Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Bathroom: Before

My renovations are *almost* complete. I feel a bit funny about showing pictures at this point as things don't look quite finished yet. However, I am unsure when I will ever have the (a) motivation, (b) time and (c) money to finish things, so I might as well post now, before everything is passe.

When I purchased my 1981 condo in April, almost nothing had been updated. The original floors had been replaced with laminate (not my favourite, but it will do) and it had been painted at some point, but otherwise the cabinets were ugly melamine, the stove was 30 years old and the bathroom was . . . . just gross.

Here is what the bathroom looked like when I took possession:

I am not sure if the ugliness comes across well, but let me assure you, it was yucky! The counter top was stained, the sink was almost rusted though, the floor was 30 years old and pockmarked, there were TWO medicine cabinets, the shower wall above the tiles had small holes and the whole thing smelled like mildew. And, to top it all off, the housing inspector told me that the toilet was in danger of exploding (apparently it had been recalled many, many years ago). None of this mattered to me however, because I wound't have bought this place if gutting the bathroom wasn't an option.

Here is the bathroom during the renovation:

The wall removal revealed some gross insulation which had to be replaced. I used the fancy blue cement board around the tub to prevent future mould damage and now I wish I had replaced all of the gyp-rock. The two medicine cabinets and counter top removal caused major wall damage and, no matter how much patching I do, more holes and lumps and bumps continue to appear.

As a first time home owner, this was my first renovation and it taught me a lot. First, that no matter how good I think my taste is, I am not a decorator and things probably won't look like the cover of a magazine. Second, it is better to leave small issues alone because attempting to fix them will probably make it worse. Third, stick to the products you really want. Waiting a few weeks (or months) for something to arrive won't matter in the grand scheme of things. But (fourth), don't stick to things you want when something is "off" about them (I made this mistake with my paint colour).

The "after" pictures will follow shortly, but here is my bathroom at the midway point:

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