Pink Bathroom Renovation: Week 1

Written by Renovation

SURPRISE! Seemingly out of nowhere, we started renovating the pink bathroom! This past weekend we ripped out the sink and vanity, medicine cabinet and shower & bath fixtures. I also put together our new vanity, started removing grout from the shower area, and we’ve had the plumber out a couple times.

So where the heck did this come from?! I’ve talked about planning to work on our master bathroom first and been purchasing stuff for that project as it goes on sale. But nothing has really ever come up about our pink bathroom except for a photo here and there on Instagram. Well… here goes!

I noticed in our pink bathroom, some of the grout in the shower area was loose. Like, really loose. I was able to pull out some of it by hand. Because of this, I knew I would have to at least re-grout the shower to be able to have a usable shower while our bathroom is out of commission. I wouldn’t want to use the pink bathroom and end up creating a bigger moisture issue behind the tile for later. In my project timeline, I had this grout project slated to start about now regardless.

About two weeks ago, I was paying bills and realized I have a few more months of zero percent interest on my credit card I opened for our kitchen project almost a year ago now. I got 15 months zero interest when I opened the card, so I have a little more wiggle room to play. So knowing I have a little more flexibility, have funds available and Labor Day sales were coming… I decided to just plan out the pink bathroom design to see how much the estimate would come in around.

We are choosing to keep this bathroom budget friendly since finding out the new possible value of our home and everything that came with that. If we choose to sell this house, we would never get back the investment we put into this bathroom. So instead of going completely nuts in here, we are keeping the perfectly fine tile, making minor updates that will make it feel more like us and add a bit of functionality in the process.

Somehow, the pink tile grew on us. We bought this house thinking we were gonna paint over it as soon as we could as a phase 1 update before saving up for a full remodel. But I guess that’s part of going with the flow. Not only will keeping the pink tile save us some dough, it will also preserve some of the 60’s charm of the home.

Knowing the pink is staying helped make a lot of other decisions quickly. I knew a white vanity would work best here, and be easy to find. IKEA quickly came to mind for their price point and drawer system unlike any other. I chose to do all chrome fixtures throughout the bathroom to match some of the existing features that aren’t changing. But I’m bringing in some warmth with brass drawer hardware and light fixtures. The mirror will be matte black which actually mimics the door hardware, keeping to my rule of always repeating each finish so it looks intentional.

I threw together a quick mock up of what I was thinking from the IKEA bathroom planner screenshot with the vanity and sink I chose – and I liked it! So I built out a spreadsheet with all the costs just like I did for our master bathroom, breaking out each line item and estimating labor costs for the little bit of plumbing and electrical we know we will need help with. Next, I campaigned about my idea to Jordan on jumping into a bathroom reno sooner than we anticipated. It only took maybe 5 minutes because he trusted me… let’s see if he still trusts me after all this hahaha!

So I whipped out my credit card and hit BUY on a bunch of stuff that evening! Just after ordering everything, I got all the shipping notifications and saw all our stuff would get here quickly. So for the first time ever, I planned out a detailed timeline of when I think each punch list item will be able to get done. Of course, this has to remain flexible though. But it’s super helpful for me to write it all out rather than try to keep it my head. This will take us a little longer since 1) we both work full time and typically have things we are doing workweek evenings, and 2) we are taking a little trip mid September and have a wedding on the following weekend.


So our kickoff weekend was this past weekend, and we already got a couple curve balls – as with any renovation. When we took down the medicine cabinet, we discovered the hole in the wall from an older recessed cabinet that must have been there before. So that will have to be patched. But it’s ok, because the electrician probably would have needed to open up some spots in the wall anyway to change our single light to two lights flanking the mirror. One fun thing from this discovery – the original pink wall color!

Our next two issues caused us to call the plumber back in, so I changed plans and put together our vanity so they could see how close the drawers were to the plumbing. I am not going to have a repeat of the kitchen! I want my drawers!!! So Finn and I sat out in the living room listening to some tunes and building IKEA. Obviously, I had no help from him… slacker.

So the first of the plumbing issues was the shower plumbing. This is totally a newb issue, so feel free to skip ahead if you know better than us. The valve for the old Mowen kit has the shut off for the faucet to shower head where the temperature knob was. See that little skinny button below the pipe looking thing in the photo below. That’s how you make the water come out of the shower head. That is not how any new kit is made today. Sigh. Needless to say I got an education from our plumber here – we actually just purchased a trim kit, the nice looking stuff. We needed to also purchase the valve set for all the internal workings to go with it. So they wrote us the exact name of the part we needed and we picked it up from a plumbing supply house. It is being installed today (Tuesday). We are fine having a plumber do this because they have to solder the pipes together – something we are not comfortable doing.

Plumbing issue number 2 – the vanity we purchased through IKEA has drawers. The plumbing comes with the sink, so that’s not a problem. Our issue is the layout of our plumbing coming out of the walls. In a more modern setup, the hot and cold intakes are set wider apart from the drain than they are in our older home. So the plumbing that came with our sink hits the intakes. After consulting with the plumber, I came to the determination they are just trying to make a sale here. They told us of their absolute hatred of IKEA vanities, and how we would either have to open up the wall and replace all the plumbing to get a modern set up OR pull the vanity out from the wall a few inches so the provided plumbing would fit… but how the hell is that supposed to work?! I could figure out how to trim out the vanity so it would look like it’s still flush with the wall, but what about the sink top? That’s the same depth as the vanity… that one left me scratching my head.

Then after consulting YouTube, we are pretty confident the plumber was blowing smoke up our asses. We were able to find a couple videos from people with similar set ups to ours. They just added an extra 90 degree bend where the drain goes into the wall, extending the plumbing just far enough that it doesn’t hit the intakes. BOOM! And Jordan, a storm water engineer, said this will not negatively affect the function of the drain at all. I’ll share more on this when we actually plumb the sink. But we are feeling pretty confident here now and I’m super stoked to have drawers in the vanity rather than a cavernous hole that things get lost in!

Plumbing issue number 3, but we’re gonna roll with it! We had shut off valves added to the cold and hot water lines in our basement for both bathrooms since we would like to turn them off independently while we work on each bathroom and still be able to use the other one. Well… best laid plans… and this totally isn’t the plumbers fault, because I’m super confused by what happened here and how this is even a thing. So in theory the toilet for each bathroom would just T off from the cold water intake into each bathroom. You would think just turning off the cold water for the pink bathroom would turn off the water to the toilet in that same bathroom. BUT you would be wrong! Our vanity water is turned off in the pink bathroom and toilet off in the master bathroom. We unfortunately didn’t catch this until after the sink was removed and are now scared to test out different valves down in the basement for fear of showering the whole room. So… this is gonna be fun hahahaha!

Sunday afternoon I started removing grout in the shower with my special 1/16 grout remover bit for the Dremel. And I can already tell you I may need to push out our timeline! It is the definition of tedious, but it’s going to save the pink tile and save us some moola. So I will spend as long as I have to slowly grinding down grout and washing that weird dust out of my hair everyday to get this right. Check back in with me next week to see if I still feel the same way here…

There you have it! You’re all caught up now. Check back in next week as the saga continues, or keep an eye on my IG stories for current events and to weigh in on any polls I put up for help with last minute decisions.

Last modified: September 18, 2018