We purchased our first home in the summer of 2009. Since it was on the market as a bank-owned property, we knew there were likely many issues that would require attention. It quickly became clear that the bathroom should be at the top of our list.
As you enter the tiny space, a mere 32 sq. Ft, the first thing you probably notice is the hole in the tiles of the shower wall. During the first week, my hand went through the wall when I leaned on it while scrubbing the tub. Apparently, tiling over drywall in a shower was considered acceptable in the '70's. Being short on time and resources, we used duct tape and plastic as a "temporary" fix. That was nearly 20 months ago. Next is the awkward layout, which makes navigating the tiny space even more difficult. A poor attempt to add a stucco texture to the walls is only made worse by the fact that it was applied over at least two layers of wallpaper. The mustard yellow tiles for the tub surround coordinate with the hideous yellow linoleum floor, which has a pebble or alligator-skin texture. I'll let you decide which. All that yellow must be to give you the feeling of warmth, since there isn't a heat source in the bathroom. We can't even use an electric heater because the sole outlet in the bathroom, located four inches directly above the sink, doesn't work. That's probably a good thing. Most of the finish has worn off of the tub and sink, which makes them look and feel dirty, not to mention the mysterious stains in both. The hot water for the tub comes out at a pathetic dribble when opened to the full extent and drips even when closed. We tried replacing the rubber washer to stop the leak. It just slowed it down. The shower head is so low that even at my height of 5'3" I must hunch down to fit under the water. I guess people were shorter in the '50's. Finally, there is a modest slope in one corner of the floor, which gives you the slight sensation that you are reclining when you sit on the toilet, which has no caulk seal around the base. With three males in the house (one still potty-training) you can only imagine the grime that has accumulated in spite of constant cleaning.
I am embarrassed to say that we must bathe our two sons in this disgusting bathroom. I admit that I often fantasize about gutting the room down to the studs, but lack of time or funds (and perhaps my better judgment) has kept me from doing so. As a stay-at-home mom who is also the one in family with the home renovation skills, you might assume that I have plenty of time to take care of our ugly bathroom. However, taking care of a hearing-impaired kindergartener with special needs and a toddler with seemingly boundless energy, has made completing even the most basic project a challenge. Winning this contest would be a blessing in so many ways. It would allow us to put more money towards our desperately needed kitchen renovation and take one of our biggest projects off the to-do list. It would save me the embarrassment of sending our guests into a bathroom that appears dirty, even when it's just been cleaned. Most importantly, though, it would give me peace-of-mind, knowing that I have a safe and clean place to bathe our children.