Summer, 2003


This, the first room to be renovated, was done much more by necessity than choice. I had always intended to put off redoing the bath (ugliness quotient notwithstanding) until I had another room or two under my belt. After all, let's face it: nothing about redoing a bath was going to be easy or cheap. But after one night in the house I realized that the three boys who had lived here previously must have needed to work on their aim; the smell was overwhelming. Never underestimate your house's ability to tell you what it needs: the schedule was immediately reordered!

Original clawfoot tub with peel & stick tiles Out with the peel & stick floor tiles, the original 6-gallons-per-flush toilet and clawfoot tub, the 1970s window- and door-casings and the spoiled wall panels... everything had to go! We stopped just short of the ripping the walls out. After 15 years of little boys with poor aim, this space needed some serious attention.
The floor beneath the stool required replacement, due to (at least) a leaky wax ring. As it turned out, this was not the first time, but it was definitely high time: there was almost no structural support for the stool in the joists below. Original Floor
Hanging Joist When they put in the plumbing, they simply removed whatever structure was in the way and never reinforced the results. How frightening! After ripping out the ceiling in the entry below, I found one joist had been completely severed from its connection to the rim joist around the stairwell (and thus under the stool).
We wanted a tile floor, so that meant that the peel & stick tiles, underlayment, and even the original 1"-thick pine flooring had to go. In this destruction process we discovered that this space had originally housed the closet for the front bedroom (which now had none). So this bath was not original to the house, but added sometime in the early twenties, I would guess. Armed with this assumption, the effort was made to redo that bathroom with a '20s feel, including octagonal tile, tall beadboard wainscoting, and a new tub filler with sprayer. New Filler and Sprayer
Stealth Shelving Finished Tub
Replacing the useless 12"-wide box surrounding the stack pipe with something a little more functional was imperative. Simple shelves above the chair rail and an added door below made for some much-needed storage space. I also built a small shelf for the wall to take advantage of some of the empty vertical real estate.
Although I've never seen it done, I simply could not resist the urge to paint the tub's claw feet. We had to redo the entire paint job, anyway, so why not?