We bought the house almost two years ago, and I just finished the bathroom. Here's a retrospective...
The bathroom was the original 1950s styling when we moved in. The water heater was over the bathtub, there were separate faucets on the sink for hot and cold. The tile was awful and falling off, the fixtures were chrome plastic, and it had a paper towel dispenser like a public restroom.
We put in a new water heater in the closet and a new sink with a blending faucet. I redid the plumbing for the bathtub faucet and shower myself, working with the location of the copper pipes as they were. It was very creative, looking kind of steampunk.
It worked great, but now plumbing was all over. Up an down the walls, across the floor and ceiling, snaking around corners in the closet. Here's the old layout:
And for laughs, when you would turn on warm water from the sink here's the route taken by the water from where it enters the room to where it comes out:
Early this year I made a plan for doing the rest of the bathroom. It would be a big job. First I pulled all the old crazy plumbing and put all new plumbing myself, a simple and elegant layout.
Then I cut out the old bathtub and removed that. It was cemented to the floor on steel legs. Look at this nightmare:
It's our only bathroom and there was a long way to go before tiling and we need to bathe. So I installed a new tub in the now really really really ugly room. The tub is a corner spa, with heater, jets, and foot massage. Awesome. Practically new. $250 on finn.no.
We lived with this for a few months. Dreadful. But a very nice bath. Felt like living in a cave.
After summer, I pulled the sink and tub again, scraped the walls, and put up backing boards on all the walls. Finally, it looked civilized. I built a box around the exposed pipes in the corner. Nice.
I then reversed the bathroom door so it opens outwards instead of in. That bathtub is very large. Having the door open out doubles the usable floorspace.
Last weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I removed the sink again and shifted the bathtub around. I tiled all the walls with 30 cm x 45 cm matte white tile with blue mosaic accent work.
Finally, it's beautiful. And in only took 22 months.