A Bathroom Sink & The First Concrete Floor Inside

On Wednesday of this past week, Armando was cutting grass and so I was on my own. There are still a few ceiling panels to install but that is a two man job.

I decided to prepare the counter top for the sink in the hall half bath in container #3. My reason for doing this out-of-sequence job rather than installing a window or other mission critical task is this: Cynthia and I have hired a Panamanian artist to paint a scene on the walls in this bathroom. No, it really isn’t time to do this, and it won’t help us get moved in. But the artist, Hugo Jimenez, a teacher in Panama City, is on vacation while school is out of session for the holidays; perfect timing for him. He won’t be available for another year.

This is the bathroom off the living room/dining room, and is off the hallway going to the master bedroom. It measures about four-feet by eight-feet, and Hugo will paint a scene on all the walls and the ceiling. This all started with a glass sink that we bought before we moved here from the states. Here is a photo:


Cynthia and I had already discussed the design for the sink base. In keeping with the industrial look of the shipping containers, we decided to use a concrete drainage pipe for the pedestal and to pour a concrete counter top on the pedestal. I bought a ten-inch pipe for $30. I cut the pipe to length and cut an access hole on the back of the pipe for mounting the sink and running pipes for the faucet. Here is the sink base formed and poured:


And with the forms stripped off the next day:


We may simply polish the concrete and apply a sealer, although we are debating the option of covering the pedestal with small river rocks. In other bathrooms, we may cover the pedestal and counter with decorative glass tiles. Whatever we decide, I think the construction has a great simplicity of bigger-than-life geometric shapes. It reminds me of those hydraulic lifts in auto repair shops. Does the sink go up and down? Here’s another view:


To prepare for Hugo, I still have to prime paint the walls and ceiling, but the repello (stucco) on the right hand wall still needs more time to cure.

On Thursdays, Armando works for other expats, so I was on my own again (as I was on Friday because it rained too hard on Thursday for him to work for the other expats). I decided to prepare the floor, in that same bathroom and in the adjacent hallway, for concrete. I cut re-mesh and rebar and put them in place.

Cynthia and I decided to put a tile insert, simulating a carpet runner, in the hallway floor. I prepared a wooden form to delineate the future insert. Here is a photo; the plank is for Armando to roll the wheelbarrow on:


At the very bottom of the photo you can see that I let the mesh and rebar pass through to the master bedroom so that the concrete floors will interconnect. At the far end of the hallway you can see the stair landing all formed and ready for the pour.

In the next picture you can see that I cut short pieces of 1.5″ by 3″ metal carriolas and tucked them under the re-mesh. This will make pouring the floor much easier as we won’t have to jockey the mesh into place as we pour. You can also see details of how I made the form for the tile inset:


Jabo holds everything in place.

Next Armando pours concrete on the landing:


It rained most of the day but we were dry under a blue tarp that I hung over the landing. The bathroom is in the door on the left.

Armando poses for Cynthia:


As do I:


Here’s the floor, pretty much done, from the bedroom side. After it cures I’ll remove the insert form boards:


We watch HGTV’s The Antonio Treatment and also Secrets From A Stylist and always come away with good ideas. In Secrets From A Stylist, Emily Henderson has people choose things that they like, then names their personal design style. We’ve done our own style diagnostic and have named our style, Natural-Industrial-Bling.

I’m pretty happy with how the floor turned out, which is a good thing. In keeping with our Natural-Industrial-Bling style (and our not-unlimited budget), we plan to keep the concrete floors as they are.

The next picture looks into the bathroom.


The next photo looks into the master bedroom from the stair landing (the hall bathroom is on the right):


We managed the entire day without even one paw print.

That’s all for this project, but in the Awh, How Sweet! department, after Cynthia visited with the camera, I rounded a corner and found this on one of the walls:


And here’s a bit of holiday mirth from Jabo:

Here’s a slideshow of all the photos in this post:

[portfolio_slideshow id=2910]

That’s all for now.

10 thoughts on “A Bathroom Sink & The First Concrete Floor Inside

  1. Wow, you guys continue to amaze … I have been looking at that beautifully poured floor and wondering HOW and where you stand/crawl to pour that … anyhooo, it looks great, and HOW you managed to keep Jabo from pawing it … will never know! Congrats and have a great Christmas you two!

    • Thank you Patricia. Yes, you have to be careful not to be like the floor painter who worked his way into the corner. For the initial pour, you keep working your way back, screeding the concrete flat as you go. Then you let it sit until the water disappears from the top. Then you work the floor with a wooden trowel, placing boards here and there to stand/squat on, fixing those spots where the boards were when you move on out. Then you let the water disappear again and repeat, only with a steel trowel. When the floor is pretty darn hard I generally pass the steel trowel over the whole mess again. I like to pour concrete on Saturdays so I can crash and burn on Sundays! Thanks again, Fred

  2. The house project continues to be fascinating and impressive–a Beautiful Thing to watch. But I really wanted to hear Jabo’s commentary and it just doesn’t happen–so sad! Please give my regards to Jabo, and ask him to give you and Cynthia kisses from me.
    Cousin Chris

  3. Nice work Fred. I’m impressed with the concrete work. I always thought you were more of a welder/design guy than a concrete guy.

    I have one question: When cutting a 40′ container in half to make two 20′ pieces, how do you deal with the floor that has wood on it? Are you removing the wood or cutting through?

    Also if I am using those two pieces to create a garage, how much of the inner interior inside walls should I leave in order to be able to open a car door and still leave enough support to keep the middle of the structure strong enough?

    • Hi Alan, Thanks. I’m not sure what I am. I just keep dancing!

      I haven’t done the process of cutting a container in half. I assume you want to cut the thing in half, then put the two 20′ pieces side by side, then cut out the next-to-each-other center partitions. The open end will be the space for the garage door. Am I right?

      If so, I think you would want to remove at least that one wooden plank where the halfway mark is so you can get to the steel floor framing under the floor boards. The question is, Is there a steel floor joist directly below the center cut line? If so, you may want to remove that steel joist and pour a healthy concrete beam, capable of being driven over, right there at the garage door edge.

      Once you cut out the center walls, you’ll need a steel beam at the roof line spanning the garage door end of the roofs. I might even put in a center beam across the center of the garage to hold up the roof; when you cut out the walls the roof will sag. I wouldn’t think that you would need massive beams, double 2×6 carriolas welded together would do fine I would think.

      I can see this all in my head, but a picture would be worth a lot of words. Good luck, Fred

    • Alan, I’ll brag on Fred’s behalf. He can do anything he sets his mind on doing. YouTube and Google searches usually start the “inquiring minds want to know how-to” process. Prior to this entire project he was a rough and finish carpenter; he does plumbing and electrical, tile and concrete, floors and painting. And he’s been known to turn a paper thin wood bowl or two in his day.

  4. Cynthia,

    Clearly we are dealing with a very talented guy. (don’t blush Fred) You can see it in his work. Looks like the best is yet to come. Rock on Fred!

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