Monday, March 24, 2014

BEFORE and AFTER: Bathroom

We did our bathroom even before we did our kitchen (see that post).  It turned out to be a good learning exercise for how to design and plan, purchase and install - all in a compact space.  We couldn't really get into TOO much trouble in this tiny room, right?  Here's what we were working with - bathtub only with no shower, a wood-framed window in the bathtub area, one hideous added cabinet above the toilet (which was tan and had an elongated seat on a round toilet bowl - lovely), a gross light fixture, an icky brass faucet; a newer pedestal sink, an okay mirrored medicine cabinet and a really ugly linoleum floor (just enumerating in case you can't pick out the pieces for yourself from the photo below).  


While the backsplash/wall tile really was fine (I think it was light tan?), it had to be torn out because we needed to install cement board in place of the drywall in order to install a shower.  So we had to rip EVERYTHING out - sink, toilet, wall tile, and medicine cabinet.  We chose to also replace the light fixture and flooring with more attractive options.  

DECISIONS: To save costs, we decided to re-install the same sink and mirrored cabinet and to keep the bathtub, which was original to the house (from 1953), but was in fine condition.  This affected the choices we made in finished products, to try to blend the new (mostly white) items with the original dark tan colored bathtub (more on that below).  We also re-used the light tan toilet from this bathroom to replace a truly disgusting toilet (from 1953 and apparently never cleaned since then) that was in the downstairs bathroom (Can I just say, UGH?).  That saved some cost (and time, for the tub).


WALLS: We went with basic white subway tile from our big box construction supply superstore, which saved money (it saved hundreds over the quote the fancy tile shop gave us for their subway tile), but decided to add a little extra "bling" with $100 worth of glass tile from the fancy tile shop.  Full disclosure:  I must say I fought this extra cost at the time, but my husband won, and he was right!!  (Yep, I admit it, honey.)  This did add quite a bit more labor time, but since we did the tile work ourselves, it didn't add to our bottom line, just to our timeline.

WINDOW:  We changed out the regular wood-framed window to glass block tile (also from our regional construction superstore), and adjusted the window opening size to fit the blocks.  My husband was able to adjust the siding on the outside of the house to make it work.

FLOOR: We chose a basic (read: cheap) octagon/square pattern white ceramic tile for the floor which came already mounted on one foot square flexible sheets (from the other construction superstore in our area, we used both of them liberally, as we noted each had different strengths for in-stock tile options).  Our little custom tweak here was to custom order a small amount of small square floor tiles that matched the bathtub color from another local tile shop (we shopped around, another tip to achieve a finished product like this).  Then, prior to grouting, we removed a set pattern of a few tiles from the pre-made floor tile grid so we could insert the tan tiles to make it look like the original floor tile pattern included white and tan tile (see finished pictures to explain what I mean).  Our goal was to make it look like the tan tub belonged in the otherwise all-white bathroom.  I think the custom tan tile cost less than $50, and I think it really makes the floor match the tub.  It really didn't add that much installation time for the floor - the only hard part was deciding how many tan tiles we wanted to add, and in what pattern.

PAINTED WALLS: We went with a tan paint color that matched the bathtub, so that the simplified color scheme was just two colors - white (sink, toilet, wall tiles, most floor tiles) and tan (bathtub, a few floor tiles, painted walls/ceiling).  I think it helps the tiny room seem a bit bigger.

PLUMBING:  We did have a plumber professionally install the shower piping, and he came back later to check on and finalize the plumbing fixture installation once the tile work was done.  That was less than $500, and well worth it.

See what you think - I personally love how the bathroom turned out, and I don't think you would guess it cost less than $2000 total.



Extra custom tiles used for the floor were installed around the toilet paper roll holder:

Details of the glass tiles we got from the high end tile shop.  (Worth it, right?):

This adorable shelf and plants was totally Mike's idea.  Target ended up having exactly what he said he wanted - "a white shelf with plants".  Great idea, I can't take credit for that either!

Light fixture (from big box store) ties in with glass tiles

We added this shelf this year, because the tub developed a spot where the paint was peeling about 5 years after we remodeled the bathroom.  This added shelf was our solution (first Mike caulked over the peeling paint on the tub before installing the shelf), since we had pretty much committed to this bathtub once we tiled around it.  Works fine!

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