Gone Walkabout...

This blog was going to be about my travels and impressions I had from them. But my attention span went walkabout. And like with any good walkabout I discovered unexpected things. I invite you to come explore with me...

You can contact me at teri-gonewalkabout@live.com

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Where Did THAT Water Come From!?" - Laundry Room: Before and After

My Dad came down on the 25th to help me remodel my laundry room. He's great at that sort of stuff. I was just going to put in new adhesive floor tiles and paint and hang some art. Easy...right?

Naiveté is so peaceful...

Bright and early Friday morning I hauled everything out of the room and thought I was all ready to go.

Dad came downstairs and looked over the situation. That's when he mentioned we could pull out the deep sink which would make painting and flooring easier. Well alrighty then! I headed off to find the proper wrench so he could undo the drain pipe. Only took him a few minutes and the deep sink was setting out in my office. How cool is that!?

Oh no... there was water dripping...

The cold water cut-off valve was dripping onto the floor. Twist it a bit tighter. Still dripping. Since it was a very slow drip we stuck a bucket under it to deal with later. Good to go!

My happy bubble was popped when Dad told me I had to pull off the baseboards to lay the flooring. -sigh- That is when we noticed that the previous owners had used THREE different baseboards (in a 10'X10' room)... and had left a 2 foot gap where they ran out. (They've done some real hillbilly stuff to this house which I keep finding with every renovation I do.) Now I had to go buy enough baseboards to match the largest good section - and stain it to match.

We took down wire shelving that had been put up with the darnedest assortment of screws you ever seen; there were some big holes in the wall. But that's OK; I went out to the shelf in the garage and pulled off my tub of joint compound.

It sloshed when I moved it. Hmmmm... that sounded bad...

Dad confirmed it.

Now I had to buy baseboards and joint compound. So we made our first trip to Lowes for supplies I hadn't anticipated. When we got back to the house, Dad filled the holes and we called it a night.

Saturday morning we started painting. There was a silver lining to my cloud. No baseboards means you don't have to tape and a floor you're going to cover means no drop-cloth when you paint! However, you do have to wash down the walls and tape around the door.

I used paint from Lowes - "Dahlia" from the Valspar Eddie Bauer collection. It's a golden honey color. Very Tuscan. I like it even more than I had hoped! With Dad doing the cutting in work and me coming behind with the roller, it didn't take too long to get it finished.

Next step was to put the floor tiles down. Again from Lowes I used the self adhesive 12X12 tiles. The color is called "Sand Stone" by Crystal. They look like limestone (go figure how they named them!).

The first step to installing tiles is you have to clean the floor. As I scrubbed behind the toilet, I felt... wetness...

Oh no... there was a water puddle...

It didn't come from the leaky sink valve. Further investigation found it came from the base of the toilet tank. Yet more investigation revealed that the toilet had seen it last days. Time to call the plumber... which was easier said than done. I reached the answering machine. I left a message to call back. A half hour later no call. And no answer when I rang them back. I finally got thru over an hour after I made my first call. (I was so persistent because it was Friday afternoon and I wanted to get on their schedule for Monday.)

Dad removed The Puddler. No tears about that since it was on my "replace in the near future" list. Outside of the toilets in my Mom's kindergarten classroom, that was the lowest toilet I'd ever seen - 13 inches from seat to floor!

After we finished washing the floor we put a fan on it and called it a day. Beside, we needed to go to Lowes...

Not so early Sunday morning we started again. The ol' bones were starting to get tired.

Taking the baseboards off does give you a fudge factor for cutting, so that's a good thing. We got busy laying the tiles and soon we were done except for the edges where we had to start cutting. I measured and marked, Dad cut and brought them back. We clipped right along.

Then I noticed Dad giving the door jam the stink eye. It's not too long before he said that has to come off too. He wanted to cut the bottom so we could fit the tiles under it. So while I was sitting in a chair giving my poor knees a break, he pulled the door jam down. Sooner than I was ready to start again, Dad had the jam down - nails of every imaginable size pulled - and the base trimmed.

By the end of the day we've finished the floor, reinstalled the door jam, put the new baseboard down, and my knees were saying very ugly things to my brain. I was so happy that we didn't need to go to Lowes!

Monday morning we're up and at it pretty early as we expected the plumber at 10am. Dad went downstairs to check on something and the next thing I heard was "Te-RI!!!!!"

Oh no... there was a water pond on the floor...

During the night that innocent little drip............drip...........drip.......... drip had turned to drip,drip,drip,drip,drip. The bucket overflowed and kept overflowing. We cleaned up whole bucket of water off the floor. I was so worried that those newly laid tiles were going to lift up. But they didn't!!

