Meanwhile in the half bath

Many a joke (and even a few drinking games) have been derived from the common requests of people featured on House Hunters. While I find most of them laughable (can you really NOT share a sink in your master bath?!), personally I wouldn’t want to buy a house without a bathroom on the first floor. It just seems so inconvenient to send guests up a flight of stairs when nature calls. So, while we haven’t focused much on the half bath on our first floor, it’s a feature of the firehouse that I’m really happy we have.

It’s also been a bit ignored because we’ve done zero updates. That’s all changing as part of the downstairs redo. Let’s take a look at what we’re working with.


It’s a pretty narrow room, which makes it hard to photograph.


But it does get style points for the original slop sink!


It loses major points for the ceiling.


It’s a hodgepodge that has been made worse over time (and many owners). It features a light bulb socket (“fixture” seemed like it was giving it too much credit), fan, HVAC duct (which is not actually connected to the HVAC system), hole (I’m assuming that was used to install the HVAC or the fan) and an hole that allows a length of conduit with a large ground wire to connect to the water line.


Also it’s made of plaster, so fixing the holes would be a giant pain. So we’re taking it out, adding some framing and putting up drywall. This will also give us a chance to reconfigure the placement of the light (like, maybe centering it!) and HVAC as well as replace the fan.

Aaron started by removing everything and then basically beat the ceiling with a hammer until most of the plaster was on the floor.


I came home to this:



The next step is remove the wire mesh. Then we can frame, drywall, add a light and have our first floor bathroom back in action while it awaits the other critical steps before paint.



  1. Oh man!! The comments of never sharing a sink make me laugh so hard! I’m always surprised when people say this on house hunters. They’d be appalled at my design for our main bathroom (that we share with guests as well). I’m removing the large vanity to instead put in a smaller console sink, and we’re gonna share that…haha!

    Also, we somehow have a really similar sink to yours in our 1/2 bath upstairs. I love ithe too!

  2. We looked at an old house that didn’t have any bathroom on the second floor and the only one on the main floor was off the kitchen. I didn’t like the idea of having to go downstairs and into the kitchen at night to get to the toilet, or bathing in the morning. We’re about to rip out the plaster ceiling in our basement to access the electrical for a major update and I’m quite worried about the mess. Seeing your picture and realizing it was just a tiny bath and we have 600 sqft to remove 🙁 I’m definitely replacing it with a modular ceiling option for future access. Strangely, or fortuitously, the plumbing was installed below the ceiling so it was always easy to access. But i figure since i’m ripping it all out i might as well put the new plumbing in the ceiling this time.

  3. That is going to be big job. I was thinking: why did you removing that old plaster. I would rather placed dry wall under it. As I see from my perspective it is high enough do make it beneath. Anyway good job until now.

    1. We figured that removing the plaster ceiling would be the better way to do it long term. It gets everything out of the way and gives us a completely clean slate. If changes need to be made down the road, we won’t have to battle a layer of plaster underneath the new sheet rock.

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