05 January 2010

Half Bath [Redux]

We honestly didn't mean to keep you waiting so long for the reveal.  We actually finished at some point in early-December, but have struggled to find time to pull this post together in the weeks that followed.  It feels great to have completed this project! As we've said before, it took a lot longer than we expected, but thus is the story of any DIY remodeling effort. Of opening up what another created in order to make it your own. A transformation. A redux.

Before you begin, take a second to remind yourself what we started with (i.e. the before shots).

Here's a quick rundown of the elements that make up the new half bath...if we forgot to address something, please drop us an email or a comment.

Toto Aquia II from National Builder Supply
Not only do we think it's the best looking toilet around, it has a great water-saving feature with the dual flush design. We found that most online retailers claim free shipping; but exclude freight items (such as toilets). National Builder Supply actually ships this toilet for free, making it $50-70 cheaper than other online retailers. This is the first toilet that I ever installed, so the process was slow, but completely manageable, as long as you follow the instructions carefully. For instance, when they tell you to turn each tank bolt equally, they actually mean equally -- as in a full turn on the left, followed by a full turn on the right...and repeat. As for the function and performance of the toilet -- we love it, especially the soft-close seat.

The sink and sink cabinet are both from Ikea's LILLÅNGEN bathroom system. 

The faucet is the Ikea DALSKÄR.

Since the faucet is chrome, we wanted to go with chrome accessories. Picked up the towel ring (not yet installed) and TP holder from Smedbo.

The lights are the ET2 Flash from All Modern. The medicine cabinet is also from Ikea's LILLÅNGEN bathroom system.  During demo we framed out the cabinet and countersunk it to keep the profile as clean as possible.

Finally, you'll notice we used drywall around the majority of the window frame, instead of using wood to trim it out. Since it is such a small space, we wanted to keep the lines as simple and clean as possible. The large window provides great light to the space and keeps it from feeling claustrophobic. At the same time, privacy is of utmost concern. Again, not wanting to add additional materials (such as blinds/shades/curtains), we opted for the Gila Privacy Frosted film. We think it adds a finished, modern look to the room.

Also, don't be afraid to use spray paint on your existing metal window frames and hardware that feature that oh-so-late-80s factory bronze finish.  For legal reasons I must point out here that the use of paint on a window frame may cause you to void your warranty.  So if that's something that concerns you, take head!

The Forbo Marmoleum Click flooring was covered in a previous post; as was the wall tile

So...our first major renovation project is behind us! We learned so much and hope to carry a lot of that into our next project...the kitchen.

Stay tuned...


modfrugal said...

Wow! It looks really great - wonderful job! I have to check out those lights more closely....v. cool.

Chris Magee said...

Looking good. . .love the minimal aesthetic.

Gretchen said...

Really outstanding! Great eye, great work!

Rolf said...

I really like the look you achieved. We are in the middle of a similar remodel and am considering the Ikea fixtures. does the Ikea stuff use all regular pluming pieces? Or did you have to use the plastics pipes that come with the sink? Thanks, and good job!

Barbara said...

I do believe I will be copying your sink and cabinet purchases over the weekend...how good that looks! I have a tiny bathroom and that would be perfect!!

Vicki @ Piccolo Takes All said...

This looks really great. I especially like the floor and the tile wall.

I would love to be able to redo our bathroom...Would you mind sharing how much the entire project cost?

troy. said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

Rolf: IKEA fixtures (sinks/faucets) come with their own plumbing parts, which is either a blessing or a curse. Blessing if everything works/fits for your set-up. Curse if it doesn't, as the supplied IKEA parts are either proprietary and/or European/Metric-sized. It can require a bit of creativity and help from the folks at your local hardware store. Check out two issues I ran into w/ my install here.

Vicki: I can pull some of the major bills and give you a rough estimate. Check back in a few days.

Vicki @ Piccolo Takes All said...

Great. Thanks!

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

great space! the floor and walls are fabulous.


troy. said...

At Vicki's request, here's a breakdown of the major costs involved in the half bath redux.

Major Materials
Tile $487 ($16.25 sq ft)
Tile Supplies (mastic, grout, sealer) $100
Tile Tools $60
Flooring $221 ($8.50 sq ft)
Foam Underlay $15
T-Mold $25
Toto Aquia II + Seat $351
IKEA Faucet $100
IKEA Sink $100
IKEA Cabinet + Legs $65
IKEA Medicine Cab $50
Lighting (ET2 Flash) $79 (for both)
Omnia Door Latch $78
Towel Holder $45
TP Holder $36
Baseboard $30
TOTAL: $1,842

Not included
-Paint (on-hand from another project)
-Framing Lumber (on-hand)
-Plumbing supplies (valves, PVC, copper pipe, misc. tools)
-Drywall + mud + screws
-Numerous trips to local hardware store
-Many hours of research and reading on tiling how-to
-Frustration and time that goes w/ any DIY effort
-Satisfaction of knowing that you did it yourself

Lauren @ chezerbey said...

Looks great! That is my new favorite small sink. We have the Toto Aquia with soft close too...never knew how much I would love that feature!

Anonymous said...

global warming is causing the ice caps to melt, is that why your faucet is running

wonderful job, looks great

Anonymous said...

Wow...you did an amazing job. Really really nice!

rafis said...

