Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Master Bath - How We Did It

Yesterday, I finally shared my new master bath.

I love this room.  It feels very luxurious.  And it's quite an improvement from the original - 

Today, I'd like to share some of the steps in this transformation.  It was a lot of work - but well worth it.  Let's start with some background info.  Craig and I bought a really ugly house on a really beautiful street about six years ago.  We got a great deal (because it needed so much work) and planned from the beginning to remodel every room.  And while some rooms just required wallpaper removal (ok just about every room) and paint, some rooms required much more.  So, we tackled projects based on our schedule, money, and subs availability.  We are very fortunate to have good friends with amazing talent to help us.  

This bathroom was a high priority to us because it was completely unusable.  There was no shower and the sink had a leaky faucet.  That meant that all six of us were sharing one bathroom (which btw is still not remodeled - and kinda ugly...with a blue toilet...).  We had come from a house with only one full bath, so we were used to sharing, but part of the reason for moving was to have a little more space.  Unfortunately, other, more pressing house stuff kept bumping this bathroom down the to-do list.  And it sat in this state for a few years. {hides head in shame}  But, there were more reasons for not getting to this bathroom sooner - I didn't know how to fix it.  Craig and I drew up plan after plan.  We just couldn't decide what would work best.  Because this is a larger home on a nice street, we knew our decisions would impact our resale value. This home would eventually be competing with high-end homes - complete with large master bathrooms.  We had to be careful not to be too frugal with our design and materials.  And we needed to balance all of that with our needs.  The bathroom had to be functional for us.

After giving it a lot of thought, we finally came up with a floor plan.  We tried to keep the fixtures in the same locations as much as possible (to save on costs), but most things were moved a smidge.  First step - demo.  Craig and I did all of that.  We removed the toilet, sink, tub, tile, mirrors, drywall, and floor.  {That's a great way to save money.  It's a lot of work - but not difficult work.}  Why did we remove the drywall and floor?  We wanted to insulate the room.  It's on the "weather" side of the house and could get cold in the winter.  We also needed to level both halves of the room (the previous owner had raised the floor to accommodate the huge tub - it left the room feeling small and cramped).

You can see the step in the picture above (to the left of the sink).  We wanted the room to be on one level (because this was kind of crazy).  Anyway, fast forward to demo and insulation, and we had this - 

That's the same view (where the pedestal sink used to sit)

This is the view towards the toilet.  

And this is where my new shower is about to be built.  Goodbye ugly brown tub!

You can see that the plumbing is already in place at this point.  We did hire a great plumber to hook us up.  It was a very complicated job (I'll give you the whole run-down on the shower in another post - it is really awesome).  

Now it was time to put it all back together.  Drywall and cement board went in.  And we had pros for this step too.  I wanted to make sure that there were no water problems down the line - and there haven't been any.

The shower - with bench.

The vanity area - now ready for two sinks!

And a long shot - the shower is straight ahead (obviously) and the vanity will go in to the right.  Also take note of the floor - we put in radiant floor heating.  It was a total splurge.  But we felt it was necessary to combat our cold winters (marble floors would be very cold without it).  And, remember, we were trying to add some luxury so we could compete in the resale market. 

Next step - tile.  I chose a polished marble.  I thought it was very spa-like and beautiful.  It was also a splurge.  And since I had never tiled anything, I hired that out too.  It took two men about five days to do the job.  They did a great job - 

I love the subway pattern - it's timeless.  And I chose a 1x1 for the shower floor as well as an accent on the wall.

The bench and wall caps are granite. I tried to find a slab that would match the marble - so that the transitions wouldn't be jarring to the eye.

We then ordered a custom glass enclosure.  And if you're wondering, yes we did shower in here before the glass came.  The shower is pretty big, so there wasn't much water splashing out.  ;-)

We had a little help installing the vanity (I can't lift heavy stuff anymore due to a herniated disc) and countertop (made from the same slab of granite).  

There were still many small details left - finding a vanity mirror (we ended up ordering a custom mirror because the size was so awkward), putting in recessed lights, installing an exhaust fan, tons of painting, adding a vent cover, etc.  I think those details were the longest part of the remodel! But now it's finished - and we couldn't be happier about the end result - 

Here's a quick recap - 

So, I hope that helped a little.  The remodeling process was long - there were many steps - but we love our new bathroom.  It works well for us - and we think it will be a great selling feature when we decide to move.  

Now, we need to tackle that last bathroom (and get rid of that ugly blue toilet)...