Tuesday, July 22, 2014

the pink beast and other happenings

This weekend we fully gutted the bathroom and I will admit that I don't know how Dan does this stuff day after day. My energy was shot by noon the end of the day.

We started by removing the toilet. Which, really, is pretty uneventful. That is until I was busy removing screws from the wall in the bathroom, minding my own business, and next thing I knew water was spraying all over the bathroom. Turns out someone forgot to cap the water line to the toilet before he turned the water back on.  Water sprayed on the ceiling, walls and floor and dripped through the floor to the basement.

After the delay of soaking up gallons of water with most all the towels we own, we got back to work, continuing to remove old tile, screws, nails, flooring and staples. Then it was time to remove the tub. The pretty, pink, cast-iron tub. Don't let that pink tub fool ya - she's a beast. A 350-pound beast. A 350-pound beast that Dan and I (that's right, I said I) carried out of the house. We had the help of a shoulder dolly, but by the time we made it to the garage, I was done and these chicken legs felt like rubber but at least Dan can't say I didn't help.

the pretty, pink, beast

proof that I carried that pretty, pink, beast

Kaiden was a great, little helper too. He loves Saturdays when he gets to work with dad.

By the end of the day we completely gutted the bathroom; got the new tub and mortar bed set and built a small wall that the shower head will be on. Hopefully we'll be ready to install the tile around the tub and on the floor soon. We're getting there!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

bathroom progress and old diapers

We have slowly been working on the bathroom and are making progress:

The wallpaper has been removed
The popcorn ceiling scraped
Gardz painted on the walls
Walls skim-coated with drywall mud
Tall cabinets sanded and primed
Old vanity removed from wall
Sink plumbing redone
Light fixtures removed
Custom-built vanity almost complete
Started on removing tile from around the tub

I'm starting to get more and more excited to get this bathroom done...especially because it's at the looks-worse-before-it-looks-better stage and currently looks like this:

And yes, my kids are still bathing in that bathtub. Never mind the nails sticking out of the wall right about eye-level.

And on a side note, when we pulled the old vanity away from the wall, we found an old-fashioned diaper. I would guess this diaper is probably from the late '80's or early '90's, but I say "old-fashioned" because they certainly don't make diapers like this anymore. And it's a good thing...those poor babies that had to wear those massive things...

Just to put things in perspective - Jada's diaper on top of the old one

Thursday, July 17, 2014

bathroom remodel: concrete countertop

When it comes to remodels and updates and designing (and life), I tend to get a little uptight when it comes to the unknown. It kind of drives me a little crazy when I don't know how things are going to turn out until the remodel is done. Especially when I have to sink money into it and I'm unsure of how it's going to turn out and if I'm even going to like it. For example: our bathroom vanity. I didn't just go to the store and look at a whole bunch of vanities and say "oh, I most definitely like that one". Instead, I see things I like about different vanities I like on Pinterest and say, "hey Dan The Man, can you build this?" I have somewhat of an idea of how it's going to turn out but I don't see the finished product until, well, it's finished. And by then we've put the money into it...I had better like it. Don't get me wrong. I love that Dan can custom-build things like vanities but it creates a bit of uneasiness within me. I know, kinda silly, right?

That being said, we planned to create a concrete countertop for our bathroom. That is something I can't see ahead of time to know for sure if I will like it or not or if it will even work, but it was the cheapest option so we went for it and are hoping it turns out.

We are hoping to achieve a solid, white, matte finish when all is said and done. We found Buddy Rhodes concrete mix that is specifically designed for countertops. Dan measured the sink and made a mold for the countertop, making sure he put holes in the appropriate places for the drain and faucet.

He used Melamine, which has a very smooth texture, to create the mold in order to achieve a smooth finish when the concrete was taken out of the mold.

Once the mold was made, the cement was mixed according to the directions.

Then after making sure the table and mold were level, the concrete was poured into the mold and smoothed out with a trowel.

Once the concrete was poured and smoothed out, we went around the perimeter of the mold and tapped it with a hammer to bring up as many air bubbles and we could. We had read that it should cure at least 30 days to make sure it's good and hard. We also read that the slower it dries, the harder it will be. We covered it with plastic to slow down the drying process.

We poured the concrete almost two months ago and let it take it's time to dry. After a while we took the plastic off to let it dry more and eventually took it out of the mold. The side that was face-down in the mold will be the top of the countertop. When it was taken out of the mold, it appeared to be a tan color. Not the white color I had expected. Oh no...my fear of our project not turning out was coming true...but, not to lose hope yet, we hoped it was that it was still just too wet. It needed more time to dry. 

We let it dry outside of it's mold for a couple of weeks without much change. We turned on the dehumidifier and still, very little change. Finally we brought it outside to dry in the sun. It has been in the sun for a couple weeks now and has finally turned white.

Now, I'm anxious to see how this new countertop looks on the new vanity The Carpenter built.