We put the fan back in and waited for the plumber to show. 10am came and went. I'm used to service people being late because they under estimate the time it takes to drive way out here. But at 10:45am I was done waiting. I called the office and got their receptionist chickie on the phone (the one who took the hour long break Friday afternoon). Me: "Good morning. I'm wondering when I can expect the plumber out for my 10am appointment?" Chickie: "Oh! I forgot to call you. He's out sick and won't be there today. I need to reschedule you for tomorrow."

Have you ever wanted to reach thru a phone to smack someone?

I rescheduled for 8am - the first appointment of the day.

I went back downstairs to let Dad know the situation. We moved the washer, shelf and deep freeze back plus a few other things. We also came up with a way to cap off the leak. Wasn't elegant but it worked.

From there we decided we deserved a break. We got cleaned up and took in a movie and dinner out. Nice...

Since just about everything was now new in my laundry room, I decided to replace the deep sink. The old one was scratched up and pretty tired looking. So on the way home we made a stop at - guess what - Lowes! Once back home, Dad reinforced the legs so it wouldn't come apart on me. Then we called it a night.

(If a Lowes rep reads this... I think I deserve a customer appreciation coupon about now!)

Tuesday morning the plumber showed up bright and even a bit early. He installed everything I needed installed, changed out some parts in all of the cut-off valves (my preventative maintenance) and left me a happy camper. Worth every penny not to have to do that stuff ourselves!

Shortly after that Dad headed back up to MO. I am SO appreciative of all his help! I love my new laundry room.

What do you think of the before and after shots?


The south wall where the washer and dryer hook up. Notice the 5" missing piece of baseboard in the corner? You can also see the brackets for the hanging wire shelves that I'd already taken down.

Mini toilet and the filthy floor that was under the sink supports. There's the rest of the missing baseboard behind the bucket.
The east wall as you come thru the door. The paintings are all original pieces we have collected in our travels or from friends living overseas. The rug you can just see the corner of used to be in my kitchen. It works better down here.

South wall. A bit more needs to be done - I've got to spray paint the TP holder metalic black and put some sort of backing on the candle rack next to the dryer (the rack will hide the ugly behind the appliances). The flower arrangement belonged to my grandmother. The painting is from Home Goods. Only thing new is the shelf my laundry goods are on!

Nice new 17" toilet and new deep sink. Still need to hem and mount the sink skirt - which is made from a flat sheet (I'll hem it this weekend - I just wanted to show how it will look). The basket is from Bosnia where Himself worked in '03 and stores extra rolls of TP. The crock came from Himself's family home - a homestead farm in ND. The mirror is a hand-me-down from my Mom. The three hanging shelves are all ones I used in my other home.

North wall. My repurposed bookshelf will hold extras of canned and bottled foods. Above the laundry bin will be a 2' section of wire shelf that I will be able to hanger dry clothes on (it was still tacky from the black spray paint when I took the pics). My clothes baskets will be stored on top of the freezer.


  1. Don't you just love those 'simple' projects! My office is a color similar to what you chose for your laundry room. I love it too. It is so cheerful. I think the after is very attractive. It will make a chore much more pleasant.

  2. Love the paint color! You had quite an adventure getting this room done didn't you? Thanks for linking up to Shop The House Sunday!

  3. Wow...that easy project really turned out to be something! Why is it that always happens? Goodness. So glad you got everything taken care of and put back together and so prettily too!

  4. I just love before and after pictures! How much fun to work on a project with your Dad, even though it seemed frustrating at times, Dad's always make everything better. Nice new space Teri! ~Lili

  5. Oh yes, for us it is Home Depot. No painting project is complete until we've made umpteen trips back to Home Depot :-)

    It's looks lovely, Teri and well worth the effort. Honestly, it looks like a different room altogether, so your hard work really paid off.

    By the way, this always helps to know, find out where the main water shut off is in your house. Yes, it will shut off water to your entire house, but on the occasions that something is leaking (half the time because a valve is blown, and it can't shut off) ...it's very handy knowledge!

  6. The laundry room is gorgeous! I love that wall color-it just pops, especially behind your washer/dryer. I'm sure it will make doing the laundry a much more cheerful task! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sandra - I imagine your office is just smashing! The color just feels so energetic without being nuts.

    Kendall - I was SO happy my dad was there to help! If he hadn't, I would have been the next one to be leaking water - my tears!!

    Molly - the experience sold me on getting a contractor to do my bathroom remodel!

    Lili - my dad is really great to work with. He brings down his "toys" and soon the saw dust is flying!


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