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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Master Bathroom Remodel

Continuing with our home remodel tour, probably the most dramatic change we've made to the house is our master bathroom.  This one was a total demolition.  The only thing we kept in the entire space was the toilet and door.  The rest of it wasn't salvageable.

To rid the bathroom of the 1970's, it took a bit more time and money than most of projects have been.  This has definitely been our biggest undertaking to date and I think it took us about 8 weeks from start to finish, although during some of that time, there wasn't any progress being made since we were waiting on our contractor and then waiting on the custom counter top to be manufactured.  Because we changed our minds a couple of times throughout the process on the plan, we didn't build in as much lead time as we should have for some of the custom items.  Just remember that in remodeling, "custom" equals more time and more money!

Our bathroom was set up with the toilet and shower "cave" in one small room and a vanity with a huge mirror up the ceiling in an alcove of the bedroom instead of behind closed doors, complete with carpet and giant swagged pendant lights, one of which didn't even work. On the other side of the vanity was another door leading to the walk in closet, which we also updated to make it much more functional.

Taking the bathroom down to the studs and subfloor, we brought in a contractor to do the heavy lifting on this one.  We didn't want to experiment with major plumbing work and we needed to flip flop the vanity and shower so we could make room for a bathtub and a double vanity. We ended up doing a deep soaking tub with a glass tile shower surround and an L-shaped vanity to maximize space. Because we don't have any windows, we went with white marble floors and vanity top to keep it light.  We were able to find a contractor who was willing to let us do what we were able to ourselves to help us keep the costs down.  He did the new wiring and plumbing, in addition to framing out the new wall and door frame (we had to move it over about 6" in order to have enough room for the vanity) and taped and mudded the drywall.  We did the demo, installed the cabinets and counter top, hung the drywall, tiled the floor and shower, painted, installed lighting and plumbing fixtures and reinstalled/replaced all the trim and doors.

We worked with the designer at Lowe's to help us come up with the L-shape vanity and bathroom layout.  We were initially going to just do a straight double vanity and squeeze in double sinks in the same place as the original vanity and put the shower and tub where the long part of the L-shape vanity was, but we wanted a frameless glass shower door around the tub and shower to keep it from feeling like a cave when you came through the door and that custom job was way out of our price range.  We considered a few other options, a half wall with a window of sorts, glass block, etc and we just didn't really like any of the options.  Unless we scrapped the tub addition, one of the major must-haves for this remodel, it just wouldn't work without moving plumbing.  When the Lowe's designer suggested the L-shaped vanity, something we hadn't really seen before, we were quickly sold on the idea.  Not only did we gain more storage and counter space but it made the bathroom feel much more open.

The cabinets are semi-custom from Lowe's - we used the Insignia line and ordered the Crest door style which is a very clean Shaker style cabinet in the Java color.  They are a rich dark brown, although they look almost black in these photos.  We added hardware in chrome to coordinate with the faucets.  The doors and frames are solid wood construction and you can order many different configurations.  We did two 30" base cabinets and a 12" drawer bank and needed 2 3" filler pieces to form the corner.  That does mean that there is nothing in the corner, it would have been great if we could have utilized that space, but we couldn't find an option for a corner bathroom cabinet without having someone build the entire unit from scratch which would have likely been much more expensive.  We had the counter top made to our measurements including choosing sink placement and style and materials and ordered from Marble Arch through Lowes.  We did end up paying more for the L-shape counter than we would have for the same amount of linear feet of counter in a straight run but it was worth it for us to maximize the space in the bathroom.

We could have gone back to the glass shower door idea at this point but that was still a stretch for our budget, especially now that we had the additional cost of a plumber and electrician added to the remodel.  We ended up having to move the floor drain, run new lines for the sinks, and put in plumbing in the new wall for the shower and tub.  We chose glass tile on the shower surround and chrome fixtures to add more shine and a little color to the room. But just in case you like it, let me warn you how much of a pain it is to install glass mosaic tiles... big tiles are so much easier.  Although the tiles come on 12x12 sheets of 1" square tiles, we found them quite difficult to work with since they slid around on the mesh backing.  Maybe it was just the particular brand of tile, but we had a difficult time keeping the rows straight.  Next time, I'm planning to use my other favorite, subway tile. 

