Bathroom Updates - A Tiny Yay!

7:00 AM

 Big-time renovation/restoration is not a quick job, and can therefore, be frustrating when you really would like to see some results! 

In fact, if you're a follower of design blogs, you see these grand renovations unfold in a blog post and it can be even more intimidating because it seems like they just took the bull by the horns and made it happen! In reality, I think very few of those jobs came together quickly (or even easily), but all you see is the flash-boom-bang of what "was" and now "is". Sometimes you see price tags associated and it's even more daunting! I can't afford a $10,000 rug or an $8,000 AGA!

Or you see all the sponsors who funded the project or pieces or whatever, and well, those renovations seems a little less authentic to me because they kinda had help. They might have been losing sleep over hitting deadlines and timelines, but not over who was gonna foot the bill. (smile) I don't have sponsors or big companies like Target, Bosch, Home Decorator or whomever stepping up to fund any of our home renovation projects, so it's even slower and more spaced out. Not that I'd turn down This Old House if they wanted to undertake some things....just saying! 

I say all that to say...for the average Jane/Joe DIYer, it can take years for the true diamond of the house to emerge from the junk that needs to be chiseled away. And even when you know patience is the name of the game, you might need a little tiny "Yay" moment every now and then to maintain your momentum.  I'm sharing with you a tiny "Yay" moment.

As you have seen from our original pictures, the second floor bathroom had glass shower doors with these elaborate deer engravings that I hated. They were heavy, ugly and constantly sticking in the runners. So, one weeknight Kyle was out of town and the curved shower curtain bar was delivered by Amazon, and I seized the day. 

I had read a few blog posts from others who had removed glass shower doors and was adequately forewarned about the grossness I would find under the metal tracks, so that was good. I also had a general idea about how the whole thing needed to be dismantled. 

A screwdriver, a drill, a son named August to help you lift the doors out, a razor blade and a vacuum were also top of the list for the job.

I unscrewed two little screws from the top horizontal bar, then tried to lift it off as all my research had led me to believe was the process. Except that somehow it wasn't that easy. I had to find a way to actually extricate the glass panels from the tracks in order to take the top bar off!

It took me and August forever to wrangle those doors out. It became very clear they liked being just where they were.  I ended up lifting them free of the bottom track, then shifting them this way and that (with August's help cause those things are DANG heavy) until finally something gave way and snapped off and then they were released. Then I lifted off the top bar. Next, I used my drill to unscrew the wall attachments and pulled them free. The bottom horizontal bar wasn't screwed down, but it was HEAVILY caulked and held in place by a type of mortar or something. 

Doors removed. Horizontal track shifted.

Now you can see the glue remnant on the wall as well as some of the gunk below the horizontal bar.

But closer up, it's really yucky. Ewww!

 There's literally a half inch thick layer of caulk on the sides and whatever stuff was put down under the bar to affix it to the tub. It came off readily in chunks, and the caulk was immensely satisfying to peel up, but then we had to put in a little more elbow grease.

We washed off as much as we could, which was a lot, then used a razor blade to chip up the pieces that were more stubborn.

I have been able to get it as far as this. It feels smooth to the touch, but obviously that stuff has bled into the original enamel coating of the cast iron tub. So, that's not optimal, but it's not too obvious. I am hoping to find a solution for it one of these days!


In a similar way, the clear glaze of the white subway tiles seems to have absorbed some of the residue from the sealant/mortar gunk which held the vertical metal frame to the wall. It also feels completely smooth to the touch, so it's not something I can scrape off. Any suggestions?

It's worse on one side than the other. I also removed the vertical metal grab bar, as I am not yet wobbly and decrepit and can manage to shower without it.

When Kyle did get home, he attempted to wriggle out the metal wall fastener which preferred to crumple into itself rather than be removed.

 I love the tub, though. It's one sturdy piece of tubbery. Not that such a word exists. 

Kyle also successfully mounted our curved shower bar and our shower immediately felt so much roomier and spacious! Plus, the shower curtain conceals the remaining deer engraved window protecting the windows to the outside. Which are kinda vital right now.

So - no more glass shower doors! A roomier showering experience! Yay!


I apologize for the dim picture: I snapped this upon completion of the job (at night). Plus, the lights in this room are atrocious. Vintage, yes, but not set up for moisture, so... rusty. And there is literally a huge vertical metal panel which blocks the light from 98% of the room. 

I do however, love the original hex tiles and the super vintage sink (not necessarily its fixtures, though). Beneath the sink basin, I found the following stamp - identifying it as a piece from Monument Pottery Company in Trenton, NJ- this particular sink patented on Oct. 10, 1911. 

My future plans for this bathroom are to paint it, install new wall sconces, new shower fixtures, repair or do something about the medicine cabinet, and change out the sink faucet. We also recently put on a new toilet seat/lid which, hilariously, really pepped the room up! Such a small change, but such a positive impact! The previous toilet seat was a cream color that didn't match anything, and it was listing off to the side - just annoying and ugly in all ways. Now, it's clean, fresh and simple. 

So here's to small projects which make you feel better about the state of things!

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