Powder Room Progress

Name that plumbing piece!

Hey mom, guess what I was doing while I was on the phone with you Friday night?  I was on my back on the floor in the powder room, wrestling with the nuts that hold the supply tubes onto the water pipes.  Those suckers were TIGHT and grody.   I spent most of our phone call on unscrewing two nuts.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

I was stoked to find a house with a half-bathroom that was downstairs in the public part of the house.  It’s a luxury you come to appreciate when you are used to only having one bath.  I was not stoked that the bath came with dated shell wallpaper, a vanity that can kindly be described as interesting (and unkindly, candidly, as a hideous DIY hack job), and a set of oak toothbrush and cupholders on the wall.  Ew.  These two photos are a good example of these “features.”

Faux-wood countertop with odd metal trim on the corners? Got it. Painted white front and hinges? Yup. Odd, 23″ square shape? Check.

Shells as far as the eye can see. Dizzying! I have no complaints about that closet though, that thing is awesome.

And then there are the roommates.  Did I not tell you this house came with roommates?

Larry is dead.

It did.

Sorry about that.  I should have warned you, but warning you isn’t really my style.  I’d rather ambush you with pictures of dead roaches in spider webs.  You are welcome.

So.  I wanted to remove that vanity.  I really, really, really wanted to remove that vanity.  Really.  I loathed it.  It was hideous.  But it has so much potential!  My mom has a really wonderful tiny half-bath in her house, and it is a little jewel of a room.  Small bathrooms can be really nice.  And this one is going to be really nice, some day.   In order to get it on its way, I had to remove the vanity.  After reading up online, I decided to go for it.  I went in here . . .

It is really difficult to take a picture of the inside of a cabinet.

The light makes the paint look pink.  It’s not, it’s white.  This, as they say, is where the magic happens.  Thanks to scouring the internet, I could identify the pieces inside this cabinet.  There is the U-thingy, also known as the trap, the shut-off valves for the hot and cold water, supply lines leading from those up to the sink, the sink drain coming off of the bottom of the sink, and then the contraption that makes the plug to the sink work.  See?  Not so scary.

All of the directions I read said I’d need to use a razor blade to cut the caulk around the edges of the vanity, but when I inspected my vanity, I didn’t see anything to cut.  Hmmph.  I also read some tutorials that included directions in removing the sink from the vanity top, and then taking the top off of the vanity.  That seemed like an unnecessary step to me, since I wasn’t replacing a sink.  I was going to chuck the vanity.  Meh.  This really wasn’t hard.  I shut off the water to the sink at both cut-offs — righty, tighty, lefty loosey, don’t forget.  I put a bucket under the trap and the cut offs and unscrewed the trap from the drain pipe and the pipe coming out of the wall.  A little bit of water came out right into the bucket, how satisfying!  Then I grabbed my wrench, hunkered down on the floor, and began slowly, ever so slowly, loosening the nuts connecting the supply lines to the water.  This really should not have been that hard of a process, but, like many plumbing projects, it was made difficult because I was trying to work in a small space, with crappy light.  It was also made difficult because they were crusty as hell.  I finally got them off, though, and bent each line up and out of the way.  Then I tested my theory – that being the theory that the top of the vanity wasn’t caulked to the wall at all, by yanking on the edges of the sink.

I like it when I’m right.

Success!  That thing wasn’t connected to the wall at all.  I guess that’s why they built up that peculiar backsplash.  Because I am hella strong, those nails you see sticking up were no match for me.  Grrr!

I think this counter top and sink look much better out here in the living room.

Look how grody it is inside this vanity!  Clearly, there had been a leak at some point and no one ever did anything to fix the wet conditions that resulted.


Enough of that.  Next step was to wiggle that vanity and see if I’d be able to just pick it up, and I could!  I had to wiggle it a bit to get the water pipes to fit back out of the hole cut out of the back, but eventually, I was able to get that puppy out of the corner and into . . . the doorway.  Why the doorway, you ask?

Damn you!

I mentioned earlier that the vanity was 23″ square, and that is true.  I forgot that the toilet paper holder was clapped to the side of this thing, and wouldn’t you know it, that was just way too wide to fit through the doorway.  The door opens into the bathroom, you see, so I had a dilemma.

Decisions, decisions.

You can see in this picture that the vanity is sitting in the doorway because the pipes from the wall are in the background.  Well, I could take the door off of its hinges, or I could take the toilet paper roll holder off of the cabinet.  Surely, that would be the easier route, right?

Me Hulk! You, busticated!

Well, or not.  I popped the metal shiny bits of the TP holder off of the side, but the little brackets it sad on were still just a little too proud to fit through the doorway.  It was only 3/16″, but it was an important 3/16″.  I grabbed a screwdriver to unscrew them, and I couldn’t move them at all.  I could have used my drill with the screwdriver bit, but it was at the other house.  So I hit it with a hammer!

I’m not gonna lie.  That was fun.  At first I thought I could just bash the back end of the screws holding the TP holder out and then use my needle-nose pliers to pull the screws the rest of the way out, but those screws weren’t budging.  I did notice that the cabinet was starting to pull apart, though, so I went for it.  It was just nailed together, not screwed, so it actually came apart really easily.  I took it out of the room in a few pieces.

I guess I’m really committed to that pedestal sink now, huh?  🙂


7 thoughts on “Powder Room Progress

  1. you go, girl!
    wish we were there. it would be so fun to help you with your house. 🙂 these are project that we love — especially Kimmy. 🙂 keep going! –tracy

  2. Awesome! Good job tackling that yourself. Thats the initiative thats gonna get this house done! SO sorry I didn’t make it there today, but research the CHROME pipes, water lines, and knobs (possibly ceramic) that you want to install. I promise I will make it there.

    • Ceramic knobs, eh? OK. Why do I want them? I will go look at the water lines and pipes today. I saw some chrome water lines at Ace yesterday, but I’m sure I can get them cheaper at a bigger store.

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