What is this thing in my bathroom?

CambiataCambiata Commander ShepardThe likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
A couple of months ago I moved into my first house. I didn't really pay that much attention to this area of my bathroom, but now that I"m trying to smooth out the rough edges on the place, I'd really like to know what the heck this would be used for?

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It's right up next to the bathtub, fairly low to the ground. It sits right in front of the toilet. It's too shallow for holding toilet paper rolls. I can't for the life of me figure out the intended purpose. Since there used to be a phone jack in the bathroom (that I recently covered with drywall because it was ugly), we guessed that you could maybe put a phonebook in there? (sitting on it's spine), but that seems like the least logical place to put a phonebook.

Anyone know what it might be for? The house was built in the mid 1990s.

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    presumably for holding bottles of such toiletries as you might use in the shower?

    the molding seems like an odd choice though

    NREqxl5.jpg
  • knitdanknitdan Registered User regular
    Is there a chance it's covering up a hole? Maybe there used to be a laundry chute there? Or is there a chance you could contact the previous owner and ask them?

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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    presumably for holding bottles of such toiletries as you might use in the shower?

    the molding seems like an odd choice though

    @Strikor made that guess, too, but it's really inconveniently placed if so. And also it's right in the drywall and not tiled, so it's not ideal for putting a wet hand over there to grab a shampoo bottle or whatnot.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    knitdan wrote: »
    Is there a chance it's covering up a hole? Maybe there used to be a laundry chute there? Or is there a chance you could contact the previous owner and ask them?

    I suppose you could cover a hole that way, but even if you're lazy with repairs it seems like cutting a piece of gypsum board to cover a hole that size would be way easier than making some sort of "shelf" - and why block it off with molding in the front, anyway?

    Laundry chute isn't very likely since the kitchen is directly under this bathroom. A hole to the bottom floor from that wall would lead directly to the middle of the kitchen ceiling.

    Asking the previous owner isn't possible.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Magazines and newspapers. Back before the internet and WiFi you'd have to read books when you pooped instead of forums.

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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Magazines and newspapers. Back before the internet and WiFi you'd have to read books when you pooped instead of forums.

    I thought of that too, but I guess I figured that the bottom would need to be solid (instead of slotted molding) in order to keep a magazine from slipping out. And if it were a book shelf I'd think shelves instead of... whatever that is.

    I'll accept half-assed magazine rack though, if no one has a better idea.

  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    It was put there specifically to drive you mad wondering what it was for. Mission Accomplished?

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    JuliusLailNightDragonLovelyElvenshaeSpoit
  • HollerHoller Registered User regular
    edited June 2016
    -

    Holler on
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    This is also a regional thing. I've never seen a house in Florida in all my years working in interior design with one of these. Yet almost every house up in Maine has one.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    You roll them or stack them like so:

    AD5LtiO.png

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Julius143999
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Ew, paper in the bathroom.

    OP, it's an ugly solution to a non-problem. I'd personally rip it out and just drywall over it.

    But then you're left with that tile notched out. Maybe just take off those two pieces of trim and put a little door there? I don't know. It's really low. At the very least I'd replace the two pieces of trim with something else. Maybe metal bars that match your fixture finish.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Fixing the tile should be relatively easy if you can manage to get those out without breaking the rest.

    I'd probably drywall over it too, yeah, it's ugly, and being RIGHT ON TOP OF THE TILE is annoying me just by looking at it. The hardest part will probably getting that plaster look on the paint.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    I'm kind of amazed that they cut out that corner of the tile just to shove that thing's frame in there. Wow.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Alternative to painting/drywall and replacing tile:

    Chip that last remaining tile to be square with the rest, rip off the trim/framing of that magazine rack, and put up beadboard below your wall's rail moulding there.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/14-sq-ft-Cape-Cod-MDF-Beadboard-Planks-3-Pack-8203035/202075059

    To look kind of like this:

    112363a2c88145ecc45c93ce8cc96bd7.jpg

    Then give it a once over with some paint so the beadboard and the chair-rail molding you have matches the beadboard.

    You should be able to beadboard over it without much issue.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    ForceVoidThe EnderMaguanozepherin
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    I'm kind of amazed that they cut out that corner of the tile just to shove that thing's frame in there. Wow.

    It's more likely that the frame was already there when they re-tiled. Maybe they put in a new tub that came out more, which would explain the mismatch tile situation.

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  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    i would just rip out the slates and stick a plant on it

    camo_sig.png
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    For what it is worth, the company I worked for used to convert these into heated towel warmer slots with very little effort (though crazy expensive).

    Of course, on that house we heated the entire bathroom floor so that project wasn't financially barring.

    bowentynicElvenshae
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    You roll them or stack them like so:

    AD5LtiO.png

    See, this magazine rack makes way more sense because it's a lot more shallow, so the magazines won't slip out the bottom (and the molding is arranged to actually keep the magazines in).

    Agreed that my first instinct is to rip it out, but I would have to fix the tiling somehow.

    Thanks for the input all.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Magazine racks: Killed by the invention of the smartphone.

    zepherin
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    You roll them or stack them like so:
    AD5LtiO.png
    See, this magazine rack makes way more sense because it's a lot more shallow, so the magazines won't slip out the bottom (and the molding is arranged to actually keep the magazines in).
    Agreed that my first instinct is to rip it out, but I would have to fix the tiling somehow.
    Thanks for the input all.

