The New Bagno

Around Christmas time last year I started talking to a buddy of mine about remodeling our master bathroom.  We have a wall between the shower, bathtub that didn't appear to be serving any serious purpose, the shower was a cheap plastic insert, the countertops were lame and the faucets were starting to break.  My friend seemed pretty excited about helping out and Jen and I had been watching a fair amount of HGTV, so we got started.



We got started at the end of January.  We started by ripping up the floor, tearing out the shower, taking out the cabinets (Jen painted them white for reuse), and breaking off the ugly white tile surrounding the bathtub.  The drywall behind the ugly white tile started coming off with the tile, so we decided to just take out the wall and replace the drywall.



We needed to put down cement backer board on top of the subfloor because we were replacing laminate with tile.  Through this point it'd been pretty easy.



I was starting to get tired of spending every spare hour I had in this bathroom, so the professionals installed the countertop when they delivered it.  Worth every penny.


We'd gotten a shower pan type kit, that included a tapered floor for the shower, then we had this stuff that we painted on the walls that acted as a membrane to waterproof the shower.



By this point, I'd spent so much time at the hardware store that I'd gotten to know all the employees by name, and even met one of their girlfriends.  We needed to rent a tile saw to cut the tiles because we'd decided to use 18X18 tiles diagonally.  So, I was cutting tiles from about 8 AM to 1130 PM with a 2 hour break to go to my nephew's baptism.  Then, when we were laying the tile down the next weekend, for some reason we mixed up the entire bag of mortar.  After about halfway through we were racing against the mortar drying.  At some point the next week, I pulled a towel off the bar, and the towel bar chose this moment (not any of the previous 10 years since the house had been built) to detach itself from the wall.  Of course, it fell on and cracked a tile that we had left on the floor after fitting.  Luckily, I had plenty extra tiles and Lowe's lets you use their tile saw if you don't mind the inconvenience.

Cutting the tiles for the shower was easier, but installing them was harder.  We'd decided to use a prebuilt shelf, but that needed about a quarter inch more than we had between our wall and the other drywall, so we installed another sheet of plywood behind the cement backer board (we'd done this before water proofing).  The shelf was a nightmare trying to match up with tiles and such.  The shower handle needed a handle extension that only one hardware store in the state carried.  At the end of this, I never wanted to see another tile saw.

After installing all the tiles, grouting was pretty easy.  I learned it's probably worth a couple bucks for the plastic gloves (I went through a day and a half or so of extremely red and raw hands, not sure if it was the abrasive nature of the grout or some kind of allergy I have).

(No pictures during this time because I was so sick of the whole project)

I left Jen in charge of most of the painting and she did an awesome job.  We installed the baseboards with the help of an old pro (Jen's dad), installed the lights, and we were done.




And my favorite part was the mood lighting (and shelf) we put over the tub.  I'd actually pushed for installing a free standing tub, but I think this is a cheaper option to get a nice effect.


Can't say I'm excited to do another huge renovation project, but I learned quite a bit doing this one.

number 3


Phil is well on his way to building his basketball team.  This pregnancy has been so different, we were both sure this baby would be a girl.  So we were a little surprised to find out that in fact we are having another boy.  But we are still excited and happy that everything looks healthy.  I guess I need to keep trying to train myself that bugs and snakes are fun and not disgustingly creepy.  

Independence Day


The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.  I think living in Washington DC for a few years just gave me a new perspective on everything we celebrate.  The last time we visited DC, Phil and I were able to see the newly restored "Star-Spangled Banner."  I stood in the room bawling thinking about everything it stood for, and now every time I hear our National Anthem I get a little misty-eyed.  

Anyway, I love being able to teach our boys about the holidays and why we celebrate.  This year we went to a parade and watched some local fireworks.  Despite the above picture (we were sitting in 90 degree weather) the kids quite enjoyed the parade.  Sam waved at all the horses and tractors and Wade loved racing to pick up the candy that was thrown.  

I love this country and all the freedoms that come with it.  Happy Independence Day!