March 18, 2009

Enter stage left - the Bath

Enter the Fun House
It's going to be a wild ride!

Up until now my primary efforts have been going into the kitchen. That came to an abrupt end just after Junior and I had been playing a rousing game of "Fun House" when the hot water valve exploded clean off the tub fixture and a beutiful new lake complete with roaring rapids and a breathtaking waterfall briefly made an appearance where a neglected yet quiet bathroom had once been.

Since then I've found been ripping out wallboard left and right, rotting studs, and pink fiberglass that had been home to a smug little rodent. True to form, the deeper you get into a home project, the more suprises you find. The 2x4's were badly rotted away, those I can replace. But I decided that the flooring under the tub will have to stay put for another time, for now its stable. Rule #1 - Don't make a problem worse by over-fixxing it!

Back in '58 when the house was built the walls around the tub had once been painted a very vivid shade of pink (gasp!).

If you look closley at the condemned photo at top you can see just how quickly - or maybe wrecklessly - these houses were erected. That white line running through the studs mere inches from the tub's edge are THE electric power mains!

The tub is original, and the plumbing used to have the chrome shower pipe on the outside rather than behind the wall. The original wall-hung sink, fixtures and toilet are gone. I'd really like to find a flush-mounted chrome steel medicine cabinet with sliding mirrors and glass shelves like the original. Ours even had a little slot in the side for disposing used razor blades into - they simply collected below the wall space.

The vintage bathroom next door can be a loose guide. Originally the baths in both homes had light colored plastic tile with black bullnose edging, no higher than just above the fixtures. Whats remarkable is that this original bath is still mostly intact - that old plastic tile is notorious for causing the drywall underneath to rot out, maybe worse than no tile at all! Because of the shower fixture on mine, new gray & black ceramic tile will be applied higher for the stall. I'll also expand the tiling along the lower half of the adjoining walls as was commonly done. No extravigence here. I just want a good old typical 50's bath.

Anyway, the place is going to be a real Fun House until everything gets put back in order =D

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