Prairie Village Rehab: Downstairs Bath

When we come to the main floor or the downstairs bathroom we find that this is absolutely best room in the house before the renovation starts.

I guess the 22 dogs were not allowed to go to the bathroom in the bathroom, go figure.

But to set the scene remember the house you grew up in during the 1950s or visiting Grandma’s house? Or perhaps you are too young.

Picture if you will and small 10 x 10 room. You walk in and on your immediate right is the toilet. Then a pedestal sink with no storage. A tiny metal rimmed medicine cabinet that is rusty from all that water. Then a tub opposite the entry door, with a tiled wall and a window smack dab in the middle of the wall.

When that house was built there probably was no shower, it was just a tub for taking baths. But someone invented showers and it was added and some how, magically, no one would get water on that window or all the wood trim around it.

Have that in your mind. Now picture hideous wall paper, peeling on the edges. And some neutral rolled vinyl flooring or perhaps linoleum that is peeling around the edges and almost worn through in front of the sink.

Got that picture in your mind, now you know what this bathroom looked like. The typical bathroom we are faced with as people who rehab houses.

The biggest issue is the window. Some people take out the window, but then they create a new venting problem that causes mold. Some replace the window with glass block and others might just wall over it – no window on the inside, but window from the outside. None are a really good option for a small bathroom like this, because even with one of those little light – vent fan combos, steam will build up.

We like to replace the window with a nice vinyl window and trim it out with tile to match the shower or a vinyl trim so the entire window can get wet. Just make sure you get a window with some sort of diffused glass, so no one can see in.

For the rest of the bathroom we have two options:

If we were going to offer this for rent, we would probably keep it simple. New medicine cabinet. Remove the wall paper and paint. Replace the flooring. Done.

But, this is going to be a flip to a retail buyer in Prairie Village and this room needs to pop. We have to justify the over $200,000 asking price and we have to compete with other houses in the area.

We are working toward a bathroom that looks like the below:

Bathroom in 2010 in Prairie Village

So along with a new window in the tub we would probably replace the medicine cabinet, put in a small vanity (that’s the cabinet part) and sink so they have storage. Then new lights and towel bars. And we typically replace toilets with modern, taller, cleaner, less used versions. Remove the wall paper and paint. Replace the flooring with new vinyl. Round that out with fresh tile, so we can match tile in the new window. (2023 update: we would use Luxury Vinyl Tile or Plank on the floors in 2023.

What would you do to update a 1950s bathroom.

Prairie Village Rehab Video Series

We are blogging the entire rehab process as we proceed, catch up on what you missed below.

  1. Intro Post with Before Photos & Rehab List
  2. On Building Permits
  3. A Look at the Trees & the Yard
  4. Discussion of the Siding


Leave a Comment