Good news! We have officially broke ground on our next project–the girls’ bathroom downstairs!–and to be honest, I’ve never been more intimidated for the start of a project. We’ve never really done a full bathroom gut job including moving plumbing and reconfiguring a layout. And before we dove in, I knew hardly anything about what it takes to do those things, or did you know that often times you have to buy the back end of a shower faucet (the part in the wall) separately than the part you see? There’s a lot of things we’ve researched and will figure out as we go. So I thought, for this renovation, we could do a more in-depth documentation of what goes into a full bathroom renovation of anyone that’s in our position, doing a full bathroom renovation for the first time.
Months ago, the planning began just by starting a Pinterest board dedicated to your project. I started out by pinning any bathroom that inspired me. Maybe it was the color choices or the tile or the hardware. But eventually, it’s a good idea to look for bathrooms that look like yours. Pinning a palatial sized bathroom, when yours is more closet-sized isn’t going to help you in the long run. This bathroom has no windows and so, no natural light, which is easy to get caught up on when looking at pretty pictures. Fortunately, I was able to find many outstanding bathrooms with no windows as well. I also started pinning spaces that could inspire solutions to problems that we were facing. Which brings me to our next before-the-reno-starts point.
Measure the room and graph it out on paper (or an online program like floorplanner.com if you don’t want to lose that piece of paper over and over and over #everytime). We were surprised at how much room we would have once the weird corner shower, back to back vanities and divider wall was out. But our biggest obstacle was definitely going to be the soffit (filled with duct work). It had to stay, but luckily, a 60″ bathtub/shower combination could fit to the right of it on the back wall, which naturally placed a double vanity under the soffit. But what about the dead space where the vanity and tub would meet? I started pinning shelving and cabinet inspiration to fill that corner, which puts the toilet opposite the vanity.
Here’s the current layout:
The left side of the room has a large vanity, with only one sink (even though it could have definitely fit two!) with a toilet in the corner and barely any distance for legs and knees between it and the shower wall.
Then there was a corner shower and opposite the sink vanity, there was a counter vanity tucked behind the door. My friends always joked it was our home’s changing table (haha), in reality, it has held our wireless printer for the past 3 years. No idea how that happened.
With our new layout nailed down and a few big finishes ordered (we’ll get into the mood board next time!), we felt confident getting started on the demo. Last Thursday, we brought in our handyman, Francisco, to help us demo it down to the studs (in some places) and remove the outdated tile floors (that used to cover our entire first floor!) so we were left with just concrete. Thanks to an extra set of hands, we were able to knock it out in about 6 hours–admittedly, I did nothing but take some photos. We realized, for us, it’s worth it to bring in someone to help get us to a blank slate so we’re not burnt out before the renovation really begins. We know a lot of people that feel just the opposite, and would rather do the demo themselves and then hire out tiling or some finish work. To each their own, truly! For me, seeing a room come back together is so motivating and rewarding, I could stay up all night tiling. :)
Over the next month, we plan to completely reconfigure and transform the room and come out on the other side and are excited to share with you how we do it along the way–especially those first time projects like heated flooring. If you have any specific questions or something you’d like us to include in the series, let us know in the comments below.