Well, last week's One Room Challenge update definitely ended with a cliff-hanger, didn't it? In fact, this project has tested us more than any other - not one aspect of it has been without some disaster or other. To add to that, we also had some time constraints with guests coming to stay for a week, during which time we wouldn't have access to the room at all. But Hubby was a real trooper and somehow, despite all the mishaps, we managed to get the project back on track.
If you're just catching up, the ORC involves making over a room in just six short weeks. Last week, we had a disaster with the floor tile adhesive that could legitimately have brought the project to an end if we were unable to salvage enough to complete the floor. As it turned out, the adhesive was so ineffective that most of the tiles lifted off quite cleanly. But by the time we finished the project, we had just two tiles left over. We were genuinely *this close* to not being able to finish the room! And we only succeeded because Hubby very strategically re-used the damaged tiles around the edges where they needed to be cut anyway.
We grouted the floor tiles with black grout,and I love it. Not only will this be easier to maintain than a light-coloured grout, but it also blends seamlessly into the tile pattern.
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I loooove the floor. It was absolutely worth compromising on the wall tiles to have these. Although, truthfully, I think the wall tiles are a classic and actually suit the overall decor in this room.
We also finished those this week, adding the sealant strip around the shower tray, grouting with white grout, and sealing the edges with silicone.
However, the wall tiles were not without their issues either. When Hubby went to install the uprights for the shower enclosure, a couple of the tiles cracked. That's because the rails to support the shower enclosure are straight - but our walls are not - so the screws pulled at the tiles where the walls bowed.
At this point, I think Hubby felt like giving up. And I don't blame him.
Tile cracked left of the screw
Removing the damaged tile
Anyway, we persevered, replacing the damaged tiles and installing the shower enclosure. We even managed to plumb in the shower and install a shower caddy without cracking any more tiles. Success at last!
With our guests due to arrive in a couple of days, we decided that we were close enough at this point that we would set ourselves the goal of having the room at least functional so that they could use it during their stay. So, next to go into the room was the sink.
The sink unit (vanity) was maple and mostly solid wood, which would have been fine if our plumber hadn't decided to cut a hole in the bottom of it because he was too lazy to be bothered moving the pipes to accommodate it. He then hid the hole by laying the internal shelf loosely over the top of it so that we only discovered his vandalism long after he'd left. Given that the hole needed to be mended, the easiest thing was to paint the unit to hide the patch. Plus painting it fit better with my design scheme for the room anyway. Here, you can just see where we patched the round hole before priming the woodwork prior to painting it.
I decided to go with classic black for the sink unit. Since I was painting it anyway, I took the opportunity to replace the old handles, which weren't to my taste. I filled the holes where the old handles had been and fitted these pretty little drop pull ceramic knobs instead.
The sink itself is a lovely trough-style basin. But unbelievably, it too came with its fair share of difficulty. When I tried attaching the plug hole, I couldn't get it to sit flush with the bottom of the basin. After much fiddling, I consulted Hubby, who couldn't do any better. Then he noticed the problem: the hole in the ceramic basin was not quite round.
At this stage, the catalogue of disasters we were encountering with the room almost became a running joke between us ... except that it was still too soon to see the funny side of it. Luckily, we had a ceramic hole saw attachment for the drill that we usually use for cutting holes in tile and it was exactly the size we needed. Hubby took the incredibly brave step of drilling the basin, and we were both extremely relieved when he managed to cut a clean circle for the plug hole without damaging the sink.
Finally, we could proceed with the plumbing and install the sink unit.
Next to go in the room were the skirting boards. We decided to install them at this stage because it would be easier to fit them before the toilet was in the way. I primed, painted, and sealed the boards before Hubby cut and fit them. Now I just need to go back and do touch-ups where they were cut and nailed, which is much easier to do than trying to paint them from scratch in situ.
Next Hubby installed the toilet, which wasn't easy to do in the confined space. Then we realised that we had no toilet seat for it because we used the one that had come with it to replace a broken seat in another bathroom some time ago. At the last minute, I made a trip to a local hardware store to procure another one so that our guests could use the "throne" in comfort.
Given the already tight schedule for the One Room Challenge, not having access to the room for a week while guests stayed could have been a huge setback. However, we used it as motivation to press onwards; even when it seemed like everything that could go wrong, did. We worked incredibly hard and managed to get the project back on schedule.
Best of all, with the room now fully functioning, it means that from here on I just need to think about finishing touches and making it pretty. I can't wait!