Hall Bath Reveal

January 17, 2017

Our hall bath has surely gotten the best of us. We are finally done… 2 months late and well past the One Room Challenge scheduled room reveals. Who knew such a tiny room could take so long? The 6 week One Room Challenge has turned into a 16 week challenge for us. Just as we were in the final stretch of installing the toilet, sink, and all the accessories we ran into a few road blocks.

For a reminder, here is a before picture of what we started with.

And the original design for the room. Spoiler: the room turned out much different than the original design as a result of both the issues we ran into and last minute design changes along the way.

Here is our new hall bath in all her glory.

We could not be more excited to have a functional, pretty bathroom. We finally feel like we can have guests over now.

Now that you’ve seen a glimpse of the final product here’s a short novel about everything that happened along the way 🙂

First was the toilet. Bathroom renovation newbies like us did not realize there are different size “rough-ins” (the distance the toilet drain pipe in the floor is from the wall behind the toilet). Standard size is 12 inches, but they also make toilets with 10 and 14 inch rough in size. This makes a huge difference. We bought the standard size of 12 inches (this is the only size offered at our local home improvement stores) thinking our toilet was standard. Wrong. It turns out our toilet rough-in is only 8 inches. They don’t even make toilets with 8 inch rough-ins anymore! They were not even standard use when our house was built, which means this was most likely a design flaw during the construction of our house. Now we have to deal with it and unfortunately we had already gotten rid of the toilet that was once in this bathroom (that magically fit!). For those wondering it was an Australian toilet and somehow the design of that toilet allowed for the distance from the wall to be flexible. My guess is whoever built the house realized the mistake and had to search high and low for a toilet that fit, but who knows what actually happened.

One option we had was to have our toilet rough-in moved 4 inches further from the wall, which would mean cutting and patching our new hardwoods floors, cutting through a joist (not recommended) to account for the new placement of the pipe, and moving an air duct. Not ideal.

Instead we were resourceful. We realized the toilet in our master bath was the same brand and style as the toilet that was once in the hall bath. We decided to take a chance and remove the toilet from our master bath, hoping the rough-in the in master bathroom was a normal 12 inches, and try to fit it in our hall bath. Thank goodness the rough-in for the master bath toilet was a standard 12 inches, so we were able to install the new toilet we had purchased for the hall bath in our master bath. One toilet down, one to go! We then went to install the old master bath toilet in the hall bath and it barely fit. By barely I mean we had to shove it into place quite forcefully. This is where we learned our second lesson of the hall bath reno… Do not move a toilet around once it has been placed on the wax seal. This is common sense as you do not want to break the seal or your toilet will leak and you will likely smell sewer gas. While forcibly moving the toilet into place we must have unknowingly jostled the wax ring seal. We couldn’t tell because the toilet is skirted and it is impossible to see under the toilet once it is installed. When we flushed the toilet instead of going down the drain as it should most of the water poured into our basement below thank goodness it’s unfinished. Water also made its way under the toilet and into the hardwood floors. Womp. Womp. Once we realized our mistake we quickly removed the toilet, cleaned up the basement, and dried out the floors the best we could. We waited a few days for the floors to dry out more. Not too much water got onto/under the floors, but we wanted to be sure they were dry before trying to install the toilet again.

Round 2 of installing the old toilet went much better. We were extremely careful placing the toilet on the wax ring and even notched out part of the wood planks on the walls so the toilet fit better. The toilet didn’t leak (bonus), but after a few days we started smelling sewer gas so we knew the toilet still must not have been properly sealed with the pipe. At this point it was mid-November and we were at our wits with this darn toilet so as a last ditch effort we enlisted the help of Nathan’s dad to help re-install the toilet one last time before we called a plumber. They ended up cutting out the planks directly behind the toilet tank since it was such a tight fit and then re-installed the toilet. It’s not perfect, but hey, our toilet doesn’t leak and the bathroom no longer smells like sewer gas so I would definitely call it a win. Fingers crossed this toilet never breaks because this baby is never leaving the bathroom.

Next up on our install list was the pedestal sink. The extent of the research I did was measuring the sink to make sure it would fit in the space and buying the correct faucet style for the sink. It wasn’t until we went to install the sink did we realize that in order to properly install a pedestal sink you need to remove a section of drywall, notch out the studs, place a support brace behind the wall, and patch the drywall. Well, we spent a lot of time installing the planks walls and Nathan really did not want to remove them as he already had to cut out a few for the toilet and that was a pain the rear. Nathan convinced me it was best to return the pedestal sink and look for a different vanity. We were back to the drawing board and were looking for something free-standing, or at least with 4 legs, that would not need a support brace behind the wall. Turns out vanities can be very pricey! We finally found one that we loved, both the price and style. It is classic and has clean lines like our initial design with the pedestal think so we thought it fit with our original vision.

We also needed a new faucet because the 8-inch widespread faucet I originally bought for the pedestal sink will not fit with the new sink. We ended up going with this one. It is not what I would call high quality, but since we spent nearly double on the vanity as compared to the original pedestal sink we needed to cut costs somewhere else. Even though it’s not amazing quality, we have been very happy with it so far. I like the high-arc of the faucet, while it still has a feel of a vintage faucet with the white handles. I kept the original faucet I bought for the hall bath because I loved it so much and plan to use it in another bathroom.

You may have noticed the mirror is different than the original plan. Once we decided to paint the top portion of the walls dark navy we felt that you could not see the arch detail of the black mirror as much as we wanted. So we put that mirror in our bedroom and used this gold mirror from our bedroom in the bathroom. We love the contrast it brings to the room and feels more appropriate in scale than the larger black mirror (similar mirror).

We will add more art to this room in the future, but for now we added this DIY abstract art. I saw a painting on Pinterest and decided to recreate a smaller scale version. I am definitely no artist, but we like the modern vibe this simple painting adds to the room.

Thanks for following along in our (very slow) journey! We are so stinking happy this room is finally done!

sources: trim paint / wall paint / floors / vanity / toilet / faucet / light / door knobs / mirror / rug / towels (HomeGoods) / towel bar (HomeGoods) / toilet paper holder / wastebasket (HomeGoods) / art (DIY) / frame

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