Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Upstairs bathroom: primer

Before I dive head first into the myriad of tasks I need to complete to give our upstairs bathroom a facelift, I’d like to give you an idea of the space we’re working with.

Room size:

5 feet wide (not including deep closet or the shower and toilet nooks) by 11 feet long.

Pre-construction photos:

First, here is a photo of the upstairs bathroom on the original blueprints (north is up)...

Next, here’s the detail of the shower and toilet nooks on the west wall...

Here’s the east wall on the day we moved in...

And here’s the west wall on the day we moved in...

Isn't that wallpaper the tops? I can't believe we're taking it down!


Nothing has changed between the time we moved in and now. I simply say “on the day we moved in” above because the changes to the room have been minor and nothing we’ve deliberately done; assuming you consider cracks in the plaster as a minor change. The cracks have slowly appeared along the wall and ceiling joints within the shower nook as well as along the plaster seems on the ceiling. (They used narrow, 16-inch-wide, sheets of plaster board on the ceiling of the bathroom. At every joint you can now see a crack, side-to-side down the bathroom ceiling. More on the repair of those cracks later.)

There are also larger, more concerning cracks at certain intersections of walls, and walls to the ceiling. I’m certain these cracks – which were found behind the wallpaper – had been there for years. The cracks along the ceiling were – in my opinion – the direct result of a certain beloved family member refusing to use the shower fan while in the shower, thus creating a tropical environment in that small room during hot showers.

Let me digress for a moment. Shortly after we moved in, a shower fan was added to the room and wired with the light in the shower. The thinking at the time was that if you were going to shower, you’d have to have the shower light on. And if the shower light were to be on, so too would the newly-installed bathroom fan. It was perfect, exit one small detail: I guess some people can do without significant light while showering.

And the excuse from the violating family member: “the fan is too loud.” Now, who purchased said loud fan? That same family member, who essentially purchased the cheapest fan possible. I totally agree, it is extremely loud, but it also serves a very important purpose.

Lesson learned: you get what you pay for. Buy a cheap bathroom fan and it’s going to sound like a jet taking off. I’ll be resolving this problem with a new fan later.

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