Now that I’ve finished the first huge project in the Green Bathroom, it’s time to tackle the next one: the vanity. In its original state, it was one LONG (over 8ft) single sink vanity. And, as a reminder, this is the only full bathroom in the entire house, so it gets used a lot. Imagine a family buying this property, and there are only 2 sinks in the entire house. I quickly realized, in its original state it was NOT going to be a selling point.
So my plan is to transform that long single vanity top into a double vanity top. Since most master bathrooms include double vanities, I’m trying to replicate that feature into the only full bathroom. Of course, there is still the laundry room bathroom for people to use, but the full bathroom will most likely get the most action in the mornings, so I need it to be as functional as possible.
I started by removing the existing sink and moving it to the laundry room bathroom. Since it was fairly new, I didn’t want to get rid of it, and since the sink in the laundry room bath was really ancient, it was the perfect [free] upgrade. Since I’m transforming the vanity into a double sink, I will need two matching sinks (which I scored on Craig’s List for $20).
Once I had the sink out, it was time to remove the countertops. I did not use my usual method of removing countertops because I am not salvaging the frame of the countertop. A double sink frame will have to be built, so I couldn’t salvage any of the existing countertops. So my sledgehammer and I had a date one Friday night. It didn’t end well. There were lots of curse words. I stormed out. It just wasn’t pleasant.
By the end of the night, after who knows how long and lots of sweat and curse words, I hadn’t even budged the countertop an inch total. So, I had to resort to plan B.
For Christmas, I received a circular saw. I’ve been wanting one forever, but I am also scared to death of them. Other saws don’t really scare me, but I’m convinced I’m going to cut off a finger one day with this. So, I called in reinforcement. Dad came to help me since it was my first time using the saw. He actually ended up doing all of the cuts, and I did the removing.
We started cutting in “triangles” so that we could get some leverage. We didn’t remove the countertop in one whole piece. It ended up being several smaller pieces. Our chief concern through this process was the tile- we didn’t want to break any of it during the removal process. So we didn’t attempt a quick, forceful removal.
And if you’re attempting this–just know, it gets REALLY, REALLY dusty. I swept, vacuumed, and mopped for days.
And, of course, safety first. Except that I couldn’t find my 2nd pair of safety goggles. I let Dad borrow my first pair since he was using the saw, and I got creative with my ski goggles. I looked ridiculous, but my eyes were safe!
When it was all said and done, I had several pieces of countertop. The process of removing wasn’t a difficult one– or even a timely one. From start to finish, we were done in 30 minutes. We wanted to preserve the base cabinet, but upgrade the countertop. And since I try to never pay anyone for demolition of any kind, this was an easy DIY project– even if I was scared of the saw.
In between installing the cement backer board and tiling the floor, I made sure I went ahead and primed and painted the bathroom vanity cabinet. I hate….HATE…painting a cabinet and trying to avoid getting paint on the floor. It was so much easier when I didn’t have to worry about the flooring. Luckily, we didn’t mess up any of the paint in the countertop removal process. We will, however, mess up some when we remove that faux middle drawer. Since that’s where the sink was originally, it wasn’t a functional drawer. In the new plan, the two sides will become faux drawers and the middle will become a functional drawer.
And remember when I said our main goal was to protect the tile? We didn’t want to break any. Well, we did have one casualty in the process. Dad got a little eager with the crowbar and it flew into the soap dish and broke in half. We glued it back together, but you can obviously still see the crack. So, now I’m on the hunt for an exact replica.
Now that the countertop is removed, it’s time to do some plumbing work. There are two things I don’t do: electrical and plumbing. So I’m hiring out that portion where they will reroute the single faucet to two separate ones. Once that is done, it’ll be time for countertops! Remember how I could not decide for the life of me what countertop I wanted in here? Well, after what seemed like an eternity, I stumbled on one I actually like. It’s Wilsonart’s Arden Park Carrera. I ordered two different samples–at two different times–so that I could see the variation in the pattern (you can see how they’re noticeably different in the samples). They’re mostly white with a muted gray pattern. The gray is pretty similar to the grout on the floor, so I’m hoping they’ll look really great once they’re installed!
And, guys, boy do I have a big announcement coming soon!! Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on a little secret. Stay tuned for that fun announcement!