With the counter of our new vanity not extending to the wall where the outlet is, we wanted a dedicated spot for our electric toothbrushes. I outlined the base of one charger and then made a rough model with cardboard and hot glue.
After a successful test fit with the brushes, I moved over to wood and used all scraps since it was getting painted.
It was a simple build, a lot of fun, and definitely a functional one.
I’ve done a lot of home remodeling over the last three years and the guest bathroom was the final area needing an overhaul. Here are the standard before pictures.
This is Brandi’s main bathroom, so I had wanted to improve the shelving situation in the closet for over a year. A smaller vanity was going in, so storage space would be lost. With three feet of depth in the closet there was a lot of wasted area and room for improvement. I bought three pull out drawers (Amazon). The closet shelves are made from particle board, so instead of using the included screws for attachment I picked up bolts, washers, and nuts.
After an hour install and some organizing it was a huge improvement. We even have room on the top shelf for spare towels now.
Just like the other bathroom, there weren’t shut-off valves on the sink’s water lines, so I installed some. Next up was taking down trim and everything on the walls so the fun job of removing wallpaper could be done; it was more trouble than it had been anywhere else in the house. Had to pull out the vanity, lights, mirror, and toilet to complete the job. Of course the toilet valve wasn’t completing turning off, so I put a new valve in there as well. Scrubbing and washing the walls was an exhausting step of this project and we were glad when it was done!
The walls under the wallpaper were in rough shape and needed a lot of patch work. I brushed some primer on the areas where the drywall paper was torn off. It was a good time to freshen up the ceiling before installing anything new in the room, so I gave it a quick coat of paint. We did primer and paint on the register and trim around the window and two doors. Since the closet door was slatted I needed to use my paint sprayer. I used plastic sheeting to make a temporary spray booth in the basement.
Dad came down to help for a couple of days. We removed some drywall and chopped up the shower for removal with a reciprocating saw. It went very smooth, thanks to having watched Removing A Fiberglass Bath And Surround and following exactly what he did.
With the water to the house turned off, we cut the lines, made an access hole through the closet, and installed shut-off valves. It felt good to turn water to the house back on with the valves working as they should.
We brought in the shower pan for a test and it fit like a glove! We quickly decided we should pull flooring so the subfloor under the shower was closer to the level under the old vanity. It was a pain in the ass because there was linoleum with a layer of luan (attached with far too many staples) over an even older layer of linoleum. After digging through my rack of plywood I found some that was the correct thickness to bring the shower subfloor up with the rest of the room.
We started working on the drain, which needed to move over a bit from the old one. We bought parts to construct our own P-trap. There was still a lot of trimming PVC pieces, but we ended up with something that worked. Here’s what we had to work with and the cut-out piece of circle is where we had to get to.
Then it was on to all of the plumbing for the water lines. This was a bit of a challenge, because the shower fixture instructions were weak on details. I picked up a lot of tips for working with PEX from How To Convert Old Copper To New Pex | Tub And Shower Plumbing. After temporarily installing a couple of caps, a pressure test showed a leak-free system.
After that it was finalizing the shower pan and getting the walls up. Cutting holes through the shower wall was nerve-racking!
I had to shim out the left wall which wasn’t plumb. Then it was time to dry fit the shower walls and get them attached. I got a nice tight fit on the back. I figured there was no way I would use all eight recommended tubes of the adhesive, but I did. Not sure how I would have completed that step without the Ryobi Caulk & Adhesive Gun, which worked awesome.
I cut pieces of 1/2″ greenboard and screwed them to the walls. We taped plastic over the window, closet, and door.
Then it was time for a lot of drywall work. This was after the first coat of mud.
Over 24 hours later the thickest parts of the mud still weren’t dry. Up to this point, the project had been full of mistakes and having to do a few things multiple times before getting them right. I really thought things might move along after getting that first coat of mudding done. Boy was I wrong!
Since I couldn’t do anything with the drywall yet, I made runs to the home stores for all of the trim and a new subfloor. The lowest layer of linoleum had that paper backing on it, which you can see in pictures above. I wanted it gone in order to have a more level surface for the new plank flooring. I actually spent about 30 minutes trying to remove some of the paper before I decided to do a new layer of subfloor over the top. That plan changed before I even picked up the new plywood though because a third layer would have given me different problems to deal with around the doors, toilet, and register. It took me forever to remove that layer of subfloor, and probably would have been a lot less work to get the paper off. Here are pictures when I got down to the single subfloor layer, my measurements, and with the new plywood (before being screwed down).
Taping the seams and the second and third applications of drywall mud were much harder than it looked on YouTube. I picked up a steel mud pan, which made things much easier and I was finally getting the hang of it with my fourth (because I’m a newb) and final coat. Then it was primer and two coats of paint, which went smooth. I brought the new subfloor back in and screwed it down.
