Monday, March 5, 2012

Belated New House Followup Part 3

Scary Bathroom
I think the most satisfying room to remodel was the bathroom.  This was the state of it when we bought our home.  I called it the murder bathroom... it's probably comparable to the Trainspotting bathroom on the yuck factor.  We have 2 bathrooms, but this the main one we use.  It's also the one that our guests uses, so it has to be easy to clean despite daily use.  It's also a small space, about 6'x9' with very little room for storage.  There were some huge challenges to making this a livable and comfortable space.

Scary Bathroom
This small bathroom was made smaller by a divider wall separating the tub and sink.  It also had built-in overhead shelves.  It was a disgusting claustrophobic mess.  We decided to tear everything out and build it from scratch.  The divider wall came down as well as the built-in shelving. 

Tub and wall gone
Bathroom torn up.  Wall boards, tub, toilet and divider walls removed.  I'm sure the walls had soaked up some funk after years of neglect.  I didn't want any bad Juju from anything in that room.

Bathroom Gutted
Our contractor Jeff Ramos did an AMAZING job with this bathroom.  He rebuilt the sub flooring as well.

New tub, new sub floor & hardi-board wall panels installed.  We left the window alone along with the wall panel that it was on.  There's no reason to disturb it.

New tub and floor.  We also moved the left wall out 6" to gain a little more room between the tub and  toilet.

New Bathroom
Tada the newly finished bathroom!  We took out the divider wall and made a half wall to separate the tub and sink.  It gave us a lot more light and also a ledge shelf to put stuff on.  The medicine cabinet and light fixture was left here by the old owner.  It fits in pretty well.  We also removed a section of the wall to the right of the sink, giving us more elbow room and another functional shelf!
The sink, faucet and sink cabinet is from Ikea.  We had absolutely no storage in this bathroom.  This little drawer unit holds everything we need!  It's amazing!  The floating cabinet also gives the illusion of more space.
New Bathroom
This is a very relaxing space to be in.  Many hours are spent here soaking in the tub playing Nintendo DS games! :P

The wall tiles are porcelain subway tiles from Lowes.  It's white with antique white grout... there's a huge debate on what color grout to use with white subway tiles.  I feel it's best to use a color that's slightly darker, but not too dark. You want to retain the tile subway pattern.  A white grout will make your pattern disappear and a dark grout will be too overpowering.  I used antique white grout with the b&w floor tiles too.

Our toilet is a Toto Drake II, with cyclone flushing technology.  OK, sorry for any of you that might be grossed out over toilet talk, but I have to geek out for a moment. This is the best toilet EVER!  It's a bit pricier than most systems you'll find at the box stores, but well worth it.  We've had it for over a year and it has worked flawlessly, every flush.  We don't even have a plunger and haven't needed one.  It's also very "green" having a 1.28 gallon flush.  I did weeks of research after finding this baby.  The people at Toto knows their stuff.  Here's a informational video Toto did to show you how it flushes:

New Bathroom
This is an Ikea Lillangen sink paired with the Godmorgon cabinet.  I like the contemporary feel of the Lillangen and the little accessories it comes with is wonderful as well.  This sink serves as a shelf, soap holder and organizer.  When you're in a tight spot you need every inch to work for you.  We were dead set on having this sink.  We also REALLY needed a cabinet with drawers to keep all of the bathroom stuff... q-tips, hair dryer, brushes & what-have-you.  Our needs really limited our design choices, but it's a fun challenge to have.
While at Ikea we saw the Godmorgon cabinet and knew that it would be perfect for our storage needs.  I stupidly assumed that all Ikea sinks were designed to be paired with Ikea cabinets.  We bought them both and when we went to install the sink realized that the sink was too short for the cabinet!  ARG!  The sink is 16"deep while the cabinet is 20"deep.  We really wanted that sink and we needed that cabinet.  So we had to make it work... Ikea hacking, another favorite activity of mine.

Ikea Sink Hack
We just scooted the sink out by 4" so the edge of the sink meets the edge of the cabinet.  We secured a piece of 2by4 between wall and the sink to build out a ledge that we tiled.  I like the extra depth behind the sink and it gives me an opportunity to add a splash of color.  The metal soap holder comes with the sink!  The faucet is also from Ikea.

Under Sink.  How it's Done
Here is the underside of the sink. I took this during the installation.  You have to drill holes for the sink bracket, it doesn't match up to any pre-drilled holes.  You can also see the 2by4 in the back between the sink and wall.  The green arrow shows that the sink moved forward.
Here are all of my bathroom remodel pics.

A quick recap with images.  Click on them to view large.
Before & After sink
Before & After of the sink.

Before & After bath
Before & After

Sink progress
A closer look at the sink.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful. I love remodeling. Your bathroom really lid up!

