How not to finish a bathroom

Our story so far: Tyler and I struggled to acquire a custom shower in budget, but we agreed to keep it simple with most of bathroom fixtures in the old church we were turning into our home by selecting polished chrome.

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The bathroom fixtures in the rental house were brass, and apologies to brass fans, they were ugly, not retro, not trendy. The whole room was a lesson in how not to finish a bathroom.

We had been living in the little rental house for four months. It was cozy. And infinitely cleaner than the church-in-renovation (despite my poor housekeeping). But as we obsessed about the finishing details in the church, I couldn’t help but notice all the little mistakes in our rental.

Case in point: The bathroom.

rental bathroom vanity
This vanity is better suited to a powder room than to the only bathroom in a house.
rental bathroom over the tank
Built-in-shelving would prevent us from having to store towels on the, ick, toilet tank.

The rental house had only one closet—in the bedroom. Not having a linen closet makes one appreciate this simple luxury. Especially when the bathroom features only a single-sink vanity. It was impossible to fit all the towels, first aid supplies, toiletries, cleaning products and extra toilet paper we used in the vicinity of the bathroom. I found a beat-up over-the-tank storage system in the basement, so someone had tried to improve the bathroom storage but someone else gave up on it. Someone should have built permanent shelves over the toilet, but we were not someone—we were going to focus our energy on projects in the church.

Only one outlet? Just our electric toothbrushes used this up. And I still had a Waterpik, curling iron, blow dryer. Often, we plugged in bathroom appliances in the kitchen, which was neither handy or appetizing. We were planning to have so many outlets in our bathrooms, we’d never run out!

rental bathroom towel ring
Hmm. How odd.

Speaking of one, there was one lonely towel ring in the bathroom. Situated strangely at eye-level next to the shower.

Not only where the brass fixtures in our rental bath better suited to King Midas, but the faucet handle was loose, and the replacement shower head didn’t match. Ugh.

rental bathroom door trim
You couldn’t plan ahead far enough to accommodate the extra half inch required for the same trim on both sides?

The trim was poorly planned. This kind of lack of attention to detail drove me mad. Builders should never have to cut corners on door trim or skip portions of baseboard for no apparent reason. And why were the screws around the tub surround exposed? Even pre-formed shower walls could use proper trim. And this. The tiny vanity was level (I guess), but only because of a shim that showed under the kick plate. So sloppy.

As we planned our own bathrooms in the church, we hoped to avoid similarly poor workmanship. Because instead of tolerating it for a few months, we’d be living with it long-term. And if it reflected poor workmanship, we’d only have ourselves to blame.

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Tomorrow: But nothing could be as bad as the contractors’ bucket. Read about it here.

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