At what height is the IKEA Medicine Cab installed (the distance between the bottom of the cab and the floor; the distance between the bottom of the cab and the IKEA Sink)?

troy. said...


Bottom of med cab to floor is 4' Bottom of med cab to sink is 1'

Lena said...

Hi! It looks really great!! I found this post because I'm also going to use Lillangen sink and TOTO Aquia in my new bathroom. I'm really confused with their color though... Is your TOTO in Colonial White or Cotton? It looks like a perfect match.

troy. said...

Hi Lena: Glad you found our post. Hopefully it is helpful! Our toto is COTTON. And don't hesitate to ask more questions that may come up as you get further into your bathroom remodel!

Andrea said...

Hi--love the bath. It seems perfect for the space. I'm starting a new bathroom installation and I'm going to use the Lillangen too. Just wanted to know how you felt about the faucet? Any issues with splashing?

troy. said...

Hey Andrea --

The faucet is well-made and feels solid. The only negative is that the on/off handle is flat on top -- so it "holds" water, which eventually dries, leaving a dirt spot on the chrome. I dry it off with a towel every time I use it, but my wife and guests...not so much!! :) But again, it’s a little thing that most non-OCD people would never notice. As for the plumbing associated w/ the faucet, see my earlier comment to Rolf.

Splashing...it’s a shallow sink, so there is obviously a bit more splashing than in a deeper sink. It’s in a half-bath, so it doesn't get used on a regular basis. But we like it! Would I choose it for my main bathroom? Um...I might look around a bit. Given its small footprint and style, could I live with it in my main bathroom? Most certainly.

Good luck w/ your project and let us know if you have more questions along the way.

Anonymous said...

Hi - Just found your site - we are thinking of putting in the Lillangen sink in our bathroom, but after putting it together, we find that its really low. The box says that it should be 36 inches, but it is only 32 1/4 inches. Does your sink seem low?


troy. said...

Maria: Glad you found us! Enjoy looking around!

The sink set up feels just right to me. Here are our measurements:

To compare, our sink in another bathroom (done in 90s and not yet remodeled by us) is only 31"

patrick said...

hi. the bath is beautiful. i have a question. I just bought and put together a similar ikea base and sink - plan to install this coming weekend. Did you need to cut away the trim for the back legs? if so, any suggestions? such as, did you cut it out just for the legs, or across the whole back. I'm having trouble picturing it. any suggestion is appreciated. thanks.

troy. said...

Hey Patrick -- thanks for the kind words!

So this is an excellent question, one I think IKEA can just kind of sidestep b/c everyone's houses are so different. I’ll first discuss my solution and then suggest others that come to mind.

I did not cut away the trim behind the sink cab legs, so my cab and sink do not sit back against the wall. The trim is 3/4” Deep and my legs sit back against the trim, but by the time you get up to the sink (and given that my bathroom wall is out of square, I would guess there’s about a 1” gap between the sink and the wall. Now…this was acceptable to me in my situation b/c (1) it’s a half-bath that gets used sparingly (so there’s not a bunch of splashing going on that’s going to send water down behind the sink cab on a regular basis) and (2) the entire wall is tiled (so it can withstand any water that escapes the sink itself).

I still have the sink cab anchored to the wall. My placement didn’t hit any studs, so I opted for toggle bolts for use in the drywall. Note that the screw that comes w/ the toggle bolt will be too short to reach from inside the cab and back into the wall to spring the toggles, so I had to pick up longer screws – I can’t recall but I’m thinking they were probably something like 4” or 5”. I then used a plastic (or aluminum if you can find it) spacer to cover the screw that extends from the back of the sink cab to the wall. In the two years since we completed the half-bath, I’ve only ever seen the spacers when I’ve intentionally looked for them, they are not otherwise easily visible. If you decide to go this route, I can try and snap a few pictures – just drop me an email (click my name above and that’ll take you to my profile page and an email link).

However, if you’re looking to have the sink sit back against the wall, then it appears to me that you have two options. I’m sure there are others, but this is what comes to mind. As you suggest, you could cut out your trim. This is probably the easiest solution. As to whether to cut it just for the legs or across the entire back, I would say it’s a matter of personal preference based on whether you believe anyone will be able to see under there.

The second option would be to forego the back legs and use your trim (or an extension added to your trim, depending on height of front legs) as a ledger board to rest the back of the sink cab base on. You would still use your front legs to support the weight out front and then secure the cab to the wall as shown in the IKEA directions. Note that this approach may not work if the legs are all one piece – I can’t recall. If the legs are one piece, well then you have some other options – hacksaw the back legs off or look into returning the legs that came w/ the cab and replacing them with CAPITA legs from the kitchen department (where you’d just be purchasing them for the front corners).

Again, these are just some suggestions that will require a bit of IKEA-hacking and your own know-how to get the job done. One other suggestion, have you checked in at the IKEAFANS.com site? There may be some other ideas over there. Good luck!

patrick said...

thanks Troy. These are all good ideas. I haven't removed the current vanity yet, so who knows how square or plum the wall is! House was built in 1960 - solid, but that doesn't necessarily mean square after 50 yrs. I like the idea of sawing off the back legs and putting a support back there somewhere. (and maybe re-attaching the back legs an inch or two closer to the front- just for show) I'll check out ikeafans- I forgot about about them.

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