Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend Updates: The Bathrooms

We have pondered about our bathrooms a great deal over the past several months. At first, we were going to leave everything alone and just replace the fixtures. But you know how a renovation goes, you start to think, "well, if we're going to do this, then we might want to do that..." 

And here we are. 

This photo is looking into our downstairs bathroom. The floors (recently exhumed wide plank pine) have protective Ramboard covering them in the photo. 

Our bathrooms are stacked, meaning that the upstairs bathroom is directly over the downstairs bathroom. This is quite common in old homes as it made running plumbing lines more efficient (especially in homes which had no indoor plumbing for the first 100 years of their existence). 

We have found this to be convenient as well because our bathrooms have the same floor plan (minus doorways and their locations). Also, our goals for the bathrooms are similar, despite their diverse locations. 

First, we knew that we wanted to center the bathtubs on windows. The south facing windows (to the right in this photo of the downstairs bathroom) make perfect spots to relocate the bathtubs. 

The other windows are set against the north walls in a way that wouldn't allow for the kind of bathtubs we have in mind, nor the space to center them. 

Instead, we will place the vanities on the south walls. In the downstairs bath, this will be on the same wall as the original wall-mounted sink, but more centered as the end of the old tub took up half of this wall.

The toilets are the only fixtures to remain in the same spots, although they will be turned 90 degrees. 

Here is the upstairs bathroom. It also has original wide plank floors, which have been taken up to allow for the plumbers to do their work. 

For now, they are stacked (hewn side up) in the center hall. 

When you have an engineer for a husband, you have the perk that they are very wonderfully adept at creating CAD drawings. 

This is the old linen closet, which will become our new shower.  I really dreaded the idea of giving up such a spacious linen closet but decided that having a shower separate from the bathtub would be far more luxurious (and handy). I would have made a lovely linen closet of it though. 

The former shower surround was previously in front of this window (literally). 

Due to there being two entries to the upstairs bathroom (one to the right where the black plastic is and the other where I am taking the photograph), this space was harder to sort through than the downstairs. 

Number one on our list was to relocate the original sink, previously located between the window and the doorway shown above. When in this location, the sink tended to block the entry into the room. So we decided to move the sink across the room to the opposite wall, next to the other window in the room. 

Like the downstairs bath, the vanity will be to the left of the window on the north wall. 

Centering the bathtub on the window (which Mike is standing in front of) will open up the doorway and also meet our goal for bathtub placement. 

While Mike was walking around in here, I shrieked, "Be careful! If you trip, you'll fall right through the lath." 

As in most times that I state the obvious, he ignored me. 

So I said, "Well, let me take your picture before you go through." 

Thankfully, he remained safely upstairs (although look how close he is to the edge). 


  1. Great updates Catherine! I really can't wait to see the finished bathrooms. What brand of sink/tub/toilet are you going with? Will they be claw foot tubs, new or old? It's good to see Mike, especially perched so on that board! Whenever my husband goes up to our partially floored in attic, I'm always so nervous that he'll fall through the floor into a bedroom below. And that would be bad for both him and our house!

    1. Due to lead issues with old tubs, we are buying new. And we're looking at pedestal tubs. It's on our 'to do' list this week to decide on that!

  2. Thank you for knowing that I wanted a renovation update for my birthday! :)
    Great progress, but I guess this means you will not be in the house by Christmas, which I remember was your hope. I'm sure the house will be worth the wait!



  3. Catherine & Mike, so much work, so much attention to every little detail. This house is going to be stunning. Can't wait to see it finished. I love that each corner and nook is so thought out. Beautiful!

  4. So happy to see your post, I love following along on your renovation. Can't wait to see the finished bathrooms!

  5. Will you replace the paster walls due to the homes age or use sheetrock? Good luck selecting tubs so many decisions to make.

    1. So far, all of the walls that have been removed have been sheetrock. Probably because they had been re-done in the 50's? We're replacing with sheetrock but plaster would be gorgeous. There is a clay paint (by BioShield) one can use to create the look of plaster but I don't think that they have the white/neutral I'm looking for. Best, Catherine

  6. Hi Trina,

    Love seeing the progress and Mike again. I am sure you know Heather Bullard. Her bathroom linen cupboard on Instagram is beautiful. After seeing it I think freestanding, something old, something treasured might be a thought.

    Lisa, London
    PS Thanks so much for the response on the Duncan Phyfe.

  7. Catherine, We have just finished a major bathroom renovation and love it! Our tub is under the window too—so wonderful to look out at the garden. We used a kohler under mount tub with a paneled surround. Hope your renovation goes really fast!
    xo, lissy

  8. My husband also ignores me when I state the obvious. I don't blame him a bit. I do the same thing! But sometimes we just have to say it!

    I look forward to seeing these bathrooms as they develop!

  9. Oh what fun!! and you are so right when you are reno,,,what is one more thing to make it just right!! Can't wait to see the finished results!


Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

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