Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Master Shower

I shared my master bath remodel a couple of weeks ago, but there are still some details that I wanted to include.  So, today, I'd like to talk about my shower.  I'm not going to lie - this was an expensive room.  And I picked some high end finishes (I balanced it out a little with some DIY and inexpensive finds that aren't very noticeable).  I really needed to spend the money here if I ever want to sell this house.  We will be competing with newer homes complete with jacuzzi tubs and huge walk in closets (neither of which I have).  Jucuzzi tubs aren't something that I love but I know people want them.  So when we decided to remove the old tub, we wanted to replace it with something gorgeous-

We think it's a lot better than the tub we took out - 

We are really hoping that there are other non-bath people out there who will appreciate all of the details in our new shower.  We spent a lot of time picking out just what we wanted - a blend of contemporary and traditional.  

Let's start with the fixtures.  We chose Kohler.  It's a brand that we knew and trusted and we liked the selection.  What really sold me was the shower head and body sprays.  They are called WaterTiles.  I loved the square contemporary design.

These are my favorites elements of the shower - and I use them everyday.  But I share this bathroom with Craig and he had a request too.  He wanted a rainhead.  So we looked through the Kohler catalog, and found this Contemporary Rain Head

He loves it.  I am not a huge fan.  It looks beautiful, don't get me wrong.  I just can't use it because it washes all of my hair into my face which is really uncomfortable.  And a bit suffocating.  So, women, keep that in mind if you want a rainhead (I don't think it has anything to do with this particular rainhead - it's just the overhead water thing that doesn't work for me).

The last aspect of this shower that I wanted was a hand shower.  Why?  This may sound crazy, but I love to be able to wash off the walls and glass after I clean them.  Our other hall bath (which we haven't remodeled yet) doesn't have a hand shower and it drives me crazy.  But I know that other family members use the hand shower for actual showering so I think it was a good choice.  Kohler offers a few different types, and we chose the Flipside

Funny thing about the Flipside - it is advertised everywhere - TV, internet, and magazines but I had never noticed it until I picked it from their website.  Now I see the ads all over.

Ok so with all of these fixtures, we needed to choose a trim package.  I picked the Devonshire for it's traditional feel- 

As you can see in the picture, it took one thermostatic valve (temperature control - the bottom valve) and two transfer valves (output selection - the two top valves) to make this shower work.  So, yes, we can have any combination of shower heads or body sprays that we want. This was very complex and took our plumber a little time to figure out, but it's nice to turn anything on or off and personalize our showering experience. 

What else went into our shower?  Marble tile.  When we entered a local tile shop, I knew immediately that I wanted this marble.  It is polished and elegant.  It is very spa-like - and that's exactly what I was going for.  I decided to do a subway pattern up the walls, with an accent of 1 x 1 tiles - 

And I carried the 1 x 1 tile to the shower floor.  I also had two niches built-in to the back wall for shampoo and conditioner.  That has worked out great!

Another design element that was important to me was a bench. 

No I don't sit there while I shower - but I wanted a place to put my foot when I shaved my legs.  Was that too much information? Well, I had been in hotel rooms that only had a shower stall, and I noticed how inconvenient it was to shave.  So, by building a half wall and bench, I solved my grooming dilemma.  :-)

Once all of the marble tile was in place, I set out for a slab of granite to cap off the wall, bench and counter.  I decided to pick a slab that would most easily blend in.  I just didn't want a lot of contrast.  

Once all of the tile and granite was in place, We hired a glass company to install a custom glass enclosure.  Again, not cheap but very worth it.  We had a watershield product added to the glass which makes it very easy to keep clean (I squeegee it everyday) and it is very heavy duty.  

By the way, I have no affiliation with Kohler (darn), I just like their products.  And we purchased all of the shower fixtures through a local plumbing supply store (not the Kohler website).  We have been very happy with the end result and wouldn't change a thing.  So much so, that we chose Kohler sinks (cambor) and faucets (forte - that is the low arc model.  I'm not sure if the exact faucet that we chose is available anymore) for the vanity as well.

I hope that answered some questions.  I still have some more details to share, so expect another bathroom post soon.  :-)