Bingo! Finished vanity! Yessss!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wow.  Oh wow.  I finally got the vanity done in the first floor bathroom.  Wow.  Happy dance!

This project has been hanging over me like a grumpy nagging dark cloud for months.  And it was usually the one Mike would hint at any time I wanted to start something else big; "we have other projects that need tending to first," he'd say in a needling yet loving way.

So again, as a reminder, here's what the vanity looked like before:

A glass top and a rickety assembly of "wood" sticks with some shiny chrome stuff.  Super impractical for a bathroom that is on the main floor of our house and used the most.  Not to mention unattractive.  Ugh, it hurts my eyes just looking at it again.  So I sold it on Craigslist for $225 and began shopping.

And here's the final result:

I must say, holy crap, I'm pretty proud of myself.  I've never put together a vanity before.

I tried to stick within the budget of what I sold the other vanity for and I think I came pretty close.  Well, probably a little over but in the grand scheme of things, this, to me, is far better than anything I saw in stores or online and having something custom made wasn't even a remote consideration.  For some reason, bathroom vanities are crazy stupid expensive, not to mention pretty boring.  I came close to caving in several times, buying a whatever thing off the shelf, but nope, couldn't do it.

Anyway, here's what I did.....

I was perusing the ads on Craigslist one day when I came across the hairpin leg stand.  And it was cheap.  So I thought, huh, I bet I could make a vanity out of that.  It had the right dimensions, 19 x 19 x 30 tall.  I paid $20 for it.  Wow.  And I was off to the races.

Next up, sink and faucet shopping.  Both the sink* and the faucet* came from eBay ($50 and $32 respectively).  I shopped for months.  Months!  Oh my goodness, months!  I-thought-I-would-never-find-anything months.  I was looking for a sink that didn't have a huge height profile, one that wasn't a vessel sitting on top of the counter, and one that was NOT glass.  Patience is a virtue and I found both.

Last was the counter.  This was a real dilemma.  I knew I needed a 12" diameter hole in whatever the counter top material was for the sink as well as a faucet hole.  So I started thinking about materials.   At first I thought, well, how about wood?  I wouldn't get responses from Mike on all my text messages, emails or what have you on that material.  Plastic?  Tile?  Butcher block?  Granite?  I found a place out in the 'burbs with remnants of granite for free so off I went.  Plus it was close to Ikea so.....ya know, heh.

I picked up this piece above which I thought would be really cool with all the rough edges and cut outs and such.  It was a great size, 1.25" thick even.  And free!  Boy did I bruise my hand digging it out.  Granite is heavy, sheesh.  Anyway, I got a quote to cut holes and it was $100.  Not a bad price really but I couldn't justify it.  Then Mike told me he didn't like it.  Huh?  Aw bummer.  Really?  Rats.  I still think it's a really cool idea.

Surfing Craigslist I came across a guy selling bowling alley pieces.  I told Mike and he said yes.  I asked the guy to cut the big hole since he said the thing is riddled with nails.  He charged a lot of money for the hole but in the end we got the 22 x 22 x 2.25" thick maple bowling alley piece for a total of $125.  More than the granite but we liked this idea better.

Of course the flipper had to use different size connection hoses for the water into the faucet than what's common so I had to order some of those up on eBay.  $7 or so for two sets of hoses, so $3.50 for this operation.

Plumbing parts....more than I expected at about $33.  I ended up using everything I bought except for a 6" extension pipe so that gets returned.  Stain and gloss sealer (which I'll review in another posting), about $13.  Some itty bitty angle brackets to anchor the wood into the wall, about $2.

I'm really proud of myself that nothing leaks.  It all works.

I'm thinking of attaching a simple black drawer pull to the front for a hand towel to loop through, kind of like at a bowling alley.  We still have lots of work to do on this bathroom though so I have time to ponder that idea.

So where are we at?  $278.50.  Huh.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.  A hair over $225 or so, heh, give or take, but it's a totally custom piece.  What's priceless though:  a connection to the house, feeling like it's our own.

It's amazing what you can do if you set your mind to it, think outside the box, have some patience, and be a little creative.  It's a totally doable thing for anybody.

Here are a few more photos for you.

I love it.  I'm so excited.  I can't wait for Mike to get home from work and show him.

(See where the bathroom headed next here!)

*The general bath sinks and faucets links are eBay affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


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