When I bought my little doll house with the big trees out front, it was perfect for me except for one tricky detail: there was no shower upstairs. There is a basement suite downstairs with a lovely bathroom, shower included, but I don’t use that bathroom. I think it would be rather awkward for me to traipse through the suite with my shampoo in my hand, which would lead right through the bedroom, shower, and then drip my way back upstairs. I think such events could lead to strained a relationship with my lovely tenant, not to mention that he’d probably be grossed out the first time he found a few of my really long strands in his shower drain.
Upstairs, I just had a tub. An old, metal tub with toothpaste coloured tile all the way around it. The Aquafresh theme, actually, went all the way around the room. The problem with only having a bathtub is that it is exceedingly difficult to wash the amount of hair I have in a tub. It’s also pretty gross to sit in a tub full of rinsed off shampoo, conditioner, and shed hair. Being a curly girl, my conditioner is the consistency of mayonaise and I got tired really fast of walking around for the rest of the day with a high-gloss finish all over my body.
In addition to the tub situation and the tile job that was most certainly not retro-cool, the floor was simply stick down vinyl tiles, ugly ones with seams that I worried would allow water to seep into my subfloor. It seems to me that if vinyl tiles were manufactured to look more like rolled vinyl flooring, the illusion might stand a chance of being successful. The issue here is that the tiles were attempting to mimic black marble, and fell severely short of the goal. Sow’s ear, silk purse, this is a story you’ve heard before, yes?
The bathroom also had a pedestal sink, meaning zero storage. I have the kind of hair that (sort of) behaves only with the use of industrial strength goop, and goop needs somewhere to hang out other than the back of the toilet, the corner edge of the tub, and the window sill. I needed a vanity cabinet, and I needed it badly.
The toilet, which was recently installed when I bought the dollhouse, was one of those low-flow dealies that I was excited would help me trim my utilities bill. Alas, the toilet was a disappointing fixture that actually required more water than a standard model because it never flushed properly on the first try. I’ll save you the gory details, but suffice it to say that a quick pee and two squares of Charmin was often more than that sad little toilet could manage. If you choose to let your imagination wander into frightening territory, you can envision the problems that my “no-flow” toilet caused. On second thought, please don’t envision that. Move on. Move on.
So, the bathroom needed an update. What I planned to do was replace the toilet and install a vanity, strip out the old tile, and then tile in a shower around the tub. I also planned to tile the floor. It seemed like a moderately sized project and I was excited to get it underway.
Here’s what happened. I dropped an almost empty bottle of perfume into the bathtub, and the glass bottle shattered the brittle finish on my old, old, old bathtub. The perfume bottle survived victorious and unscathed, which I think really shone a light on the condition of my tub. Since the room was going to be ripped apart anyway, I bought an acrylic soaker tub and started dreaming about bubble baths with heaps of suds up to my chin.
Then, as I feared, pulling the old tiles down from the plaster walls damaged them beyond repair. The plaster was made up of sand and hair (yes, seriously) and chalky stuff. It crumbled with even the gentlest prying of the old tiles. We also discovered that the outside wall with the pretty window in it was not insulated, which explained why my bathwater went from steamy crockpot to polar bear dip before I could get my shampoo rinsed out.
Suffice it to say that my bathroom facelift became a total bathroom gut. I am currently setting tile like a madwoman, trying to finish up before the end of spring break and my return to the real world.
A big fat shout out in all this destruction and construction goes to my sweetie, The Electrician. I am so lucky to have a hardworking, handy guy in my life who will conquer major home projects with me. Thankfully for us both, he considers a trip to Home Depot a fun way to spend an evening.
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