Back to the Bathroom

As I have said, some of this renovation is finished, mostly structural and some of the necessary elements to put on the final pretty stuff. These first few posts will be about the few ( one and a half, actually ) completed rooms in the house. My wife has been ambivalent mostly – as I am a designer by trade, she allows me to make almost every selection. She has been more than patient. We are fortunate to not have to live in the house (as there is no kitchen and dust everywhere. No hot water too, as the tankless system is still lying on the basement floor). I also will say that I do almost all of the work myself – designing as I go. Freestylin’ if you will. A costly lifestyle I might add. Perhaps that’s why this renovation has taken so long.I get all proper permits and inspections – it keeps your losses to a minimum if you have an insurance claim.

Back to the Bathroom.

Remember I said this would be a great place for a shower?

So let’s just see what’s back there, shall we?

Houston, we have a problem…

The original thought was to get a 36″ X 36″ shower in this area. Small, but functional – but I see some clearance issues here.

Let’s take a closer look –

Yep – to get 36″ in width we’ll need to do some re-noodling of wires and pipes. And the depth is all wrong. I’ll have to take the small closet directly behind to get the depth. Behind the plaster lathe wall to the right is the staircase to the basement, so can’t go that way. Good thing I’m good at this kind of stuff.

But let’s change our focus a little – and try to forget the clearance thing.

Let’s get that toilet out –

The thing is that I had just spent money having a plumber redo the plumbing for the tub and shower. See those shiny new copper pipes standing proudly at the end of the old tub? A previous owner had mixed galvanized pipe with copper – a bad combo sure to cause problems later. Plumbing is one area I let the pros do – keeps replacing wet materials to a minimum. Plumbers are high dollar dudes – but the design won over $ so out with the new – old.

And then there was the pedestal sink.

My plans call for a pedestal sink in this location – I thought I could get away with this one – so a new drain and supplies were run – the old cast iron vert in the wall was removed and replaced with pvc. I did this while keeping that burgundy luan wainscotting intact.Good so far. But…it was not to be for a variety of reasons – (that crappy burgundy wainscotting being one of them) . And in the background I still see the too small shower niche. We’ll fix this somehow. But there’s more!

A mystery –  The vent in floor

Why they did this, I’m not so certain. I’ve seen this in more than one old house. The vent is in the floor in the pathway of the door in front of the tub. Water drips right down and rusts everything. It probably dates back to the gravity heating system, which was routed opposite how modern forced air systems work – but hvac is a topic for another post.

So let’s get cracking and get that vent removed.

So we also have to remove the mud-set hexagonal tiles too.

And finally the cast iron alcove tub.

This was the typical 5′ tub. It was in pretty bad shape. It had been painted with epoxy, which was flaking off and rusty. Not so appealing for a leisurely soak. Removing the tub shower combo allowed me to open up the window that was originally there. Natural light was important here, as it was a dark cave otherwise. We just have to make a seperate shower work in this bathroom….

I don’t have demo pictures of the tub – but a sledgehammer and an hour or so made it all go away.

Like this

So the room is just about ready for some real demolition.

You’ll see.


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