I have a home that was built in 1906. We have no idea of the original layout of this house. We can speculate by what we’ve done in our home thus far, but I’m sure there are changes that we aren’t even aware. I purchased the home from an older [late 70’s] Polish couple in 2007. My wonderful neighbor says there’s two types of Polish… “..A proud Polack and a cheap ass Polack. And Ol’-Al was the cheap ass Polack.” This neighbor is an 88yr old [89 in May] former Yankee ball player [Bob Kuzava – left handed pitcher for the Yankees 1951, 52, 53] of POLISH decent himself. ☺ I’m guessing he’s the “Proud Polack”. He makes sure his yard and house is well manicured. But I digress… We have found several things that only a “cheap ass” would do. i.e. – tree branches from the yard, plugging holes in the floor. Scrap pieces of drywall used to create a wall. Plywood used everywhere. Paneling with smooth side out to make a ceiling. Random “freebie” nails and screws… In an overabundance per board. All “replaced” boards were from something that someone else threw out. Pieced together trim from leftovers of other peoples DIY jobs. Sticky tiles over sticky tiles over sticky tiles over asbestos tiles over tongue in groove hardwood floors. I think you get the point. The list is long. Anywho… My husband and I decided to gut our main floor bathroom. Yup… You can laugh now. Throughout the summer and fall, I did some digging and found a ton of “old school” bathroom stuff. Clawfoot tub, high tank pull chain toilet, and it got my brain burning. My husband is somewhat of an antique collector so I ran the thought by him about going “old school” with our bathroom. He thought it was a good idea too. Now… Keep in mind, this is BEFORE we began teardown and rebuild. We purchased things for our bathroom here and there and once we got all the main components, we decided we’d begin the gutting. We knew [from previous experiences in this house] “cheap ass” aka, Murphy, would strike again. While we were prepared somewhat, we didn’t expect some of the issues we ran into. To begin, the floor had enormous holes that we had to figure out how to fix. Also, the tub that was in there was a solid 5 ½’ cast iron, sea foam green, apron tub… That was HEAVY and a bitch to get out!!! We ended up having to rip up the previously discussed 3 layers of sticky tile, 1 small patch of asbestos tile, AND the tongue in groove hardwood flooring [no, it couldn’t be saved], patch the holes, and resubfloor. Then, tile, grout, and seal floor and walls in the tub area [man that was hard on my back and hands]. I’m just stoked the original floor joists were in GREAT shape! There were 2 layers of dry wall in some spots. That was fun too. Especially with how many nails and screws that goofy Polack put in [and my daughter is ¼ Polish from her dad so no, I don’t mean it in a derogatory manner]. Hmmm… Some more examples would be, wanting to bring the copper plumbing out of the wall instead of the floor for our clawfoot tub. One would think someone out there sells a straight pipe with one end being ½” IPS compression and the other to the faucet, ½” tube [w/compression sleeve] with a ¾” FIPS non-pipe threaded compression nut. You know, some sort of adapter. I KNOW we cannot be the only people on the planet to want to do this. But no….. It couldn’t be THAT easy. I’m just glad you cannot see how we did have to go about this problem. The tub is close enough to the wall, you’d have to contort yourself just to see it. Then… The height of an “old school” ceiling is about a foot taller than what we have… Had to cut the shower tube. Thank goodness that was a pretty easy fix. Ah yes… The toilet aka “the bastard” to the new tubes was an interesting adventure to say the least. The spud is not your average 1 ½”x1 ½” or 2”x2”. Nope. It’s got the threads for the 1 ½” but the back half is a 2” and neither of the standard gaskets work… 100% “Aquarium” Silicone fixed that problem. The gasket wasn’t ripped apart. Just a tad dry rotted. So, we made it work.
Next will be installing the trim around the floor and a small crown molding. Shortly after that, the antique dresser as the vanity and I’m sure we’ll have fun trying to plumb the sink and drain.
I think my husband and I will be pro’s when all is said and done!