Upstairs Bathroom Renovation (Part 14)

We now have light! Actually, we have, in a more general sense, electricity. There was apparently a hole in their schedule so the electrician showed up a day early to put in the lights and wire up the switches, outlets, and timer.

Heidi and I both really like the look of the schoolhouse style glass globes so even though they were originally used in kitchens, libraries, and, I assume schoolhouses in the 1920’s we are using them in the bathroom of our 1886 Victorian.

We spent a lot of time looking at different suppliers to try and find a 5 light bar for above the mirror and a matching ceiling fixture but were only able to get a 4 light version. Looking at it now, I’m quite happy with how it turned out. Given the size of the globes, I think that a 5 light version may have been too much.

4 light vanity fixture. The horizontal dark bars in the picture are an artifact of my phone camera being pointed directly at the lights I believe.

For those that are interested, the fixtures are from Sea Gull Lighting‘s Academy line and are remarkably inexpensive compared to other options. We selected the chrome finish as this, along with the details of the metal work, will be mirrored nicely in the faucet and shower hardware once they are in place.

Combined with the white tile and satin white ceiling, they throw a lot of light. Either fixture alone is enough to light the entire room and the two together make it glow!

There was only one small issue that still needed to be dealt with. It seems that the original mechanical fan timer that we had in the room functioned without needing a neutral wire. Unfortunately the electronic replacement that was supposed to replace it does require a neutral – something that wasn’t picked up during the electrical rough-in.

After 10 minutes, or so, of considering where we would need to open a wall to get the appropriate wiring in place (not having a timer is not an option), our electrician suggested that they will try and source a timer that doesn’t need a neutral. Brilliant – not sure why it didn’t even cross my mind to think of that. A quick look on the internet confirms that such a beast exists and is easily available so should have something that doesn’t require so much twisting and noise shortly. In the meantime, the original mechanical timer is back in place.

Finally, just a note on the light switch. Some of you may wonder why we didn’t choose the more modern “Decora” style flat switches. It is really just a preference on our part and Heidi leans strongly to the traditional toggle style. Neither is remotely appropriate for a house of our era.

In our last house, also an 1880’s build, we started to replace some of the light switches with modern push button replicas by Classic Accents. They are CSA approved and UL listed so you get all of the cool period appropriate feel without any safety concerns. They’re great but we just haven’t gotten to doing anything like that here yet. Not sure that it would work for this bathroom anyway as we would have an ultra-modern fan timer next to a push button switch. Could be a bit of discord there.

One unexpected challenge with all this new light is how it highlights clearly the incomplete window trim. But that needs a post of its own.

People interested in seeing the full renovation process as tracked in this blog should start here.

The next entry for the renovation can be found here.

Some side entries on the window can be found here.

One Reply to “Upstairs Bathroom Renovation (Part 14)”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.