I started picking at the bathroom walls in January, and the darn room was finished by the end of June.
I called a plumber that did side jobs, whose name I got from the guy that hung my kitchen door. He came and looked at the house, and listened to what needed to be done. I was relieved to discover that all the plumbing in the house was up to code at least, with no crazy DIY improvisations.
While there is the actual time that a project takes from start to finish, there is also the chasing the contractor around time, and rescheduling after that when there are multiple tradespeople involved.
I was ready to start any minute. I had the walls finished and painted by the middle of Feb.
I searched for tongue and groove antique floorboards, to patch what had been hacked up in the bathroom. A few sellers on Kijiji had some, but they only wanted to sell large lots – like 500 square feet – when I only needed a few boards. I went to the ReStore hoping to find some but struck out multiple times.
One day I stopped in and there was a large shipment of brand new white ceramic mosaic floor tile, in the manufacturers boxes. I had this in my previous house, so I knew that it was a decent product that wore well. Despite knowing this – I left the store empty handed at 4:30. By 10:00 p.m. I realized I had been thoroughly stupid, and rushed back the next day. There were only thirteen boxes left – enough to do the bathroom and the downstairs powder room, with 10% extra calculated for layout and loss. I bought it all, whew ! $ 3.00 per sq/ft vs the same product at the Home Depot for $ 6.75 sq/ft ! (Caveat: this flooring costs less than $3.00 sq/ft in the USA. Even after the exchange rate, Canadians are being gouged).
I was waiting on the door hanger guy, who said he could install a new subfloor and the tile. I needed a plumber to move the sink over, and to remove then reinstall the clawfoot tub.
Somewhere in this, the sidejob plumber got all huffy about waiting – even though I was waiting on his pal. I called him and he was extremely rude and said he did NOT want to work on my house. He had been friendly and fine in person ? It was very weird.
I called a local family owned plumbing business. I showed the guy who showed up to quote what I wanted, and the antique sink I wanted to use. At first he was leery, as antique items often have unknowns, or obsolete parts that are difficult to source. Once he understood that I understood, then he was completely agreeable.
The subfloor and floor went down okay, though I give the installer a C minus as he was not as precise as he should have been laying out the tiles. Looking backwards, I wish I had fired him then, and got someone else to finish the job. Even with the slight issues, the floor IS so much better than what was here.
The sink turned out to be completely fine, although one of the taps was stripped beyond repair. The other was okay. The plumber had to bring the pipes out of the floor vs the wall, as the wall was solid masonry, from where the old chimney had been located. I had originally planned to use a different sink, but the pipe location was an issue so I switched them.
The materials for the improvement were all sourced from Craigslist and Kijiji, except for the ReStore floor.
- Antique pedestal sink: $ 75.00
- Antique bathroom accessories including soap dish, glass shelf, cup holder and milk glass towel bar : $ 75.00
- Art Deco light fixture, previously used in the Nightmare Apartment: $ 50.00
- Antique bevelled mirror came from somewhere, probably found on the street for $0.00
- 90 sq/ft of tile @ $ 3.00/sq ft : $ 270.00
- Antique stained glass window that perfectly fit the window opening was a complete fluke, bought on Kijiji 7 years previously !
However, the labour and plumber were not dirt cheap. It’s better to pay an experienced professional for a good job. That plumbing company treated me well, even with an unusual request. I will always recommend them (Salmon Plumbing, in London, ON, I give you 10 thumbs up).
After (before the light fixture was replaced):