Our Bathroom Reno Adventure

THE BIG REVEAL - Come on in!

I have finally put all the finishing touches on the bathroom and am so excited to share it all with you.  Please take a moment to leave me a comment and let me know what you think or if you have any questions.  I would be happy to help out by answering any questions you might have.

Don't dream your LIFE, LIVE your dreams

I found this candle at Joann's.  The colors match and the saying for this bathroom is right on the money.  I placed this one and another matching one on the window sill to fill the space and add some color.

Here is the glass tile in all it's glory.  I'm thinking I might like this in my kitchen next!

I decided on cut crystal accents for some sparkle.

The walls are all painted a bright semi-gloss white.  The lighting in here made it really hard to photograph.

I used aqua as an accent color.  I purchased two shower curtains that were a double layer of aqua and brown and I made a window curtain from one of them.  I used a bracelet I purchased at Michael's as a tie back to cover the twist tie I used as a way to gather the top layer.
I found this set of three pictures at Joann's.  They are the perfect color and have a mirrored background.

So, I placed some small round mirrors to "mirror" the effect of the artwork and bring some sparkle to the window wall which you see as soon as you walk in the door.

The shower curtain closed.  I need to replace the matching hooks I bought, they keep falling off.

Shower curtain opened to show tub and shower.

This brings us around to the last wall.  I like to keep my robe on a hanger instead of just on a hook, I think it looks so much more inviting.
We replaced this door entirely, which lead me to want to replace all the doors in the house.  
Stay tuned for that one!

Here are some BEFORE photos.  Whaddya think?  Please leave click on comment and let me know.

Now on to organizing the inside of the cabinets, drawers and closets.

Click here to follow the entire bathroom renovation experience:  The Whole Story

Bathroom Reno - Day ?????

After many years of thinking about doing this bathroom renovation and many years of saving the money to do it, we are finally nearing the finish line.  The workers have done their jobs and done them very well and I am extremely happy with the results.  The quality of workmanship from everyone involved from my husband and myself, to the plumber and carpenter are more than I hoped for.

Speaking of plumbers, we decided to go ahead and replace the original toilet from 1956 that was in the half bath with the one I decided against for the main bath.  It was really a good deal and nice fixture and we are happy we didn't return it to the store.

Old, original toilet in half bath.
Doesn't this look much better?

Here is the vanity all installed.  Our carpenter, Scott, gave a good deal of thought as to how to run the duct work for the heating and air conditioning.  He did NOT want to cut into the front of this beautiful cabinet and have that be a focal point when you look at it.  Also, there was the issue that when standing in front of the sink, the air or heat would be blowing directly on our feet and legs.

Well, as usual Scott came up with the perfect solution:  He cut apart a standard size register and reduced the size so it would fit on the side of the vanity.  Did I say PERFECT!!!!

Also, remember we had to install the upper cabinet upside down in order for the doors to open next to the wall?  Look at the beautiful job Scott did framing it out and matching the high gloss finish.  Also, the top of the lighting bridge was hollow and he cut and placed a thin piece of wood on the top so I could have a place for a plant or other decor and also for ease of cleaning ... not so much dust to clean out of a hollow space.

We are thrilled with the improvements to the electrical work.  We now have a fully functional and working exhaust fan that also doubles as the main light source and triples as a night light as well.  

The lights above the mirror are perfect and the biggest improvement is that we now have a light in the shower!!!!  It was also so dark when the shower curtain was closed.  Hubby and I both love to take a long bath and read in the tub, now we can see!

This is a great shot of the tile work in the shower.  Also, check out the grab bar/towel bar.  I think it looks really classy, you can't even tell it's a grab bar at all and it matches the other fixtures in the room.  

Remember the glass tile I choose to trim the shower (see above) and as the back splash at the sink area?  This really was a "splurge" item in terms of cost of materials and labor.  

Wait for my next post to see the finish results.  I really think it was worth it.

Bathroom Reno - Day 10

We have some progress now, the mess from the exhaust fan is all cleaned up.  I decided I didn't like the Aqua ceiling paint, so hubby repainted it (3 coats!!!) with white.  Without too much grumbling, I might add!

The vanity and mirror cabinet are installed and lights are working.  So happy with this decision.


The upper cabinet should actually have been installed the opposite way.  However, since it is right next to a wall, the doors wouldn't open all the way.  If we install it so that the doors will open, the matching valance won't match.  Ugghhh.  What to do??? Well, my fabulous carpenter installed it like this (really upside down), turned the valance/light upside down as well and will build molding and frame it all in for me.  I think it will work out just fine.  If I didn't have Scott doing this part of the job, we wouldn't have any idea how to solve this problem.

