Operation Clawfoot Tub By Christmas!

Summer went too fast. And the bathroom infrastructure went really slow.

But, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s finally there! So now, even though Doug hates when I set timelines with the full force of his soul, I’m now dreaming of taking a bubble bath in a clawfoot tub in my dream home by Christmas. It’s going to happen.

Hopefully Santa brings lots of bubble bath soap and bath soak stuff. But not bath salts, because Heaven’s to Betsy, we don’t want to scratch the bottom of the tub.

But now it’s fall, and we’re spending most of our time with these crazy kiddos. This is a really fun band this year, you guys.

The bathroom? Here’s where we are at the end of August.

We sent the tub out to to get re-glazed. Here’s the before….

And the after. OH MY WORD. I am so excited.

We had The Tub Doctor in Indianapolis (who also re-glazed our tub at Jackson Street) do this one. He’s phenomenal!

Because the tub wasn’t in the bathroom when we wanted this done, it was done at the shop. When it came back, we just put it in the Entrance Hall out of the way. It looks pretty great by the stairwell!

Meanwhile, Doug was back in the Pit of Despair, working on the plumbing and the floor.

The Bathroom, in real life right now.

Wait. Wrong picture. Here we go:

We’re making the room a wet room, so the floor has to be slightly sloped to a drain that will be under / behind the tub. To do that, Doug built long, itty-bitty ramps to go under the sub floor.

He used a separate board to create a jig to make sure each ramp would be at the same angle.

Check it out – it’s super long!

You can see the angle much better when it’s against the dark porch floor.

These were put on top of the floor joists, so the subfloor will tilt towards the drain ever-so-slightly. You can also see all the plumbing work Doug has done. Everything had to be moved or replaced – it’s a HUGE project!

We also framed in the niche for the shower / tub area. Above it, we added electrical for a sconce that will be in the study on the other wall. Huge Pro Tip: When your walls are open, don’t just think about the room they’re in – think about the rooms on the other side. Add insulation, electrical, secret passages, trap doors, whatever you need.

Oh yeah, and use a shampoo or body wash bottle to gauge the high of your niche shelves!

We also framed in for the gigantic mother-of-all medicine cabinets. Henceforth to be known as the Apothecary Cabinet, because “Medicine Cabinet” is just too trite.

Plumbing and Rubble.

AND WE HAVE SUB FLOOR! This is that shining light I was telling you about. I can see the space becoming a room. And that’s really exciting!

We put blocking in the walls to add support for things like towel bars, shelves, and the sink. Ad added bonus is using those holes to add a little insulation where needed.

There’s the floor drain for the wet room. I’ll explain this more in detail as it becomes a move involved process.

Sink and toilet plumbing. It’s amazing how low the sink feels when the room is now 10″ tall.

And the clawfoot tub plumbing. Doug’s mathematical ability to put a hole in the middle of a sheet of subfloor in the exact right spot is astounding!

I know I’ll be even more excited when the tile is in, but this is SO EXCITING RIGHT NOW!

So, what’s next, besides the marching band season?

  • Adding the waterproofing membrane to the floor.
  • Having drywall put up over the plaster (I know, I know. But I wanted to save the original walls and wallpaper, and this was the best way to to that).
  • Building out the Apothecary Cabinet
  • Finding time to decorate the house to welcome 1,500 kids to our street for Halloween.

We’re really excited that we’re to this point, since it took so long to get here. I know that even though our time is going to become limited with band, it’s going to feel like things are moving quicker since the infrastructure is done!



  1. It’s starting to look amazing!
    I am in the same boat (except it’s my whole house all at once!) and it is so funny how excited you get by things like sub-floor or insulation. Especially when other people look at you like you’re insane for being that excited by a step that is clearly no where near the finish line ha ha ha!!!

  2. Making a wet bath is a great idea for a clawfoot tub with a shower. I knew someone who put one in because his bathroom was so small he had to put one foot in the bathtub when he sat on the toilet. I’m laughing at the sleeper joists just like I did but to make the floor not flat. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the rest of this goes together, especially because at this point I’m still too chicken to do a tiled shower floor myself and because some people told me it was a mistake to put lights above my bathroom mirror instead of next to it.

  3. Nice job. Interesting way of getting the floor to slope. I would have thought you would lay the subfloor flat and create a “mud job” to slope the floor. May have been too heavy though. Good look!

  4. You will have to excuse me, but i wasn’t looking at the tub but I happened to be drooling over the old wood work in that stairwell. I am just agog. Love , love, love. Oh and yes I am looking forward to the updates on the bathroom. I love what you have done to keep the integrity of the house and yet able to bring it up to date. Love you and your husband’s work.

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