Flashback – Upstairs Bathroom Demolition

Since we hadn’t planned on blogging our journey in renovating our house from the beginning, but wanted to document it, we ended up taking tons of pictures of the process. Periodically, I’ll be sharing some photos of the transformation of the upstairs bathroom, while we gear up for future projects. (We know what we want to do next, but September seems pretty late to be demolishing a bedroom that we expect people to be staying in when we host Christmas. Fall tends to get super busy for us, so we can’t count on as many solid working weekends as we can in, say, February.)

So how about some sooty, dusty pictures of a bathroom getting demolished? Sounds good, let’s get started!

Wielding a prybar and hammer was SO FUN! More inside!


Downstairs bathroom – cabinets and appliances

Previously on “Oh, lord, can we please do laundry in our own home again”: we ripped up half a bathroom and then we put a bunch of finish materials in (with some plumbing and electrical work in between that I did not photograph).

We wanted the laundry room to be as functional as possible, so we thought about what things might give it a boost. Raising the appliances up meant we wouldn’t be stooping to pull things out of the dryer (and Tim checked to make sure our platform would also work for current popular appliance models, so when we’re ready to upgrade, everything should still work out fine). We didn’t want the window to be blocked, so we replaced it with a smaller one. We also knew that storage would come into play, keeping all of the necessary laundry powders and soaps nearby, along with some stain treatments and a bucket of clothespins, etc. We hunted around for some cabinets and then found some awesome options on sale in an outlet in Columbus, with tons of different widths, so we could maximize the amount of cabinet along the length of the wall.

More “finished” laundry room inside!

Downstairs bathroom – framing and flooring

I like to think of the next phase of the laundry room construction as “boy are we glad that we now have appropriate nail guns.” We did all of the framing work in the upstairs bathroom with a normal hammer (and by we, I mean Tim, because it turns out that I do not have the kind of power it takes to drive framing nails, eesh), and Tim kept talking about how we’d get an air compressor and nail guns for future projects. It turns out that they make things go so very much faster. We built a platform to raise the washer and dryer off the floor (we considered putting storage under the platform, but looking at drawer kits, we quickly realized that we weren’t going to gain a whole lot in storage and it didn’t seem worth the trouble), as well as reworking the area around the door we removed and the window we replaced. The heavy duty nail gun made those projects…not a breeze per se, but certainly move much more quickly. Then we busted out the finish nailer for some trim.

Here you can see the platform in all its glory. It had to be pretty hefty to guarantee to hold the weight of a washer full of water and a dryer of wet clothes, but we’re pretty sure it isn’t going anywhere.

The nail gun makes me either think of Tim the Tool-Man Taylor or The Wire. I think both references are fine. More inside!

Stained glass door panel

So, as I mentioned in the post on prairie-style stained glass, Tim and I worked with the Franklin Art Glass Studio to create a custom piece to go in the door to our bathroom. We walked in with printouts of a lot of those Frank Lloyd Wright art glass pieces that I’d pinned, and sat down to talk options. The guy from the studio (and this is so long ago, that unfortunately I don’t remember anyone’s names, but honestly EVERYONE we talked to there was exceedingly nice, please check them out if you need custom work done) sketched on a few of our drawings, showing how the proportion of our door would make each one look, and we decided on altering this piece from the F. F. Tomek House to be two repetitions wide instead of 3. The next step was waiting for one of the glass artists to draw up the pattern at full scale.

We went in a few weeks later to approve the pattern and pick out glass colors. This was such a fun process. The glass studio had marvelous big tables for drawing and laying out the glass pieces and it made me very nostalgic for architecture school. There was a whole wall of windows with sliding racks on them for looking at different small pieces of glass. We had brought in a scrap of our glass mosaic tile so we could color-match where possible. Once the artist pulled the larger pieces of glass from the samples we chose, he set them up on these skinny little rails along the windows, so we could see what they’d look like with light coming through them. This was especially helpful for the textured glass, so you could tell at what distance things were obscured by the texture.

Actual glass colors, finished panel, and bonus accessories inside!

Weekend Update – Door!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a door! And boy, is it handsome.

You may recall from the Before Pictures of the bathroom that the original door was not the best. Not only was it painted, but one of the panels was pretty badly cracked. Not cute. We knew we’d need to replace it and got quotes on doors from all of the Big Three home improvement stores (Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Menards) as well as Columbus Millwork, but for what we wanted to do, none of them were a very reasonable price. The apartment we moved to after we got married had stained glass in the bathroom door and the transoms, which we found totally charming. When talking about our “dream bathroom,” we had toyed with the idea of including stained glass in the door again, if we could do it without spending a ton of money on it. On exploring the door options at the home improvement stores, it became apparent pretty quickly that what we were thinking (about 2/5ths of the door having an open panel for glass) was nowhere close to standard, and we’d have to consider custom work, or give up on our idea. Tim got the quote from Columbus Millwork, but that option would have been way too pricey as well. We were pretty resigned to having a solid door when Tim thought to get a quote from the Amish man that was going to build our vanity. Genius! Not only would he be able to do it, it’d be at a price that was comparable with the solid doors we’d gotten quotes for, and it’d be in the same wood and style as our vanity and stained to match.

You can see more inside this post!

Downstairs Bathroom – Before

In lieu of updating you on the weekend (because we worked on non-house projects all weekend, some of which we can share next week), I thought I’d continue our house tour. The next project we’re going to take on is the downstairs bathroom, and I’ve got some before and current pictures to show you what is there and what we’re going to change. For the record, we’re mostly planning on ripping out a few things in the first wave of renovation downstairs (though we can’t decide how much of the plaster should come down) and installing a platform and laundry, but leaving most of the bathroom alone until we start work on the kitchen. That way we can deal with getting the floor level and all of the tile and be in the same frame of mind about decorative details since the downstairs bathroom and kitchen are so connected.

Click here to see more. Also, it’s sort of like bathtub gin, except classy.