Another fabulous idea Scott had and I know I will love, is he placed outlets inside the cabinet for us.

Bathroom Reno - Day 9

We did a big clean up of all the junk, old toilets and boxes.  The dumpster is almost full now.

It really is getting to the finish line now.  Big changes today.

I finally got to see my new cabinetry get uncrated.  Been waiting for months and hoping I made the right decision.  I did, we love how it turned out and can't wait to see it installed.

 Hubby and I were strolling through Menard's, our favorite home store.  We decided we should purchase a new exhaust fan instead of re-using our old one which was the original plan.  Here is the result.

As it turned out, the old fan was never vented to the outside, so basically it was just blowing air around out attic.  They had to get into the attic and drill into the outside of the house to vent it.  Another delay and big mess, but we are happy to find out now and have it done right.

Most exciting for us is that at the end of the day today, we finally have a working shower.  Hubby won't have to leave the house anymore at 6 am to get to the gym for his shower and to get ready for work.

Apr 2012

Bathroom Reno - Day 8 - Grouting

The job progressed today with the grouting of all the tile.  I'm very happy with our tile choices, it came out really nice with just a few items that the tile installer will need to tweak to get it perfect. 

Tile waiting to be fed some grout.

Look at the gorgeous marble threshold!  Love it!


Love It!!!  In my best Oprah voice.

Bathroom Reno - Day 7

Tile, Tile, Everywhere there's Tile!!!!

He got up at 6 am to paint the ceiling.
Today was exciting as we can really see the bathroom coming together.  Yesterday was a painting marathon as hubby and I tried to get everything painted while the bathroom was empty.  My sweetie got up before 6:00 am to put a coat on the ceiling if the pale aqua paint I picked out.  Unfortunately, it is going to need two coats and Walter was still finishing up the last coat on the walls when the tile installers arrived at 7:15 am.  The tile installer, Bill, worked for 12 hours.  He is letting everything set overnight and will come back in the morning to grout.

Painting Day
Bathroom Reno - Day 6

The walls were sanded and ready to paint.  Only problem is, the tile installers are coming tomorrow and we need to get the walls primed and two coats of paint on before early in the morning.  It will be much easier to paint now before the new floor, tile and fixtures are installed.  Hubby is at work, so I will attempt to put the primer on and get it ready for him.

Walter worked all evening and painted everything twice.

Bathroom Reno - Day Five

There was a huge step forward after today.  All the drywall is in and taped.  They did an excellent job of mudding and taping, does't even look like it needs much sanding.  Now have to wait for everything to dry and the final sanding and hubby can start painting.


Bathroom Reno - Day Four

Today was the day for laying the new sub floor and doing some preliminary plumbing and electrical work.

Sub Floor Done
New Bathtub in place.

The tub looks shallower than I expected it to be.  Glad I purchased the deep soak drain, will add a few inches of water to the tub.

Bathroom Reno - Day Three

Not much going on today.  Some more prep work and general clean up.

Bathroom Reno - Day Two

Today was a little rough . . . lots of noise with Scott and Dave breaking up all the tile and concrete on the floor.  
Here is a photo of the dumpster.
Dave breaking up the floor.

 I was surprised and impressed to find that Dave removed and carried out the Ol' Pink Lady all by himself.  What a He-Man!!!   This tub is cast iron and over 50 years old.  I don't think the new one will last that long. 

The specs and instruction sheets still on the old tub.

The end of Day Two saw big progress, the bathroom is completely gutted and all cleaned out now.

The only thing remaining in the room, my arched ceiling alcove tub area.  I really liked this feature and wanted it saved.

Day 1 - Bye Bye Pink Bathroom
Delivery Day!   Vanity, Tub, Toilet & Materials waiting for the workers to arrive.
Floors covered.
Kitchen floors protected.
The long awaited day is finally here.  Demolition began this morning.  I love my carpenter, Dave.  He was so respectful and our contractor, Scott, made sure my carpet and floors were covered and I knew exactly what to expect.  I made the right choice in hiring Scott to over-see this job.

I was expecting a bigger mess throughout the house, but Scott & Dave kept everything in the bathroom itself and they had an exhaust fan in the bathroom window going into a collection bin outside.  It also wasn't too noisy.  Our pets were all horrified though, T.J. and Rosie, our cats, hid in the basement.  Our dog, Louie, followed me everywhere I went.

Here are the photos at the end of Day One.