At some point I took a piece of scrap plywood and made a door for the shut-off valve access. I used white gaffer’s tape over the edges of the wall so the cut drywall wouldn’t keep crumbling and making a mess. It got primer and paint when the brush was out for other things.
After painting the room it was time to install the shower doors and fixtures. I caulked everything as well.
Unfortunately the doors have a major flaw and the top rail sags a lot from the weight of the glass. This means it’s impossible to properly align the doors. I got it the best I could so they roll smooth and hopefully don’t leak. I called American Standard and found out they’ve redesigned the mounting brackets because of this problem. They’re sending me a set as soon as they get them in stock. 🤞
Lighting was a quick job. I also replaced an old outlet with a GFCI.
I went with a waterproof vinyl plank flooring that looks like tiles. I’ve done quite a few floors now, so this was easy.
Vanity and toilet went in. Mirror was hung. Doors went up.
I put up accessories and did all of the trim work, which needed three coats of paint, even after primer.
Here’s the final result.
Quite a transformation in just over three weeks! Check out the before and after comparisons.
This bathroom is so nice now! I was hoping Brandi got used to my bathroom after using it for a few weeks and would want to stay there. No such luck.
There have been a lot of home remodeling projects over the last few years and I’m finally done. They were all needed, but I’m glad they’re over. Time for some fun little projects I’ve had on the back-burner for too long.
Last month we remodeled the small bathroom on our main floor and we’ve been living without some important things in the room, toilet paper and towel holders. The roll of TP has been sitting on the floor and a towel has been draped over the edge of the sink. Time to change that.
When I remodeled the living room, I bought some railroad spikes with the plan to incorporate them in to some designs. I didn’t use one. As we talked about ideas for the bathroom we thought it might be neat to use some of the spikes. Brandi found these examples on Pinterest for inspiration.
Of course I would make my own versions, especially since these cost $98 and $104 respectively! When I milled up the black walnut for the ladder, I did a second board to make these holders. To see the grain I had rubbed some water on the pieces.
The big challenge was attaching the spikes to the wood. Since I like to learn new skills I wanted to see if I could bolt them together. I cut the spikes to length and sanded the ends square-ish. Then it was over to the drill press to put a 13/64 hole in each end. Things weren’t perfectly straight, but the spikes are far from straight anyway, so it was fine. I finally got to use the tap wrench I received for Christmas a few years ago, which was just big enough to fit a 1/4-20 tap. It worked and I was so excited!
I used different bolts with washers in the final assembly but didn’t get a picture. After cleaning them up the spikes with a wire wheel on a bench grinder, I drilled some holes in a scrap piece of wood, mounted them, and spray painted them black.
I drilled a hole near the heads where I used epoxy to put in a pin which would keep the rail in place. I didn’t get a picture of this, but I do have one at the end of the post to show how the TP holder works. Meanwhile, I had cut all of my pieces of walnut, drilled holes for mounting and assembly, rounded the edges on my router table, and sanded through the grits.
After the kitchen project I needed a break. With fall arriving it was time to dive back in to something and the small bathroom was next on our list. It’s the last room on the main floor to get a facelift. Look at that lovely style!
Over the course of a weekend we:
Took the door off its hinges
Pulled all of the trim
Removed the towel and toilet paper holders
Moved out the toilet
Tossed the vanity in the trash
Installed shut-off valves on the sink’s water lines
Took down the mirror
Pulled up the tile floor, mortar, and a layer of subfloor
Tossed the light fixture in the trash
The flooring and wallpaper made for a very long and exhausting Sunday.
It was nice to have a blank slate. We scrubbed the walls to try and remove any remaining wallpaper glue, which took about an hour and a half. Then I worked on repairing drywall. The old toilet paper holder was inset, so I had a pretty large fix there. In the above picture you can see all the glue left on the wall from the backslash. Sanding glue never really works, so I took a blade to cut around the area. Then I used a putty knife to take off some of the drywall paper. After that I sanded a bit, applied primer, and then several rounds of drywall with sanding in between. I learned this technique in the kitchen when some pretty large areas of drywall paper peeled off. Works great!
We primed the walls. While painting Brandi had a good idea to do the ceiling, which made it much easier not having to cut-in. We painted two coats. I cut 3/4″ plywood for the subfloor.
The toilet flange was sticking up above the old floor and while removing the tile and mortar I must have jostled an old leak in the drain pipe, which I figured would happen. I tested by pouring some water down it was definitely dripping. Good time to fix both issues while the floor was gone. After buying some PVC parts I got home and realized the lower piping was 3″ thin wall (Schedule 30) PVC. Of course that’s a different outside diameter than standard 3″ Schedule 40 PVC and needs a special coupler. Nobody carries that part anymore so it’s a special order. They do carry a 3″ Schedule 30 to 4″ Schedule 40 coupler though, so I got one, a length of 4″ pipe, and a 4″ toilet flange. Check out the old $1.00 price tag on the coupler I cut out!
