interiors & styling: The Bathroom : One Room Challenge – Week 2

Here we are in Week 2 of the One Room Challenge and I’m feeling really excited to see the bathroom come together! In case you missed the before image and design plan, you can find it in the Week 1 post. However, before it gets better- it always gets worse. Way worse, in this case. You guessed it, this post is all about demo and prep. Click through to see the mess we ran into, and learn about how we had to improvise our entire plan. Warning- it’s pretty gross. 


If you found me through the ORC site, hi there! I’m Sarah, a designer located in Salt Lake City, UT. You can see my current home renovation here, as well as my previous Ohio home here. Thanks for reading!

Alright, let’s get to the point- demo. In theory it sounds like a lot of fun… swinging a sledge hammer around recklessly, but in reality- it’s pretty nasty work. Emmett started with the easiest task first: removal of the ancient medicine cabinet.

That went pretty well, but we noticed a giant pipe located in the center and noted that we would need to remove it… one more thing added to our to-do list. Next, he tackled the linoleum floor demo.

At first glance the subfloor looked ok, but Emmett being the perfectionist he is, noticed it wasn’t level. Little did we know the entire structure was rotten (more on that later).

Drywall and tile demo came next. That all went pretty much as expected. We had planned to replace everything anyway, so we didn’t uncover anything unexpected.

Then it was time to remove the toilet and bathtub. This meant we no longer had a toilet or shower to use. Remember? This is our one and ONLY bathroom. Luckily we have great neighbors, a Starbucks close by, and friends who let us shower at their house. You can imagine how inconvenient that was though. I’ll admit to peeing in the yard, a lot… camping style (no shame here). Ha! I also made frequent coffee runs to use their facilities (insert embarrassed face here). Showering felt a lot like college. Emmett and I packed up our towels and shower caddies, then drove to our friend’s home to shower. Fun times. Meanwhile, our bathroom looked like this:

Remember how I mentioned the rotten subfloor? Yuck. See what I mean? It was soft, mushy, and moldy, so Emmett decided to take it all the way down to the studs. He even had to replace some studs. It was a complete mess and added 10+ hours to the project, but these things happen. Nothing has been easy with this house.

Here’s what it looked like after he started to rebuild the floor…

That’s the bottom of our house / crawlspace. While the floor was removed, he updated alllllll of the plumbing. We actually had to use a car jack down there to get the heaviest metal pipe out. It weighed over 450 lbs and took both of us to drag it out of the house (not to mention it was filled with sewer). I’m tellin’ ya… renovating isn’t for the faint of heart- or the squeamish. Emmett likes building things from the ground up though, and that meant brand new, modern plumbing and piping. Keep in mind all of this took a little over a week. Once it was done, he closed it back up…

After the floor was fixed, it was time to start prep work and make the bathroom look like a room again. We added insulation to the exterior wall around our new black window. This house has zero insulation and it’s been our goal to insulate each room as we go to make it more efficient.

After insulation, we moved the bathtub back into it’s position. Emmett hung new drywall and cement board (layered on top of plastic for added water / mold protection).

I knew I wanted custom sized shower niches, so I also had him frame those out. We each have our own shelf for shampoo / bath products.

Next, he roughed in a spot for a medicine cabinet since we’re seriously short on storage.

Lastly, the most exciting part… the brand new vanity arrived! I can tell you, I’m swapping out the chrome hardware.

Next week, you’ll have to come back to see the finished tile, which has me SO excited. We’re cruising right along in the ORC and I’m almost ready to pick out accessories- to make sure they arrive in time. I’m thinking soap dispensers, towels, artwork, hardware, hooks, towel bars, baskets, etc.

What do you think so far? Questions? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you think we’re crazy or do you guys do this sort of intense demo / reno as well?  You can see all of the participants in the fall 2017 ORC by clicking the logo below.


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