Old house house renovation.

We at the YouTube channel @OldHouseRenovation embarked on an ambitious project to renovate a stately Colonial Revival house built in 1900. One room that needed to be remodeled was the bathroom. The previous owner performed a bathroom remodel many years ago. However, the bathroom had a basic design and has become dated. This article will guide you through the bathroom metamorphosis. We created a modern bathroom with luxuries and amenities you’d expect at a pricey hotel while adding Victorian design elements. When people see the photos of our new bathroom, they describe it as stunning and gorgeous.

Bathroom remodel before and after

Before the bathroom remodel

Our restoration adventure begins in a bathroom steeped in history but marred by time. The space suffered from a leaky tub and antiquated wall tiles. Even worse, the bathtub was a 1990s molded inset with some damage. The solid yet cracked lath and plaster walls, characteristic of its era, prevented previous owners from installing modern plumbing and electrical. We wanted our bathroom remodel to stay in line with the Victorian era look while running modern plumbing and electrical to our new bathroom. After reviewing the current bathroom design, we decided that not much will be saved from the current bathroom. We will save the door, wrought iron vent covers, and any vintage hardware. Armed with our bathroom remodel ideas, we will start the bathroom demolition. 

Old House Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom demolition

The first step of the bathroom remodel was a complete demolition. We planned to take the bathroom down to the wall studs, while saving anything that is historically significant.. To do this, we first removed the crumbling lath and plaster walls. This was necessary to allow us access to upgrade the plumbing and electrical. We next uprooted the fixtures, vanity, and bathtub, which were demolished and carried out in pieces. An unstable half-wall by the bathtub was then removed. We also removed the lath and plaster ceiling, which is dirty due to the attic insulation. We had the attic insulation vacuumed out by professionals. Even the classic double-hung window was removed. This was to make way for a smaller crank-open awning window, improving the bathroom privacy while still offering the option for fresh air.

Bathroom remodel after demolition

Framing and Subfloor

While the old bathroom offered newer vinyl plank flooring, it was installed over a creaking and inadequate subfloor. With the past vanity and bathtub removed, we pulled up the water-damaged subfloor. Doing so allowed us to update the plumbing before laying down a sturdy, new subfloor. The double-hung window location didn’t seem appropriate, with the new freestanding bathtub being placed nearby. Once the window was removed, we framed the area for a newly chosen awning window. Preparing for a modern walk-in shower, we meticulously poured mortar to pave the foundation for a gentle water drain slope to the planned shower drain.

Bathroom subfloor

Electrical Overhaul

Old houses from the Victorian age are originally built with knob and tube wiring. We started by upgrading the electrical circuit panels. Our house bathroom renovation includes an up-to-date electrical supply from these circuit panels. Our all-new electrical wiring includes safe GFI outlets necessary for a modern bathroom. Additional circuits, wiring, and outlets were added to accommodate an energy-efficient LED mirror, the luxury of heated tile floors, and low-voltage LED accent lighting.

Bathroom electrical upgrade

Plumbing Innovations

The venerable plastic molded bathtub and its aged plumbing companions were replaced with PVC and PEX piping. The new plumbing was designed to service a freestanding bathtub, floor-mounted filler, and a new walk-in shower. The toilet drainpipe was relocated between wall studs to accommodate the new Toto wall-mounted toilet. Only the toilet stool and controls will be visible with the fill tank, toilet plumbing, and mounting frame behind the drywall. New plumbing lines were run for a floating vanity, which now takes pride of place, complemented by elegant, brushed nickel fixtures, a chic walk-in shower, and a contemporary wall-hung toilet.

Bathroom plumbing

HVAC and Ventilation Upgrade

While the old bathroom had an air supply, it did not have a good exhaust fan. We kept the existing heating and cooling vents. The vent had an antique square vent made from black wrought iron. The old bathroom exhaust fan was old and loud. The bathroom exhaust fan tubing was plastic and full of holes. We installed a deluxe overhead bathroom exhaust fan that runs nearly silent. Ductwork was added and routed to vent moist air to the house’s exterior. This update will help ensure a climate-controlled environment conducive to relaxation and comfort.

Bathroom HVAC

Floors and Walls Reimagined

With the lathe and plaster walls and ceilings relegated to memory, modern plumbing and electrical lines were able to be installed. Afterward, the wall stud channels were filled with spray foam and sound-damping insulation. This provided the bathroom with good insulation from the outside and sound damping from the other rooms. Finally, smooth drywall was attached to the wall and ceiling studs, setting the stage for exquisite tiling. The floors now boast radiant heating and a thermostat to adjust warmth to your preference.

Bathroom spray foam insulation

Shower and Bath Elegance

Continuing with building a bathroom sanctuary, we added a walk-in shower. Two of the shower walls were covered with subway tile and a feature a strip of marble tile. The other sides of the shower were graced with floor-to-ceiling glass. The rain shower head and shower wand provide generous water flow. In addition, a freestanding bathtub with a floor-mounted filler offers a modern twist to the bathing ritual. The bathroom has a plethora of LED lighting options. The vanity mirror has adjustable LED lights. The custom made floating vanity and shelves add much-needed space for personal items. The shower, floating shelves, and vanity were adorned with dimmable blue LED light strips to create a serene experience.

Bathroom shower remodel

The final reveal of the bathroom remodel

In conclusion, our journey to refurbish the bathroom has culminated in a breathtaking blend of Victorian elegance and modern luxury. Every aspect has been meticulously crafted, from the foundational subfloor to the intricate LED lighting accents to evoke awe and provide comfort. The once-dated and damaged room has been transformed into a sanctuary, boasting a serene walk-in shower with chic subway and marble tiles, a standalone tub with sleek floor-mounted filler, and a modern, wall-hung toilet. The added Victorian design elements pay homage to the home’s heritage, while the conveniences echo the standards of a high-end hotel. Energy-efficient fixtures and innovative plumbing and electrical systems assure safety and functionality. With the addition of radiant heated floors and a whisper-quiet deluxe exhaust fan, the bathroom is a testament to the harmonious marriage of past and present—a stunning, gorgeous retreat designed for today’s living.

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