Bathroom Redo: Demolition Day!

By Elle

IMG_0421Our half-bath off the back hallway and laundry room (subject of a future post) longed for a facelift. After we retiled the floor in the back hallway and laundry room, we skipped the flooring in the half bath because it was one of those “one job leads to another” deals. We needed to replace the toilet, and we wanted to tile the lower walls with marble — so there simply was “more work to be done,” and we just left the flooring alone.

Finally, “bathroom demolition day” came along. We ripped out the toilet (actually it was more of a gentle removal), ripped out the sink (that description’s pretty accurate), and peeked inside the wet wall just to make sure we had enough insulation since our wet wall is also an outside wall, and, in case you spend January and February hibernating, it’s been pretty dang cold these past few winters. Dealing with frozen pipes is not on our bucket list.

The bathroom’s not finished yet, but you can see from the photos below that the plumbing and construction parts are complete. (Full disclosure: Wherever I write “we,” what I really mean to say is “he,” as in my man. He’s the labor. I just bring him cold drinks and then blog about the results.)


It sometimes pays to take a peek behind a wall. Yeah, I was hoping to find a treasure, a wad of cash, an emerald ring. Here, we found nothing but trouble.

Not only did we discover that there is no insulation inside our wet wall, but we also found that a section of pipe actually touches the outside wall. So off came the entire lower section of drywall, and we called our plumber.

Abby & Elle bathroom redo

Waaaa. Note the hideous floor. Double waaa.

How could such a small space prove to be so pesky? Yeah, we truly underestimated this “one job leads to another” project!


Uninsulated pipes cozily nestled against an exterior wall. Lovely.


“Revised” plumbing brought the pipes away from the exterior wall so that we could insulate behind them.


While we were at it, we moved the outlet up a few inches for aesthetics.


I bid good riddance to that wretched old flooring. Huzzah!


We installed concrete backer board where we ripped out the drywall. With the new floor down — woo hoo! — there are no more signs of the hideous old floor, original to the house. We’ll use the marble at the right to tile the walls.

While the bathroom was under construction, we found this print — a remake of Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone — at the Antique & Craft Co-op in Painesville, which we think will look charming in the bathroom once it’s done. The print was handpainted and signed by some artist, so it’s not a perfect copy of Starry Night, but rather an “interpretation.”

Abby & Elle bathroom redo

Another artist’s take on Van Gogh’s Starry Night

Maybe we helped support a struggling artist by buying it, but more likely the print came from a terrible painters’ sweatshop in a developing country.  In any case, we have a switchplate in the laundry room of Van Gogh’s Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, Arles, at Night, which may move to the bathroom once that space is finally done.


Hope you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for photos of the bathroom once it’s completely finished.

In the meantime, check out our interview with Fashionably Cleveland!

One thought on “Bathroom Redo: Demolition Day!

  1. Pingback: Half Bath Reno: Painted Black | Abby & Elle Upstairs Fashion & Design

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