After our first long trip to Lowe’s Thursday night, my parents came over early on Friday morning and we all got started to a long day of work. We got the day started by taking out the rest of the tile that we still had in the shower and hammering out the cement board so we could soon get the tub installed, put up some new backer board, and start installing the tile.
By the time all the cement board was hammered out, I had a conference call for work so I stepped outside for a bit. During that hour, the guys were able to remove the toilet as well as get the tub out of the bathroom. Now we had originally considering having the tub professionally removed instead of trying to do it ourselves; thinking about its age and size we figured it would be extremely difficult to get the tub out and had been told by the plumber that removed our old bathroom gas heater that we may even need to get it out in pieces because of its weight. We were worried that it would take us at least an hour or two trying to do this ourselves whereas a pro could do it without breaking a sweat (or so we thought). In the end, we decided to save money and just try to do it ourselves. Thankfully it wasn’t as difficult as we expected and the hardest part for Chip and my dad was just carrying it out of the house. We were clearly off to a strong start.
And that’s when we ran into our first bit of trouble. Turns out some of our 2×4 beams that had been under and behind the tub had water damage. No bueno. As Chip likes to describe it, the wood was so rotted through in some places that you could scoop it out with a spoon. Yikes and gross. Guess it was a good thing that we decided to replace the tub, otherwise we would have unintentionally kept this water damage going for who knows how long. So needless to say, we had to reinforce those pieces of 2×4! We also went ahead and sprayed some anti-mold treatment, just to help address the water damage we encountered.
We also had my dad act as a plumber for a few hours… our old tub fixture had two separate valves for the hot and cold water, whereas the new fixture we had purchased at Lowe’s had just one valve. So we (my dad) had to solder this new valve as well as raise it higher to the recommended height from where the valves originally were. Definitely something we weren’t anticipating having to do that weekend! It took a bit of time to get this done, but definitely important to take our time and get it right.
We also weren’t expecting how difficult it would be to find a vanity I would like for our bathroom. While the guys were at Ferguson’s to get all the tools needed for the soldering, my mom and I went to two different Lowe’s, Home Depot, Pottery Barn, and even Restoration Hardware in search for a vanity. I had initially thought I wanted a simple white vanity, but then realized that in front of the white bead board, there would be a whole lot of white going on. So after all this shopping, we were vanity-less and I was confused on what to envision for the color/design scheme. #bathroomremodelingproblems
We were originally hoping to have the tub installed and the tile in the shower area done by the end of Friday. With all the plumbing work we had to do, we had to end the day without either of those two tasks and instead have some fans run all night to make sure everything was dry before installing the tub on Saturday.
Saturday’s priority was to get the tub installed and get the tiling done. We couldn’t put the tub in right away, we had some leveling work to do first, which I don’t know all the details of since I was running to Lowe’s as needed for random purchases throughout the morning. By lunch time the tub was in and my mom and I got to painting. We did two coats of Benjamin Moore’s Glass Slipper on the walls and I started to doubt the idea of having Cloud White on the ceiling. It was just so… white. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it threw me off initially and I did a great job voicing my concerns while my mom diligently did the first coat. I even compared it to a hospital at one point. Overly dramatic? I’ll just say it was my vocal Lopez genes. Many thanks to my family for putting up with me debating back and forth if the white was a good idea (in the end, I really liked the white and love the way it looks now).
By the evening, we were finally ready to get going on the tile! This was probably my favorite part of the whole remodeling process and has made us fairly excited for a future project of re-tiling the kitchen, laundry room, and guest/entertainment room. Chip quickly became a pro at laying down tile and I’d like to think I got pretty good at measuring and cutting tile over the course of the evening.
The hardest part of the day was putting up the little glass tiles as a border near the top of the shower. It took us a while to figure out how much thin-set to put on these strips of glass tile and I was pretty much ready to just toss these out and return them at Lowe’s, but thankfully Chip figured out the best way to get these up.
By the time we had the row of glass tile up, it was quickly approaching midnight so we called it a day and showered at my parents’ hotel. While we were behind schedule, we were happy with the progress we were making. Still, we knew we had our work cut ahead of us for Sunday! We were able to finish tiling the shower and got most of the floor tiled as well as put up the bead board.
Unfortunately, for as much work as we did finish on Sunday, we didn’t get as far as we had wanted (surprised? ;)). Thankfully my very gracious parents rescheduled their flight from Monday morning to later in the afternoon so they could keep working on the bathroom while we were at work. We still had a chunk of work to do on Monday: grout all the tile, install the toilet, purchase and install the vanity, put up the new light fixture, purchase and install the new mirror, cut little pieces of bead board around our bathroom closet, etc. So my parents came over at 6:00 in the morning and my mom and I went to Lowe’s for the up-teenth time while the guys Chip and my dad got going on some of the remaining perimeter floor tile. Note: the benefit to being the first people at Lowe’s as soon as they open is having lots of employees helping us find what we need and not having to wait in line at the check-out counter. I’m happy to say we finally found a vanity that we liked as well as a few last items. We came home and helped with some last bit of tile cutting and thin-set mixing before heading out to work for the day. I felt bad having my parents working on the house while we were gone, but they felt terrible leaving us with work once they had to fly back to Arizona.
The day went by pretty fast and I was able to make it home just before my mom and dad left for the airport. My parents worked so hard while they were in town for the weekend and we are so grateful for all they did to help us. Sure we didn’t finish that weekend, but we got pretty close. Chip and I thought we would be able to finish the rest off, so we felt fairly confident after my parents left. How hard would it be to install the vanity, seal all the tile, install the tub/shower door, do the caulking throughout the bathroom, etc.? Harder than we thought! More to come on our next weekend spent working on this bathroom with Chip taking on most of the work while I was in NY for a work trip pretty much all week…