I am stating the obvious here when I say that 2020 has turned our worlds upside down. We said hello to becoming skilled puzzle doers, bread makers, and tie-dye artisans. We adjusted to working from home, socializing via Zoom and Facetime, and came to the realization that we would be spending a LOT more time at home. We traded in our trips we wished for the year for home projects instead. My husband, Ryan, and I discussed gutting our bathroom sometime in the near future and the pandemic gave us the extra push to get it done before our first child arrived in September. Spoiler alert: We didn't get it all done before our daughter arrived.
Committing to a bathroom remodel had its challenges during a pandemic, national unrest, and while I was pregnant. Also, acting as project manager and hiring out for certain parts of the bathroom while also doing a lot of it ourselves proved to be very difficult and more time consuming than we ever imagined. We learned a lot in the process and in the end, it was all worth it!
Let's start with what it looked like before. You may think, "But that yellow tile looks great!" or, "I would have kept all 5 of those towel bars, are they crazy?" and if that's the case, I understand, but we just wanted to go in a different direction... As much as we loved the 50's classic vibes, we were going for fresh, serene, and modern. The yellow tile with the baby blue walls wasn't cutting it.
The goal was to keep the layout in order to save on plumbing & labor costs, and to also open up the shower area by adding a knee wall with glass above. After opening up the wall, we found a large pipe that would have had to move elsewhere, adding to costs of labor and materials. We opted not to change it.
Demo was done by Ryan, who later vowed never to do demo again. Apparently houses were built to last in the 50's/60's and they had not two, not three, but four layers of cement board, sheetrock, tile backer, etc. in the walls and floors. It was fun for five minutes (his words) and took what seemed like forever to finish. We hired out for the sheetrock, taping, plumbing, framing, tile prepping, and trim installation.
We decided to tackle the tile ourselves... not a small feat. We had family members who were experienced in tiling and really helped kickstart the process. If it's one thing that I learned through all of this, with a little patience and a touch of confidence, you can figure things out. What I also learned is, if you are financially able to, hire out when you can. Doing it yourself takes triple the amount of time and some things you need to leave to the professionals to be up to code. Check out some more progress photos below and stay tuned for Part II for the final reveal!
Thanks for reading. Happy Friyay!