Tuesday, January 24, 2006

bathroom discoveries

I guess with a title like that one, we could go in any direction with this post, but I am pleased to inform you that this bathroom discovery was a good one.

A few nights ago, I shuffled into the bathroom to brush my teeth before bed, and my sock got snagged on the edge of a linoleum tile. The corner of the tile lifted up, and I was surprised to find real ceramic tile underneath. The tile was covered in blackish sludge and dirt from years of glue, as well as grime sliding under the edges of the linoleum that had long since separated to form gaps.

The prior owners of our house, or the prior owners to the prior owners of our house, did some strange things with the decorating. They'd put in hideously ugly carpet, different colors in different rooms, to cover up beautifully preserved hardwood floors. They put linoleum tiles inside the kitchen cabinets, and they're still there. Both the downstairs and upstairs bathrooms feature this non-matching random colored linoleum, even though the upstairs bathroom is yellow tiled and the downstairs bathroom is pink tiled.



It was a little late to be pulling up linoleum, especially because I didn't know what the state of the tile underneath might be. I'd normally assume they covered up damage, but since I've glimpsed some of their strange workings in the past, I thought there was a chance it might be okay.





Sunday night, I got down on my hands and knees, grabbed an old wallpaper scraper and got to work. With each piece of linoleum I pulled up, I made a little wish that it would be okay underneath. For the most part the linoleum came up in whole pieces and I only had to work to scrape up a few sections.

I cleaned each square after I'd pulled up the tile with Goo Gone, which worked beautifully! I was too lazy to go to Home Depot and ask about other products, but Goo Gone ended up being perfect and got all the glue up without any problems.

Josh had to recaulk around the tub and the toilet, but this is what the bathroom looked like in the end.






Thankfully, there is only one spot next to the toilet where a tile was cracked and removed. Unfortunately, it is right near the entrance to the bathroom, so it is easy to see. I'm assuming I can try to find some cream tile that will somewhat match and then chip it down to size. Has anyone encountered a similar problem?



There wasn't any wrong, per se, with the old linoleum, but I somehow feel that the bathroom has more charm now. it seems more authentic, funkier, more interesting. Now I'm looking for a black rug to throw down next to the tub to complete the look. The one in the above picture ended up having a hole, and that was the last one in stock.













I also received a postcard that Restoration Hardware opened up an outlet store in Boston, and I picked up some old fashioned canister looking containers, soap dispenser and garbage can at their super discounted prices, and the bathroom is starting to shape up!














Now the question is, do I take the same leap of faith in the downstairs bathroom? From the gaps in the linoleum, it looks as if the downstairs tile may be color coated with pink and black tiles to match the walls. Ick. But will pink and black be better than tan, yellow and green linoleum?

23 comments:

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Oh, I like the ceramic tile pattern so much!

Please come to my house and redecorate it. I'll throw money and labor at your whims. Just help, please.

Girl said...

Wow...what a fun surprise...I LOVE the tile! And now you don't need a fussy shower curtain.

Speaking of "bathroom discoveries" my latest post is about just that...albeit, not as..ahem...clean. ;)

Laura said...

Yeah go for the downstairs one too. If it doesn't work out, you can put something over the top again. I am all for the orignal look. GOOD LUCK!!!

zeebah said...

Oh yay! That's an awesome surprise! I really like that tile. I say go for it downstairs, too.

wordnerd said...

Like the ceramic SO MUCH BETTER. You're right, it has so much more personality than the linoleum.

Yankee T said...

Excellent! Yes, pull up the linoleum downstairs, too!

Kristin said...

Oooh, that is so cute! I've undertaken so many projects in the middle of the night or at other inopportune times. I can't resist the pull of potential! :)

Ninotchka said...

that is SO cool. i say go for it downstairs. i bet it'll look fabu. i admire your bravado. i'm a chicken when it comes to stuff like that. mainly because i'm a lazy ass who is scared of anything that even resembles hard work. ha ha ha

Maribeth said...

Years ago in my previous life, my ex and I decided to get new carpeting for our living room. The room had old olive green shag, wall to wall carpeting in it. We pulled up the carpet and found HARD WOOD FLOORS! Now tell me, who puts ugly shag carpet over oak flooring?

halloweenlover said...

Well, Maribeth, did your previous owners own a house in massachusetts? Because apparently ours did also. I'll have to post the pictures, it was so astoundingly ugly, I could hardly stand it. We only could assume that there was hardwood floors underneath because the closets didn't have carpeting.

The sad thing is that in some places they've destroyed the floors with all their stupid staples. For example, the stairs in some places have cracks because they stapled the carpet down so many times it caused the floors to split. So sad.

Thanks for the words of encouragement! I may have to go ahead and do the downstairs bath this weekend. I'll post pictures!

blackbird said...

That floor is FABULOUS!

You have to rip up the other linoleum!

Karan said...

goforitgoforitgoforitgoforitgoforitgoforitgoforitgoforitgoforitgoforit

Jessica said...

LOVE the discovery - how cool!

Ya know...pink and black is very trendy now days - sorta like a Parisian them?

Phantom Scribbler said...

No way APL! Halloweenlover has to come do my house first!

I still owe you the world's ugliest bathroom post, by the way. I took the pictures months ago -- just haven't written it up yet.

Songbird said...

I love the tile! And I would definitely take a chance on the downstairs, too.

halloweenlover said...

Oh Phantom, I haven't forgotten yet. I'm waiting patiently. I understand that science projects have been getting in the way ; )

susan said...

This is inspirational! I've been wanting to pull up the linoleum in our upstairs bath ever since a contractor told us it's probably tile underneath, but Politica has forbad it. (because the last time I just pulled a piece of something to see what was underneath it turned into a three year, timeconsuming project to get 5 layers of paint and wallpaper off our bedroom walls. That was before we realized the value of renting wallpaper strippers.)

But after looking at these photos, she muttered, "well, find an inconspicuous spot." thank you, halloweenlover!!

So i say, take up a piece of the downstairs, too.

liz said...

Go for it downstairs. Pink and black will look delightful once the tiles match.

Reminds me of that song by The Decentz -- "Compared to You"

She's a dream in pink and black...

KathyR said...

What a cool discovery! What were those people thinking?!

Maribeth said...

I couldn't post to todays entry for your Blogaversary! But...
Happy Bogaversary to you,
Happy Blogaversary to you!
Happy Blogaversary dear Blogging Pal,
Happy Blogaversary to you!!!

Ninotchka said...

Happy Bloggy Birthday! I'm so glad you decided to stick with it! ;)

jo said...

Peel it off baby...PEEL IT OFF. When I did the same upstairs I used mineral spirits to clean off the goo, it worked a treat.
I just received an email today from restoration, of course I am mighty PISSED that you got a post card before I got my email, but I'm willing to forgive and forget.
How is the outlet?? Do I NEED to go?

Chris said...

Love the tile! I say go for it!

And happy one year blog anniversary. :-)