Bathroom reno, week 5 update

It’s been a good week, readers. Like, a delirious, happy, mock-sobbing kind of week. Maybe real sobbing. Maybe.

When you last heard from your heroes, we were growing weary from the drywall dust that just keeps reappearing on everything on our house. I had decided a while ago that I would wait until the project was completely done before dusting and tidying up all the horizontal surfaces in our house, but I caved this week. I vacuumed and dusted, but stopped short of mopping the floors, because what’s the point? It lasted about 2 days before the hazy film came back. Moving on.

Last week we left you hanging with pictures of the fully tiled and ready to be grouted shower. Grout got started early this week, and took more than the single day I imagined it would take. Simon started grouting the far corner of the shower and got maybe 1/4 of it done the first day. The bigger change that first day was the vanity countertop.

Way back in my original post about what pieces we bought for the bathroom, I talked about this lovely countertop from Rona:

"Modern" Synthetic Marble Vanity Top - 49'' x 22''
Now, this should have been obvious to us from looking at the picture you see above, but this beauty only has one hole for a faucet. The faucet we chose needs three. Oops.

Simon had opened the box for the countertop and was getting himself organized to put it in place when he noticed this major discrepancy. We taped the box back up and zipped back to Rona to exchange it for something else. As it turns out, the vanity top I originally wanted was in stock, and the swap was painless. The new vanity top cost $30 more than the one we bought originally, but I think I like it more than the one we settled for. The countertop we bought is 49″ x 22″ and is made from fake marble. Here she is, in her $308 + tax glory:

Vanity Top
Once we came back from Rona, Simon had the new countertop in place in minutes. Hooking up the faucet was no big deal either, although Simon had to extend one pipe coming up to the sink from the basement because they were just a teensy bit too short to meet the new faucet lines.

Lovely. Just lovely.

The next morning when the light was better, I took a picture of the first day of grouting progress for y’all:


We chose a light grey (called Alabaster) unsanded grout. Simon was schmearing it around the first night and commented on how dark it was, and if we really wanted something so dark. Way to throw all my carefully thought out plans in the trash, Simon. I had a real panic that night that I had made a horrible choice, but Dan reassured me that it goes on dark because it’s wet, but it will dry just the way it’s supposed to look. He was right. Phew!

Also on that first day, we had a two-steps-back kind of moment when I got home to see that the tile progress Simon made on Monday was gone. Poof. Completely ripped up and back to the blank subfloor. It turns out Simon made an oopsie with the tile and had to start over. He had been carefully lining up the tile with the true centre of the room and checking that everything was nice and straight. But when your room and the walls aren’t straight and true in any sense, the tiles looks off no matter how carefully you checked things first. New plan is to line everything up with the “straight” line your eye sees first in the room, which is where the tub meets the floor.


Much better. This is after the tiles sat drying for a day in their new position, and you can see the section around the toilet area has been grouted.

Now, tile that has been set down in place with thinset and allowed to dry for 24 hours before you realize your oopsie isn’t going to play nice when you want to use it again. The thinset was stuck to the back of all the tiles, just like you would hope it would be, so there was little hope in being able to use those first few sheets of tile again. When I ordered the tile for the bathroom, I made sure to include a 15% buffer to little mistakes and for cutting sheets of tile around things. I didn’t account for 1/3 of the bathroom tile being discarded. Simon was good about this though, he arranged for more tile from Sarmazian and paid for the extra himself. I was amazed at how quickly Sarmazian had the new tile ready considering it was a week before we got our tile from the first order.

This is as far as he was able to get with the tile before running out:


Grouting continued on Wednesday and Thursday:

And on Friday, I was looking at a fully grouted shower with my shiny new shower head and tub faucet:


The second round of tiles arrived by Friday, and Simon made quick work of getting them down in place:

Oh, yeah, and we have a second toilet in the house now.


It’s been ages. Too long. We are a two toilet kind of household. We know that now.

Also, check out how pretty my floor tile is with the grout? Nice, yes?

Once we could walk around on the floor again, I didn’t waste any time in making my bathroom look like my old bathroom. I rehung the pictures on the wall, touched up the paint in a few places where Simon re-spackled, and MOVED ALL MY BATHROOM SUPPLIES BACK.


This was Sunday morning. I probably should have been getting ready for work, but instead I put my makeup and hair supplies back in their drawers and hung pictures on the wall. Don’t worry, I was at work with plenty of time to spare.

Here’s where we are this morning, with a shower that I can totally use (once I take off the protective plastic cover from the tub), a toilet that flushes, and most of my things back where they belong:


The baseboard trim around the wall edge isn’t nailed in place yet, because Simon still needs to grout the tiles around the toilet area.


Our medicine cabinet is back in place, and more securely fix in its hole in the wall. It was just sitting in that big wall opening before with nothing holding it in place. Simon screwed it in place and caulked around the edge.


The last picture showing these frames was missing one because a frame was coming apart and had to be glued back together. It’s all good now, and my little sea monster prints are back where they belong.

Dan bought a brushed nickel tension shower curtain rod yesterday so we could put our shower curtain back up and *gasp* bathe in our own house again. We were terrified to muck up the tile so we opted not to install our old rod which would have required drilling into the tile.


I still haven’t removed the plastic cover on the tub. I think I’ll do it tonight when I have a nice hot shower. Mmmmm.


And my favourite one, the view of the bathroom from our bedroom, where it totally looks like a finished room:


Except there’s still no door on the bathroom. That’s coming soon! Simon was measuring and marking the wall for the track to be installed, and the handles I ordered from Etsy arrived this week:


Final touches to come this week:

-Install sliding door and handles (the locking hardware should arrive this week from my pal Tim in Manitoba)
-Finishing grouting the floor
-Attach baseboard trim
-Seal grout, shower tile and floor tile
-Touch up paint, again. Simon loves slapping up drywall mud on the wall surfaces I’ve freshly painted
-Reattach towel bars under the window
-Reattach transition strip from the hallway laminate to the bathroom tile floor
-Have a nice hot bath to celebrate

Then there’s still the office fixing up to do, as the wall we moved still looks pretty rough from the other side. Simon hung the drywall to neaten up the new corner in the office, but it’s about two coats of drywall mud away from being paintable. Dan has some plans to rearrange the office when the wall is done, as his comic book selection has greatly expanded in the last year and the book nook is bursting at the seams.


About joeyandjanice

Two crazy kids trying to make sense of the jumble surrounding making the jump from renting to owning our first home. Join us here as we stumble towards the biggest purchase of our lives.
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