Monday, January 3, 2011

Powder Room Update

This blog is a team effort, and Carrie has been carrying me for a bit... so here is my first ever blog post....
While Carrie was busting out the home office, I spent the week post Christmas working on our powder room. This is especially important because it is the only bathroom on the main floor of our house. It was also one of the rooms most in need of attention when we first moved in. This room had some carpet that may have raised a flag with the EPA. Greenish in nature (although not its original color), quite thin, and covering linoleum, it wasn't a pretty sight.
At first we thought we would take the easy route and keep the floor plan the same. In the photo below, you can see the not so pleasing built in closet area which we thought we'd just replace with an armoire. Upon considering the layout of the room, however, we realized that the tiny sink was really in an awkward spot-- the room's door opened directly on it.

Here is the current state of the room
This wall that had the built in cabinetry. I will frame a dummy wall to cover the stack to the right. We are reconfiguring the layout of the bathroom to put the vanity sink against this wall.

Plumbing for the old sink.

I had spoken with our plumber, Bobby a few days prior to removing the old plumbing, and he had told me that I could carefully rotate the old plumbing pipes in the basement out of their sockets. You are probably thinking what I was...why would you listen to the professional? Yep, online, I saw that some guys had used compression fittings to make the fix.  I'd used these before, and thought it was reasonable…  So, after measuring the pipes, I ran to Home Depot and got some compression fittings and plugs.  Back from HD, compression fitting ready…  

1, 2, 3….  Didn't fit.  
New curse words.  Water is still off.  Cut one of the pipes down, back in truck, back to HD.  Stare at the available compression fitting options and my pipe for quite some time, and thank the Home Depot Gods for this guy who rolls up after about 20 minutes and looks over my shoulder at what I am staring at with drool forming at the side of my mouth.  He looks at the pipe, I mention, "compression fitting, er ahh, pipe cut, water off, basement, er ah, wife home…."  and he says, "yeah, that fitting don't exist mon."  I think he was Jamaican.  I always liked Jamaicans, but now I love them. 
Panic began to set in.  I have an open pipe in the basement, and nothing to plug it with.  He says, you should just rotate out the pipe and screw in a stopper, I could not recall where, but I'd heard of this concept before.  I had the plugs already, so back in the truck, back home, a little mother'f'ering and monkey wrenching and the pipe was out.  Guess what?  The plugs I bought earlier in the day didn't fit.  Back to HD, new plugs, back home, teflon tape, and we were done.  Only three trips and $50 worth of supplies for a $10 fix.  But, the lesson was learned again, it is probably best to listen to what the expert would do rather than reinventing plumbing standards.  Thank God we are only 7 minutes from Home Depot.
This is the wall where the new toilet will be located.
This is the back of the existing door that we've decided to keep.
Old lath. I had pondered whether to keep it or not, but after consulting with my mentor, Tony the Contractor, it is staying and new sheetrock will be installed over it.
When I am finished framing the dummy wall and prepping the rest of the room for sheetrock, we'll call in the electrician to wire for sconces and an overhead light fixture. Next in line will be the plumber to plumb the new location of the vanity and toilet water supply.
When the rough plumbing is completed, we'll give Tony a call to come over to install and tape the sheetrock (I just did a closet, it looks ok, but its worth it to me to have someone else do it.) That will be an exciting day because it will mean that this dirty & dusty black hole in our house will finally start to look like a bathroom.
I will post more on this as I continue making progress.
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