Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Great Bathroom Remodel

Unfortunately the bathroom remodel is not for us, but for Brian's mom Peggy.

The idea started back at her birthday in August when Brian and I gave her a gift certificate to Lowe's and Brian promised her that he would spend his time off at Christmas redoing her only bathroom (something she has wanted for years). Brian had been telling his Mom for years that when he felt like he learned everything he needed to know he would remodel her bathroom- and with our basement project he finally got the hang of plumbing and crown molding (the last two missing pieces). The before shot:

Peggy wanted us to help her pick out fixtures before the week of Christmas, so we went down to Emporia this past weekend thinking we were just going to do that, but ended up doing a lot more.

We left Satuday morning around nine A.M. and got to Emporia around 11 A.M.  We took a quick look at her bathroom, heard her ideas and had a quick lunch.  Then we were off to Topeka to visit Lowe's and Home Depot because Emporia only has a Sutherland's (not much of a selection).

We ended up being able to buy everything she needed- new vanity, new mirror, new storage cabinet, new hardware, new fixtures and new lighting.  She is not replacing the toilet or cast iron tub (who could lift the darn thing).  She is going to put up bead board on all of the walls (no new dry wall- thank god!), and a new tub surround which we picked up in town at Sutherland's.

When we were done shopping I really wanted to eat at Olpe Chicken house again so we headed home to drop off the Jeep (packed to the gills with a new bathroom) and head out to Olpe Kansas for some home-cooked fried chicken.

Not only do I love the food, but I love the people watching in small towns.  There are some interesting folk that eat at Olpe Chicken house.  Oh, did I mention it is really cheap?!  Two beers and two dinners for only $20 is a steal.

After dinner, we decided to get a head start on the bathroom.  Brian's mom thought that there might be a leak around the toilet, so Brian wanted to get that solved before the week of Christmas, because you never know what kind of nightmare you will be dealing with when it involves 30 year old plumbing.

Brian decided to start by ripping out the old linoleum.  And as he did, a god awful smell emerged.  There had definitely been a leak that had been causing mold to grow and it smelled horrible!

As Brian kept pulling the linoleum up, it was separating from the backing because water had seeped everywhere underneath, so we had to scrape the glue and backing off of the concrete slab (she has no basement).  This was not exactly the most fun I've had, but at least I was doing something.  With most projects Brian does most of the work, and I am just the tool bitch.  But this time I got to participate by scraping slime off of concrete!  Yay!

After all the linoleum and gunk was removed Brian decided to go ahead and take down the current wall board the previous owners had put up.

That was fairly quick.  Next to go was the vanity and sink.  Yes, Brian's mom only has one bathroom, so her kitchen sink will have to be the only sink in the house for a while.

When that was done Brian wanted to look more into the leaking/plumbing problems.  I don't know anything about plumbing or what was figured out, but I know parts had to be replaced- partly due to the age of the original components.  He also installed all new innards for the toilet so it would be like-new as well. We finally decided to quit messing with the bathroom and went to bed around 3 A.M.

We woke up the next day at 10 and went to Sutherland's to pick up the tub surround.

Brian has decided that he will go back this weekend to install the tub surround, shower fixtures and whatever else he has time for.  He knows he will have to do some new plumbing when putting the new stuff in.  He is also wanting to put in a new ceiling light/fan combo that will take new electrical work (along with some new outlets).

Whenever you do any type of remodeling work, especially on old houses, you are always going to run into unexpected problems.  All of these types of projects take longer than you would expect, so for Brian, doing the remodel over a couple of weekends is better than trying to get it all done at Christmas.  Plus, he may not have to spend the whole week in Emporia.

We ended up leaving Sunday around 3 P.M. just in time to listen to another Chiefs loss.  We came home, Brian made dinner, I did laundry/cleaned up the house, and then we watched the movie The Lookout (it had been over two weeks since we have had any time to watch a movie!). Finally we went to bed, ending a long weekend (not wanting to get up the next day and go back to work).


  1. That looks like a big project, but I bet it will look terrific when finished. What a nice couple of kids you are to do that for Brian's mom :)

    I also love observing small town people. When I visit my dad, we always eat lunch at this buffet place called the Toot Toot in Bethany, MO. Lots of farmers, truckers, hunters, etc. Also lots of really, really good food. Terribly fatty food, but delicious.

  2. What a good son and daughter-in-law!
    I love home remodeling projects...but I frequently feel like a tool bitch as well, as Chris does a lot of the actual "remodeling" stuff.