Beach house #3 – Bath

Josh and I started work right away – I was there screwing in some solar exterior lights less than an hour after signing the papers. Job #1: get a working bathroom in. With a bathroom we can wash up, shower, tackle all the other, nastier chores that we’d be getting into later on.

We didn’t think there’d be all that much work to do to make it useable. It looked to be in pretty good shape.


We knew there had been some water leaks in the past, though, and I wanted to see how far the damage went. We also knew that despite the bathroom looking pretty good on the surface, the inspector had laughingly lifted the toilet inches off the floor to demonstrate that it was not, in fact, attached to anything. Turns out it was sort of just floating on a thin single layer of laminate flooring laid over a fairly large hole in the subfloor. Oooooooook… so we needed to rip that sucker up to see how far the damage went.

bath josh working

First the wood-look laminate went. There was linoleum under that. Then we realized all the pipe connections were leaky and the vanity bottom was rotten and would have to be replaced too. So we ripped that out together and found tiny little tile mosaics under the linoleum layer. And a whole lot of Q-tips that the laminate had gone right over.

bath gutting 2

I spent my evening ripping up both the linoleum and the little tiles. I found, inexplicably, a whole pencil and some other trash underneath the underlayment of the little tile layer. They’d just gone right over it.


Only to find:

bath gutting 3

Uh-oh. I would bet a hot dollar that those are asbestos tiles. And the damage extended much further than we had thought – all the way up to the tub and along the edge. Whoever these renters were that lived here previously, they did not clean up their puddles.

I knew at this point that I would probably have to have help to come in and tear out the rest of the subfloor and possibly the tub. I didn’t want to, since it and its surround looked like they were in good condition. I was still hoping we could save it.

At this point I kind of want to pat my past, overly-optimistic self on the back and murmur a condescending, “ohhhh, honey” or two. This was our first introduction to the real house and all the cancers that lurked hidden underneath the layers upon layers plastered over its every surface.

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