Beauty and the Bead Board (part 1)

When we first moved into our newly built home the half bathroom downstairs looked like this (minus decor):

 A boring beige oddly-shaped box with absolutely no storage.  And although you can’t tell from the pictures every.single.wall was crooked and the drywall work was sloppy at best.  Having experienced drywall work I know it’s not the easiest job but these guys were professionals.  We knew this was just about the last room of the house to be completed so my guess is they hastily threw it together and just eyeballed measurements.

That’s why less than two years after building we needed to give this guy a face-lift.  Maybe guests didn’t notice the builder issues but it was most certainly the most blah room you could imagine.  I wanted to give it some character and color, incorporate storage with a vanity, and also try to hide the sub-par construction as best I could.

I was originally thinking board and batten with dark gray/blue walls and a white vanity.  This was my inspiration:

Traditional Powder Room Design Ideas, Pictures, Remodel and Decor

via (originally from Houzz but I can’t find the exact picture)

However after some measuring we realized getting everything straight would be a nightmare.  There would be no 90 degree cuts for this room and we don’t even own a miter saw.  However after shopping online for vanities I came across this picture on Lowes’ website and was sold:

Shop Style Selections Ellenbee White Integral Single Sink Bathroom Vanity with Cultured Marble Top (Common: 31-in x 19-in; Actual: 31-in x 18.5-in) at Lowes.com

Perfect!  I loved the bead board inlay on the vanity itself and thought bead board on the walls might actually cover all the mess.  We measured our space and actually went with this vanity, the above picture’s little brother to better accommodate our space.

We also decided we like the square trim look similar to this mudroom by the House of Hepworths instead of the more traditional chair rail (also no mitered cuts needed!).

I took lots of measurements, figured out how to best cut the bead board we would need (it comes in 4’x8′ sheets) and we headed out to purchase our boards.  We ended up at Home Depot because their selection was better after selecting our boards we flagged down an employee to make all our cuts.  This is where planning and measuring come in handy – I knew exactly what size panels I needed and had him cut everything in house for me.  They have a sign that says they charge for anything after the first two cuts which I was happy to pay for (again, we have no saw) but they didn’t actually charge me (which I hear is pretty normal).  Our guy seemed a little peeved when I asked him to make all cuts (13 total) but when Matt offered to tip him afterwards he smiled and refused 🙂

So we cleared our calendars for one weekend thinking it couldn’t possibly take too long to switch out a vanity, install bead board & trim, and caulk & paint.

We were so WRONG.

Have you ever seen Renovation Realities on HGTV?  Those naive novices used to amuse me with their exaggerated drama and super bad luck during renovations.  This experience made me realize that perhaps collapsing on the floor crying and covered in covered in caulk all the while yelling at your spouse because you are so frustrated you just can’t anymore might be less staged for dramatic effective and more just plain old normal.  Not that I would know firsthand about that or anything…

There are many great video tutorials on you tube for how to remove pedestal sinks and we watched a bunch before starting.  Everybody’s experience will vary slightly but here is ours: Matt first turned all the water off at the sink faucet valves.  We next disassembled and removed the pedestal for the sink.  Ours wasn’t even bolted in and just slid out of place with a little wiggling.  I cut the caulk attaching the sink basin to the wall while Matt disconnected the faucet from the water supply lines and removed the p-trap, stuffing a rag in to block sewer gases (caution: have a towel handy because there is standing water inside the trap).  Then we unbolted the basin from the wall and removed it.

Here is where things went south.  We had a little trouble disconnecting our water supply lines because they weren’t the typical metal screws but instead some plastic version.  Soon after the basin came off (and we had removed the base board) we noticed moisture behind the drywall on the concrete slab.  Water was dripping slowly down behind the wall into the crack between the hard wood and slab. (see below)

Close up view of the drywall mess left by the ‘professionals’ grrrr.

Water is no joke in your walls.  We immediately called in Matt’s Dad to the rescue and he helped cut the drywall open until we found the culprit:

The connection was leaking between the faucet connector and the pex pipe in the wall.  We guess we must have jostled loose a not-great connection when removing the pedestal sink but this was still a very unpleasant surprise in an almost brand-new house.  The only silver lining was that this probably would have started leaking on it’s own at some point and who knows how much damage would have occurred before we discovered it. blessing in disguise.

We opted to have a friend who is a professional plumber come out and replace the fitting instead of trying to DIY it ourselves because a) the tool alone to crimp the fitting was close to $100 and b) WATER is dangerous and best left to the professionals 🙂

Thus ensued round one of fetal position crying on the floor.

… to be continued (dun dun dun)