Guest Bath

Guest Bath Before


When I first saw this very fifties bathroom, I thought it was kind of adorable with the retro black and white vibe and the itty-bitty sink, but this is one of those rooms that you slowly start to hate until you just want to rip out the sledge hammer and take it out.  It started with the window in the shower.  Really, a window in the shower?  Apparently this is common for the 50s, but seriously who thought this was a good idea?  Again, at first we thought it was quirky, but it quickly turned to moldy.

We spent a couple of nights stripping paint so we could apply some fresh caulk and some paint designed for boats which we thought appropriate.  Unfortunately, we used the wrong caulk because it turned out like this:

Wrong Caulk

TIP:  Use paintable caulk.


We also hung a shower curtain to protect the woodwork and provide some privacy for person in the shower after having taken too many showers where I had to quickly crouch down when the neighbor came over to say hello.  The downside to having plastic shower curtains on both sides is that they both stick to your legs and get a little claustrophobic.


Here’s another problem, do you see how close the sink is to the toilet?  I can literally rest my arms on the sink when sitting down, and there is no good place to hang the towels without crawling all the way out of the shower after you’re done.  It had to go, and since we knew without even looking that the floor and walls were definitely rotten, we had to take it all out.  So began our epic Guest Bath saga in November of 2013.

gutted bathroom

First we ripped it all down to the bare bones and of course, it was rotted and moldy and gross.  Another surprise were those wooden slats covering all the 2x4s.   What is up with that?  Sound barrier?  For the look?  No idea but they caused some serious problems all down the line.

guest bath subfloor after

We fixed the floor, and cleaned up the mold on the walls

exhaust fan vent

And we installed a vent fan to eliminate the need for a window in the shower.

The Not So Great Flood

Then, come February, it flooded.  We’re just glad that it flooded before we finished the whole bathroom, and Eric was able to fix it eventually.  That moment, though, coming home to standing water on the floor with the whole bath tub filled up, that was awful.

Bathroom Walls Up

Then we added in the walls, just in time for Mom and Dad Forbes to arrive.  We got a toilet in there for them, too.

old window removal

We finally got our window in that we ordered back in December about mid-February and braced ourselves for a disaster.  Actually it went really smoothly and made us start to itch for new windows in the whole house.  It’s pretty amazing having an insulated window without 100 panes and no spiders living between the window and the storm window.

tiling with the dog

Next up, we added in some glorious subway tile with Rooster barking at us to “Hurry Up!”

Marble Hex Floor Tile

The floor tile went in the same week in a mad dash race.  Our next guests were scheduled to arrive and we wanted this whole bathroom perfect.  Like usual, we overestimated our DIY abilities and didn’t quite get there but at least this time they had a toilet and a shower.

Eric sitting on the tub holding the toilet bottom with a sad face


The night before they arrived, just about everything went wrong including the cast iron pipe for the toilet breaking and the standard pre-hung door we purchased doesn’t fit because of those extra planks on the walls.  Thankfully Eric saved the toilet just in time but the door is one we’ll have to save for another day.

The List:

  1. Inspirations
  2. Demo the Bathroom Day 1 and Day 2
  3. Install a ventilation fan
  4. Fixing the floor
  5. Picking a window
  6. Picking Bathroom Fixtures
  7. The Bathroom Flood
  8. Drywall and Cement Board Installation
  9. Drywall Mud
  10. Change out the Window
  11. Waterproof the Window
  12. Waterproof the tile areas
  13. Choosing Floor Tile
  14. The Tile Schedule
  15. Installing Subway Tile
  16. Installing Floor Tile

To Do List:

  1. Create a custom door jamb
  2. Install Wainscoting
  3. Paint
  4. Accessorize

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