Powder Room – Take 1, Scene 1

The lurid green bathroom had to go.  It was one of the first things I noticed — and hated — about my new house.  Somewhere along the line, someone thought that aggressive neon lime was the way to attract buyers.

Not sure why there was a full-size towel bar, since it is a half bath. Also not sure why the towel bar required reinforcement....

The vanity, a builder-grade standard, was unoffensive in and of itself.  I disliked the way it projected into the room.  When you walked into the house, the powder room — and therefore the projecting vanity — is the first thing you see.  It’s a visual barrier.  As much as I understand the feng shui way of looking at things, it’s bad for energy flow.

Enbiggen to see the sweet, sweet tile work near the toilet. This will be relevant later.

There were a few considerations on how to handle the vanity.  I could paint it the same color as the room, to make it essentially disappear.  That would be the cheap ‘n’ easy route.  While I have been many things in my life, I can’t say cheap ‘n’ easy has ever been one of them.  So I elected to remove the vanity and put in a pedestal sink.  Easy-peasy, right?  You just get a plumber to disconnect the sink, then you tear out the vanity, make small patches to the drywall if necessary, put in a new pedestal sink and everyone goes home happy.

Turns out you need a backer board behind the pedestal sink — a 2×6 or a piece of plywood that the sink can bolt to.  Backer board keeps the pedestal sink from tipping over and smashing your cat, or shattering into a million pieces (a la Aunt Josephine from A Series of Unfortunate Events).

Aunt Josephine knows the pedestal sink will tip over and flatten you before it smashes into a million pieces.

This requires, at most, removing a little drywall, inserting the backer board, and installing new drywall.  Mud and paint, and you’re done.  Now it’s more like a long weekend project, but something that can easily be done in a few days.

Then you remove the vanity.  Some enterprising soul has been back there and removed a huge chunk of drywall.  Not the end of the world: you can now see what’s back there.

What’s back there?

You might notice the bathroom is now red. Yes, yes it is -- more on that later.

The pipes are in the wrong places; the electrical is where it oughtn’t be; the stud that you’re going to use to anchor your backer board is inside a bump-out wall. This means that you’re going to have a hard time connecting a backer board to that interior stud.  The stud you can see is basically in the middle of where you want your sink to go, which means that you’re going to have to install backerboard to the LEFT side as well as the right.  Which means taking out more drywall, and building a backer board scab on the left side as well as the right.

On the plus side, that bit of white board in the foreground is something I found nailed to the right-hand wall, wedging it between the vanity and the wall.  Turns out it’s a piece of moulding the exact size to fit between where the existing moulding ends and where the new moulding will be.  So, I only need something like a foot of new moulding once I get the new drywall in.

Stay tuned — adventures in carpentry, plumbing and pretty red paint to follow!

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