    I think this is the perfect time to find some bizarre and obscure magazines (or just work up some fake covers to attach to a magazine) and put them in there.
    Bonus points for particularly worrying combinations (Guns&Ammo, Soldier of Fortune, Something with an article about how to tell if your partner is cheating). Great chance to have some fun here.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah it's deeper I guess for more reading?

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    All day I've been trying to figure out what you could put there without substantially altering.

    Best idea so far has been, "really creepy mirror."

    What is this I don't even.
    CambiataLovelyzepherinForar
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    This is also a regional thing. I've never seen a house in Florida in all my years working in interior design with one of these. Yet almost every house up in Maine has one.

    Ok that makes sense. This is definitely the first house in Texas I've ever seen with that design. I have a hunch that it was put in by one of the homeowners after the house was built. I don't think the previous owners were the ones who added it, they're just the ones that put the new tile in around it in hideous fashion.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Collect a series of random pamphlets to amuse and confuse visiting bathroom goers.

    DarkewolfeA Dabble Of TheloniusForar
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    I'd make it into a little fold down table like on an airline. Maybe put some cans of play dough and a coloring book just in case someone gets bored.

    Edit: it may actually be nice to have somewhere to set a USB speaker or tablet if you're a bath person.

    dispatch.o on
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  • Baron DirigibleBaron Dirigible Registered User regular
    expected thread to be about house centipedes, 0/10

    Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    expected thread to be about house centipedes, 0/10

    We don't get house centipedes in North Texas. We get delightful little Mediterranean Geckos, the cutest of vermin.

    M%20Gecko.jpg

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  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    expected thread to be about house centipedes, 0/10

    So did I....then I learned it's not! 10/10

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  • KakodaimonosKakodaimonos Registered User regular
    I am pretty sure that tile is from Home Depot.

    http://m.homedepot.com/p/Daltile-Rio-Mesa-Desert-Sand-12-in-x-12-in-x-8-mm-Ceramic-Mosaic-Floor-and-Wall-Tile-10-sq-ft-case-RM1022CC1P2/202329075?MERCH=REC-_-mobileweb_pip_rr-2-_-202195313-_-202329075-_-N

    So if you want to rip it out you can get more edge pieces. The pattern also has enough variation that you can mix color runs.

  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    i could fit a few hoagies in there

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  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Collect a series of random pamphlets to amuse and confuse visiting bathroom goers.

    Airline emergency evacuation foldout.

    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
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  • NijaNija Registered User regular
    I don't know why, but it looks like the previous homeowner wanted a in wall heater, realized it would be a lot of work and tried to make lemonade out of their lemons.

    Then I read everyone else's comments and I realized how wrong I was.

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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    i could fit a few hoagies in there

    You mean in your sub slot?

    Echo wrote: »
    Something working on the first try is a source of great suspicion.
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    I am pretty sure that tile is from Home Depot.

    http://m.homedepot.com/p/Daltile-Rio-Mesa-Desert-Sand-12-in-x-12-in-x-8-mm-Ceramic-Mosaic-Floor-and-Wall-Tile-10-sq-ft-case-RM1022CC1P2/202329075?MERCH=REC-_-mobileweb_pip_rr-2-_-202195313-_-202329075-_-N

    So if you want to rip it out you can get more edge pieces. The pattern also has enough variation that you can mix color runs.

    The larger tiles are ceramic, but those edge pieces are real travertine tile. These pieces look exactly right:
    http://www.amazon.com/Light-Ivory-Travertine-Tumbled-Tiles/dp/B00332VFRE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454101713&sr=8-1&keywords=travertine+tile+3x6

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah the top of the edge looks like that.

    It looks like this thing was an after thought, and they couldn't find a good replacement tile for the 3-4 they broke. Or rather, they didn't want to pay the more expensive price tag (or didn't have amazon to get replacements).

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    I hust thought of something: is the cubbyhole deep enough to hold toilet paper? It doesn't look like it, but maybe it had a specific purpose once upon a time

    chromdom on
    Drez wrote: »

    Being quoted out of context is honestly what I live for.
  • KakodaimonosKakodaimonos Registered User regular
    Yeah. That's an unusual mix. Personally I would have just gone with tile to avoid the maintenance with travertine.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited January 2016
    chromdom wrote: »
    I hust thought of something: is the cubbyhole deep enough to hold toilet paper? It doesn't look like it, but maybe it had a specific purpose once upon a time

    Nah, I covered that in the op, not deep enough for toilet paper.
    Yeah. That's an unusual mix. Personally I would have just gone with tile to avoid the maintenance with travertine.

    I really like the look of travertine, though, and I actually think mixing the two is one of the few things they got right, because the real travertine on the edge fools the eye into thinking it's all travertine (or at least it did mine until I examined it closely).

    Cambiata on
  • chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    Sorry, missed that

    Drez wrote: »

    Being quoted out of context is honestly what I live for.
  • PLAPLA The process.Registered User regular
    It used to lead to the haunted basement.

    Mojo_JojoCambiataNijaElvenshae
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