If you’ve been a follower, or a real-life person who has visited our home, you know that we live in a constant state of renovation. It would drive some people mad, but I’ve already been there (and back), so now it just feels like, well, home.
My husband has a profession, and it is not carpentry. His job includes a fair amount of confrontation, and, thus, stress. I think that he, mostly, enjoys making our home beautiful. However, his time is limited and his need for perfection is unmatched. It’s certainly unmatched by me, the gal who uses tape to hold up her fallen hem; and believes that if you can open a closet or drawer, it’s clean enough. Let’s just say, we make an interesting couple.
Our half-bath remodel started with a little leak. I have a suspicion that many bathroom renovations begin this way. It was coming from the toilet control valve. The toilet was from a well-known, quality manufacturer; but it was almost forty years old.
Also, it was gray.
Thus begins the remodeling phenomenon known as the “snowball effect.” If we changed the toilet, we had to change the sink, because we found that we couldn’t match the color forty years later. If we took both out, we might as well remove the wallpaper. And that frame-less mirror? Might as well replace it, now that it’s down.
I really liked the floor tile; but, white porcelain would distract from the beautiful pinks and grays. So, we opted for an ivory colored toilet and sink. Found out, those are considered “custom.” Also, found out that a toilet does not include a seat – that is sold separately. Really? Who doesn’t use a toilet seat now and again?
The custom fixtures and “add-ons” doubled the price of our initial estimate. It would have been cheaper to replace the tile.
Then, there was the wallpaper. As is our modus operandi, I was sent to scout out and narrow the choices. My husband likes to pick out home decor, too (darn him), so we must agree on a pattern. We did. It was paste-less and manufactured in the UK. Cha-ching.
So, at this point, we were fully invested (pun intended) in this remodel. I wondered, “Could we have just replaced the toilet valve?”
“Sure,” my husband responded.
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There were the expected snafus. The imported wallpaper turned out to be wrinkled at the roll ends, apparently having been thrown into the packing box. We hoped that pasting and installing it would smooth it out, although these were the seam ends.
The pedestal for the new sink did not fit the prior footprint, so it was either dig out and redo the 1″ tile grout at the base of the pedestal, or find some other sort of base to cover the mismatch. Out came a granite remnant that I had buried in the back forty. Serendipitously, it matched the floor tile.
And then, there was the toilet scare. You see, the original toilet was a scaled down version, appropriate for the dimensions of the half-bath. I found similar “mini toilets” online, but my husband felt sure that a slightly larger toilet would still work. We did not account for the toilet seat.
I suggested we could cut out part of the door.
In the end (ha), we were within 1/4″ of disaster, averted with a wink and a prayer.
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All in all, this renovation happened relatively quickly. The powder room is beautiful, functional, and a pleasurable placed to spend some time. It is much brighter than the old room.
We kept not only the tile, but the sink hardware and light fixtures. I always liked these, and saw no need to replace them. No matter what you are renovating, it is a good idea to keep something from the past. It reminds you of where you’ve been.