Thursday, July 30, 2015

Basement Bathroom

This is one small project that snowballed into a full tear out. Silly me. I thought for a brief hot minuet that only the bathroom shower needed to come out and we could replace it with a shower kit. The old shower was leaking and we saw old evidence that it had leaked into a part of the closet behind the shower. Well, that old water stain on the dry wall was masking a whole pile of rotted out studs. The studs behind the shower were pure black silt and once the adjoining closet door was removed, the wall sort of gently waved in the breeze. Oh, to be on a tropical island.

I can almost feel those sea breezes silkily curling across my sun baked skin. Almost.

I'm pretty baffled that someone would build a bathroom without any sort of waterproofing. We removed the studs in the bathroom and just continued down the line until the whole closet was removed as well. All that remains of the bathroom walls is a mulch stained footprint.

We decided after prying the concrete and tiles off the bathroom walls that we'd leave the shower pan for our contractor to remove with some more serious horsepower. It was a bit astonishing to see the tiles were just thickly back buttered onto the brick party wall with concrete. We are pretty sure it was concrete because we found a rotted empty bag tucked behind the pipe in the wall once we took out the tile.

But it is a bit airier down here now. After eating lunch and restoring some of our blood sugar, we've decided that we won't rebuild the closet. I think keeping it as a mudroom with a bench and wall hooks will help the basement hall not feel so closed in once the bathroom walls go back up. We also plan to remove the closets under the stairs and simply have the railing exposed to help it feel less like a creepy descent into a basement. There are plenty of other closets down there for storage and a whole room in the back where we can put shelving if we find we still need to squirrel things away. For the time being, it's nice to see the bad going out and hopefully soon we'll have the good going back in.

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