First, some "before" pictures:
Not hideous, but not inspiring.Hideous.Blah. The light fixture, mirror, and medicine cabinet were all removed. The toilet was in the bathtub.Len cut two holes to add reinforcements behind the drywall, then built a long, sturdy towel bar out of a pipe. It reaches from the door to the shower.Ta da! The paint is a bright (rather than soft) yellow. Lauren said, "If you're not a morning person, it will make you one."The accent color is "mango" spray paint. Notice the towel bar.No longer blah.
Len bought a sheet of vinyl flooring, but when he pulled up the old floor and one layer of water damaged subfloor, it became apparent that it would be a lot of work to install that inexpensive floor. He decided to use the laminate tile we have in the kitchen, which hides dirt well, looks good with the paint, and has held up very well in the four years we've had it.
Laminate is not the ideal material for a (wet) bathroom, but hopefully the children are old enough to help keep it in good condition. (I still need to show them the spot in the pantry that was swollen by a leaky gallon bottle of water.) Len glued many of the joins and caulked the edges carefully, so we have high hopes for this (free) floor.
When Len was ready to reinstall the toilet, he found that the water shut-off valve needed to be replaced. No problem. He's handled bigger jobs before. To replace it, though, he had to turn off all the water in the house. Problem: the whole house shut-off valve wasn't working, either.
The next line of defense was a valve between our house and the street, so it was time to call a plumber. He came, he replaced, we paid. Len took care of the toilet and its valve, and we have a bright "new" bathroom upstairs (shared by up to 6 people).
Calling the plumber was not really a big deal, either. It delayed the project a bit, but was not a problem in any other way. It was a few days before I clued in to the biggest blessing about the valves, namely that the best time to find out you can't shut off the water is when you don't really NEED to shut off the water. Who knows what disaster may have been averted? ...