Laurel's Adventures in Home Repair   


Main Bathroom Repair / Remodel continued

Pages 1 - 2 - 3

The photograph below left shows the entire vanity area soon after installation.

The shelves to the left of the sink did not have a door nor did the original medicine cabinet on the wall below the light fixture

While the contractors were working, I refurbished the medicine cabinet and painted it white.  I also made a door for the medicine cabinet.

After the shelves were installed, I also made a door for them.  The cabinet makers did not make the door because the original shelves did not have one.  Remember this was an insurance claim.

I had a light fixture that matched the light fixtures I have recently installed throughout the house. I had to buy a glass shade because the original glass shade had broken. I bought a mirror that matches the mirror I bought for the vanity in the downstairs laundry room.

I also went online and purchased side splashes for the sink. The vanity was not square and there was a gap between the top of the counter and the wall on the right which was a huge area where water could get into.

Before wallpaper on cabinet doors

After wallpaper and moulding on cabinet doors.
Not only did I add the side splashes, I put some moulding along the top and it was caulked and painted to match the walls.  No water was going to get in any cracks on my watch by golly!! 
Then I looked at the room.  The one thing that struck me was that it was just TOO white.  I then came up with the idea to do something to the two cabinet doors I had made.  I was thinking about some of those cool removable vinyl stick-ons they have now. So I looked at a few website for something that would add a little color but not be too tacky looking.  I then came up with the idea of using one of the textured wallpapers I had seen instead. I did not want to use the beadboard I had used on my hearth shelves and laundry room cabinets.  Frankly, I was tired of working with the beadboard paper.

I decided on a pattern called Green Fossil Leaf Textured Wallpaper which I picked up at Lowe's. The picture of the wallpaper online looks brown.  I took a photograph (below) of the wallpaper on the cabinet to show what it actually looks like.  It is mostly white with leaf textures (hey, like a fossil!)  With a little green, yellow, and gray for color. 

For the brown moulding I added on the cabinet doors, I bought some thin decorative moulding and spray painted it the color, metallic hammered brown. I then glued the moulding on top of the glued wallpaper with wood glue.  I also added the brown decorative moulding along the counter top moulding.  I am still debating on whether to add the wallpaper and moulding to the vanity doors.

A word on cutting this thin moulding.  I ended up cutting the wood with a small pruning shear. The table saw or my hack saw kept splitting the wood. My heavy duty scissors were not strong enough and were hard on the hands.

Green fossil leaf textured wallpaper

Wallpapered door frame

I carried the wallpaper/moulding idea to the inner door frame.  We decided to remove the door here because it just did not make any sense.  The area is so small that you had to step inside by the toilet or inside the bathtub to close it. When the door was open, you could not have a towel rack right where you needed it, outside of the shower. A pocket door might have been a good idea, but there was electrical and the medicine cabinet in the wall.  So off with the door. I took out the door stop moulding, scraped the frame smooth, and then applied the wallpaper and brown decorative trim. 

The light fixture was also changed in this inner section of the bathroom.  There used to be a round glass fixture.  The ceiling in here is only 7' high. My husband is over 6'. The old light fixture was only a couple inches above his head.  If you are drying yourself in this area it was very possible to whack the old light fixture with your hand.  This new light has a lower profile and has a cover made of plastic for safety.
After the vanity had been installed, I was done with the contractors for this part of the insurance claim.  However, there was another area of this bathroom that still needed repair.  The bathtub wall tile.  This was not part of the original insurance claim because this damage was done years before. 

There used to be a soap dish attached to the shower wall.  My husband slipped one day in the shower and he grabbed this soap dish handle on the way down.  You guessed it, the whole soap dish came out of the wall along with a big chunk of tile wall around it.  The soap dish was not attached to any studs.  Sigh....  He tried to patch it up.  Tried.  There was also some caulking he had attempted to do between the wall and tub that needed to be removed and re-caulked.

Damaged tile shown on left and attempted caulk job around edge

The photograph below shows the bathtub wall below the bathroom window after I did the demolition on it. I pulled off and saved all of the good tiles and pulled out all of the old insulation.  I used the same contractor I had been using, to repair this wall. 

The problem I had at this point was that I could not find any replacement tiles.  Too old.  The original tile was made by Daltile, who is still in business and even manufactures some of their tiles here in town.  They also have a showroom here in El Paso.  I went to visit the store to confirm that the tile I had was no longer being made and to see if there was an alternative.  I did need to purchase some tiles and decided to create a design on the wall with a different color to make up for the tiles I was missing.  The Daltile store here normally does not do retail sales.  They work primarily with contractors.  However, when I explained my predicament the manager of the store allowed me to special order a case of tiles.  I selected a brown color (Elemental Tan) to match the decor in the bathroom.

Completed demolition on the tile wall in bathtub area

The other problem in this bathroom was the single glass aluminum window.  The caulking around the window was shot.

We have already been replacing windows in other areas of the house so I decided that this would be a good time as any to replace this one, now that the whole bathroom had been repaired.

I contacted Window World and ordered a double glass vinyl window.

Old aluminum window

Repaired tile wall and replacement window

The photo on the left shows the repaired tile wall and the vinyl window.

The rotted piece of wood along the tub rim was removed, new insulation was installed, and cement board was attached to the studs before the tile was placed on.

I peeled off all of the old silicone caulk in the corners and along the edge of the tub and re-caulked it.

