I'll add pictures when I finish the roll and get them developed.
It started as a simple paint job in the bathroom. That's all. But thank goodness for a 3-day weekend and friends who are willing to go above and beyond the "call of duty" (thank you so much again, Andy & Becka!!!). It ended up as a nearly complete bathroom remodel.
Thursday, September 2nd, evening. Bathroom wallpaper comes down and cleaning the walls begins. I can't believe we lasted 2 years with that bathroom. The wallpaper was a nice robin's-egg blue with little flowers on it. Not what I would have chosen, but not intolerable. Until you mix it with the tile on the floor: small squares and rectangles in lavender, brown, and off-white. Not a single color or style in common between the two of them. The part that most of us can't figure out is that either the tile or the wallpaper was in place first; WHO could have chosen the other?
The walls under the paper had been painted, though there had also been some obvious repairs in the past. Repairs to what? Who knows. At any rate, the walls are in more or less decent shape, so priming and painting will be a breeze. Then while we are waiting for paint to dry, the four of us can do our favorite "chores," playing Catan.
Friday, September 3, evening. Scott is going to get the paint and I'm going to finish cleaning the walls and taping fixtures and stuff. Then we're going to join Andy, Becka, and Lori at the Riverview Theater to see Harry Potter, which Scott has yet to see. At 6:50, Scott gets back from Home Depot...too late to get to the movie, but we can join them for ice cream afterward. Finish getting walls prepared so we can start when Andy & Becka come over in the morning.
Saturday, Spetember 4, 1pm. I come back from a haircut to hear Scott's voice from the bathroom, "Dude, we're [in big trouble]." The conversation leading up to this part was whether to move the toilet to paint behind it, or just leave it and try our best to reach it. The decision was made when Scott said, "Well, the toilet is a little unsteady; it already moves." Becka, who grew up around construction, and Andy, who has a very good construction background himself, immediately say, "Toilets aren't supposed to move." So Scott shows them how it moves 6 inches. They move the toilet to the middle of the bathroom, and examine the floor underneath.
The toilet may never have been bolted to the floor, and the bracket holding it in place is completely corroded. Ok, we'll replace the bracket and paint the walls. A little more work, but not too bad. Until we decide to examine the tiles/floor around the toilet. Turns out the tile is pretty badly buckled in some places. Not only that, but Andy pries some up to expose the rotting wood underneath. So if we replace the flooring there, how far out do we need to go? And since there's no way to match the tile again, should we just retile the whole floor? It's not that big, everything will match, and it will be fixed.
The four of us go back to Home Depot to get plumbing supplies for the toilet, new tile, and parts to fix the subfloor under the toilet--remember the rotting wood. Becka and I leave the boys at Home Depot and go back to start tearing out the tile.
Oh, fun. The tile was placed on top of linoleum which had been tarred onto the original wood floors. Becka and I spend at least an hour prying ooky black gunk off the floor. We don't make a lot of progress before the boys come home. We leave them to take over while we run to the Rahn's to pick up their sledgehammer--maybe breaking the tiles will make it easier. On our return, we find that they have decided to tear up the entire floor (all three layers) because even if we can get the tiles and linoleum up, the floor has been completely ruined by the tar which we would have to plane off in order to get a smooth surface. Out comes the vanity and up comes the floor--beautiful hardwood, 3/4" thick, old-style tongue-in-groove construction, all completely ruined.
Apparently what happened was the linoleum had been put down. At some point, the owners at the time realized the floor behind the toilet was getting wet, so they tried to repair it by pulling out the original wood floor construction--just around the toilet and under the vanity--and putting some plywood down. Then they laid the tile over everything--one experience with that tarred linoleum was enough for them.... That, however, treated the symptom and not the problem; water continued to get onto the floor (probably from running out of the tub during showers), causing the first repair to also rot.
But Andy is so cool. He consulted with Becka's father, an architect in Rapid City, and between those instructions and what he already knew, he helped us rebuild our floor from scratch. The boys laid some 1/2" plywood on the subfloor (which really wasn't as bad as it originally seemed--the "rotting wood" was actually bits of the nasty tarry ooze), with a perfect hole for the plumbing. Then they fit the 1/4" wunderboard (concrete with a kevlar net around it). Nothing is sealed, but at least there's a floor of some sort.
Sunday, September 5, 7:30 am. Scott and I go to McDonald's for breakfast, but more importantly, for bathrooms. I'm fairly lucky, because I can sleep through the night without having to get up. Not everyone is so fortunate, so not having a toilet in the house poses a small challenge.
. Go home to finish cleaning, taping, and priming the walls. Cleaning becomes quite the challenge--we have a lovely shop vac, but it's still set for slurping up water, not dust. Scott begins vacuuming the newly installed floor, but ends up mostly throwing dust all over the upstairs. We find the filter & get it installed, but there's still a nice layer of dust everywhere. Once that's clean, the windows are taped, all miscellaneous surfaces are taped that need it, we begin priming. We found a pretty nifty spray primer that is ready to be painted in 30 minutes--but when they say "use in a well-vented area," they really mean it. Even with the window open, the fan blowing, and another hall window open, we frequently run gasping out of the bathroom. I had sore lungs for a few hours afterwards from breathing that stuff.
Sunday, afternoon. Becka and I paint the walls and trim while the boys finish messing with the flooring, and go to Home Depot for more supplies and stuff. Then Scott and I go to Home Depot to find a new faucet for the bathroom sink, while Becka and Andy mix the concrete and begin cementing the wunderboard to the plywood. When that's done, we "screw like crazy every 6 inches" because Becka's father told us to. :-) (At least it wasn't all hard work....)
Sunday, 8 pm. Cementing the new tile begins. It needs 24 hours to set, so we can't do anything more, really, until about 8-9 pm Monday night.
Monday, September 6, morning. We go to McDonald's again for restrooms, and the Rahn's let us use their shower. Then Becka, Lori, and I go fabric shopping for some labor day sales--tile is still setting.
Monday, afternoon. The boys have gone to Home Depot to get some wood for trim around the bottom of the walls (there was tile, but it needed to come off to put in the new floor materials). Becka and I paint the trim and finish the door while the boys liquid gold the medicine cabinet and the vanity. Then we grab some bread and peanut butter and go back to the Rahn's to play some "chores," use the bathroom, have a late lunch.
Monday, evening. We return to our house to do some more cleaning, installing the new sink faucet, and other small items while we fidget while waiting to get to the floor to grout. Once we get the grout in, we have to wait for an hour, clean the floor, wait for another hour, and clean the floor again. Then it needs to set for another 24 or so hours. While waiting for the cleaning phases, we do some more "chores."
Tuesday, September 7, evening. Becka has put together a lasagna, and even baked a cake, which they bring over. The boys put in the vanity and the toilet (though another run to Home Depot is required because the toilet came in an open box which was missing parts). By 9:30, we again have a toilet and sink, the medicine cabinet has been lowered so that I can actually see into the mirror, and we have our bathroom back.
And it all started with a simple paint job. But now I feel confident enough that should we encounter this situation again, we can fix it. And I really like tiling--anyone have some fun projects to do????