Recently we had the concrete floor in our laundry room resurfaced.
We enjoyed the new look for a few days.
But now the room looks like this.
That’s right – our laundry room remodel is finally under way!
So this should be a fun project. Let me show you what’s happened so far.
Every time we do demo work, we learn something new about this house. (Case in point: Ghosts of Kitchens Past).
This time we learned that the laundry room is built like a battleship.
When my husband Chris tried to remove the lower half of the north wall to access the old plumbing pipes, he was in for a little surprise: What he thought was a plaster wall turned out to be mortar and mesh.
I’d never even heard of mortar and mesh. We learned that, back in the 1920s, inch-thick mortar with a strong wire mesh backing was typically used for walls that were going to support tile.
Since the only tile in the laundry room is a subway tile baseboard, we are still wondering why the mortar and mesh was used.
Removing that wall took some extra time, patience, and swings of the sledge hammer.
But Chris is persistent.
He exposed the wall and was able to remove the old rusted pipes.
The 90-year-old drain pipe was also rusted. It needed to be removed.
The basement staircase is behind this wall. This is where Chris made another discovery: The drain pipe had been fully encased in concrete.
He used a hand-held jackhammer to unbury it.
The Plumbing and Wiring
Last weekend, Dan installed the new pipes and drains.
Previously, the washer drained into the utility sink. With the new configuration, the washer and the utility sink will drain separately.
This new plumbing is a sight for sore eyes.
Dan also installed three electrical outlets on a wall that originally had only one.
As you can see from the above photograph, the old subway tile baseboard survived the demo process. We hope to keep it intact and work around it.
The laundry room was unheated. We had a space heater we used in cold weather.
So while Dan worked on the plumbing and wiring, Chris worked on adding a heat vent to the laundry room.
This meant pulling the fridge out of its alcove and cutting a hole in the alcove wall and in the floor of the wall between the laundry room and kitchen to bring a heat vent up from the basement.
Bringing a vent up through this space will be tricky business, and Chris is still not 100% sure it will work. It will be so nice if it does.
All the essentials are being put into place before the fun aesthetic work can begin.
But we are also working on refreshing the adjoining mudroom . So while the guys have been battling mortar walls and plumbing connections, I’ve been playing with pretty colors.
The Mudroom Repaint
When we moved in, the mudroom walls were a pale yellow. For a long time, I thought it was a nice color for this cheerful, light-filled space.
But the mudroom was starting to look tired. It was time for a change.
Choosing the Color
Since the mudroom was once an unenclosed back porch, its walls are the same rough stucco as the exterior of the house. I think this is a fun feature.
White is such a popular color right now, but I just couldn’t picture it for those textured walls.
So in this post on Remodelaholic.com, I found a Benjamin Moore color I liked called Pale Oak. It was said to have a warm gray undertone. I hoped the Pale Oak would play nicely with my new trim paint – a warm white.
The Power of Prep Work
Whenever I begin a new paint project, I’m immediately reminded of two things:
(1) I still hate paint projects; and
(2) The prep work is the most important thing. The mudroom walls and window casings had many gaps, cracks, and imperfections.
The molding around the back door was raw wood, which has always bugged me. Next to it was a large seam in the wall and a hideous piece of baseboard trim.
So I scrubbed, sanded, spackled, caulked, and primed.
After that, painting was a piece of cake.
The Pale Oak is an airy, barely-there color. I think it works nicely with the new charcoal floor.
I didn’t paint the beadboard ceiling because it looks fine to me. The cracks give it a vintage look that works with the 1930s parrot light.
But the parrot light will be stowed safely away for the time being, and the floor will be covered with Ram Board to protect it during the laundry room remodel.
Note: If you think you’ve seen this parrot light in another post of mine, you’re not imagining things. We have an identical parrot light hanging over our kitchen sink. That one came out of my childhood home. We found this one at an antique store in eastern Oregon. So of course we bought it!
What the Heck is That?
Have you been wondering what this plastic-covered hole in the laundry room wall is?
It’s pure weirdness – and a bit of a mystery to us. I’ll talk about it in my next post, and I’ll share the cute little craft project that came out of the weirdness.
Note: All posts on this blog are for entertainment only and are not tutorials or endorsements.
Disclosure: This post contains Affiliate Links.
- A DIY Shoe Storage Upgrade
- A Scruffy Concrete Floor Gets a Facelift
- Chalk It Up To Mystery
- A Laundry Room Remodel Progress Report
- Our Mudroom Before and After
- What’s Hiding Under the Countertop
- Laundry Room Reveal: Before and After
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- A New Life for an Old Trailer Sink
- An Old Country Cistern Wakes up in the City
- Trapped in Time: How a Couple Rescued Their Dining Room
- The Inspired Room Tour: Our Master Bath Remodel
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