Bathroom / Process

Oh, the bathroom. The space had some serious functional and aesthetic challenges and gutting it was our only option. We did a few things during the first couple of years (adding an exhaust fan, replacing the toilet, and attempting to install a wall heater), but the real work came in 2008 when we took everything down to the studs and started fresh.

August + September 2006


Before we moved in, the floral wall paper had to go.

November 2006

The bathroom had no exhaust fan, so we spent a long saturday in November installing one.

A view from the bathroom (through the hole for the fan) of Kyle up in the attic.


The bathroom light switch was located in the kitchen (??), so with the addition of the fan we added new switches and moved them inside the bathroom. This is a good example of the juxtaposition of old, new and exposed that we’re now accustomed to living with.

January 2007


By January we decided to install a used wall heater to help heat the bathroom.

July 2008

In July of 2008, we were finally ready to rid ourselves of our outdated bathroom!


At this point, the bathroom was in far worse condition than when we moved in. Most of the cracking and missing tiles are from the structural work we did in the crawl space below. However, we had a feeling this would happen and that’s why we did the structural work prior to any finish work on the main level.


This was our shower situation for a few months. Beyond the black plastic is the old closet, or what would become the new bathroom. To our friends who stayed with us during this time…we apologize.

October 2008


Sometimes, the best ideas come while lounging in your bathtub. We scored this Kohler Tea-For-Two off Craigslist. We love the clean lines and depth of the tub. In a one bathroom situation, we thought it was important to have a deep tub even if we mainly use the shower.


As a way to save on costs, we purchased two IKEA vanity units and screwed them together. Here is the assembled product before we installed the sink, teak plywood wrap, and remaining hardware.


We installed a new bathroom awning window (fir on the inside, dark brown metal on the outside). It can be seen in relationship to the old closet window here.


When in doubt, go back to the drawings.


Here is a look at the new plumbing for the shower/tub. The blue oval in the middle is the mixing valve that will control the temperature and function between the shower head, tub spout, and handshower. We also insulated the pex lines to keep heat from escaping.


Eventually, we got to the point where we could use the new tub (baths only of course), which meant we could rid ourselves of the old tub (in the foreground). The fact that we moved the bathroom allowed us to install the new tub before removing the old one, avoiding the need to shower at the neighbor’s.


To add some strength and stiffness to the existing plank subfloor, Kyle added 1/2″ plywood.


Suffice to say, when you’re remodeling, you make do.


With outdated plumbing and a completely new layout, we ended up replumbing the whole bathroom (which actually turned into the whole house). Here is a look at the new sink fixture and plumbing, as well as the necessary DWV (drain waste vent) pipe required for the toilet, sink and shower.

November 2008


After the plumbing was complete and signed off on, we installed durock (cemetitious panels) in areas that would receive tile and greenboard (water resistant drywall) on the remaining walls and ceiling.


Here, Kyle is prepping the floor for tile and our electric radiant mat system.


One of the few things we have hired out is the drywall mud and tape. It’s typically about a 5 day process to reach the right level of finish but it certainly transforms the space!


Tile time! We chose an inexpensive, clean subway tile from Dal-Tile (purchased at Home Depot) for the shower surround.


We built the low wall against the back wall of the tub as a place to store shampoo, soap, etc. without resorting to one of those over the shower caddies. Best of all, everything is within an easy arm’s reach whether you’re taking a shower or bath.


This was our first attempt at tiling. All in all, success! Installing the tile in a stacked bond pattern requires a bit more attention to detail but we like the modern aesthetic.


We had a radiant floor in the bathroom of our rental house and loved it! However, that system was on a crank timer which meant you’d have to wake up at 4 in the morning to turn it on if you wanted a warm floor underfoot when you woke up. This sytem (from Warmly Yours) is attached to a thermostat so the system is only on when we need it.


For the floor tile, we chose a dark brown, 12″x24″ ceramic tile. To visually lengthen the room, we ran the tile in the long direction and then up the side of the face of the tub framing.


We used a similar dark brown for the tile grout.

Bathroom / Before
Bathroom / After