I assume it is easier to build a new bathroom from scratch, or at least a gut renovation, rather than incremental upgrades, since you’re free to work with the space in its entirety, unhindered by drywall, and hopefully without hidden surprises.
The new place has two bathrooms – one is in great shape, and laid out pretty well, whereas the other has some issues. By “issues,” I mean that the door doesn’t open fully because it bumps into the toilet, the linen closet across from the toilet has a bi-fold door that creates issues, and when both the bathroom door and the linen closet door are open, there’s about a one foot-wide section remaining for egress.
Beyond that, there was either a severe leak under the sink at some point in the past, or a persistent slow leak, causing the metal drawer rails to rust despite having some sort of opaque white coating, and the wood to bubble and harbor mold, as well as possibly rot. Needless to say, this situation needed to be rectified. Neither I nor my girlfriend wanted to use that bathroom.
We picked up a replacement vanity from Home Depot, which is already a huge improvement over the original vanity. I’ve seen entirely too many leaks under the sink go unnoticed because they were hidden away inside of the vanity cabinet, then go on to damage the rest of the vanity itself. This design is more open, and therefore, any leaks should be easily spotted.
Removal of the old vanity was easy enough, since the countertop wasn’t bonded to the vanity cabinet in any way, and the cabinet was attached to the way by a single concrete anchor screw – why a concrete screw, I don’t know. Removal revealed the extent of the water damage, which wasn’t entirely evident from inspection of just the inside of the cabinet. This process also revealed that the drain pipe sections connecting the sink to the P-bend were missing a couple O-rings, which were probably the source of the leak. On top of this, the P-bend was positioned in a very odd place, so replacement plumbing, like the original drainpipe connections, would require flexi-fit parts.
Replacement of the old vanity mirror/light/medicine cabinet combo was more exciting and less disgusting. I discovered that the light had been wired by bringing a line from the switch, punching a hole in the wall, leaving the debris on top of the medicine cabinet behind the trim on top of the lights, with the splice just hanging out. Installing the new light involved punching a couple more holes in the wall for a junction box behind the new light fixture and installing a 2×4 between the wall studs for support. The jacket around the old wiring had also been removed up to about eight inches from the end, so I trimmed that, put it in a junction box for safety, spliced a new section to the end, and ran the new piece to the junction box for the fixture.
Anyway, here’s the finished product.
Next steps: re-doing the linen closet shelving, taking the sliding door off the bathtub, and flipping the door around from being right-handed to left-handed.