The last major decision on the bathroom reno project was made.  Picking out a bathtub.  As with the toilet, this proved to be a bigger decision than we anticipated.  Should we go with cast iron, acrylic, whirlpool, deep soak, etc. etc.  The only thing that was easy was I wanted white!  I did lots of research and that only confused me.  There were many differing opinions; many people love the acrylic and there were certainly more choices in that material.  Others say cast iron was the only way to go.  We had ruled out a whirlpool tub, due to expense and upkeep--just didn't think we would use it enough.  One thing we found out is that the majority of the home improvement stores did not have tubs you could really sit in, except our favorite store Menards, the Sax 5th Avenue of Home Improvement Stores.
Here's hubby trying out the tubs.
I was just about to order a tub at my local Lowe's store for the convenience of having the contractor pick it up there.  They had a tub that was 18" deep on display.  I tried it out and couldn't get in it very easily.  I am very vertically challenged and thinking of a time when age will be creeping up, I knew I could buy a deeper tub without risking getting hurt.  So, here is the final decision, a 14" deep tub with a soaker drain.

American WhiteTub Model #2390.202.020     

I also found a deep soak drain which puts the overflow hole at the top and gives you a few more inches of soaking room.  Glad that's all settled.  Reno to start this coming week, stay tuned!


Well, thanks for everyone's help and input.  Only one person voted for the Lowe's cheaper toilet.  Hubby agreed we should keep the American Standard Town Square model that is sitting in a huge box in my son's bedroom.  So, decision made, we cancelled the toilet at Lowe's and are eagerly awaiting the install of . . .


I know must have too much time on my hands to be stressing over which toilet to have installed in my new bathroom . . . but here’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Would love your comments or opinions please.  Leave a comment by clicking on the Comment box after the post.

Research:  I was told by several people (plumbers, homeowners, etc.) that the Toto brand was the best on the market and to go for a one piece toilet.  I was okay with that and went on an internet search to find the perfect one piece Toto Toilet (don’t ya love the sound of that?).    They ranged in price from $342 to $3,970!!!!  That one would have to get up in the middle of the night for me before I could pay that price!   The one I picked out that I would actually want to buy for the look of it and the features was this one:

Toto MS874114SG-11  at a retail of $891.  The best price I found was $534.00   The problem I had with this was that I would have to buy it on the internet and if something was wrong with it, would have to ship it back.  I wasn’t comfortable with this so back to researching.  What I found when looking at the Toto that I loved was the smooth sides instead of all those curves and nooks and crannies that are so hard to clean.  So now, I know I want the smooth sides and a one piece; also it would have be easy to clean. 

I found this one:  
American Standard Town Square Right Height 1-piece Elongated Toilet Model # 2847.016.020 
I really liked the square-lined look of this and it takes up so much less space than the one we have now.  Also, it is made in the USA, which is a big plus to me.  It has a retail of $895, found on sale at Home Depot online for $455.  I also purchased it using the Ebates program and qualified for a 6% rebate which brought the total to $428.  

Home Depot had free shipping and I could return it to the store and they have a 90 day return policy.  We went ahead and ordered it the last day of the sale on Dec. 31st and it has been sitting in my son’s bedroom  ever since.  Mission accomplished, right?  Wrong!  

See Ebate info here:   Earn Rebates When Shopping Online
When I was in Lowe’s looking for a bathtub (which is another story), I saw this:
American Standard Clean White High Efficiency WaterSense Elongated 2-Piece Toilet Item #8857 at an in-stock price of $253.  That is a savings of $175 on the toilet!   Keeping the budget always in mind I bought this one too and planned on taking the other back to Home Depot.
I did want to check the specs on both and see what the differences were and the main one was that the more expensive toilet was a one piece and had a fancier look to it.  I also found out that the Lowe’s toilet was a special model only sold by Lowes and every review of it mentioned the cheap plastic toilet seat that comes with it.  So, I figured we could just buy a new seat for it and found out the toilet seat on the Town Square model cost $110.  Also, the flush lever was over $50.  So, I guess there are the reasons for the higher price.  The Town Square has a 10 year warranty on the entire toilet, the Lowe’s model is 10 year limited and doesn’t cover the seat or handles. 

So now I’m befuddled and not sure which one to keep.  With only a few days to go, what do you think????
THIS ONE???                                                                                         

What comes first, the floor, counter or walls????  Cabinets, toilet or tub???  OH MY!   Long post, bear with me.  Here was the process we went through:

CABINETRY:  This was the no-brainer.  We both fell in love with this ultra-modern cabinetry and although the price was quite a bit more than stock cabinetry, we knew this was the right choice for us.
Magick Woods Royal Plus Vanity and Upper Cabinet

COLOR SCHEME:  Choosing the color scheme was the easy part since the countertop that goes with this cabinet only came in black or brown. My first thought was to do a black and white bathroom, but after receiving the sample of the Mocha Gold countertop, we knew this was the first choice and would go on from there.  The counter material is cultured marble with an intigrated white sink.  I am the ultimate Glitter Girl, so when I saw the glittery gold fleck in it I was sold and ordered the top right away.  
Once we decided to go with a brown countertop for the vanity, we left behind the black and white color scheme we had decided on and went in a different direction.  

