Playing catch-up: #5 The First Floor Bath/Laundry room

Project run Spring 2011.

One of the features that we had really liked about our house from the beginning was the first floor laundry room/half bath. Not having to go all the way from the second floor down to the basement saved time and meant that we had more space in the basement for storage and other projects.

However the room was definitely in need of some work to make it more functional.  The door had been replaced at some point before us and opened into the bathroom, not bad except in order to use the sink, or mirror you had to go into the bathroom and close the door before you could get to anything.

The bathroom, like every other room, had wallpaper that had been painted over.  Add in the beat up fixtures, nonmatching sink and toilet, and rusted medicine cabinet and you have a project waiting to happen.

We began the project in February by taking down a wall, we wanted to solve the door issue and by chance the wall was long enough to put in a pocket door.  We knew the wall was not load bearing but it was slightly terrifying as we cut out the 2×3’s to make room for the new door. After putting in a new laminated header (2 2×8’s) and some new 2×4’s we mounted the track for the pocket door.

In the process of taking the wall down we had to move the light switch. The ceiling was already damaged from another water leak from a different bathroom issue (people, please make sure your contractors, if you are going to hire people, use GLUE when putting together plumbing!) so damaging the ceiling to resnake wires was not an issue. It ended up working out that the wire was long enough that we didn’t have to rewire anything, just reroute the wires and presto instant electrical switch!

The other nice thing about opening up the ceiling to re run the electrical was that we were able to solve the great heating question.  Our master bath was always cold, no matter what the rest of the house was, it was always cold.  Turns out that the geniuses who did the plumbing moved the vent and NEVER reconnected it!  So our heat had been blowing out between the joists rather than out the vent. Some duct tape later and viola we have heat!

What followed was, once again, lots of compound.  We filled in the cavity for the old medicine cabinet that we were replacing, taped the new sheetrock, patched and floated the ceiling (good-by sand paint) and then skim coated all the walls.

Unlike in other rooms we had planned ahead on this one; about a year before the project we had picked up a vanity and sink at Home Depot on sale and a light fixture from BJ’s.  We did however invest in a new stackable washer and dryer that we got on sale at Home Depot and a new toilet.  The original plan was to keep the old cabinets that were above the washer and dryer but the wife won out (for the better, just don’t let her know that) and we ditched the cabinets for a new one.  I mounted a towel rack underneath the cabinet and now we have a place to hang shirts and pants

We finished off the room with a coat of fresh paint, Pismo Dune, and our standard casings and baseboard.  We also installed a smaller crown molding to give the room a traditional look that contrasts nicely with the modern color scheme.

As always, enjoy the pictures.


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