Tearing Out the Vanities and Toilet. Alternately titled “Mold and More Mold.”

You may recall that we had a super long vanity.

master bath

There was no way that top was coming out in one piece. Even if we could lift it off of there in one piece, which we couldn’t, it was way too long to maneuver out the door. It seemed logical to bust it right in the middle.

Of course the hubs removed the faucets (which were updated fairly recently by the previous owner and might be reused elsewhere??) and detached the drains beforehand.

We carried out the vanity top, tore off the backsplash, removed the doors and the drawers and we were left with this…

left vanity right vanity

There’s mold under that towel in the right vanity. We laid the towel down to prevent the mold spores going everywhere. It was smelling really funky at this point. As previously mentioned, we haven’t been using that cabinet. We knew there was mold in there because the base was crumbling and it smelled nasty.

bottom mold

But we didn’t know it had spread to the underside…

underside mold

and the drywall…

drywall mold

The mold wasn’t very high up on the wall, and it hadn’t spread into the studs, but mold is no joke. The hubs tore out the drywall well above where the mold was.

He always gets to do the nasty jobs while I take pictures. Blogging has been great. 🙂

gloves mask

I sprayed straight bleach all over the studs and the concrete. Completely soaked them! I let that dry for a day and then went in and did it again.


The next thing to go was the toilet.

We have a separate water closet (or whatever you call that tiny room) that looked like this after the tile was busted up.

toilet tile

You need to remove the water from the toilet tank before trying to take the toilet out of the house. It’s a really good idea to scoop out the tank as much as you can and pour the water down the sink or tub drain. Unless you currently have neither of those, in which case you’re an idiot and you’re doing things out of order. Duh. Dumb rookie. It’s okay, just walk all the way to the kitchen with a bucket of toilet water. And then put some old towels down.

empty tank

Remove the tank plugs so the small amount of remaining water can drip out.

tank plug tank plug2

Then unbolt the tank from the rest of the toilet and throw it in your neighbor’s trash cart. Only if they aren’t home. Just kidding. Use it as a planter if your HOA allows that. Just kidding again. Dispose of properly.

tank bolt tank removed

Remove the plastic cover from over the floor bolts. Unscrew the washer and lift the toilet straight up. Put that wherever you feel is appropriate.

toilet bolts

(That’s mortar dust and tile chips. This area of my toilet is usually very clean. You hear that, single men? This is an important area to keep clean.)

Oh my goodness. This house. It’s disgusting. I’ve never in my life seen a wax ring look like this.

black wax ring

Yep. That’s a black wax ring. Anyone ever seen that before? This is what happens after a decade of deferred maintenance. Guys, if you can’t keep up with your house, seriously consider just renting. And renters, tell your landlord when you have even the tiniest little leak anywhere! Trust me, I’m a landlady. We want to know!

There were also some tree roots. See that thing that looks like a jumble of wires?

tree roots

Those are tiny little tree roots. They were no longer in the pipe, because we had the previous owner deal with all of that before closing, but this is what had grown into the house. These were dead and not attached to anything, thankfully. Just left over in the wall behind the baseboard.

Of course the backside of the baseboard was moldy.


The hubs graciously volunteered to scrape off that old wax ring (he loves me so much!) and then it became clear why the wax ring was so funky.

flush flange

The bathroom must have originally had linoleum. Someone had obviously added tile later. I mentioned how they got grout and mortar all over the toilet.

Your flange can’t sit below the level of the concrete. If you are tiling a bathroom that was originally linoleum, then you need to pick up a cheap spacer or flange extender.

Don’t forget to stuff your drain with a plastic bag to prevent sewer gases from stinking up your house. It’s also a good idea to put bags in your sink and tub drains as well.

plastic bag sink drain

The mold was only on the bottom of the baseboard, but I asked the hubs to tear out the drywall a little ways up anyway. I just wanted to make sure we didn’t have any trees sprouting in the wall. (I never thought I’d say that.) Or any random mold anywhere.

drywall behind toilet

We didn’t find anything, but I bleached all the studs and the concrete anyway.

We were into our second official week of the bathroom remodel by this point, and it was looking like this…

demoed bathroom water closet demoed

Two weeks for that?! Oh my. This might take longer than I planned, and I’ve already allocated all summer. Geez we’re getting old and slow.

But there was Memorial Day in there, and my middle son’s birthday. And we did finally get that storm door hung. And we did some landscaping. (And we don’t work every day. We swim. A lot. We go to the museum and the park and the mall and the book store. We make pinteresty things.)

science museum tape measure

tire swing stuffed animals

headphones flour babyoil

Okay, so maybe we aren’t that slow. Just trying to enjoy my babies some while I can. I can renovate bathrooms all day everyday when they move out.

But we’ve seriously got to get busy! Lots of things on the to-do list for this weekend!