I don’t even know what to feel right now. My first start-to-finish DIY project is complete. I feel very accomplished, but also a little bored already. Now what? Oh just you wait… there are plenty of projects on the horizon. But first, a recap of the bathroom.

Almost exactly a year ago I discovered mold peeking out from behind the cove base of our disgusting old second bathroom

I was a little bummed, but mostly excited, because it was easily the worst part of our house. The shower resembled a solitary confinement chamber, the floor was peeling and creaking, and the smell… oh, the smell.

So we were trying to figure out what to do, when we went to the annual Hambleton Christmas party. And Shallan mentioned that when she wants a project done, she just goes at the walls with a hammer. (You can take this as either blame or credit, Shallan).

It struck a chord. The hammer hitting the tile, that is.

So the shower came out.

And the studs, which were mold-ridden

And the plumbing, which was galvanized

And electrical, not to-code anymore, and the floor which was rotten, and duct work, wrong place. You get the picture.

And finally, things started going back together again (more on the demo and initial re-building here, here, here and here).

Eventually, though, I’d rebuilt everything but the vanity, and then things came to a stop because of the money issue. Nice vanities run around $1K, so what did I do? I decided to build one myself. Out of plywood. For $40.

Vanity complete. No problem. So what to put on top of it? Bummer. Granite was out due to the cost, so I started thinking about what else we could do, when I stumbled upon a stack of 7 tiles in the garage from the previous owners. Perfect.

So after some months of strategizing, I finally rented a wet saw and trimmed the tiles to size.

And shelled out $40 bucks on a drill bit to cut holes in them for the plumbing.

With everything cut to size, I smeared on some tile adhesive I had left over from the shower walls.

And set the tiles in place.

A week later, after the adhesive had dried (only needs 24 hours, but I’m a working man), I was ready to grout.

I mixed up a small batch.

And applied – going over each seam at a 45 degree angle to push all of the air out of the gaps.

After 15 minutes, sponged it down a few times to get all of the excess off of the tiles, and make the seams look perfect.

And started to install the faucet. The sink, faucet and drain/mounting ring had all come from Overstock months earlier. So I just unpackaged and got to work.

With it securely in place, I attached the hoses underneath, and turned the shut-offs on. No leaks.

I set down the mounting ring for the sink and set the sink on top.

Put a bead of plumbers putty around the drain. (The gaskets that came with the drain didn’t quite fit the contour of the vessel and had quite a bit of overlap, so I went the putty route) and put the drain assembly through the hole and tightened into place.

For a vessel sink, this drain and the mounting ring are basically what hold it in place – you want to make sure it’s tight enough, but not too tight, or the sink can crack.

I then attached the P-trap assembly I picked up at home depot, made a few adjustments to the sewer inlet, and the sink was in business.

I then hung the accessories I’d picked up at home depot – trying to hit studs with the screws as often as possible, when it wouldn’t make the rings look off center.

Vacuumed up the dust, polished the mirror, and we finally, ladies and gentlemen, have two complete, working bathrooms in our home. Here’s the end result:


  1. Mommy said:

    Beautiful job Kev, you should be very proud!

    December 11, 2010
  2. Pa said:

    Amazing!! I can’t wait to see it in person.

    December 11, 2010
  3. Amy said:

    Very impressive, it is beautiful! 🙂 Neext?!

    December 12, 2010

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