Sunday, December 14, 2008

Status update: The festering Craphole (day 73)

Believe it or not I've made significant progress on our little bathroom renovation, and today was quite the banner day. This afternoon's efforts consisted of wainscoting, painting, and only two trips to Home Depot.

As is usually the case with us, the design of this room as evolved somewhat organically. Unlike those HGTV design shows, where the hottie designer of the week presents his or her client with a to-scale 3D color drawing of the entire redo, we've been sort of winging it. We knew we wanted something in the way of an oceanic theme. I knew I was going to do wainscoting on the walls, primarily because I didn't want to have to deal with patching the numerous holes. So we decided to delve into the world of faux finishes, painting the upper half of the walls in sort of an ocean blue. After finding and installing a floor tile that looked sort of like sand, we then had to decide what color make the wainscoting. Despite our daughters' pleas to make it seaweed green, we went against the theme and painted it a simple warm beige. We told the kids to imagine a sand dune.

By the way, if anyone can offer up the steering wheel from a sailing ship, we'll gladly take it off your hands to use as a towel rack.

Then came time to figure out what to do about a sink. Before we embarked on this project, I had envisioned a pedestal sink. However, I have never installed a pedestal sink, so at the last minute I wimped out and decided to put a typical vanity cabinet in. Went to Home Depot, decided on something, brought it home, lugged it upstairs, unboxed it , slid it into place, and promptly reversed the process after realizing how ugly it looked. So, we're back to the pedestal idea. Oh well, I can read directions I guess. And on the bright side, a pedestal sink means less surface area to collect toothpaste spittle.

A note about tiling a bathroom floor. I've determined that I could make a lot of money inventing something to easily cut that round hole for the toilet drain. currently the process involves a miter saw with a carbide bit (because I was too cheap to rent a wetsaw to cut 6 tiles), which effectively cuts the tiles but creates a ton of sparks and makes the house smell like a machine shop for a week. Then, you take a pair of "nibblers", which are essentially pliers used to break little pieces of tile off until you get the right shape, hopefully without shattering the tile in the process. After three hours of nibbling and two failed attempts resulting in shattered tiles, I had a reasonably carved circle...and a hand that was no longer able to grip objects for two days.

Here's the progress so far. If you zoom in on the second picture you'll notice artwork on the lower half of the walls done by a certain 5-year-old. She specifically asked if I could install the wainscoting AROUND her artwork so it wouldn't be covered.

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