I spent most of last winter gutting and remodeling the main bathroom in my 1890 Victorian home. It appeared to have been modestly redone in the early 1990s with linoleum flooring, a pressed-steel tub insert and small vanity. I wanted to take it back to the early days of indoor plumbing: hex tile floor, cast iron tub, subway tile walls, etc.
Getting it there involved removing half the drywall, and the entire floor, which revealed two surprises: a layer of asbestos tiles and a 10-square-foot area that was completely unsupported. The only thing holding up the previous bathtub was a 1/8-inch sheet of plywood.
After adding some joists and hiring a crew to remove the tainted tile, I was able to get the whole thing done in a little under four months.
The tub (with all its hardware) was a Craigslist find from a Bemis Park foursquare. Kay Dee custom milled the door and window casings to precisely match the rest of the house’s trim. Friends from Des Moines graciously gave me the console sink from their 1950s ranch after they updated their own bathroom.
I built the medicine cabinet around a mirror I found at an antique shop, and built the toiletries shelf out of brass fittings in a style matching the living room bookshelves I built last year. I rebuilt the transom based on one of the originals in the house.
The sconce came from Conner’s in Lincoln, and the 1913 stool is original to the house.
The light fixture with built-in exhaust fan is new, and before setting the floor tile, I installed radiant floor heating.