Our Half Bathroom: Complete

After many months, and many stops and goes, we’ve finally completed the half bathroom. The mirror frame turned out great but wasn’t without challenges, so the last 5% of the project just dragged on. As I was snapping the pictures, I was thinking about how disappointed I was that it took so long. I don’t want to wait almost a year to complete another room in the house (many of the rooms are about 50% done). Ultimately, it just reinvigorated me to complete the other projects.

In the last bathroom post, I briefly talked about how a quick weekend project turned into a several week saga. I promised that I would share the story. Buckle up because I’m going to give you the quick and dirty version because it’s been a year and I don’t remember all the nasty details. Thank goodness!

As you may remember, the old bathroom had sheet vinyl flooring. We thought it would be a quick and easy job to pull it up but it turned out to be a dirty, disgusting mess. As I was pulling up the vinyl, I could see that the plywood underlayment by the toilet was damaged and disgusting. I made this little graphic (see below) to show you the layers that make up the bathroom floor. This wasn’t too big of a surprise because what prompted the floor removal was a leaky toilet. It seemed that every-time someone flushed the toilet water would accumulate around the toilet. I, at first, blamed my son who, at the time, would occasionally pee on the floor. But after the third time, my husband investigated it and viola it was a problem with the toilet.

Despite the disgusting-ness of the underlayment, I was optimistic that the subfloor would be undamaged and we wouldn’t have a major debacle on our hands. We had to remove the underlayment anyway so the new tile would be the same height as the wood floors in the hallway meaning this wasn’t much more than a gross nuisance. However, as we began to take up the plywood underlayment, it became clear that the subfloor was also damaged. This ended up causing a major headache for so many reasons. I honestly cannot even remember all the details, I just know that we had to cut up a piece of the subfloor (see my illustration below) and get a plumber to remove the toilet flange and replace some plumbing because there were too many elbows which prevented us from having a good place to cut/repair the plumbing. I’m sure my husband could write a 10 page recollection of this but I’ll spare you the details. Anyways, due to all these problems it delayed everything by weeks.

We championed through and eventually put in the floors, fixed the toilet/plumbing (thanks to a plumber!) and had a functional bathroom again. That’s the bathroom story.

Anyways, let’s quickly revisit what the bathroom looked like when we first moved into the house before we get to the good stuff– the after photos!

And now….what it looks like today.

The room feels completely different but my favorite change was the mirror frame. Yup, the very last piece of the puzzle that took a long time to complete. My husband is handy, so I explained to him exactly what I wanted him to make. To his credit, he knew exactly what we needed to do to make the mirror I was describing- have a mitered edge on the wood. He showed me a set of router bits (the tools that are used to make the edges) but I struggled to see how some of them would produce the finished look, so I asked him to produce a few samples. He brought me a couple of options and soon we were off to the races.

After all the frame sides were cut and prepared by my husband, I stained the wood using Early American from Minwax. This mirror is made of pine, which can be difficult to stain, especially if you want an even, medium brown color. To overcome this I was extremely generous with the wood conditioner and applied three coats of stain. I finished the frame by applying a polyurethane top coat to help protect it. At this point, the frame stayed in the basement while Jer and I fretted about how to attach it to the mirror/wall. Ultimately, we decided to use heavy-duty double stick tape (this is the one we used). Jeremy assembled the mirror, placed the double stick tape on four sides of the frame and then stuck it on the wall. That double stick tape is serious–the frame is not moving!!

A couple of other small details in the room that I love are the new switch plate and outlet covers (style: continental, purchased from wallplates.com) and the canoe basket (vintage) that fits perfectly in the cabinet shelf. I’m open to slowly adding in some art, but as of right now I’m just enjoying the new room and not stepping in toilet water.

I took a few pictures of the room with my phone when the light was on and the door was shut since this is how most people will actually see the room. Despite the odd angles, these pictures capture the actual color of the room under those conditions.

This post contains the link to most of the materials/resources used for this room. Feel free to check it out if you are interested in any of the details.

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