Simple bathroom vanity removal–hah!

So far, we’ve just dropped tantalizing hints about our re-started bathroom renovation project…

bathroom tile sample 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

We’ll soon be filling you in on the long-planned (and re-planned) tile walls now surrounding our bathtub. (We want to complete it before sharing.) But today, we’re focusing the spotlight on our vanity.

master bath sink door pic 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

When the whole bathroom project exploded unfolded, we decided to remove the existing vanity because it wasn’t working well for us. It was wedged so tightly into its space that the left-side drawers hit the corner of the half-wall when we opened them. We couldn’t open the right drawers if the door was open because there wasn’t enough space.

We want something smaller. Like this.

restore vanity 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

This new guy, a ReStore find, has been undergoing a make-over we’ll also share later.

While we’ve got those other things in the works, today’s post is all about getting the old vanity out. We need to get the vanity out because it’s time for the new floor to go in. We have to put the new floor in because we can’t finish the tiling job until we do that. (The whole bathroom project is feeling a bit like a Rube Goldberg device.)

bathroom floor removal 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

This vinyl flooring was stained, so it had to go, too.

We thought it would be a fairly simple matter of removing the tile backsplash…

vanity 1 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

and freeing the pipes…

vanity 21 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

and then sliding the vanity out.

Except it didn’t quite go like that.

vanity 4 730x973 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

What the heck???

Let’s skip over that gaping hole we put in the wall for just a minute and focus on the missing drywall in the corner. What’s up with that? Did they just not have a big enough piece and decided to go with one a little short? Did they cut once before measuring twice?

Oh, who knows…and really, what difference does it make? It is what it is, right?

We didn’t have time to ponder that long, because it quickly became apparent that the vanity was stuck.

stuck vanity 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

Cane managed to wrestle the beast into some kind of submission by laying the front of the cabinet on the floor.

When I asked how that was going to help us, he said he was going to flip the back end up (putting the countertop side down onto the floor), releasing it from the half-wall. Then we’d sorta shimmy it out the door.

vanity half stuck 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

It was all feeling way too much like our experience of wrestling in the new tub.

stuck tub 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

This is Cane putting a hole in the wall to the bedroom, so that we could get the tub down into its space.

I expressed some doubt about total support for this whole plan, but it quickly became apparent that the thing wasn’t going to budge. There would be no releasing it from the half-wall.

Not in one piece anyway.

This really bummed us out. The cabinet wasn’t working for us, but we hated to destroy a perfectly good cabinet that someone else might want.

vanity 7 730x973 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

Alas, we did.

vanity 8 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

Right before Cane smashed this foot down into the cabinet, breaking the back apart, he shook his head, looked up at me and whispered, “Two leaky tiles.”

Yes, this did all start with two leaky tiles.

bathroom problems 730x485 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

At the end of the day, we had not only a busted-up vanity, but also a busted up wall.

vanity 9 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

This presented a whole new design dilemma opportunity. Back in January, I suggested removing that half-wall on the left. While it does separate the toilet from the vanity area, it also cuts the already narrow bathroom in two and makes the tub/toilet portion of the room darker than we’d like.

“No way,” Cane said back then. “Too much trouble.”

half wall 730x973 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

Looks like Trouble has found us anyway.

That’s OK. We laugh at Trouble. And then go back to the drawing board.

Since we now have to do more than paint anyway, we decided to reconsider our previous decision about leaving the wall as is.

We talked about no wall,  a half-way-up wall, a pass-though opening in the upper half of the wall, and a post with shelves extending to the back wall. We do have a light switch half-way up the other side of the wall to deal with, and unfortunately the wires go up, not down–so no wall or making this into a half-way-up wall would not be simple and would require calling in an electrician.

After sleeping on it, we decided to go with the pass-through window, which would preserve the switch, maintain the privacy barrier between the sink and toilet, and let more light in to the tub area.

pass through 730x973 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

Here she is from the tub side:

wall pass through from tub 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

I will admit, I was pretty skeptical about this whole thing–and I know it looks pretty crazy right now–but the tub area is so much nicer with the light from the vanity shining through. This room has no windows, and it really does feel better with this opening in the wall.

So, that’s our story of the simple vanity removal.

Comments of encouragement and/or constructive suggestions of how to enhance this new feature (that don’t include buttoning that hole right back up!) would be so appreciated! :-)

cane arm 730x547 Simple bathroom vanity removal  hah!

Why do I have this shot? I don’t know…guess it’s the goofy kind of stuff you do right after your hole-in-the-wall gamble pays off!

 Update:  To see how it all turned out, click here.