It's been almost a year since our bathroom got ripped out and stripped back to the very bones of the house. I have been meaning to do this post for ages to show you the process and the decisions we made along the way but doing before and after posts means that you gotta clean that bathroom and make it look exceptionally pretty etc and, well - our bathroom is mostly toothpaste spit on the mirror (how?!), mildew on the showerhead and random toilet rolls sitting in just about every other place other than the actual holder. Sound familiar? Anyone who has done any big home renovation will hear me when I say NEVER AGAIN. This bathroom is staying put until we leave this house (likely never) or I die. Even though it has a bunch of levels, there's only one properly functioning bathroom in our house because it's old (did you know that it's now regulation that new build houses have to have a downstairs toilet?). There is a toilet in the playroom in the basement that we have played 'Will-It-Flush-Or-Flood-Roulette' with and lost one too many times (we lost pretty badly and gruesomely) so it is now totally closed off and disconnected. I have vowed that I will not potty train another child in this house until we get a downstairs loo but for now it's just the one. (Wahh, one toilet - first world freaking problems, right? I'll tell you it was moderately third-world-esque up in here when we were without a working loo or shower for over a week - things got creative.)
Anyway, I spent a lot of time mulling this renovation over - doing my research, being ruthlessly practical, frugal and asking a LOT of questions. You can see my inspiration post here - and it's really cool to look back and see how close to this we have actually come in reality.
There were so many pieces to the puzzle of this project but I feel like it was massively worth it in the end. I love how it all turned out and genuinely feel satisfied about all the different choices we made.
I don't actually have any proper before pictures of how it looked but the during pictures will give you an idea and if you can use your imagination you'll see an old stained enamel bath, pedestal sink, and top to floor tiles. AND THEN SOME MORE TILES.
How about some 'during' pictures that flare up my renovation PTSD?
Ah yes - when the bathroom guy started to rip the tiles off the wall he found the original tiles beneath. They were pretty retro and cool but tiles in general were quickly climbing to the top of my list of 'Things That Make Me Twitchy' so they had to be kango hammered off. Yes. The bathroom guy spent 2 days kango hammering the tiles off the wall because the original tiles were applied with cement. Everything then had to be bagged up and brought down 2 flights of stairs to be put in the trailer for taking to the dump. There was no amount of sheets on the floor or taping up doorways that was going to prevent the dust and dirt from this whole process spreading like a disease throughout the entire house. We woke up tasting the dust in our mouths for days.
It took all my will power not to do mini-clean ups in between and just surrender to the house being a tip for a couple of weeks.
After the tiles came off, we realised that the whole room was going to need replastered so we hired in for that and it was quick and easy (but an added expense that we weren't fully accounting for). Thankfully, my disdain for tiles meant that there was no waiting for the walls to dry so another set of tiles could be applied and the plumber could get on with things.
It pained me to see the beautiful red brick behind all that tile cement as we would have loved to have left some of the walls exposed like that but the cement was so thick and uneven it really wasn't child-friendly or even the good kind of rustic.
These were my priorities when making decisions about what way to give this bathroom a turn around - it had to be:
+ easy to keep clean (so NO tiles, no grout, no fiddly fancy elaborate sinks or toilets with dust-gathering nooks & crannies)
+ neutral & timeless (I want to like this bathroom for many years to come, not just pick fun or funky fittings that were going to date quickly)
+ practical (there was enough room to tempt us to have a separate shower & bath but I thought, who needs one more thing to clean? Not this girl.)
Have you done a bathroom reno? Are you happy with how it went? What were your priorities?
Stay tuned for the 'after' post coming soon...!