TILE:  Didn't think choosing a tile for the bathroom would be so hard.  We found it to be a much larger task than we thought.  First, there were several tiles we liked, but were out of our price range.  Secondly, this is a permanent decision, once the tile is installed, we won't be changing it again in my lifetime.  The next decision that was firm was the wall tile for the shower area.  It was very unusual and I think it will look fabulous with the high gloss white cabinets and the price was just within our reach.  It has a pearly shine and really glows when the light hits it:

Cubica Tile - Genesse Tile
Walter then picked out a high gloss brown marble tile for the floor and I agreed . . . good, done!  NOT.  When we showed it to the tile man, he said it was too big and heavy and would double the cost of the project.  Back to the tile stores I went; several times.  I found a similar tile, not shiny, but with enough color variation that I knew it would work.  I wanted something with a touch of black if possible and it had to have some white to go with all the other white in the bathroom.  

When the color choice was going to be black and white, I had my heart set on some black glass tile to use as an accent/trim and was able to find it in a brown coloration.  Happy Dance!
Mexican Sand Glass Tile - The Tile Shop

Here are our final choices:

Now to decide on the all important fixtures. . . stayed tuned.

After wanting to do this for over 15 years, we are going to gut and remodel our 50's pink and black bathroom!!!   This is our main bathroom, rather small by today's standards 5' x8'.

Since I bought the house in 1987, this bathroom has been carpeted in both pink and black.  Hubby covered the pink mosaic tile with black peel and stick about 5 years ago; it lasted for a while and I really like the look, but it started to shift and became quite unsightly; so we covered it up with a throw rug!!!
This is the original pink floor.

Looks pretty good, right?

Here is a close up where tiles are now shifting.

I have decorated and re-decorated this bathroom many times.  A few years after moving in, a new large mirrored medicine cabinet was added and we replaced the old pink counter top with a black one and had the pink cabinet refaced and I painted the old drawer and doors.  We added a new pink sink and then the old pink toilet was replaced with a modern black model.  That worked for quite a few years.  

I decorated in Art Deco style and then Victorian, using green and cranberry as accent colors.  I then had the bright idea to decorate with a Rainforest Theme . . . well, that was interesting; but we are sooooo tired of this look now.  Last year, I made a pink window curtain and added a bright pink shower curtain.


Notice how none of the pinks match in the original?

I can't even count the number of times my wonderful husband has removed wallpaper for me from numerous rooms when I get the redecorating bug!

This reveals the sponge painted "Victorian Theme" ceiling I did a long time ago, yuck!

After contemplating redecorating again using a Poodle Theme this time, I am very excited and pleased to announce that Walter has saved enough money so I can finally get a complete over-haul renovation and say goodbye to my beloved Pink and Black bathroom.  (I had an inkling the "Poodle" idea might sway him a bit!)  Stay tuned, I'll take you on this journey with us.


Bud said...

Just a suggestion... Go for a "Toto" one piece toilet. They are supposedly the best out there. You can find them on Amazon. I replaced two of my toilets with cheaper one piece units and I may still go back and purchase a "Toto" for my Master bathroom. Bud

Kroppin Karen said...

Thanks Bud, our contractor told us the same thing. I actually ordered a one piece American Standard, but am re-considering. The same toilet in a two piece model is over $200 cheaper. . .trying to keep budget in tack, which is really hard to do.

Anonymous said...

Clearly your husband loves you very much!
When I was buying toilets, I got the Jacuzzi (sp?) and love them. I didn't worry about one piece or 2 piece - I was more concerned about low water usage and ease of cleaning.

Lida Swisher said...

I love, love, love it!!! The final upshot of the bathroom is brilliant! Did you plan all the designs? Oh my, it looks even more fashionable than my own room! Excellent job, Karen! =)

Ladybug said...

Beautiful reno! Love everything about it! TFS! :-)

Kimberly Christian said...

I love your bathroom renovation, in particular your marble threshold! Could you please let me know where you got it? When we built our house 7 years ago, they stopped the master bathroom tile on the wrong side of the door jamb and every time the bathroom door is closed, a strip of carpet from the bedroom shows. And for some silly reason we never complained about it (I'm kicking myself now). We're replacing the carpet with hardwood floors in the bedroom and want to take this opportunity to fix the threshold into the bathroom. While doing an internet search on marble thresholds, your threshold picture popped up. And I have to agree that it is gorgeous! I need one too!!

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