Monday, August 12, 2013

Master Bathroom Renovation - the Before, the Details

Today is the start of our big, huge, most expensive project we'll do on this house for a long time, master bathroom renovation! Confession - I'm totally freaking out!!

Yes, I have a million ideas swirling through my head and have a very good sense of what I want, but now it needs to be definite. What we choose cannot be undone. Gah! I can be very indecisive at times, lots of what ifs, so this project is major. It's not just painting the walls and wanting to repaint. No, I cannot change the layout, the tile choice, the vanity options, the fixtures, etc once they're installed. They will be here for good.

Here's what we are working with right now. I was having a hard time visualizing the size of the shower we'll be putting in so I taped off both the size of the standard tub shower, and the size of the larger shower we've decided to go with.

And here's a very simple amateur drawing of the plans... the shower and vanity will run along the same wall

Lastly, here's what we're thinking for tiles...

  • 12x24 Dark Grey floor tiles
  • 2x2 Dark Grey shower floor tiles
  • 8x20 White/Grey shower wall tiles

We've decided to use porcelain for the tiles. All of them. I absolutely love the look of marble, but really didn't want to have to worry about maintaining it, nor was the price tag all that fun to calculate. Thankfully you can find porcelain in a variety of textures and shades these days to imitate the finer stones. I think we had a similar approach in our tile decisions as Lindsey did here. She's much better at explaining it than I am (and so much more experienced than us!).

Originally, I wanted a lighter shower floor which is why there are various smaller tiles on the left side of the picture above. But then I saw this bathroom renovation and changed my mind completely. I loved the cleaner look of using the same floor tile throughout. I realized that the bathroom could look very cramped very easily if I add in too many colors, patterns, textures, etc so we'll keep the tile simple.

I spent some time yesterday walking around The Tile Shop, and while I wasn't super impressed with their selection (honestly, I spent the whole time comparing what they had to what I'd already picked out and couldn't find anything I liked better - huge relief, going with my original selection) I so appreciated the numerous bathrooms you could walk through for inspiration. It really does help to see what your tile selection could potentially look like. Plus, they just might have been the nicest sales persons ever. Here's one I found using similar colors to us...

And another bathroom that caught my eye...
And I'm really liking the dark grey cabinets here...that is the next decision!

And here's one I found which kinda/sorta shows you what it looks like to use the same tile for the bathroom floor and shower floor - just using different sizes.

When you're picking tile for the shower floor, you need to pick a tile that is 2x2 or smaller. This is because the shower floor needs to be pitched towards the drain. It really wouldn't be good to have standing water in your shower, so being able to adjust the pitch of the floor is necessary. And smaller tile works best (bigger tiles would just end up cracking - not good). But the less grout to clean, the better really (in my opinion) so we'll stick with the larger tiles for the bathroom floor and the smaller tiles only within the shower portion. Plus, if you haven't looked at tiles before, I warn you - small tiles can be crazy expensive!

Now that the demo has started, here's what's in the line-up for our bathroom renovation:
  • Demo current space - repair ceiling, open up the walls for plumbing and electricity, move current door frame over to make room for a vanity
  • Bring in a plumber to fit for pipes - pipes will connect through the guest bathroom (which is through the far wall on in the pictures above). We are purposelly going with this layout so that a) we don't need to pull pipes up through the kitchen ($$$$) and b) there are no pipes along the exterior wall (very risky in the New England winters...)
  • Bring in electrician to wire for new lighting, fan/vent system
  • Order tiles for bathroom floor, shower floor, shower walls
  • Order custom shower glass for interior shower wall, door, pony wall on vanity side
  • Order double sink vanity and decide on countertop material
  • Order sink and shower fixtures (currently thinking rain shower head like this, and hand held)
  • Order a toilet (I'll let J handle that....maybe...)
  • Decide on overhead or side lighting around vanity
  • Pick out paint color for walls
  • Accessorize!

If I'm missing anything major in my list above, well that's why we've hired a contractor for this job. Ha! We've decided to let the pro's handle this bathroom since there is just so much work to do. And J and I plan to tackle a guest bathroom reno later this year since it already has a footprint to follow/upgrade. But this won't happen until our master bathroom is fully functional (and will be the only full bathroom while we reno the guest bathroom). 

I'll keep you posted along the way. I can't believe it's actually/finally happening!

Happy Monday!

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  1. i recommend side vanity lights. they are less harsh on the face - less shadows.

    can't wait to see the progress!

  2. I have certainly read that tip a bunch! So why does everyone choose lighting above?! ha. There just seems to be so many more options for above lighting- its so hard to find side vanity lighting that's modern (but not too modern), especially with a double vanity. We'll see what we come up with! Thanks for the input. :)

  3. Howdy there,

    Probably a good idea by hiring a professional contractor for a bathroom job. Aside from the amount of work, the bathroom is a smaller room in the house with many components such as electrical wiring, ventilation, and plumbing. You mention that you are considering renovating your guest bathroom in the future and I had just had a question regarding that. Could you email me please? Thanks!



  4. This is awesome! I've been trying to do some bathroom renovation , and this gave me some great insight for things to try. Thanks for sharing!

    Bathroom Renovations Brisbane

  5. Your blog about master bathroom renovation is so informative for me please keep it up.Thanks for sharing!
    Shower renovation burke va


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