When I bought my house five years ago I had such plans, big plans, grandiose plans. That all came to a screeching halt when I realized how much work it was to remodel your house on your own. It doesn't mean that I'm not going to do it. It just means that from here to eternity my house will be in a state of flux. Ok maybe "eternity" is stretching it just a bit but it is going to take a good long while. Since moving in I've finished my bedroom and my son's bedroom. That's it. I'm almost done with with the Family room but the crown molding will have to wait until I go back to work as will the permanent floor. Right now I have painted cement, just click here
, and you can see how I did it.
With all that being said, since I wanted to remodel the family room it behooved me to remodel the small bathroom off the family room first. That and the toilet was shot and we popped a leak under the sink but that is beside the point. The picture above is the finished product while the picture just below is the horror that I started with.
First things first, the tile floor had to go however, of coase nothing is as easy as it seems. This floor extended out to the family room.
I bought the tile remover scraper that the big box store told me would make it "come right up". I don't know what universe he was living in but it's not mine. That tile didn't budge. You couldn't even get the scraper under it. We (my son and I) then took sludge hammers to it and broke the tile, THEN we could run the scrapper under it. That is not the end of the story. The scrapper only gets the big stuff off. Sometimes, ok most of the time, a thin layer of the quickset is left behind or rather it was in this case. I'm not even sure they used quickset but hey, that is just an opinion. It took about a week to remove the last of the quickset. I was still working at the time and only could work on nights and weekends. Once we got near the bathroom, the gross toilet needed to come up. Toilets are easy breezy to remove. Shut off the water to the toilet, drain it. In the actual toilet area get that water out, you may have to use some rags or siphon it out. Remove the water line. Loosen and remove the side nuts. I left the toilet complete (didn't take tank off) as I was just dumping it. Rock it out and remove. Inspect the metal ring for damage. Stuff some rags into the hole or you might get fumes (we are on a septic tank). I also had to remove the baseboards in the bathroom prior to removing the flooring but after the toilet. Yuck.
Once the toilet was up and the tile removed, I took off the sink. I wanted to save the cabinet but the yellow tile had to go which meant the entire counter top and sink. This was pretty easy as there were only 4 bolts holding it on and some old glue. I didn't care about damaging it.
Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the sink and counter removal. First turn off the water to the sink. Disconnect the lines to the faucet and remove the faucet. Disconnect the drain and remove. Under the sink, there were 4 large bolts, I took those off. I then removed the tile from the wall. At this point it was a matter of a small 5 lb sledge hammer and brute strength. Really, that's me, brute strength. It really came off pretty easy. Start to finish was about an hour.
The cabinet was so old and overworked that not much varnish was left on it. I filled the two side holes with wood putty and took off the trim. Using a hand sander, and #60 paper, I sanded the cabinet after removing the cabinet doors. I followed the #60 with a #100 and then a #200. I did the same on the doors. Once all the sanding was done, I used a pre-conditioner on the wood because it is pine. I followed the pre-conditioner with the stain which was Golden Oak. This is just a matter of how dark you prefer it. I usually just wipe on, wait a moment or two and then wipe off excess. I let the stain dry for 48 hours. I then used a varnish. Apply your coat. Let it dry at least 4 hours and lightly sand with a #200. I put on 4 coats this way.
I had to do some minor patching on the wall around the sink cabinet to get it ready to paint. In hindsight, I should have painted before doing the cabinet, maybe next time as there are two more bathrooms that need refinishing. Once the patch work was done, I painted. At this point there was no plans for a chair rail to to in. That idea came from the debacle that was the sink.
To save money, I decided to purchase the all in one counter top sink. Good for me! It was the moment I placed it on the cabinet that I knew there was a problem.
Do you see the problem? The back edge is even with the wall, now look at the left side. If you tried to square it up, one or the other had a large gap but to make it worse, a gap that was at an angle. Just bitchen. I called people, I went back to the big box store. They all said the same thing, you can make a custom cabinet for the corner or put back in tile to hide it. No, but that is when I got a brain stormy idea. What if I used tile to hide it. I could ever so slightly tilt the tile to hide the gap. Hence the chair rail was born in the bathroom.
Since I had already bought a sink with a backsplash and I didn't feel like cutting a bunch of tile to match the same size, the green strip idea was generated. I think it worked out rather well. In the picture above, the tile is going in. Once it was in, I caulked the bottom.
Now before the toilet, the floor tile needed to go in. I had never put down tile nor had I ever cut it. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and read a bunch of articles and basically it was "just go for it". I bought a tile cutter (electric) that cools with water (there is a basin that you fill so the blade runs through it). Purchased the tile I was going to use and quickset. I thought about buying grout that I would have to mix, but in such a small space... why. I purchased the premixed grout. Then I went and did a silly thing. I decided that it needed a pattern. If you have never lain tile before nor cut tile before, this was not a great idea. I did it anyway. I cleaned the floor, laid out the lei lines using crayon and began laying out the tile before cutting it. Once It was where and how, I started the cuts. This also meant that I was cutting most of the corners to fit my pattern. Once all the pieces were cut, I laid them out again to make sure it was how I wanted it. Then I numbered the back of each piece and numbered the floor area. That is when I started laying down the quickset and placing the tile. I started in the corner behind where the toilet would go and worked my way out. I used the larger spacers.
laying out the tile prior to cutting
Tile is down with the quickset. You an see some of my cutting errors around the diamonds. Aw well.
I let the quickset dry for a week and then using the instructions on the back of the container, grouted the floor. This had to be the easiest in the entire process. Just make sure you have a good tile sponge and lots of clean water. I let the grout dry for another week before installing the toilet but first I installed the baseboards. I didn't take any pictures of that either as it was pretty straight forward. I have a mitre saw and the angles were pretty easy in this small of a space.
The toilet was easy also. Make sure the two anchor bolts are in good shape or replace them. They always supply them with the wax ring. I like to use the extra think wax ring. Stick it on to the base and then line up the anchor bolts and press down. You can feel the toilet settle into the right place. Tighten down the anchor nuts but do it in a pattern. Tighten one side and bit and then the other, do not tighten down one side all the way and then try to do the other side. Install the tank. Hook up the water line, slowly turn on the water, check for leaks. I usually wait a few days then caulk the bottom. I never caulk all the way around, leave the back open incase you get a leak. This way you will know it.
Grouted, baseboards in, toilet in, and doors replaced on cabinet.
The last item was replacing the light switch and the outlet. I replaced the outlet with a GFI since it was at the sink.
That was the entire bathroom remodel. If I hadn't been working at the time it probably would have taken a max of two weeks.
I know that I was light in the instructions and really, there are so many videos these days. I do have a video that I made installing another toilet that will soon be up. I am also about to start a hallway and will film taking down the popcorn ceiling and retexturing. Wahoo, doesn't that sound like fun? If you email me, I can fill you in on anything you would like to know.
I hope you enjoyed this DIY project. If you did, leave a comment below. I also have a YouTube channel where I feature many of my recipes and Challenges. If you would like to check it out, click on this link: Bristlee One
Thank you for stopping by and remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,