Sunday, February 8, 2015

Budget Basement Bathroom Face-lift

When I was house shopping in Whitewater I saw a lot of really, really gross basement bathrooms. Soggy floors, half finished walls, toilets next to washer/dryers. So, in comparison, the bathroom the basement of my little house was actually not so bad.
Someone had done a bad job caulking around the relatively new shower, which created an issue with the drywall, the toilet hadn't been cleaned in years, there was a little mold growing on the door and, of course, like every other room in the entire house, it was brown. After a summer without a dehumidifier in my basement, even though the bathroom wasn't being used, by February the mold situation had gotten a bit worse and I was trying to throw a party in the basement. I couldn't very well have guests using the bathroom looking like this.
I started with the mold situation. I mixed up about 1 cup borax to one hot gallon of water in the bathroom sink and brushed the walls and door down with the mixture to remove and kill any mold.
When the walls were dry, I picked away the broken/damaged plaster and identified the shower leak. With dad's instruction via phone, I wiped down the poorly caulked seams with "rubbing alcohol" (read, nail polish remover, I knew where it was) and gave both edges of the shower a fresh coat of caulking on the inside and outside.

I bought some pre-mixed mud for patching and filled in the holes as best I could. While I was at it, I took down the sad and kind of moldy medicine chest that was hang from the wall by two rusty screws and a soggy piece of heavy-duty cardboard.
Once the patches were dry, I invested in a gallon of really serious mold-resistant primer (KILZ Premium) and coated every inch of the bathroom: walls, ceiling, edges, trim, baseboard, all of it. White was a big improvement over brown, I'll say, and worked great for the ceiling and trim, but I wanted something a little more exciting for the wall color. Unfortunately, the sky was dumping snow on Whitewater and I had to teach all week. So, rather than go pick out a new color, I grabbed the remaining half gallon of Abloom by EasyCare (which I'm sure the next owners will lament as I lament the brown) and gave the whole thing a quick coat.

Rather than rehang the the moldy medicine cabinet, since no one lives in the basement, I just hung a mirror I already had kicking around (painted in college when I went through a yellow/hot pink phase), found the bathmat, towels, and art from my old bathroom in CA, and called it a day.

For about $30, I would call this a major improvement.

1 comment:

Gregg Hogan said...

Yeah. Your basement seems to be built on pretty solid foundations. If it isn't broken, right? But it was a wise decision to fortify it even more. Doubling down on a mold resistant primer is exactly what you need, since molds are really what rots and dates basements. You don’t really need to spend a lot on it, which is why this is a good reference for everyone. Thanks for sharing!

Gregg Hogan @ American Basement Solutions