We’ve made major progress on our closets-turned-new-bathroom project, with choosing and installing the bathtub as the biggest item crossed off of the list recently.
We haven’t had a working bathtub in at least a year (maybe two? I’ve lost count of the days…), so as you can imagine, I was skipping down the plumbing aisles imagining what it would be like to soak in any one of the beautiful baths hanging from the shelves. And to upgrade Liv’s bath time from the kitchen sink (or showering with Mom or Dad) to an actual bathtub? Exciting.
Olivia: What is this magical place? This must be bath-land, the land that Mommy dreams about.
Liv’s quite the little shopper, and she’s easily impressed:
There’s plenty of criteria to consider when you’re shopping for the perfect tub. If you find yourself in the plumbing aisle anytime soon, consider the following:
- Style: This is an easy one, but there are two main styles of tubs – free-standing and wall-mounted. The design aesthetic of the overall bathroom can easily be affected by your choice, let alone installation. While our goal is to create a modern bath with plenty of vintage-esq accents (to help tie the bathroom into the rest of the 1930′s home), we decided that a free-standing clawfoot bath would take up too much room in our small ~75 square feet of space and opted for a wall-mounted version instead. Clawfooted tubs come with the traditional claw, with a pedestal mount or with ball feet.
- Size & Features: If you’re replacing an older tub in a current bathroom, you’ll be limited on the size and plumbing of your new bathtub. The location of the drain, for example, is already set. The average bath tub is about 60″ wide, 30″ deep and 14-16″ high – though this can range on what year your home was built and what style of tub was installed. If you are building from scratch, take into consideration which wall will be plumbed and how the layout of the bathroom will affect your tub placement. Then choose a bathtub that fits the appropriate space, lines up with the drain lines and is skirted on the correct outside edge.
A free-standing tub is stunning but requires plenty of space.
- Cost: A final limitation can be cost. While free-standing tubs are beautiful, they can often run in the $1,000 plus range (even from a salvage shop). Wall-mounted tubs are much more cost-effective and you can expect to spend somewhere around $250 for a basic version up to $800 for a whirlpool-style tub.
- Cool fact: Roman tubs are deeper than your standard wall-mounted variety, and Japanese tubs are even deeper than Roman tubs.
- Final notes: Be sure the tub allows for a shower installation and double check that your current water heater can support a new bathtub (especially a really large one!). If you’re installing a bath tub into a brand new space, make sure the floor area can support the new weight.
We opted for a recessed bathtub (three sides will be wall-mounted while the fourth side, or “apron”, is exposed – the most common style of tub) with a custom tiled shower (as opposed to a wall-kit, or a plastic lined shower). We found the perfect Kohler option right off of the Lowe’s shelf. It’s small enough to fit comfortably in a 5 foot nook in the wall, but still offers relaxation features such as a row of jets for the best spa-like experience (without being out-of-this-world pricey or jacuzzi-like).
Here’s a peek though the dining room door:
At this point the walls were framed (see all of the demo and before closet shots here) and the space for the new tub was ready to be filled. That’s a layer of hardibacker there on the floor, evening out the different styles and sizes of the closet floors.
The skirt (or apron) is open for plumbing purposes.
Once the tub is in place (the framed walls firmly hold the 60″ bathtub) a roll of tar paper is applied to the walls to add an additional water-resistant layer.
That’s a future closet space over to the left and the rest of the walls remain to be lined and filled in with dry wall.
A staple gun is the easiest application for adhering the tar paper to the studs, though a hammer and tack nails would do just as well. Attach tar paper directly to wood frames and don’t be afraid to use as many staples as necessary to keep the paper taut. Corners should be pressed in manually so that they are especially tight.
The edge of the tar paper should meet the edge of the tub and not overlap it.
Use a utility knife to identify any spaces for future fixtures, these holes won’t be visible at the end but will help you stay organized and aware of the space of the entire project.
We haven’t covered plumbing here because it’s so very specific to each home. Consult a plumber or head out to the land of Google to find out more details on converting a current bath or building one from scratch. A detailed project, indeed!
