out the quotes with new ones periodically, but eh, intentions. And speaking of intentions, the rest of this restroom sat unchanged for a long time after adding the art. Like...until a few months ago, when we finally replaced the toilet and then the vanity.

I would link to the blog post about replacing the vanity, but? There isn't one. Because it took almost a month, when all was said and done, and I was so bitter about the whole process that writing about it just never happened. And then I was all, "Oh, I'll just post about it after I replace the light fixture," and then I broke the new sink replacing the light fixture, so I was all, "Eh, I'll just post about it after I update the medicine cabinet," and that brings us to TODAY.

The vanity, the vanity. I went back and forth about replacing the wall-mounted sink with either a pedestal sink (more stylish, leaves more space in a tiny bathroom) or a cabinet/sink combo (more functional to store crap that we actually don't even have yet, like - I don't know, diapers or something? It made sense at the time). I ended up going with the cabinet/sink combo.

$40 from Home Depot...score.
I liked the look, it was a good size, and I could add bronze fixtures to it (most sinks I saw came standard with stainless steel...but I wanted oil-rubbed bronze).

$35 from Amazon...almost as much as the whole vanity. Whatever.
Pieces and parts secured, all that was left was to follow the instructions to remove Pink Sink and install the new stuff. So I read through the instructions, followed them diligently, and was done a couple hours later.

NOPE. Rewind. The vanity? Came with instructions. ("Remove your old stuff. Screw this thing into the wall. Done-zo.") The faucet? NO INSTRUCTIONS. I'm guessing this is because it's just common sense plus basic plumbing know-how, but sometimes I'm lacking in both of those departments, so it turned into a epic struggle. My brother happened to be over one afternoon, and he kindly helped us remove Pink Sink (glued, screwed, and caulked to the wall, just like everything else in this freaking house, including towel hooks).

I even removed the base moulding and cut it to size so the new vanity would sit flush against the wall (ha...flush...bathroom humor).

I figured all we'd have to do is re-attach the pipes. I tried it myself one day when J.J. wasn't home - that's how easy I thought it would be. But because my assumption of difficulty level tends to have an inverse relationship with the actual difficulty level, chaos ensued, and I couldn't do it on my own. PLUMBING CONFUSING. Plus, we needed an extension pipe, which was way beyond my DIY capability patience level at that point. J.J. and I tackled it together when he got home, and then over the course of the next couple weeks, but I'm telling you - we watched YouTube videos, we thought things through, we fought things out...and nothing worked. His dad looked at it. Our brother-in-law looked at it. We took it apart again and again. Basically, the pipes kept leaking, despite everything we tried. I don't even have pictures of this process; that's how annoying and frustrating it was.

And. J.J. scraped the new drain plug while trying to fix it. Right after I told him to be careful NOT to do that. I was mad at him until I dropped a screwdriver a few weeks later (while installing a new light fixture) and chipped the shit out of the sink. Wonk-wonk. Karma...she's feisty.

In the end? J.J. wrapped plumber's tape around the *outside* of the pipe extension connection, the leaking stopped, and we had a functioning vanity. (Don't try this at home, kids.)

So - before, during, and after:

And there's more to come! I've since replaced the light fixture and the medicine cabinet (after half-ass attempting a DIY fix), and I removed something that had been bothering me since day one. But this post has ten million pictures already, so I'm saving those for next time. I know you can't wait. Here's an ugly "before" to entice you.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...