Things went pretty smooth from there. I wired in the new light (Menards) and ordered brighter LED bulbs (Amazon). I installed the same Sam’s Club flooring I had used in the living room, kitchen, and hallways. Then I was able to attach the toilet flange over the top of the floor as it should be. We installed the vanity and sink (Home Depot), hooked up the new faucet, and reinstalled the toilet. After only 8 days we were happy to have a functional bathroom again. It was two exhausting weekends though!
Over the next several days I picked away at the remaining items:
New switches and outlet
Peel & stick backsplash tiles (Menards) with caulk around the edges
Refreshed the stain on the door trim and nailed it up
New prefinished floor trim
Hung the mirror
So much cleaner and no longer cramped. I’m going to make towel and TP holders with shelves in a couple of weeks.
A few weeks ago I noticed a wet spot on the ceiling below my bathroom toilet. It turned out that I was able to lift the toilet right off the floor because the bolts didn’t have any washers! The wax ring was almost nonexistent as well, which must have been causing a slow drip. It could have been much worse. So I figured I might as well tear up original linoleum and the cheap stick on tiles I put down five years ago. Here’s how those layers looked.
With the trim removed and old flooring pulled out, I noticed the subfloor was pretty rotted from old leaks of some kind. Also check out the old wallpaper I found under the trim!
I removed a layer of subfloor and replaced it with new plywood. Recently when cleaning out a closet I found nearly a full box of flooring Dad and I installed in the kitchen back in 2013. The whole master bathroom and closet need a major remodel so I figured I might as well use this to buy time. After a bit of maths I thought I had exactly enough for this little area. I couldn’t afford to make any cutting or measuring mistakes and it worked out. I cleaned and refreshed stain on the trim and gave the register fresh coats of primer and white paint.
I also bought a LED light strip that can be toggled between activation manually by a button or automatically by motion. It’s the perfect solution for trips in the middle of the night.
Several weeks ago Brandi repainted her bathroom. When we were searching online for new towel racks these shelves caught her eye.
I offered to make a version of those and we had the idea to do a whitewash to match some of the other new decor around the house. We both thought the white would look really good with the deep blue color she had painted. On a shopping trip at Menards we saw this toiler paper holder, which I said could be sanded down and whitewashed to go with the shelves.
Since it was a smaller piece it would be a good test for the whitewashing techniques. I helped her out, but Brandi did most of the work and we both liked the result, especially for our first attempt. It was done by scuffing up the wood with a wire brush and then applying thinned out paint with a small chip brush. We took it back to her house and hung it up.
In the mean time, I had started on the shelves. Since we were going for a weathered whitewash look, I milled some reclaimed lumber to 1″ thick, cut everything to size, did a rough sanding, glued, and screwed.
Some of the pieces had cool characteristics to them that would look good with the whitewash. I did some testing of paint and stain to roughly apply to the wood before whitewashing. I wanted to be able to create more of a dirty/weathered look than what we ended up with for the toilet paper holder.
Going in, I thought a gray or one of the blackish stains would be the winner. We both preferred this dark walnut.
Next, we tested with a different whitewash technique, which involved pouring thinned out paint on the wood and spreading it with a scraper. The results looked really cool.
You can see the scraper at the top of the picture below. I gave the shelves a quick coat stain, since it was going to be painted over.
When Brandi saw the stained shelves in person, she loved how the grain and imperfections of the wood were highlighted, thinking it would be a nice contrast to have some wood grain in the bathroom. So she redid the toilet paper holder and we gave it two coats of spray lacquer.
We also finished the shelves with two coats of spray lacquer. Since the plan was a weathered and whitewashed look I had only done a sanding with 40 grit and you could feel the roughness of the wood. So I did 6 coats of a wipe-on poly as well, which gave things a much better feel. Then I attached the hooks for towels and we hung them up.
Notice the mini crate I posted about the other day? Not sure what she’s going to fill it with. The stained look was definitely the right decision and looks great with the towels and decorations.
I’ve been busy with travel, the truck, and summer, so I haven’t posted any projects or videos lately. Several weeks ago I did mess around with a bathroom fan and heater. Here are some pieces of random video from that process.
Since I liked the tiles for the bathroom basement so much, I decided to do the same in my bedroom. Only $10 for a box of 20 tiles at Family Dollar. This bathroom is much smaller, but due to the confined space and more complex fitting of tiles I think it took me about as long to do.
The gray works well too because I already had a gray rug and towels. I did buy a new shower curtain to replace a white one.
After putting in a new LED light in the bathroom next to my workshop I figured I’d give the place a “quick” makeover. The biggest need was to do something with the nasty floor. After a tip from Mom I picked up a few boxes of peel and stick floor tiles from Family Dollar.
Not bad for $30! Good enough for a basement bathroom. I also put in a quick release toilet seat and replaced the faucet and it’s supply lines.