Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bathroom Upgrade Part 1: Splitting the Vanity Light




When it comes to design, I've always tried to make the public areas look nice, but I kinda ran out of steam by the time I reached my bathroom. The only people who see it are my husband and myself, and trust me, he couldn't care less (as long as there is plenty of light). 

 This is what my master bathroom vanity has looked like for the past 7 years. The cheap, builder-grade vanity light cast a not-so-flattering downward light. It was time for it to go.

Time to address safety:

*Before you attempt to work with an electrical wiring in your home, first make sure the outlet is switched off. Then, switch off the power to the circuit at the breaker box. If you are unsure about your electrical abilities, please hire a professional electrician to help you. 


First job to do was to remove the old fixture. As you can see, it was in place when we painted the walls.

Oh, and pardon all the self photo-bombing. Its hard to avoid when shooting at a mirror!


The next step was to remove the outlet box. Any properly hung lighting fixture will have an outlet box attached to the frame of the house somehow. This one was easy to remove by just backing out the screws that held it to a wall stud.


I saved the box for later use.  I also made sure to pull the Romex wire all the way out of the wall.


I'll share in another post how we recently upgraded our bathroom vanity from a single sink to double sinks. I really wanted to showcase the new double vanity, so I'm not going to install 1 new vanity light; I'm making room for 2!

Using a measuring tape and a level, I marked the location of the 2 new lights.


Next, I got to use a fun little tool we like to call a "hole hog bit". I really doubt that is the real name, but we like it. It's a great device! Attached it to your drill, line up the center bit with the center of your hole location, and you are ready to cut a perfect circle!. I've used them on furniture several times, but they are really perfect for this application.


I just had to find a hole hog the same size as the existing outlet hole, and I was ready to cut 2 perfect circles into my drywall.

I wish I could have gotten a photo of the next couple of steps, but it was getting dark and they definitely demanded both hands.

First, I need to spice the wire and run it through the wall to the 2 new holes. I'll explain the wiring process in my next post, but pulling the wire through the wall, it wasn't so bad. I just reached the new end, pushed back on the insulation, and fed the Romex wire through with my other hand until I could feel it, then I pulled it through.

After that, I could attach the outlet boxes to the studs with screws.

To address the original hole in the drywall, I used one of the circles I cut for the new outlets to fill the old one in.


I attached the patch piece of drywall to the stud with drywall screws. I then went crazy with the spackle and sandpaper to make the patch blend in the the existing drywall. Below you can see what it looked like with the new outlet boxes and the old hole patched and painted.

I took the photo when the paint was still a little wet, so that explains the color difference. Also, you may have noticed the outlet box on the right looks a little odd. Yes, I used a rectangular outlet box in a circle opening. The stud I wanted to attach to was off to the side of the hole, not directly behind, so I came up with the idea to use a deeper box and attach it to the side instead of the back of the box. Although not perfect, it worked pretty well and once the light is mounted, no one would ever know.


Check back soon to see the next part of the project when I install the lights! Also, I'll be running my very first giveaway (and its a good one)!



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6 comments:

  1. This is so great Elisha! I went to replace the lights in my basement bathroom, which were the same as your old ones here, and the hole was not centered. My new lights have to be centered...so I just put back up the old ones. This should give me the shove to do it now! Thanks! Can't wait to see the rest!

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  2. Can I have your hair please? =D

    -andi

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  3. Can you teach me how to remove the baseboard, we have the same one like your but I have no clue how to take it off? thanks a lot!

    Angie

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  4. That is the wrong electrical box to use on the left unless your cutout was into a stud.

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  5. Since I was going to be working with the box, it was heavy, and I didn’t want it to fall apart, I used my brad nailer to tack on some scrap wood to keep everything together while I messed with it.house steam generator units

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