News on the bathroom front: this week we got two more projects completed, one small and one large. First, we bought and installed a new light fixture to go over the vanity (the vanity itself isn't in place yet, but you can see where it will go). We spent about $50 altogether: $25 for the fixture itself (on sale at Lowe's); $16 for the shades, which were sold separately; and $8 for a couple of 40-watt-equivalent CFL bulbs that are fully enclosed. (We tried putting in a couple of standard-size 60-watt-equivalent CFLs, and they stuck out from under the bottom of the shades and looked weird. So we figured the extra eight bucks was a reasonable investment. Of course, we could have just put in incandescent bulbs, but that would be against my ecofrugal principles. Even at 4 bucks apiece, the CFLs will save us money in the long run, and they'll use a lot less electricity from the get-go.)
The big project, as you can see in the picture, was tiling the bathroom floor, which took up a good chunk of this weekend. In addition to the tile we'd already bought from the Habitat ReStore, we had to pick up thinset mortar, grout, spacers and the appropriate tools: a notched trowel, a "float" for the grout, a sponge, and a a tile cutter (the $3 one we bought from a yard sale this summer was unfortunately too small to handle these 14-inch tiles). We did make one ecofrugal choice: we got our thinset and grout in powder form, to be mixed with water, rather than the ready-mixed stuff that was about twice as expensive. Brian spent several hours yesterday cutting and laying tile, while I read aloud to him and occasionally fetched things, and the grout went in this afternoon. And I'm pretty pleased with the end result: it has that sort of rustic look that I was going for.
Tomorrow or Tuesday, we should be able to reinstall the toilet, and then we will once again have a functioning—if not fully finished—second bathroom. Still a lot of work to do, including building the new vanity (though we'll most likely put the old sink and vanity back in place temporarily when my in-laws come to visit in a couple of weeks), covers for the radiators, and shelving. But the groundwork is laid. Onward and upward!