Bathroom Redo | Part One - More Demo & A Couple Surprises

Not renting a dumpster means that demo is taking forever.  It also doesn't help that we're continuing our everyday activities and have been out of town the last couple of weekends.  I guess having a full bath in the basement has actually hindered us - in that we have no kick in the butt to finish everything!

Even though it's slow-going, it's still neat to see the progress every time Mike tears out another layer, not to mention all the little surprises we find along the way.  Last time we left off, Mike had torn out the chimney and all the additions, like the shower surround.

Like the rest of the house, the bathroom evolved over the years and tearing out everything unmasked a couple of interesting surprises.  The first one being the shower surround was built over top of everything existing, wallpaper and all.  See what I mean:

Not only did we find more toile wallpaper, Mike also found trim around the floor, meaning that at one time there was a claw foot tub before the shower was installed.

The other little surprise we found was behind the vanity.  After Mike tore out the wood backing, we found more clues of what the original (or at least one version) bathroom looked like.  See if you can figure it out:

The big gray square areas in the middle and to the left show that these were filled in and used to be voids.  Since the smaller one in the middle of the picture has two little shadows on either side, it's safe to say this was a medicine cabinet with two sconces on each side.  The pedestal sink shadow and drains below don't hurt this theory either.  The other gray area we were a little less sure and guessed maybe a window.  It would be one big window, if it were.  And, one window in a bath is nice, but two makes it a little less private.

Our suspicions were sorta confirmed, (as confirmed as we can be without pictures or the old owners telling us), when Mike tore the rest of the plaster out.

As you can see it's looking a lot different without any plaster.

At least now we know for sure there isn't anymore toile going to pop out behind anything.

And, don't be fooled by how clean it is right now, (well as clean as a demo site can be), I snuck in to see how things were going and this is what it looked like for the better part of the evening:

That is not how you should treat any fan, kids.  That's our old shower rod holding it up, and what looks like some rogue lathe pieces trying to pull it down.

The next step is to tear out the flooring and all the wall lathe to insulate (something this bathroom has been lacking from day 1).  We're keeping the ceiling lathe and just drywalling over that.

While I would usually finish there, since I'm sharing surprises I might as well share a little surprise we received from a nice guy named Jerry from Alside (where are windows were bought).  Almost a year ago I mentioned that I found a nasty problem with out bathroom window and thought we were going to have to fork out the money to replace the bottom window.  Remember this:

Well, since we were working in the bathroom anyways we thought it was time to deal with the problem, and we thought since our windows were so new that they would still be under warranty and while we couldn't find any paperwork that the previous owner might have left us, we had a feeling they would have been from Alside.  Mike called and used the numbers on the sticker that's on all the windows to find our order number and he explained the problem.  They knew exactly what we were talking about and scheduled someone to bring a replacement bottom window out.

Two days ago he came and switched the window out in less than a minute.  And, it turned out that he was actually a consultant for Alside and was contracted to specifically research this problem.  He explained that it wasn't mold at all, but a failure of the low-e coating on the inside of the window when it's exposed to oxygen.  Definitely makes me feel better than thinking we had mold in there.  They're not sure why it happens, (that's why he was hired), but he's been collecting any windows that fail and has been testing them to see if they can come up with a better solution in manufacturing or materials to prevent it.   So our little headache was actually all in the name of science.

Now our neighbors will have a clear view of all the craziness that's happening during the demo.

1 comment

  1. I feel your pain! When I ripped out both of my bathrooms 1 3/4 years ago I found lots of suprises! The downstairs bathroom was two layers thick on the walls and the shower base. It was like ripping out two bathrooms! The upstairs bathroom floor had seven - yes - seven layers on it not including the subfloor!