The New Old Bathroom

Converting a Laundry Room to a Bathroom

While we were on a short Northern Ontario vacation, the tiling and plumbing was completed for our new bathroom. This new bathroom, was at one time a bathroom, converted to a laundry room, with some plumbing rough-ins left behind.

The former laundry room
The former laundry room

The construction and finishing was beyond our capabilities, but it was kind of hard to let other people do the work. It just didn’t seem right, but it was worth it. I prefer to do our toilet and tile installation ourselves – but this room required the floor to be completely re-levelled, a shower to be installed in an odd place, and some moving around of the plumbing fixtures.

The room still needs to be painted, and have a few finishing touches added, but it is now usable. Sort of.

We had to do a bit of problem solving for a few small details. This post is about the little thrifty DIY fixes that I really enjoy doing!

The Light Fixtures:

This bathroom had an existing electrical box ready for a light fixture, and an overhead light/fan.

The 1970s homemade light fixture before
The 1970s homemade light fixture before

The overhead light/fan worked well, but looked a bit 1970s -homemade, probably because it was! It was pretty unobtrusive – except for the wood-tone frame – so my husband took it down, and I spray-painted the wood white. It looks good to me now. I feel better for having done a little “craft project” for this bathroom – even though pros did most of the work.

Spray painting the light fixture
Spray painting the light fixture – My neighbours are getting used to the smell of spray paint through the fence

One of the reasons that we had a carpenter do the bathroom reno, was that the floor was very badly sloped. When he raised and levelled the floor, it raised a few inches on one side! The floor looks good, but the vanity light fixture would now be too low if installed in the open box. The sink was also not installed exactly where we thought it would be – and so the fixture was no longer centred over the sink and mirror.

Removal of bathroom or laundry room floor
When the floor was removed

We had an electrician install and centre a new vanity light fixture – unfortunately the wire in the wall wasn’t long enough for him to just move the box – so he installed a new one and put a plate over the old one. If we had tried to move the box ourselves, running new wires wouldn’t have been our cup of tea – so I’m glad we just had it done properly. The mirror will cover the plated former box, so no drywall repair required.

The new vanity light fixture and plate
The new vanity light fixture and plate

We picked a light fixture that had some chrome/silver in it like our bathroom fixtures, but looked a little old-fashioned. It’s a modern bathroom, but it is still in an 1890s house after all!

The Doorknob

Old missing doorknob
The one sided doorknob

The old wooden door had been cut down and re-installed by our carpenter, but there was only an inside door knob – and if we shut the door – we’d be locked in – that’s a problem!

Old missing doorknob
The single doorknob with latch removed

Most of our other doors have mortise locksets, but this door had a newer latch – the mortise was gone.

Old missing doorknob - latch
The latch

Now that Ontario is out of lockdown, we headed out to an outdoor Antique Market, that had finally re-opened. I can’t believe it’s been more than a year since we’ve been out to a market! We visited the Aberboyle Antique Market in Aberfoyle Ontario – just north of Highway 401 – west of Toronto – and just south of Guelph. It runs on Sundays through to the end of October. Entry was $5 each.

Aberfoyle Antique Market
Aberfoyle Antique Market

This outdoor market was fairly busy, but masks were still required. Most people tried to keep their distance – but some people just didn’t…… So we wandered around for a bit searching for antique patio furniture, and doorknobs. We didn’t find the furniture that we wanted, but there were at least 3 vendors of vintage doorknobs and hardware.

One of the vendors took our pictures and measurements and showed us brass, tortoise, porcelain and glass knobs. Most of our knobs are porcelain, but I wanted to try a glass set. The vendor showed me how the knobs would fit together through the latch and tested it all. It seemed clear as a bell how to install them when demonstrated by the expert.

We may head back there next week and pick out some more treasures.

We headed home and set to work on the doorknobs. I couldn’t remove the old knob screws – so my husband intervened and made it look easy. Then I inserted the latch (upside down at first) – it didn’t fit snugly, so I went and checked the other doors upstairs – and yes – I had it upside down and backwards.

New vintage doorknobs
The “new” glass doorknob

Then I peeled the paint off the old key hole. It won’t be functional – but I like the way it looks.

Peeling the paint off of the old key hole
Peeling the paint off of the old key hole

Now the room is functional – and ready to paint. Stay tuned for the after pictures!

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