Monday, March 12, 2018
Fixing Up John
Well we finally decided the time was right to begin our bathroom remodeling project. This house has three bathrooms, well technically 2-3/4 bathrooms, and I have done 1-3/4 of them already. It was time to do the last whole bathroom which is our main bathroom that our kids and all guests use. The shower is in good shape still and the layout of the bathroom is decent but everything is original to the house nearly 50 years ago. So we are just going to basically refresh things a bit.
I started out by ripping out the vanity which of course requires one to shut off the valves underneath. As I had expected, I had to cut the valves off and cap the lines while the bathroom remodel in underway because they couldn't be shut completely off. I'm not sure why every house I have ever lived in has been built using cheap pot metal shutoff valves that don't work as shut off valves after a few years have gone by. Once I have the new vanity in place, I'll attach some new heavy duty brass ball valves that will last the rest of my lifetime and beyond.
Next I removed the medicine cabinet/light combo with no major problems other than I no longer had any light in the bathroom. I had always thought it odd that the only light in that bathroom came from the vanity lights but since it provided adequate lighting, I never really was concerned. So I temporarily installed the new light my wife picked out which you can see in the above picture which required me to put in a junction box and fish some wires but I finally got it working only to quickly realize, that it provided a small fraction of the light that the previous vanity lights had. So, I decided we had to go to plan B and install a can light in the center of the bathroom as well.
Another trip to the store later, I found myself in the attic above the bathroom staring at a junction box near where I wanted to install my new can light. It could really mean one thing, the bathroom originally had another light beside the vanity lights (as I had pondered earlier) and someone along the line had gotten rid of it by simply sheet rocking over it. This wasn't really a problem since had I used the junction box, I would be forced into a light fixture versus a flush mount can light so I just ignored the junction box and installed my can light nearby. It did require some jury rigging since can lights are meant to install on a single thickness of drywall and not two but I got it in.
Finally, I opened up the wall to install an inset medicine cabinet instead of a flush mount one. I had done the same in our 3/4 bathroom and really liked how it made the tiny bathroom feel much bigger that way but had paid the price by having to reroute the bathroom vent stack to accommodate it. That required a lot of dry walling which I absolutely hate doing. This time I lucked out and the vent stack ended up not running straight up so it was just a matter of blocking everything in to receive the new medicine cabinet.