Yay! The basement apartment bathroom is totally done being renovated!
Basement Bathroom Renovated for Our Temporary Home
If you’ve been following along, you can probably just skip this paragraph. But if you’re new to my blog, read on. In a nutshell… We bought a house in September and renovated the basement apartment for us to live in while we renovate the rest of the main house. The house is a mid-century which I’m trying to renovate into more of a subtle colonial revival style. This post is the reveal of the basement apartment bathroom, showing the before and after. To see everything I’ve written about so far on the Mid-Century-to-Colonial-Revival house, click here.
The bathroom has actually been done for a few weeks, (and we’re living in the apartment now) but it’s impossible for me to stay totally current time with the blog and what’s happening in this renovation.
Bathroom Before Reno
This is what the bathroom looked like when we first looked to buy the house:
Laundry Hook-up Needed Moving
That hookup in the far corner was supposed to be for the washer and dryer next to it, which the prior owner never used… Once we started to figure out how to make it actually fit a washer and dryer, we realized it would be super awkward to access it. There was a closet beyond but again it was hard to get to and we really needed that closet space for the utility room on the other side of the wall. (We all decided they made a mistake when building the house and put the wall on the wrong side of that closet because the utility room was really small and hard to get in to.) Long story short, our carpenter built a wall where you can see that sliding door, ending the bathroom there and opening up the utility room on the other side for a water softener.
Sounds boring for this bathroom reveal post, but it all took $$ and time to get that done. Oh and we had the plumber flip the washer hookups to the bedroom closet which is on the back side of this bathroom wall. Again, kind of boring but time and money.
Breaker Box Needed Moving
Oh, one more thing… Notice the breaker box in the bathroom above the toilet? That’s a code no-no! So that too had to get flipped around to the bedroom side. Ca-Ching!
OK, on to the bathroom…
This shows the sheetrock patch where the breaker box was, as well as the sheetrock wall they built where the bathroom closet door was prior:
It actually shows a lot more than that, but hard to recognize…
Plumbing Brought Up to Code
All the plumbing was fixed and brought up to code, which included jack-hammering a hole in the concrete floor. You can read more about that in this post, when I showed the wheelbarrow in the bathroom, highlighting the shower from a tub.
Vinyl Flooring Installed
After all those pesky mechanicals were fixed, corrected and brought up to code, the carpenter installed this wonderful vinyl plank floor. Here’s the post I wrote in detail about this luxury vinyl plank flooring.
New Vanity Installed
After the flooring was installed they installed the new vanity:
I found this 24″ vanity here. Nothing fancy for this apartment, just clean and classic styling. It came with a standard sink top.
Plumbing Brands Matter to My Carpenter
The faucet is Moen, which is a brand preferred by my plumber. It’s in that spot-resist brushed nickel finish. (There are several brands of fixtures he doesn’t like… says they’re crap, junky to install and that he has to make a lot of service calls on them. Therefore I trust his preferences on that, thus the whole house will have Moen brand faucets because of it!)
Humidity Sensing Fan
When searching for the bathroom exhaust fan, I found some that offered humidity sensing, which means they automatically sense when the humidity in the room reaches a certain level and will automatically turn on until the humidity lowers.
Since we plan to eventually have a tenant in the apartment, I though having an automatic feature in the exhaust fan to turn on with high humidity means even if they are remiss turning on the fan when they shower, I still will have some control over the basement not getting damaged from high humidity.
Just a little sermon on the importance of a good bathroom fan… This fan that has a humidity sensing feature and a quiet running sound along with high cfm, (the amount of air moved out in a minute) was more expensive than one with less. I think it’s important to buy quality for these types of mechanicals that can save you money and a lot of headache than if they’re not doing the job and you start to have humidity issues, or the fan is so noisy no one wants to use it.
I think humidity and water are one of the biggest threats to a house. I consider them my enemy and work hard to it keep them out so that molds, mildew and dry rot are not allowed to destroy my home. A good bathroom exhaust fan is an important weapon against a massive amount of humidity entering the house every day when someone takes a shower. (OK, end of sermon… putting the ‘soapbox’ away for now)
Tub to a Shower
Finally, the room is done.
Choosing a Clean Toilet
For the toilet selection, I visited the site that shows toilet flush ratings. But besides knowing it rated very good in that department, I also wanted a toilet that was easy to clean and clean looking.
