If you’ve been following Lemon Thistle for a while now… you might know that we’ve renovated our whole house top to bottom. This bathroom renovation is the VERY LAST room in the entire home to be renovated. Other than the exterior- which we’re *almost* done. We’ve done it all in the past three and a half years, mostly while living here, and with toddlers underfoot. We’re getting it done but we’ve most definitely learned a lesson or two. And this little bathroom seems to be reminding me of all the lessons I thought we’d already learned. If you’re wanting to read more about renovating with kids… I wrote a WHOOOOLE post about that right here.
Last week, I announced that we’re joining in as a guest participant with the One Room Challenge. It’s a challenge to join with other bloggers and renovate a space in your home in 6 weeks, sharing updates each week. The timeline is pretty tight, but we were excited to have a bit of a challenge to keep us accountable to a timeline… because we’re moving pretty slow lately. I have some tutorials planned for my updates for you over the next couple weeks BUT this week? This week, I’m going to share what we did (or didn’t do) and the renovating truths or lessons that we totally should have known by now.
Big thank you again to the sponsors for this project, Home Depot Canada and American Standard!
Everything takes longer than you plan
The first? EVERYTHING takes longer than we think it will. And I KNOW this… but I didn’t take into account being so super pregnant that I’m moving at snails pace. Let me start by saying… we didn’t get much done this week. I’ve got a photo down below of where we are at right now. Shane was working on the siding (exterior) still this weekend, so I did as much as I could to prep the bathroom for the renovation. I had planned to pull the tile off from around the vanity and completely get all the nails and anchors and everything out of the walls so we wouldn’t have to do that later.
BUT it turns out that being 35 weeks pregnant slows me down. A lot. And it turns out that having three little helpers takes longer than having no help at all. But they’re darn cute.
So what DID I get done? I spent a ton of time organizing all our STUFF that was hiding in that vanity and on those shelves. I put them all into baskets and tried to organize our other spaces in the house to accommodate (all my and Shane’s toiletries in our room, toothbrushes and face washes in the kitchen, cleaning products locked in a different cupboard…) and threw a ton away. I also pulled all the hardware off that vanity so we can use it again on a dresser down the road.
We also bought tile! Woohoo! Which took longer than planned too… because we cleared out every. single. box. that Home Depot had. We probably had the most helpful staff in the store though, helping us track down that last box of tiles! BIG thank you to those of you that gave input on tile choice. Almost every single one of you said to go with the 2″ hexagons and since that’s what I was already leaning towards… that’s what we did! I can’t wait to start installing it. We are still undecided on the heated flooring though. Give input? We need to decide by the weekend!
Living in renovations takes planning
Okay, so this is obvious. We have been living in renovations for years, but this is actually the most disruptive of all the renovations we’ve done yet. It doesn’t just mean that someone has a sleepover in a different bedroom. And it doesn’t just mean we use the back door instead of the front door. It is our ONLY bathroom. The only toilet for 5 of us (one of whom is potty training). So we’re leaving that toilet in place as long as possible. We’re planning to only have it off for one day/night. So we can’t just gut the bathroom completely and go from there.
Also… where do you keep all that bathroomy stuff? Like hair brushes and tooth brushes and face wash and hair dryers? And how about all the bandaids and hairspray? You need a plan, man!
And speaking of where do you keep the stuff… you’re also finding a place for the new vanity, the new tile, the new everything while you work on the drywall and plumbing and such. While still wanting to be able to use your house. The new vanity is hanging out in the hallway and this pregnant belly has to shimmy beside it to get into the kids bedroom right now. The tile is stacked at the bottom of the stairs, mostly out of the way, but conveniently not out of the way enough for my toes while I’m carrying laundry baskets. And the sinks are stacked in the kids room. One day we’ll have a giant storage room or garage. And it will be glorious. One day ;)
And speaking of wanting to be able to use your house… plan for extra time to account for clean up. Because every time you get out tools (specifically if you have kids at home), you’ll need to clean them all up after. Even if you’ll be using them again tomorrow. Because a toddler needs to use that bathroom and can’t use a nail gun. You know… things like that. ALL things that we know, but just forget to account for.
And just so we’re clear… this isn’t complaining! We wouldn’t have chosen to renovate if we weren’t prepared for the inconvenience. It’s just those things that I forget about until we’re right in the middle of it again. So I’m sharing them so maybe you can be better prepared than I ;)
There’s a logical (but inconvenient order) to things
This one kills me, you guys! Since I’m so limited in what I can do right now- I’m totally dependent on other peoples schedules. So even if I wanted to get ahead on something (painting or tiling… those are my gigs this time around), I can’t! Until demo is done… or plumbing and drywall. Here’s what I mean:
First we need to tear out the vanity and flooring. Then we can move the plumbing and plumb in the extra sink. BUT we can’t do that until we know where those pipes need to be- so we needed to wait for the new vanity to be delivered or we’d be sitting with no sink for a few extra days for no reason (it got here last night! So after my birthday dinner tonight, we might tear out our current vanity).
After the plumbing is done, we need to wire in the extra lights, then patch all the drywall holes (current light, medicine cabinet, toilet paper holder, current mounted vanity). Then we have to wait on a drywall finisher (ours is amazing, and I wouldn’t dream of doing this step ourselves!). Ours is really quick and awesome… but it’s a process and takes a couple days for dry time. THEN we can paint. THEN we can tile. THEN we can put the toilet back on. THEN we can grout. THEN we can put the vanity in and things start moving quickly. But see what I mean?
Alright, so those are my lessons from this week. But next week is looking like a productive one. Or at least, that’s the plan! We unboxed the new vanity today (it’s GORGEOUS!) so we can take a look at the plumbing and get that sorted out early this weekend. We’re hoping by the end of the weekend to have the old vanity out, new plumbing roughed in, lights wired and drywall boarded so we can have our drywall finisher in next week. Wish us luck!
AND what do you think about heated floors? Selling feature or just nice to have? I’ll be sharing tons of updates as we get started over on Instagram and you can check out all the other One Room Challenge guest participant rooms over here.
I would go with the heated floors if you have the money and time! They seem so luxurious, especially up north!
Thanks for weighing in! I love the idea of them too. It’s so hard to make money decisions when renovating- there’s always more things that would be nice to have.
Ahh I wanted them too! We decided against them in this house… but the next one for sure!
I vote for heated floors too! Not necessarily as a selling feature, but because tile floors can be pretty cold underfoot, especially in the morning. Friends of ours installed some sort of floor heating panels under their tile in the bathroom and it made such a difference. I can’t remember what they did, but I think they were pre-cut pieces that were fit to the space and it was a cheaper option than most in-floor heating. Sorry, I know this isn’t completely helpful!
I will totally look into it for the next renovation! We decided against it this time around (since we aren’t planning to stay here too long)
I personally wouldn’t do the heated floors. I think it is a nice to have type thing but easy to live without. I love the hexagon tile and can’t wait to see it installed!!!
We decided on that too. The tile feels pretty fancy without it ;)