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Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!

Serious demo, and bronze vs. black fixtures: Week 2 of the One Room Challenge

As I shared last week... we will be making over a dated bathroom in just 6 weeks! We're midway through week 2 now, in the "it gets worse before it gets better" stage hands-down. MAJOR progress has occurred over the past week, including all the demo and looking at a ton of drawer pulls and faucets! We are having a hard time choosing black or brass fixtures, read on for that...

Plus, one of the issues that came up in this reno shows an example of how sometimes, the newbie DIYer route actually results in a higher quality project!

All the posts about this One Room Challenge:


My clients have a contractor coming in later this week to replace the window and plumbing, drywall, and tile around the shower. First, they had to demo that area, and we had originally planned to get going on the floor tile.

The first step was removing the vinyl flooring--not only to get it out of the way but also to see what was under it. Removing it was pretty easy. (Note: we know that the previous owners installed this flooring in the past 10 years, so we did not have to test it for asbestos.)


Under the vinyl was particle board subfloor, and here's where my clients made the choice for quality over time/cost. It had a little water damage and was a little uneven. Plus, we know adding tile will bring the height of the floor up and are concerned about the door swing. We'll be using a very low profile tile backer (Schluter®-DITRA instead of standard backer board), but the height of the particle board (3/4") with the Schluter, mortar, and tile would be really close to the door swing.

(Now, you could choose to trim down the door if needed, and just put some mildew treatment on the subfloor and backer/tile on top of it... but my clients wanted to do this the best way possible!)

So, demo continued... under the particle board was some beautiful quality, tongue in groove 1961 subfloor! (They don't make it like this anymore!)


They removed the vanity and toilet, and the rest of the particle board.

Then, we measured and cut 3/8" tall plywood as a base for the Schluter backer. This should bring us to within 1/16" of the flooring at the hallway transition, and definitely with enough room for the door.

Check out that toilet hole--excellent jigsaw cutting, after creating a starter hole with a hole saw! My clients are being SO careful and detailed! The plywood also fits perfectly. Lots of careful measuring went into laying this base.

We considered laying tile at this point, but due to timing (mortar needs to set 24 hours, then grout needs 4 hours) and the contractor coming, decided to finish shower demo instead.

That meant removing these "tiles" from the shower enclosure... what are these things?! Glue-on waterproof stickers, basically.

Then, demoing the drywall!

In that last photo, 95% done--just need to demo above the window.

Now, design! While I was over helping with demo I looked over the cabinet hardware and faucet options. My clients did something very smart but also very inconvenient... they couldn't decide on drawer pulls and faucets from the photos online, so ordered LOTS of options. This means a big credit card bill and multiple trips back to Home Depot for returns, BUT you get to shop all the choices from the comfort of your living room floor with a sink and vanity front laid out on it. ;)

I shared in my stories, we had SIX pulls to choose from. They were all modern brushed brass, but all different shades and sizes. It's crazy how different the brasses are. We really like the look and feel of this heavy, glossier pull.

The question now is faucet colors. If you remember back to our inspirations, there is a mix of black and brass in most of the rooms. I am all for mixing metals, but one of the bathrooms we love for this space is more elegant with all brass hardware, and that's a great look, too. Also, the brass faucets we got are from Delta and are actually called Champagne Bronze... they are a little on the pinker side, and not quite the shade my clients were hoping for. So we're actually looking for other gold faucet options... otherwise we will probably go with the arched faucet shape but in the matte black finish.

Excited for tiling this weekend! Follow along on my Instagram stories for more updates!

Remember: I'll share a blog post every Wednesday on our 6-week One Room Challenge progress. You can also follow a ton of other exciting room reno projects right now, check out the ORC blog for the featured designers and guests like me!

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