Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Archive for the ‘bathroom’ Category

My Bathroom: The Rest of the Story

Some people said they wanted to see more pictures of my crazy bathroom in its recent stages of transformation. I am nothing if not obliging. Here, you dirty voyeurs! Feast your eyes on the nitty gritty recesses of my bathroom.

You may recall that when we decided to put up wainscoting, I allowed Brandon, my cousins, sister, sister’s boyfriend, and myself to draw on the bathroom walls.


Then we put up some shelf paper because we weren’t able to tackle the job of putting up the wainscoting for a while and we needed it to look nice and be easier to clean in the meantime.


THEN! We took the shelf paper off in anticipation of the wainscoting installation. That didn’t go so well.


BUT THEN! The carpenters from Loki’s Garden put up the wainscoting and our bathroom began to look beautiful.


Next up: patching a few plaster flaws near the ceiling, some fresh and lovely blue paint, and a fresh coat of primer and paint for the woodwork. Also, the tub will get paint. And shiny shiny feet.

Hooray for shiny feet.

One Step Closer To the Bathroom Of My Dreams

Remember a while back when I showed you a picture of some lovely bungalow’s bathroom and jumped around hollering, “This one! This is the one! I’m going to make my bathroom look like that!” It looked like this:

Dreams for my bathroom

Well, I got one step closer this month as the fine folks from Loki’s Garden installed wainscoting on the walls!



At Our New Old House the plumbing was one of those things that we knew we’d have to do eventually but that never gave us enough of a problem to fix right away. However, when the faucet on our tub stopped working and we discovered how difficult it was going to be to connect a new faucet to the old pipes, we decided to hire a plumber to re-do our whole plumbing system.

Here are the old pipes to the tub:


And here are the new flex tubes, which are much easier to attach to fixtures.


Since we were going to have the plumber here anyway, we asked him to remove some of the scary old fixtures that had been left behind by previous owners. This toilet was a must to go.


And so it  was gone…


And they capped the drain hole.


The pipes were all galvanized before and probably very close to original on the house and had calcified inside quite a bit. Here’s the inside of one of the valves they took off:


So, with all the galvanized gone they replaced it with Pex.





Now our water pressure is GREAT, the hot water gets to the tap really hot, and fixtures are all easy to attach!

We used John Carroll of Des Moines (Carroll Plumbing, LLC) and we were really satisfied with his work.

Clawfeet mystery solved! Now what?

If you remember last year we had to remove the claw foot tub from the bathroom to put down new tile. We were shocked and dismayed when the feet FELL OFF the tub and the terrifying realization sunk in that for a hundred years or so this several hundred pound behemoth of cast iron was delicately balancing on four unattached feet that collapsed as soon as the weight was shifted.

Remember this?


And this?


Yeah, those are memories I’d like to forget.

Anyway, I don’t know if I ever told you the story of how we put the feet and the tub back together. After having several friends, including a mechanical engineer and some other house fixers, look at the detached feet and the bottom of the tub and express dismay that there seemed now way to hold them all together except by gravity and prayer, we just decided to put things back the way we found them and hope it lasted another 100 years.

So we had a couple of strong friends assist Brandon in lifting the tub while I scrambled underneath placing the feet one by one and shouting instructions from under the tub as they lowered one corner at a time onto the feet I was balancing. It was harrowing, but we did it successfully and the tub has been resting comfortably on the feet ever since.

Well, except one. There’s one foot that I’m SURE is slipping. It makes me nervous every day. I sit on the toilet looking at that foot and I just know it’s moved another millimeter while I was sleeping. I know it! That stupid sneaky foot. And then I give it a look and shake my fist at it. Like this:

Evil Monkey

Anyway, I’ve been looking around online for solutions that might work better than bubblegum, plumbers putty, and upside down welding. (All suggestions offered to me by well-meaning but ultimately cracked individuals.) Today I found this and I think it’s the right answer!

claw foot tub feet brace

Sadly, the picture’s not great, but this makes perfect sense! The feet have bolts attached so they can screw into SOMETHING but there’s nothing to screw them onto on the bottom of the tub. Okay, you need more pictures.

IMG_3835 cropped

IMG_3845 cropped

If the feet were screwed into a brace that would hold them all together and the tub rested on the brace and the feet, then that would be super stable and I could sleep a whole night through not worrying about one of the cats getting squashed under the toppling tub!

I doubt such a thing is available ready made, though I’m planning to check out American Plumbing, the awesome store I went to for my previous plumbing conundrums. I might have to have someone fabricate what I need from metal straps. The search begins.

Our New Old House LIVES!!!

Hi all,

I haven’t written here in a very long time and I’m so sorry to have left you hangin’. We rushed up on a deadline to have the house appraised last month and so we did TONS of work but I haven’t had time to blog about it until now.  But don’t worry, I took pictures!  I have no idea what order anything happened in now, so I’ll just go room by room and get you up to speed.  Let’s start with the bathroom today.

When last I blogged, the bathroom looked like…  this!

IMG_5048   IMG_3549  

There was still some wallpaper residue on the walls so Brandon scraped it off.




Then he scrubbed the walls to make them ready to prime.


With this latest push to get work done on the house, we’ve had to cut some corners in the short term so we could have it appraised. We haven’t abandoned all our long term plans yet, but in the interest of time and sanity, we had to just give many things a quick going over to make it look clean and finished for the bean counters. Hence, everything got painted white and we had to come up with some quick fixes for some problems with the walls.

For example, in the bathroom we want to put beadboard paneling on the wall below the wood trim that splits the top and the bottom half of the wall. We didn’t have time to do that so my friend Tiff (who’s a GENIUS!) suggested that we put contact paper on the walls as a kind of temporary wallpaper. So that’s what we did.

I guess it’s time for a before and after look, huh?


…and AFTER:

Oh, I just noticed that the spot under the sink where the pipes go into the wall looks a lot better now in real life than it did in this picture.  This was before we did a little more work to clean it up.

But anyway, that’s the bathroom, getting close to being done!

And here’s a bonus photo of Brandon scraping the hallway wall (coz I don’t know where else to put it.)


[tags] bathroom, wallpaper, ceramic tile, paint, paneling, photos, future plans, flooring [/tags]

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