Ever since we moved into our house a year ago, I have wanted to make some serious upgrades to one of the bathrooms. For starters, the housing inspector told us right away that the grout in the tiled floor was no good, and we'd have to regrout pretty soon or risk water damage to the subfloor.
Then there was the uneven baseboard to contend with. That poorly repaired water damage to the wall surface near the bathtub. The generally crappy paint job. The vintage 1950s medicine cabinet-- creaky, dirty, tiny, and losing silver from the mirror. The leaky 1970s faucet. The ugly, rusting vintage 1980s light fixture. The beat-up, particleboard Walmart sink cabinet, so big for the space you could barely open the bathroom door past it, let alone find room for a step stool so a three-year-old could wash his hands without help.
But, there have been so many other things to fix in the rest of the house during the past year that all we'd gotten to replacing so far in that bathroom was the faucet, the medicine cabinet, and the light fixture. I'd touched up the paint a bit, put in a towel bar where the sellers had illegally ripped one out after closing, and tried vainly to re-repair the poor water damage repair job without ripping out large chunks of wall.
But past weekend, while walking through a Lowes just to kill some time while my husband waited to meet someone nearby, I saw a nicely priced, nicely made sink cabinet, with an included porcelain basin. It was just the sort of wood finish my husband likes. It was just the right size to fit into our little bathroom, leaving just enough room for a small step-stool so my son could finally reach the sink on his own.
It was the only one left in the store.
So of course, we bought it.
I had measured and checked our existing sink cabinet carefully while thinking about a replacement, and I knew that the tile floor continued under the cabinet. I knew the pipes and the faucet we already had in place would almost certainly fit the new sink. Installing the new sink cabinet and basin, then, really, should only take an hour or two at most. Should pretty much be a cinch. Right?
Some previous owner of this property HAD tiled under the sink cabinet, but only partway. This unknown not-so-handyperson had tiled partway under the front and sides and then just used broken bits of tile to shim up the back of the cabinet, to make it sort-of level.
At least I knew now why water tended to pool on the back of the sink counter.
Well, we thought, so what? The tile in our bathroom is a plain, cheap textured white style. How hard could matching it be? We figured we'd buy a few tiles at Home Depot, tile over the empty space, put in the new sink, and voila! I could even regrout the rest of the floor, while we were at it. It would be a one-day job. It would be a cinch! Right?
Um . . .
We went to all of the hardware stores in our area. No white textured tile AT ALL. No eight inch tiles, AT ALL. We went to a specialty tile store. It was there that we learned that eight-inch tiles are out of fashion. White floor tiles are hopelessly out of fashion. And the specific style of tile we were looking for? Had been discontinued, several years ago.
If we wanted a complete, finished, matching tiled floor, we would have to retile. The whole floor.
Which meant of course that we would also have to remove the baseboard, and the toilet.
At this point, I decided, what the hell? Let's fix the wall and paint, too!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? ...am I wrong?
And you may tell yourself
My god!...what have I done?*
So if I'm not around much this week, YOU KNOW WHY.
And yes, of course I'll post an after.
(Soon. Did I mention that's our only bathtub, there? Yeah. )
*Quoted from the Talking Heads