In other news, Liv is three months old! I’ll be back shortly with a round-up of our favorite baby products for the first three months and an update on the mantel and nursery projects.
Tags: Construction, DIY, Our Bathroom
Posted in Construction, Home, Our Bathroom, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures | 4 Comments »
Remember back when I first started the nursery curtains only to discover a little snag in the plan when the fabric arrived? The back-up fabric for the curtains worked out beautifully, but I was left with five yards of a great fabric that I needed to find a project for.
Enter basket liners part 1. Our changing table (which received this makeover) holds four baskets from Amazon that fit it perfectly - but the white liners were lacking for looks.
When my aunt (an excellent seamstress whose skills I envy) asked if she could sew something for Olivia’s nursery, I asked her opinion on the liners and a couple of other projects (soon to come).
Liv loved the idea!
And the baskets look amazing, just what the space needed!
To sew liners for your own baskets, create a pattern by using a seam ripper to take apart the current liners. If your baskets are empty, use the measurements of the width, depth and height of each edge and the base of the basket to create a pattern out of paper (don’t forget to take into account the hem and overhang on the outside of the basket). Use the paper to cut your fabric pieces and sew each edge. A little elastic in the outside hems around the corners will help keep the basket liners in place!
Easy! A quick makeover that changes the entire look of the baskets.
That’s our hanging diaper pail from our cloth diapering adventure hanging on the right side of the table next to the hanging hamper that we love. Dirty cloth diapers go into the wet pail (which keeps all smells out) and dirty clothes are tossed right into a washable hamper.
Liv digs it.
Thanks great auntie Laurie!
More Project Nursery posts: the great glider makeover, sewing the curtains part 1, part 2, part 3, nursery fabric board, curtain fabric selection, rocking horse find, new pendant light, vintage wall art addition, changing table makeover, nursery wall striping tutorial, painted animal project, the initial inspiration board and the before picture posts.
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Home, Nursery, Sewing, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Liv's Nursery, Renovating Adventures | 8 Comments »
We’re turning three adjoining closets in the center of our house into a full bathroom – and we’ve broken ground! We’re building this bathroom from scratch, so the first thing on the list was to bring those walls down.
Here’s a look at the largest of the three closets. You can see the hallway that continues on to the living room on the right and Liv’s bedroom to the left. Behind me is our current bathroom. We have a new hallway now next to the new kitchen, so this hallway will add additional square footage to the new bath.
Remember when we received the best email ever? It’s so exciting to be on the move.
After a few hours of work the walls to the closet were down. Here’s a hazy peek through the plastic:
The worst part of tearing down three closets is losing three prime storage spaces. Our in-progress office is now filling up with brooms and mops and baskets of towels and coats… and everything else you keep in hallway closets .
And a better look from the other side of the new bath (looking in from the dining room):
A few things to keep in mind when demoing:
*Dust is a drag – staple gun plastic sheets (painter’s plastic) as make-shift walls when working, a spare 2×4 works excellently as a weight where the sheet meets the floor. Always wear protective eye/mouth gear and be extra cautious when working in an older home – asbestos, old/rotted wood and termites are real issues.
*Be sure to turn your breaker box off before you begin. If you’re removing old electrical work, don’t forget to properly cap off all wires.
*Salvage where you can – you might not need those old cabinets, doors and windows but Habitat for Humanity or a local charity might benefit from the donation.
*Have a truck bed empty and ready to fill. Moving your recently demoed pieces directly from the room into the bed saves time and your muscles from lifting and rearranging too many piles. As soon as the bed is full make your dump run. Trust me – you won’t be motivated to do it the next day.
An in-the-moment shot:
You can see the old closet outlines on the ceiling. I’d love to know what decade the walls were that mint green color, we’ve uncovered it in nearly every room!
Just to give a better idea of placement within the house, there’s the office on the right, the kitchen is behind me and that hallway there leads to Liv’s room and the master bedroom. You see what I mean how the broom closet has relocated to the office? Bummer.
Be back soon with more updates!
Tags: Construction, DIY, Our Bathroom
Posted in Home, Project Lowe's, Renovating Adventures | 1 Comment »