bathroom remodel - part 1

When we purchased our wonderful, cozy, tudor-style rowhome three years ago, our inspector warned us that we had a very old shower pan in the master bathroom.

"It may last you a few more years, but you’ll know it’s officially run it’s course when the ceiling starts leaking into your living room. I would have it replaced as soon as possible."

Sure thing inspector.

Fast forward 3 years later (4 weeks ago). I’m sitting on the living room floor, helping Quinn put her shoes on and I randomly look up at the ceiling.

"Um, Jeremy…? What’s that on the ceiling?"

Quinn mimics me and looks at ceiling:

"Mama, what’s DAT?" (points to ceiling). It’s bwoken, Mama, it’s BWOKEN. Daddy bwoke it!!!"

It’s officially run it’s course.

So, the last few weeks have been spent calling contractors, plumbers, etc trying to get ideas as to what we are looking at (I admit, Jeremy did 100% of this work). Most of the contractors said the same thing: 

"To replace the shower pan, we will need to rip out the floors and probably replace the old plumbing. If you ever wanted to remodel your bathroom, now is probably a good time to do it."

We hadn’t thought much about remodeling the bathroom, or any room in the house for a while. We bought the house from a great carpenter/contractor who remodeled the entire thing exceptionally because he planned on living there the rest of his life. When he was done, his wife decided she wanted more outdoor space to garden, so they bought a house on the next block and sold us their perfectly remodeled 80+ year-old home. We lucked out.

Both of our upper-level bathrooms are actually original to the home (built in the 1930’s), but have been updated with new flooring, fixtures, paint, sinks and toilets. The only things on both of them that haven’t been replaced are the original tiles on the walls and the  tub and shower. At first glance, they look fantastic. And I love the vintage look that keeps with the style of the home. But upon closer inspection, you can see the bathrooms are in need of some tlc.

The master bath shower is pretty gross. It’s got the original floor, shower door, tile and nozzels. It’s small and dark and there is nowhere to shave your legs, therefore - that’s Jeremy’s bathroom. I use the larger bathroom (with the tub) in the hallway. I have always felt for him though, having to use that stand-up coffin he calls a shower, so the thought of remodeling the entire shower, seemed like a good idea. Plus, if we could utilize the space to make it work for the both of us, the bathroom in the hall could go to Quinn or any future sibling down the road.

The entire bathroom is really small. I can stand in the middle of it and touch both walls without barely spreading my arms. So, it wouldn’t cost that much to redo (ha, famous last words). We wouldn’t have to buy a toilet or sink, because the ones we have are fairly new (and nice). Basically, we are looking at a new floor, new shower (pan, tiles, fixtures, plumbing), new mirror, lighting, some tile or wainscoting for the walls, a little drywall and paint.

I love the original subway tiles that are in the room now. They are basic white, with a great black border and a wonderful horizontal detail trim. But, they are showing signs of wear and tear. And no matter how much you clean them, they always look dirty. That is one of my pet peeves about a bathroom. When I get out of a shower or tub, I want to feel clean!

So, after getting a few bids, calling our homeowners insurance, and shuffling around a few bank accounts, we decided to go for it and are now underway with our first official home remodel project. Since Jeremy and I are both not very handy and we both have zero time to dedicate to working on it, we are under contract with a good contractor and he is at my house, tearing it apart as we speak.

I’m a little scared, and I know we will encounter a million obstacles in our tiny reno, but it will be fun and I am loving filling up my pinterest bathroom idea board  - even if it’s techincally not my bathroom. Hopefully, we can keep the same vintage feel of the bathroom while updating it on a small budget. More photos soon.