The good news about this reno project is that given what we started with, whatever we did would be an improvement.
However, given the talent and energy involved, we ended up with genuinely awesome result.
Step 1: Organize Your Project
We were fortunate enough to have sink and toilet fixtures donated to us.
You have to collect all the usual renovation tools:
Carpentry: hammer, trim puller, cordless drill & bits & drivers, jig saw & blades; nails & screws; ladder
Painting: brushes; rollers & tray & extension handle; rags; paint
Plumbing: adjustable wrenches; silicone caulking & gun (white, anti-mold type suitable for bathroom use); plumbers silicone grease
Step 2: Start With a Storage Closet...
Empty the room that is going to become a washroom - which in our case already had roughed-in plumbing pipes.
Remove any damaged paneling or wall board and repair or replace.
Prime and paint - white is great for keeping a shared space bright and easy to clean.
Step 3: Refinish the Walls
Ensure good access to the roughed-in plumbing pipes (for toilet water supply and drain, faucet hot and cold water supply and drain) and the electrical outlet, if present.
After priming all the walls and painting two of them white, we decided having two of the walls coloured would give the washroom a warmer feel.
Tape the edges of the walls that will remain white before you paint the coloured ones.
Step 4: Sink
Clean the enameled steel sink that is to be reused. Remove the faucet fixture to do so, if you have to.
Choose a counter top. Off cuts or remnants are a cost effective option. Cut it to the length needed (or have it done for you, as you'll need a very fine toothed blade on a good quality table saw).
Place the sink upside down on the top of the new counter and trace the shape.
Draw a cutout line about a half inch inside the outline of the sink and cut out the hole the the sink will fit into.
Use a level to mark the location, then screw the counter supports to the wall and then screw the counter to the wall strips.
Now connect the hot and cold water supply lines to the faucet, and the sink drain to a "p-trap" and the drain pipe into the wall. Test it - and give yourself a pat on the back!
Note that the electrical outlet installed must be the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) type, as shown in the photo.
Step 5: Toilet
Prepare the roughed-in drain:
- screw to the floor the flange that the toilet will bolt to
- carefully unwrap and place the wax seal on top of the flange that the toilet will mate to - this is what forms the water-tight seal between the toilet bowl and the drain pipe.
Install the toilet on the drain:
- set the toilet drain hole on the wax seal, carefully rotate a little side-to-side and press very firmly, and then secure the two bolts from the flange (be careful not to over tighten and crack the toilet - you can always re-tighten later if the toilet moves when you sit on it)
- place the tank on the toilet bowl and bolt into place
- attach the seat with the bolts and nuts that come with it (again, be careful not to over tighten and crack the toilet)
- connect the water supply line from the wall (or floor) to the bottom of the tank
Step 6: Ceiling
Prime and paint the ceiling white.
Install the new light fixture and exhaust fan.
Test to make sure they work properly.
Step 7: Finishing the Wall Decoration
We decided to jazz up the walls a bit - and provide another venue for unleashing Maker creativity - a strip of "black board" paint on two walls.
First we taped off the margins of the area to be painted, then applied the special paint.
After removing the painters' tape, we "primed" the blackboard with some chalk (which was then erased, leaving it ready for Makers to leave inspirational messages, ideas, rants, etc.)
A mirror over the sink, a towel rack, and a toilet paper holder completed the picture.
There it is - operational - an essential feature of any respectable Maker Space!