I’m super happy with this choice in toilets. It has the clean cut sides so that wiping down the outside of it is quick and easy, with no annoying curves and crevices for the dust to get caught in.
This is kind of gross, but those toilets that have the shape of the curvy drains on the outside in the back, which is most toilets, always remind me of intestines… it’s like the intestines of the toilet… so gross! I don’t know why my mind thinks of such things, but once it does, then it’s tainted… sorry if I just ruined it for you now too!
Another thing I like about the clean cut lines of this toilet is that the toilet lid, (which comes with a soft close) is extra deep so it covers the seat. love that!
This toilet also has some sort of special glaze or finish inside to repel and self-cleans maintaining a cleaner bowl longer. OK, that’s a great feature too!
We still have 4 other bathrooms in the main house to renovate. Before I ordered all those toilets, I wanted to test this one out for a few weeks and be sure it ‘performed’ as well as it was rated to. Well let me just say that we now have 4 more of the exact same toilets on hand for the other bathrooms… I heard a rumor that this style might be discontinued and I hurried and ordered them all for the bathrooms.
When fixing the walls in this room, they also bumped the wall behind the vanity over a couple inches so that a 24″ wide vanity could fit with wall all the way across. (refer to the 2nd pic in this post, and you’ll see the skinny strip of sheetrock on it.) Just enough to make it be nice and clean and fit well, but not so much that it gets too close to the toilet… code mandates at least 15″ space on each side of toilet bowl center.
Farmhouse Lighting Tip
I think the industrial farmhouse style is charming, and with these LED light bulbs it gives off great light. (here’s the link for this light)
If you can tell in this picture, the vanity mirror cabinet is surface mounted. That means it sticks out into the room, instead of being recessed. If we would have mounted the wall sconce flat against the wall, the light bulbs would have shadowed on top of the vanity mirror instead of extending out to light up your face.
To bring the light fixture forward so that the light bulbs were placed in the right spot, my carpenter just mounted 3 staggered sized boards, stacked on top of each other to the wall and mounted the light on that. Viola! Perfect depth for the lighting now.
Cubby Storage Where Tub Was
Opposite the vanity is the shower… and since we replaced a tub, there was ample room for additional storage. Instead of a standard built in cabinet, we finished the space with cubbies that have adjustable shelving inside and are covered with these custom curtains mounted on tension rods. I made these curtains the same day I made the ones for the door in our apartment. You can see my secret for creating these curtains without a sewing machine here.
I was thrilled with the fun bright splash of color the curtain fabric has.
Since we’re only living here for a few months while the main house is being renovated, I didn’t really unpack the bathroom supplies… The curtains cover all this mess up and look pretty and clean. 😉
The fabric print was perfect for this space because it tied the red from the rag rug and the blue of the bench together.
Speaking of that bench…
It’s a Humble Bench
This little piece looks so simple and humble in this room, and no one would give it a second thought…
I’ve had this bench my entire marriage, (that’s going on 39 years now). I painted it this blue color with the bird stencils back in the 80’s. Before that I had painted it a bright grass green color for our first apartment, which in fact was a basement apartment too. In that apartment I stored my pots and pans on it, because the apartment didn’t have any cabinets.
But even then, back in the beginning the bench already held special memories for me… because this little bench was my grandma’s before it was mine.
Grandma Using Her Bench
I can still see it covered with newspaper on her back porch as she scaled fish we just caught for supper. My grandpa, a carpenter, added the extra legs to make it a little taller for her.
I’ve had this bench in every house we’ve ever lived in… counting all of them, apartments and all, I think that’d be 9 different places my husband and I have called home, and this humble bench has found a place in every single one of them. It found purpose and survived many generations, from when my grandma had it and then in our house, from when we had babies and they grew into teens and left the house, and brought back our grand-babies. Amazing how a piece of furniture can carry so much sentimentality, isn’t it?
Now in this basement apartment bathroom it works great to hold towels… I wonder where I’ll use it in the main house when that’s done.
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This post is linked at these other sites too: Coastal Charm, Between Naps on the Porch, Skip to my Lou, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Stone Gable, A Stroll Thru Life, The DIY Dreamer, Savvy Southern Style, My Thrift Store Addiction, Little Bits of Home, My Thrift Store Addiction, French Country Cottage, A Delightsome Life, Olives & Okra, Chic on a Shoestring, Tatertots & Jello