Project: In-Law Suite Bathroom Demo

We gutted the in-law suite bathroom. Our plan is to fix up the in-law suite first, so we can move into there while the rest of the house gets worked on. So, one of the main projects for that side was redoing the bathroom.

The existing bathroom had old and dated everything: old rusty sink; old toilet with wooden seat; old cast iron tub (which we were going to keep until Neil chipped off a piece of the side removing the glass block windows in the wall); ugly wallpaper that had been painted a few times; ugly painted fake tile chair rail; and dated medicine cabinet and lights.

Our bathroom is now an expressway from the in-law suite to the kitchen of the main house. We weren’t planning on completely ripping out the walls (this bathroom backs up to the eat-in kitchen on the main house side). The original glass block window for this bathroom was framed out in the kitchen and needed to be removed. When the boys removed the wood paneling in the kitchen and the glass blocks, they discovered some fire damage, so they kept gutting.

They did a pretty good job, however, we now have to replace the tub because it was chipped by falling glass blocks when they pushed them out of the wall; there is a hole in the wall of the in-law kitchen where one of their hammers went all the way thru; and the built-ins visible to the in-law suite dining room area need to be replaced because they were cracked in the wall tear down stage.


  • Be aware of built-ins and the placement of features on the walls of joining rooms when doing a demo. Take the time to scope out what’s on the other side so you don’t damage anything and have to replace or rebuild it.
  • Be gentle when smashing down walls as to not poke holes thru to the other side. It leaves big holes that you then have to figure out how to patch…after you’ve already primed your kitchen walls.
  • Do not push old glass blocks through the wall so they land in the tub unless you had adequate padding. You will end up with a chipped tub that costs more to fix than to replace, glass all over your floor, and a few less glass blocks that you could have used for crafty projects.

I get get a few goodies out it. I have 10 useable glass blocks to play with and an old sink that will be a new bird bath. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the glass blocks yet, they might end up in the garden as well…I’ll need to research some project ideas. The sink is currently hanging out in yard waiting to have the old hardware taken off and be set up somewhere…need to figure out a good spot for it. It’s really heavy so I’d prefer not to have to move more than once, so some garden pre-planning is in order.

We’re not entirely sure what we’re going to do with the bathroom. Not really sure why we HAD to gut it at this point in time, when we didn’t know what we were going to do with it…but oh well. Here are a few ideas I had for the remodel:

  1. Sink with cabinet in dark brown with matching details (either a sink that fills up the entire space of the top…like pictured…or is the style that the counter and sink are 1-unit so there are no “around the sink” edges that collect dirt)
  2. Built-in shelves/cabinet over toilet area or dark brown floating shelves (this will partly depend on what kind of medicine cabinet/mirror I find that I like)
  3. High shelf, on wall with door or wall with vanity/toilet, to add extra storage (may not end up in this bathroom, but will definitely be going in the small bathroom in the main house)
  4. Tan/cream/beige colored tiles (Neil’s choice, I like black/white/grey tiles, but that will go in the main house bathroom…the in-law suite is going to end up as his “office/man cave” so he gets to pick out the tile…with my subtle pushes in the right direction)
  5. Possible wall color…might end up being more of a golden yellow though…or maybe more of a blue…will have to decide once we pick a tile
  6. Side of toilet hidden storage for cleaning supplies (cute idea, don’t know if we actually have space for it here though)

Other ideas include: tiled wall to chair rail height all around bathroom and acting as backsplash behind sink; stand up shower or tub with shower; and built-in tile shelves in the shower to hold shampoo, etc.

Not sure when we are going to actually start the remodel, but hopefully it will be soon because the other bathroom is already half gutted and we really need a nice place to go to the bathroom while we’re working…well I do at least.

Before we start making it nice we do have to put in a new fan/vent in the ceiling and get some electrical work done. The original fan was placed in the wall and was venting into the basement (FYI: Huge no-no). Some of the outlets were installed dangerously (run from boxes with old wiring, wires run in front of studs, etc) so they need to be replaced, and electrical for overhead and vanity mirror lights needs to be installed. It’s amazing the amount of things to take into consideration when redoing even a small bathroom.


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