Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The good, the bad, and the ugly of a 1950's bathroom | #PBJreno

Remember that renovation we're doing.  Yah.  We're still working on that.  

I've mentioned before that our main bathroom which we once thought was in okay condition actually turned out to be a disaster and needing to be replaced/updated in order to be a functional bathroom for the four of us.

A quick reminder what was before:

I also shared how we'll be updating all the trim/window/door casings in our home and the how-to for that.

In the before picture you can see the state that the floor was in.  It was a tiled floor that had black grout.... false. It has a light grey grout (maybe even white?) that turned black..everywhere. I tried my hardest to clean that but after spending two hours and tackling a space that was two feet by one I gave up. 

Then one sunny afternoon I was wandering around Home Depot and I stumbled upon what looked like a possible unexpected solution to our bathroom floor problem.  It was laminate tile that looked like marble that was just a peel & stick application. I asked the nearby sales person if this would work for our bathroom condition, and unfortunately he said no. BUT, he did have another suggestion if I was open to ideas.  So we wandered to the next aisle over and he showed me vinyl wood planks that he said could be used in bathrooms.  I was instantly very weary... you see in our last home we had laminate wood floors in the whole main level which included a half bath.  Well after a few months of living there the flooring around the toilet started to bubble up.  It turns out the seal of the toilet was leaking under the floors and causing bad water damage.  Water + wood laminate floors = no go sir. 
He, however, said these were different and the difference of vinyl and laminate was the key difference.  These were a peel and stick application similar to the other style I was looking at but they were a floating floor and stuck to one another rather then the floor underneath. This created a super tight and waterproof bond beyond just the tongue & groove closure of typical laminate floors. He said they were great for bathrooms because not only did the adhesion between planks create a waterproof closure, but if you seal the perimeter of the floors against the walls with a waterproof silicon sealant than the whole floor became waterproof.  *BOOM*

[Product: TrafficMaster Allure Ultra - Vinyl Plank Flooring]

I did a quick math calculation in my head of the size of the bathroom and placed a special order for the flooring. 

Installation was SUPER easy.  You can cut the pieces to size with an X-acto knife and a simple score line and snap, piece is measured exactly how you need. 

I started with the side that had the most cuts which was the wall with the door, and the tub surround.  Measure. Score with X-acto. Snap. Place. Repeat as necessary. 

The whole process took MAYBE a couple hours.  Super easy. And yes.  This is my ghetto rehab version of a bathroom. As you can see from all the tape on the left... that's where tiles fell off the wall from removing the door trim.  The large square with no tiles... well that's where the tiles broke and ripped off removing the original vanity.  And just the giant hole in the wall with the plumbing? Well... that's where our pet gremlins go in and out of the walls. 

Before installing the quarter round I applied a lot... a LOT... of waterproof clear sealant that sealed the edge of the flooring to the wall.  So any water that spilled from kids playing in the sinks, toilets overflowing from leggo's being flushed, to the bathtub splashes of two kids wrestling in a bubble bath... the floor is protected. 

Some other fun adventures that came our way in this bathroom reno was removing the window and door trim. It's always a new adventure seeing what I'm left with and have to figure out how to repair to put on the new Craftsman trim.

At least it went from that to:

One last fun adventure in this ugliness of a 50's bathroom was wanting to replace the ceiling fan... as I removed it I was greeted with pine needles, dead bugs, and lots of other unexplainable items that fell down. TIP of the DAY people: If you take down something from your ceiling, and you find pine needles, double check how it's being properly (or IMPROPERLY) vented out of your home... because you should not be getting pine needles in your bathroom.

Next up, I'll be sharing more about this bathroom and the fun things we added to it such as the toilet and sink fixtures. Who ever thought there was so much to learn when picking out a toilet!?



  1. I fell in love with this brand of flooring when I went tot eh HD managers meeting two years ago! When I finally get around to finishing my basement that is what we are going to use :) Your bathroom looks awesome!

    1. It's almost surprising how "hush hush" this flooring seems to be! It's so durable and such a great option when I'm sure many think they don't have many options. And thanks for the sweet comments :)

  2. You did a great job on the floor.I used Allure in one of my bathrooms a couple of years ago and have never been sorry I did so. I am planning to use the same flooring on other rooms. My teenage grandson and I did the installation and it was wonderfully simple and easy. I have read where some people said this flooring showed scratches. Granted, there is not a lot of traffic in the upstairs bath, but I have not had a moment's problem and an anxious to use the flooring again. I posted some pictures of the finished product on my blog afterwards.

  3. We've got a 1920's home and it's not our first oldie. So fun right, with the surprises? lol. Looking good!! The new floor and window trim are fab!! I've been looking at similar for our bedroom. It's a walk-out basement level on concrete foundation. I worry about dampness and water as well. Just in case. Great tip on the perimeter seal!


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