I opted for clear glass in this bathroom window  because the window is high and no one can see in it.  If they could, they would only see a head.  I also enjoy looking at the Franklin Mountains that are visible from this side of the house when I shower.

I later added some removable window film in an etched glass floral pattern. It helps diffuse the sun in the western sky.
I removed the iron bars outside of the window when the window was installed.  If a burglar chooses this window to break into the house, good luck trying to scale the outside wall first!

The only problem I had with the window installation was the amount of silicone they used.  They really piled it on and not too neatly.  A week later, the silicone was still wet in areas.  It took me a couple of hours to remove the silicone on the inside and reapply it neatly.

Because of the safety issues with this slippery tub, two grab bars were added.  The obvious one on the main wall and one above the area where you step into the tub.  All of the grab bars are securely fastened to the studs. I also had the big grab bar angle down towards the tub.  The tub is not easy to get out of without something to hold on to. Now you can pull yourself up with two hands if needed.

The shower door was tossed.  The only advantage it had, was when we gave the dogs a bath.  The shower door kept them confined until they were dried off.  I opted for a shower curtain which keeps the water in just fine. All areas around the bathtub are sealed with silicone caulk.  But what about the doggy baths?  We use the master bath now.

The last thing this bathroom needed was something above the toilet.  I spent hours looking at over-the-toilet storage shelves.  The ones with the legs would not work because many of their cross supports hit right where my plumbing was behind the toilet.  From past experience with these shelves, they tend to get wobbly after a while.  There is also the hassle of cleaning around the legs.

Again I decided to custom make a cabinet. It measures 25" x 30" and is 12" deep. The height includes the built in towel bar.  I store toilet paper and bath items in it.  So if I am using either the toilet or bath and run out of something, I only have to reach up or out of the bathtub to reach it.  It also keeps the top of the toilet uncluttered.  There is one removable shelf inside, like the laundry room cabinets.

The shelf is hung on a French cleat and can be removed if needed.

I added the wallpaper and brown trim to the doors to tie the cabinet into the front section of the bathroom.

This area of the wall had a towel bar before.  I decided to add this feature to the cabinet.  The bar is a wooden dowel, spray painted with the same brown paint as the decorative trim moulding.  The dowel can be lifted out if needed.

I installed towel bars against the long wall and added a couple of metal art prints by Jean Plout off of the Fine Art America website.

This website is great.  Artists upload digital images of their artwork.  A customer can then select the size and medium they want the print displayed on.

I decided upon the metal prints instead of print or canvas because I wanted something waterproof in this room.

If you have not guessed by now, I decided to decorate the bathroom with a dragonfly theme.  I looked for a variety of metal dragonflies to decorate the walls.

I found some smaller life-sized garden dragonflies and attached them to a couple of light fixtures.  A faux fern was added to a planter on top of the shelf cabinet.
I added a couple of non-skid rugs and I was done....for now.

The only thing left to do was to replace the bathtub faucet, showerhead, and bath spout.  I am going to have a plumber do these, if they last that long, when I have the plumbing done during the kitchen renovation.
While I still had the contractor on my speed dial, another water leak issue came up regarding the master bathroom.

See the master bathroom renovation...

The Projects
Backsplash in Kitchen
Bench - 2 x 4 Basics Flip-Top Bench Table
Brick Replacement and Brick Accent Painting
Casper Mattress
Ceiling Tiles
Closet Built from Scratch
Column Wraps for 4" x 8" Posts
Concrete Slabs
Curb Appealing Street Numbers
Cut Paper Artwork - Kitchen
Door Knobs and Cabinet Pulls
Dry rotted wood beam repair and paint
Doggy door installed on wrought iron screen door - Repair of door
Duct Work
End Table / Cabinet - Vintage / Industrial Look
Faux Brick and Tile
- Stucco wall patio and backyard stairs
    using concrete patch

- Painted tile pool deck (Oklahoma)
File Cabinet - Vintage / Industrial Look
Fire Place Hearth Shelves
Furniture Assembly
Garage Closet - Oklahoma
Garage Facelift - Closet, etc
Gate From Hell
Horrible Man Cave (rec room) Total Renovation
House Entrance Renovation
How to fix holes in a wrought iron screen door and replace screen
How to Make Your Own Door
- Crawl Space Door
How to Winterize a Swamp (Evaporative) Cooler
Kitchen Counter Tops - Faux Granite
Kitchen Facelift
Kitchen Light Facelift
Laundry Room Cupboards
Main Bathroom Repair / Remodel
Master Bathroom Shower Area Stripped to the Studs
Mirror Frames
Oklahoma Home Facelift -- Aluminum Siding and Paint
OMG!  The sink was leaking the whole time we were away?
Raising the Roof - Garage Roof Replacement
Rock Wall Repair
Rolling Cabinet - Vintage /  Industrial Look
Shark Apex UpLight Corded Lift-Away Vacuum - Review
Siding - Exterior
Signage for Pine Ridge Estates
Solar Lighting Journey
Stair Door
Stairs to the Lower Level
Stencils - How to Make Your Own Stencils for Paint Projects
Storage Shed / Closet
Storm Shelter (Elgin, OK 2021)
Storm Shelter (Lawton, OK 2014)
Stucco Wall Repair and Paint
Swamp (Evaporative) Cooler Maintenance
Treadmill Table - Vintage Style
Tuff Shed
Wrought Iron Facelift Outside
Weather Stripping (doors)
Why is My Swamp (Evaporative) Cooler Blowing Hot Air?
  Laurel Lynn Productions 2003 - 2021