The Mudroom Addition That Changed Our Life!!!

DIY

December 22, 2021

This post is sponsored by Elkay.

With three kids under the age of 9, one of the biggest daily pain points in our home is hearing “Mommmmy, can I please have water??” You see, our refrigerator is the type that has the water dispenser hidden inside – it is too high for the kids to reach, difficult to press, and slow to dispense.

Enter Elkay’s ezH2O Liv Built-in Filtered Refrigerated Water Dispenser with Remote Chiller . This product is literally a DREAM COME TRUE!!!! It is beautiful, easy to use, dispenses perfectly chilled water at the perfect speed… I dare say it is sexy!

I knew this was exactly what our family needed – but I wasn’t sure where to put it – our kitchen doesn’t have many blank walls – and then I realized that the wall directly outside our bathroom would be the perfect location. It’s right next to plumbing lines, easily accessible by the kitchen, and it’s located in the mudroom so the kids can fill their own water bottles on their way out the door.

…the only problem was that when I cut a small opening to see if I would be able to install the unit here, I found ALL the pipes – water pipe, drain pipe, central vac pipe, gas line… it would be a huge ordeal to move those pipes. After calling a crazy number of plumbers, I finally connected with one who suggested building a box that extends in front of those pipes to house the unit.

I didn’t want it to jut out – but the idea of extending in front of the wall was a light bulb moment; if we built a full faux wall and added back the trim to match the rest of the room, I would be able to achieve the seamless look I was going for while leaving all those pipes intact!!

The contractor got to work on framing the faux wall and doing the necessary electrical and plumbing work to install the unit. Here’s a close-up photo of the remote chiller unit – it sits inside my bathroom vanity (directly behind the wall where the unit is installed). The plumber mounted the filter to the wall to make it easy to change when necessary and added an electrical switch so that I can turn both the dispenser and chiller off at the same time (like if we leave for extended vacation).

To save on cost, with the wall framed and the plumbing and electrical work done, they handed off the finishing work to me. It was my first time working with sheetrock and joint compound… at first, it was not a pretty sight and I immediately regretted not asking them to just finish the job. But, joint compound is very forgiving!

I was able to install the corner bead, smooth the joint compound to make a perfect 90-degree corner, and sand it to near perfection. Honestly, I was shocked that I was able to do it with just 2-3 coats of joint compound because I’m pretty OCD about having walls be perfect… I might even be able to tackle drywall projects in the future!

I had extra lattice trim from when I originally renovated the mudroom last year so it was quick work to match the existing trim to make this new faux wall seem like it’s always been there.

Now, the Elkay unit blends in seamlessly and we’ve been enjoying our chilled water multiple times per day!!

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