Tobi Fistcher said...

You did a great job remodeling your bathroom, Diem. I love the tiles you used, and your new sink. Based on the 'before' photos, who would have thought that your bathroom can look this swell? Kudos to your pretty bathroom!

Shelley Noble said...

Fantastic makeover! It's utterly fresh and void of any bad juju! Way to go.

Diem Chau said...

Thank you Patricia :)

It's night and day Tobi! The house is really cute, but we thought we'd be stuck with a small dark bathroom. It's certainly not dark now and surprisingly usable.

Thank you Shelly!

rhubs said...

love the progression & before & after pics as well as how you did the tile to solve the problem of the sink. If my husband hadn't have built the sink cabinet we have I might have also wanted to use the cabinet you got at IKEA, I love it! Also love the half wall & your floor tile! Love space well used, open & full of light!

Diem Chau said...

Thanks Barbara :) A usable and comfortable bathroom was a big deal for us.

Green Wizard said...

Liking the new look!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found this post. I love the 24" Lillangen sink, but the Lillangen cabinets look a little low-rent to me. I love what you've done to pair the sink with the Godmorgon cabinet.

Diem Chau said...

Thanks Anon :)
We put the 2 combo together by accident. I just assumed that all Ikea stuff was designed to fit together, but when we installed the base we realized it was too big for the sink. My husband was NOT going to take the hour drive back to Ikea for another sink... so we just make it work. I'm very happy with the result too. The Godmorgon sink is much nicer and sleeker looking. It's also the best in terms of storage.

Anonymous said...

Your bathroom came out awesome! one question: what are the sink brackets called and where did u find them? I'm having a similar problem and those would help me out so much. thanks.

Diem Chau said...

Hi Anon.
the brackets came with the Ikea sink. Because we bought the wrong base cabinet for that particular sink we had to drill our own holes for the brackets. We also added a wall brace, wood beam behind sink, to make it a little more sturdy. All this weight is put on a floating cabinet, meaning no floor/feet support, so we wanted to make sure nothing will fall off the wall!

If you lose a part you can get them from Ikea, unfortunately you'll need to know the product name or number and you have to go to the Ikea in person. Their customer service sucks big time and the website is no help. You might be able to make that bracket out of a plain "L" bracket and some expansion bolts?

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Love your new bathroom! I am wondering what shade of white your toilet it. I got the same sink from ikea and am looking to get a toto toilet also. It comes in cotton white and colonial white- just wondering which color is the better match for the sink.


Diem Chau said...

Hi Anon,
Sorry for the delayed reply! I believe the Toto toilet is Cotton white. It's not bright white, but more of an off-white/warm white color. I hope that helps.

kent said...

I notice your sink didn't have the overflow attached in the photos. I notice all the Ikea sinks come with this in the sets. It would be a shame if you had an over flow because of the pop down drain closed by accident, and the over flow tube wasn't attached :(

Diem Chau said...

Thanks Kent,
We have the overflow hooked up... It's just hidden in the pic. Ikea as a really weird drain system for the Godmorgon base. It's almost a 90 degree bend to make room for the drawers, but it's worked well.

Sam said...

Hooray for the internet and hooray for you! I was wondering whether it was possible to combine the Lillangen basin and the Godmorgen unit, and some googling brought me here. We've got similar space issues so your post is very helpful. Thanks a lot, and congratulations on a job well done.

Diem Chau said...

You're so welcome Sam :) It's a really great solution to storage in a small bathroom.

Caroline said...

hi there. Stumbled across your blog. I am thinking of this particular sink. Can you give me your opinion on the quality of Ikea sinks? And the plumbing parts? I'm scared that this stuff is cheap and will break soon. But I love the sink! Thank you for your insight.

Diem Chau said...

Hi Caroline,
I'm sorry for the delay, we've had this sink for 3 years now. It cleans up well and we haven't had a problem so far. We've had about 3-4 clogs, but it was easily removed. I would recommend getting it.

Anonymous said...

SO glad I found your post! We are installing the same IKEA sink unit, in an effort to remodel our tiny bathroom. I luv what you've done to transform and beautify -- especially with the tub & tiles, flooring, ½ walls, and color scheme! And speaking of color ... what shade of grey(?) did you paint the walls?!?!?! Thanks for sharing your project ideas and results (**proof that there IS hope for little spaces!)

Diem Chau said...

Thank you Anon :)
It's been 4 years now and the sink/cabinet has held up wonderfully! We do have to unclog it a couple times a year because of the drain angle. The storage it gives us is such a necessity! The half wall gives us more light and shelf space. The paint is Valspar's Signature line, semi-gloss, Oatlands Subtle Taupe. It's a nice neutral color, grey-ish with a bit of green.