I love porcelain and chrome fixtures and lots of white in a bathroom so the solid white counter tops and white ceramic tile floors were an easy choice.  The floor tiles are 18x18 white ceramic with gray marbling that looks very much like Carrara marble without the price tag, I believe these were somewhere in the $5 per square foot range.  I believe this is the same tile, if it's not the exact same, it's very close. The white tile and counter tops really make the room feel brighter and larger since there is no window, we didn't want it to seem dark by using dark floors as well.  To finish off the bathroom, we painted the walls a deep gray color - Silver Charm by Valspar and added fresh white trim.

For the final touches, we added a chrome curved shower pole, definitely not going back to a straight curtain pole in the future, it's amazing how much bigger the shower feels with that extra bit of space.  The shower curtain is from Target and is no longer available.  If I was doing it again, I would definitely buy an extra long curtain since I don't love where this one hits the tub, it's about 6" too short.  The faucets are all from and the light fixtures were from Lowes and we bought the shades separately.  The frameless mirrors are from the Home Depot.  I originally wanted the mirrors that stand off the wall, like these from Pottery Barn, but in the end, we wanted something a little bit more budget friendly and opted to save about $300.  Our plan was to frame them out down the road to match the cabinets if we changed our minds but so far, we really like them.

We didn't do much for accessories in here.  I added a little homemade art over the toilet.  I started by downloading a printable image of Kentucky set on gray and white stripes from Pinterest and dropping a heart on Louisville in PicMonkey and printing it in poster size and framing it with an Ikea Ribba frame.  We picked up the chrome wire baskets at Target and stacked them, rolled up some hand towels and use them for storing our "prettier" bathroom items, including a couple of old blue mason jars that I found in my grandpa's basement and filled with q-tips and cotton balls.  Everything else gets stashed in the vanity cabinets.  I've had that blue sea glass vase for ever and stole it from the living room to add a little more height to the counter.  I still think we needed something else in that corner but we never figured out what to put there.  I think if we would have stayed in this house longer, I probably would have eventually ordered the corner hutch from our cabinet maker to add a bit more storage and better utilize that space.  The towels we already owned but they are from Bed, Bath and Beyond.


  1. The total demolition is sure worth it! The remodeled version of your bathroom is beautiful! You know they say the state of bathroom reflects the characteristics of the homeowner, and with the bathroom as gorgeous and immaculate as yours – that sure says something about you. | |

    1. Thanks so much! We are so happy we did it!

  2. Very beautiful and attractive pictures of bathroom you have shared. These designs are really very trendy and also very attractive design.These design are very much designed with the space you have in bathroom ,designs are accomplished with proper use of space.

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  3. I love this picture and design. Bathroom area was sheltered with a wall of plastic and tarps, also, to prevent dust. you get more information from parker bathroom remodel contractor

  4. I agree with Ryann, since the way your new bathroom turned out is really great, Jen! Deconstructing it and having it built to your preferences are certainly the first steps in giving your home a better interior, even though it looked like a lot of work. Congrats on your awesome new bathroom! I wish you the best in future projects like this.

    Lida Swisher @ Waddle Exteriors

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  6. My bathroom remodel was also one of my biggest undertakings. Nice job! I love the vase.

  7. An expertly remodeled master bathroom will provide years of pleasure and comfort. But do an amateur job and you’ll be reminded of the fact every day. It’s a tricky space, unfortunately, with lots of moving parts crammed into a tight footprint, not to mention the volumes of water ready to exploit any and all leaks. Setting a budget and planning ahead are two ways to keep your Bathroom Remodeling project on track.

  8. Great post! I am in the process of remodeling my house right now, so I've been doing a lot of research on this. Thanks for sharing!

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